Chewbacca and Hans Solo (Harrison Ford) in "Star Wars: The...

Chewbacca and Hans Solo (Harrison Ford) in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." Credit: Star Wars

The new teaser trailer for “Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens” offers a hint of how director J.J. Abrams will handle one of the most successful and beloved film franchises in history. It also gives a look at Harrison Ford, returning as the swashbuckling space-pirate Han Solo.

Nostalgia plays a big part in the trailer, from the opening images of a wide desert – one of the original film's memorable backdrops – to a telling selection from John William's original score known informally as the “Force Theme." It's the motif that played while Luke Skywalker gazed out at the twin sunset on his home planet. That musical choice strikes more of an emotional note than the military fanfare of the famous title theme.

Images of Darth Vader's crushed mask and a rusty R2D2 hint at a mythical history, while the voice-over implies that the Skywalker family legacy is being passed to a new generation. We also see glimpses of the film's lead characters: Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron, Daisy Ridley as Rey and John Boyega as Finn.

The biggest reveal here, though, is Ford as an older but no less insouciant Han Solo. He's gone grey (though Chewbacca, his Wookie sidekick, still has the lustrous fur of a young Labrador), but still wears his trademark white shirt and dark jacket. In keeping with the trailer's tone of returning to familiar territory, Solo closes by saying, “Chewie – we're home.”

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