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Star Wars 7: watch the 'ultimate' The Force Awakens trailer

26 October

The movie fan site Science vs Cinema has compiled the "ultimate" trailer for the forthcoming sci-fi film Star Wars 7: The Force Awakens, which opens in the UK and US on December 18, by bringing together all the footage from the three trailers that have been released so far into a 220-second magnum opus.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"content_original","fid":"85951","attributes":{"class":"media-image"}}]]

Since the beginning of the year, the film's parent company, Disney, has been drip-feeding glimpses of The Force Awakens via trailers, stills and preview articles in the press, but this is the first time all the footage can be seen in one place.

Before the film has even come out, the trailers offer fans an insight into the plot of the next episode and provide a preliminary look at the film's new heroes, Finn and Rey, as well as the movie's main villain, Kylo Ren.

The last trailer to be released comes prior to tickets going on sale, two months ahead of the film's December release. Buoyed by the excitement generated by the extended trailer, ticket sales in the US have so far smashed all previous records, with an estimated eight times the number of tickets pre-ordered than the previous record-holder, The Hunger Games.

Star Wars News Net calls the extended trailer three minutes and 40 seconds of "pure awesomeness."

Star Wars 7 smashes ticket sale records, but what will the film be about?

22 October

Star Wars 7: The Force Awakens this week smashed records that had previously been set by The Hunger Games for most tickets sold on the first day of release, Variety magazine has revealed. But as StarWarsNewsNet.com notes, Star Wars 7 didn't just beat the record, "it obliterated it."

"It didn't just surpass that picture, it shattered its benchmark, outselling The Hunger Games eight times over. Traffic to the online ticketer Fandago's site surged to seven times more than its peak level in less than 24 hours", Variety reports.

Several cinemas reported that their sites crashed. The Alamo Drafthouse theatre group had so many problems throughout the say that the CEO of the Texas-based cinema chain issued an apology calling the release "the single biggest simultaneous surge for movie tickets our industry has ever seen".

"This is an extraordinary time for the industry, which experienced unprecedented ticketing demand last night for Star Wars: The Force Awakens," Fandango said in a statement. "The enthusiasm for this year's most anticipated movie is out of this world and we expect it to continue all the way to its debut on Dec 18."

After the release earlier this week of the latest full-length trailer for Star Wars 7: The Force Awakens (below), many fans might still be wondering what the new film is all about. Fortunately, a Star Wars "super fan" has mapped out the entire plot of the forthcoming film by piecing together the various leaks, rumours and spoilers that have come out over the past twelve months.

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Not so long ago, in a galaxy nearby, fan site MakingStarWars.net compiled all the most credible plot details that have so far been published online into a coherent synopsis that many Star Wars obsessives believe could provide an accurate insight into the most hotly anticipated film of the decade. So what will Star Wars 7 be all about?

Warning: possible spoilers ahead

Even after being edited by MakingStarWars.net, Star Wars fan DarthLightlyBruise's comprehensive overview runs to 3,800 words. According to the summary, Star Wars 7 will open with a blue lightsaber tumbling through space before coming to rest on a desert planet called Jakku. The lightsaber ends up in the hands of a character named the Vicar, played by Max von Sydow.

Understanding the significance of the weapon, the Vicar gets in touch with the Resistance – the new incarnation of the Rebel Alliance. Soon a pilot named Poe Dameron, played by Oscar Isaac, arrives to collect the lightsaber. However, the First Order – a remnant of the evil Galactic Empire – intercepts the communication and arrives to collect the Jedi weapon. Dameron stores it in a droid named BB-8 and sends him on his way.

As the film progresses we meet a stormtrooper named Finn – played by British actor John Boyega, who goes awol after being traumatised by war. While on the run, Finn meets villain Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and a beautiful junk scavenger named Rey (Daisy Ridley).

The film also features appearances from Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) and – eventually – Queen Leia (Carrie Fisher), the leader of the Resistance. When Leia and Han meet, it is clear that they have become estranged but as the film progresses they rekindle their love.

The narrative of the film follows the Resistance's effort to return the lightsaber to its rightful owner. But who could that be? Some suggest Luke Skywalker lies in wait at the end of the film.

As CinemaBlend notes, "this is all based on the unconfirmed rumours that have made the rounds. The fan essentially places them in an order that makes sense and, using some conjecture and knowledge of these movies to link them together, creates a potential narrative".

So what may be gleaned from the latest trailer that wasn't known previously? According to The Verge's scene-by-scene analysis, several new themes become clear.

First, the reincarnation of the Empire, the First Order, "seem more fanatical than the old Imperials" and appears to be made up of "true believers rather than conscripted soldiers."

Second, the main villain of the piece, Kylo Ren, can be seen standing on the deck of what appears to be a Star Destroyer possibly overseeing the construction of the "strange new Death Star-ish orb" that some fans spotted in the poster. Is another planet-destroying weapon under construction?

Finally, in the trailer Han explains that stories about the past were "all true". The Verge offers two possible explanations for why there may be some uncertainty about the past in the minds of the two young leads. "Both Rey and Finn could simply be bumpkins who know little about the galaxy outside their homeworlds, but maybe the end of the Empire wasn't as well publicised as the parties at the end of Return of the Jedi suggested. Or maybe, without the Empire's logistical and communication links, the galaxy was kicked into a dark age where stories travelled slowly and people travelled irregularly."

All will be revealed when the film arrives in cinemas in late December.

Even the film's young stars look impressed

Not even the film's new leads look as though they were prepared for the scale of the project they have just completed. Both John Boyega, who plays the film's rogue Storm Trooper, Finn, and Daisy Ridley, who plays new heroine, Rey, posted their reactions to the latest trailer on their Instagram accounts.

Both appear to be entirely overwhelmed by the short clip. Ridley bursts into tears while watching the trailer on her iPhone, while Boyega nods approvingly before throwing himself over the couch and onto the floor screaming "what?"

According to Cinemabland, Ridley has embraced her new role throughout the film's production. "Ridley is all about the Star Wars experience," the site says. "She's captured everything from teaser screen captures, posters and her character’s Topps trading card, to panel appearances, tiny Rey cos-players and her godfather’s dog macking on a Chewbacca stuffed animal."

Boyega's reaction too is "a testament to how passionate he feels about being able to contribute to this massive franchise", the site says.

See the two stars' reactions below.

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