After the devastating news yesterday that this weekend’s D23 expo — Disney’s branded answer to San Diego Comic-Con — would feature no new footage from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” fans settled in to wait. After all, the toys begin shipping next month. Surely more information was imminent, whether through official sources or leaked details.

Talk about your short wait. Entertainment Weekly just released a peek at their Fall Movie Preview issue and it is overflowing with new images and tidbits about this December’s most anticipated movie.

Fans will have to physically pick up the issue this Friday to get answers to questions such as:

Who is Adam Driver’s villainous wielder of the crossguard-lightsaber? What is his relationship with Darth Vader … and is Kylo Ren his original name?
From whom (or what) does Daisy Ridley’s character Rey rescue the ball-droid BB-8 amid the desolate sands of Jakku?

But even without the answers to some of these particular questions, there’s still plenty to chew on. Some of these reveals are just confirmation of rumors that have been percolating for months, but verification is always welcome (and the only way I’ll cover it here on Harpy).

  • #1: Finn (John Boyega) escapes the downed TIE fighter.
    Photo Credit: Lucasfilm/EW

    Now we know. When Finn first popped up into our lives — literally — looking panicked, he had just survived a crash landing on Jakku. The question that remains? Is Finn an actual First Order trooper or something more? Did he infiltrate that unit and steal a TIE? And what exactly was a squadron doing on this backwater Outer Rim world? 

    Probably has something to do with the Millennium Falcon. But how the First Order got that information remains to be seen.

  • #2: Rey (Daisy Ridley) frees BB-8 from captivity.
    Photo Credit: Lucasfilm/EW

    This photo raises more questions than it answers. What is it with droids getting abducted by tiny scavengers on desert planets? Is BB-8 the new model of astromech droid and if so, did s/he escape from Finn’s downed TIE? What kind of species is that beast of burden? And what species is riding it? Why would Ridley be interested in what appears to be a First Order droid?

  • #3: Finn and Rey on the run.
    Photo Credit: Lucasfilm/EW

    Whether or not he begins the movie as a First Order minion is really moot as Finn is also running for his life through the streets of Jakku. The lightsaber from the costume design is missing. Has he handed it off to someone else? Not received it yet? And just where did he get the change of clothes?

  • #4: Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is on Jakku.
    Photo Credit: Lucasfilm/EW

    More proof the First Order is looking for the Falcon. You don’t send a Sith Lord to subjugate peasants.

  • #5: A better look at Kylo Ren’s lightsaber/broadsword.
    Photo Credit: Lucasfilm/EW

    Friendly reminders from Stephen Colbert and the new Star Wars novel “Heir to the Jedi” about how that is a completely feasible design. Though Abrams did confirm to Entertainment Weekly that Ren built his lightsaber on his own.

    "The lightsaber is something that he built himself, and is as dangerous and as fierce and as ragged as the character.”

    Abrams went on to say "Ren” is a title, not a name. Much like Darth Vader before him, Kylo took his name when he joined his order — the Knights of Ren.

    I see you there Abrams, with your Order of Revan homage. I see you. Does this mean Kylo is more Grey Jedi than Sith Lord?

  • #6: C-3P0 is having a bad day.
    Photo Credit: Lucasfilm/EW

    Still no word on how our favorite protocol droid lost his arm, but this is our first good look at his replacement limb. Based on the ancient structures covered in roots, I’m tentatively wondering if this is Yavin 4.

  • #7: Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) is slightly less shiny, but definitely still chrome.
    Photo Credit: Lucasfilm/EW

    The fingers of her suit give me pause. While the First Order troopers have black gloved fingers, her hands end in blocky stubs. Just what does she look like under that helmet?

  • #8: General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) is the leader of the First Order.
    Photo Credit: Lucasfilm/EW

    FINALLY! Now we know who replaced the Emperor. Even if we don’t know how…yet.


Mom. Wife. Geek. Gamer. Feminist. Writer. Sarcastic. Succinct. Donna has been writing snark for the Internet in one form or another for almost a decade. She has a lot of opinions, mostly on science-fiction, fantasy, feminism, and Sailor Moon. Follow her on Twitter (@MildlyAmused) for more of all these things.