A scene from the new trailer for 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens.' A scene from the new trailer for 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens.' A scene from the new trailer for 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens.' (Photo: Lucasfilm)

What we learned from the new 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' trailer

From real explosions to the return of Han Solo, director JJ Abrams has given us our best look yet at the next chapter in the 'Star Wars' saga.

Capping off the "Stars Wars Celebration" panel in Anaheim, Calif., today, director JJ Abrams gave fans yet another glimpse at the highly anticipated "Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens." While Abrams, as expected, continues to keep the film's plot details a mystery, here are three new things we learned from this new sneak peek.

1. Chewbacca ages gracefully.

star wars episode VII trailer chewbaccaChewbacca and Han Solo have finally been revealed – but where is his "home" they're referencing? Could it be the Millennium Falcon? (Photo: Lucasfilm/Disney)

Our first look at an older Han Solo and Chewbacca reveals something interesting about everyone's favorite Wookiee – the guy hasn't aged a bit! Of course, it's worth noting that during the original trilogy, Chewbacca was reportedly already 200 years old; so it makes sense that 30 years wouldn't make much of a difference. Still, not even one gray hair?


2. Real sets! Real explosions!

star wars episode VII trailer SFXReal explosions, smoke and stunts have replaced the digital nightmare that was the 'Star Wars' prequel trilogy. (Photo: Lucasfilm/Disney)

When JJ Abrams committed to using the old-school filming techniques of the original trilogy, fans breathed a sigh of relief. The move back to real sets and models was the first indication that this new chapter in the saga had potential. This particular scene from the new teaser, shot within some kind of fighter hangar bay, is a testament to Abrams' vision. It actually looks real – and not just some green screen special-effects disaster.

While it's only a teaser (and an expertly crafted one at that), we've yet again been given proof that the future of the "Star Wars" franchise is holding more promise than any of us likely dared to expect. This is particularly promising considering the talent helming the next two films – writer/director Rian Johnson ("Brick," "The Brothers Bloom," "Breaking Bad") and Israeli producer Ram Bergman ("Don Juan," "Looper").


3. There's a changing of the guard.

star wars episode VII trailerThe next generation of Jedi receives his or her lightsaber in this clip from the most recent 'Star Wars: Episode VII' trailer. (Photo: Lucasfilm/Disney)

There's a reason Abrams chose to have this shot of an abandoned Star Destroyer and X-Wing in the first opening seconds of the teaser. It's absolutely stunning – and a wonderful reminder that everything appears to be in good hands. Episode VII, taking place roughly 30 years after the events of "The Return of the Jedi," appears to be offering a symbolic changing of the guard. In this teaser alone, we see shots of Darth Vader's scorched helmet, as well as a lightsaber being handed off to what appears to be a younger member of the Skywalker family. "The Force is strong in my family," Luke Skywalker says in the film. "My father has it. I have it. My sister has it. You have that power too."

Check out the new trailer below:

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