This week is a very special time for the nerd calendar. The annual International Comic Con is taking place over in San Diego, and that means all the big names from film, TV, gaming, and comics are discussing what they have planned over the next 12 months.
Among them is Lucasfilm who is there to promote the much anticipated seventh episode of the Star Wars film franchise, The Force Awakens. We've already seen two trailers, and know a few things about the film, but JJ Abrams and co showed off a behind-the-scenes teaser clip with a bunch of other stuff. We spotted a bunch of new stuff in there as well. Here's the teaser itself, and everything we found:
First up we have this lovely couple, who appeared on screen for a second or two. We have no idea who they might be, but my guess is that the big guy is some sort of gangster and a spiritual successor to Jabba the Hutt. I could be wrong, though.
We know Episode VII is going to be big on the practical effects, but it looks like JJ Abrams isn't just about throwing stuff together on a whim. This model of a crashed TIE fighter makes it rather obvious that all of this stuff has been meticulously planned out before it goes in front of the camera. The narration also emphasises the need for real sets, not a big green sheet in a warehouse somewhere.
That's also apparent here, where we can see an animatronic alien head seemingly mimicking the expressions of a human controller via the computer.
We also get another glimpse at Mark Hammil's beard growing skills, but sadly there's no Jedi robe in sight.
We also get to see Oscar Isaac's Poe Dameron in Imperial custody, and that Stromtrooper is making sure to keep that gun pointed firmly at his chest. You can't miss if you're at point blank range, right? Right?
This shot of Lupita Nyong'o, playing the pirate Maz Kanata, in mo-cap make-up shows that even with animatronics and special effects you still need CGI in there. Judging from all the dots on her face they're not doing it half-heartedly, which is always a good thing.
This is an X-Wing seemingly under attack, and presumably that's Oscar Isaac before he's taken into imperial custody.
Here we have Adam Driver's Kylo Ren leaving a suspiciously green ship. Well I guess sometimes you have to give in and do a George Lucas for certain shots.
Here we have a Flamethrower-equipped stormtrooper letting off a burst of flame. It's not clear what it's trying to burn, but I imagine it's some sort of cuddly animal given that they're the bad guys and everything.
Oh would you look at that, it's the man who said he wasn't going to be in this film and claimed he didn't want to be. As we all suspected Simon Pegg is a big fat liar. This makes him the second actor to have starring roles in both Star Trek and Star Wars, and the first Star Trek actor to appear in a Star Wars film.
For those of you wondering who the first person is, George 'Sulu' Takei appeared in an episode of The Clone Wars.
Today I learned that Wookie masks are terrifying when they're not being worn.
And here is Peter Mayhew, aka Chewie himself, sans mask. Apparently they keep wearing through the wookie costume because everybody's first reaction when they see him is to give him a hug. Daww.
Mayhew also lets out a pretty convincing Chewbacca cry, which is pretty damn impressive. I suppose he has had 40-odd years to practice.
This film definitely has a lot of props, and a lot of work going into the costume design. It seems fair to say that virtually every alien you see in the film is actually a person in a costume and make up.
This guy must be drenched in this thing. Filming in the desert can't be fun.
Case in point: a very tired looking Simon Pegg with a flannel on his head. Looks like he's playing a very large alien, and we probably won't notice it's him when the film comes out.
Even the droids are people (don't tell Skynet)
What the f**k is that?! Terrifying.
Here we see the very large Millennium Falcon set, clearly it's on its best behaviour because it's not trying to kill Harrison Ford in this shot.
And here is the interior of the cockpit. Nothing much has changed really.
Well except the fact that they build a version of the cockpit that also happens to be exactly like one of those moving simulator rides you find at theme parks and museums.
It looks like Episode VII won't cheat us out of land battles, though. Judging from all that blackened landscape, millions of stormtroopers came through here and missed all of their targets.
Another exterior shot of the Falcon on location, also surrounded by lots of people and a few X-Wing pilots.
There's C-3PO in some sort of military base.
Bill Weasley Domanhall Gleeson, who's playing the Imperial General Hux.
IT'S A TRAP!
So not only is Admiral Ackbar (or one of his race) in the movie, so is Nien Nunb. Huh huh huh.
Oh would you look at that. It's Carrie Fisher on set, minus all the blur that comes with leaked set shots.
And there is Warwick Davis with some sort of alien. Is he in Episode VII as well? Or is he just visiting?
And here we have Harrison Ford,
Carrie Fisher Daisy Ridley, and John Boyega in the Millennium Falcon's cockpit.
I thought that was Carrie Fisher, which is a shame. I suppose that adds credence to the theory that Daisy Ridley is playing Han and Leia's daughter.
Did I miss anything? Feel free to point it out in the comments.