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Titles, cards, and black
Thanksgiving teaser, Nov. 28, 2014
This was the first trailer, released over a year before the film’s release. We were introduced to many of the new worlds, weapons, characters here, including Kylo Ren’s tactically illogical crossguard lightsaber.
First theatrical trailer, Apr. 16, 2015
The second teaser trailer was launched as part of a massive Star Wars convention in Anaheim, California, in April. While the first trailer concentrated on new characters, the second brought back old favorites like Han Solo and Chewbacca, and appears to have been narrated by Luke Skywalker.
Korean teaser, Aug. 11, 2015
A trailer released in South Korea gave fans their first glimpse of The First Order, the new evil force in the galaxy—but not much else. While the first shot was new footage, all subsequent clips were already a part of the teaser and the theatrical trailer.
Instagram teaser 1, Aug. 27, 2015
Eagle-eyed Star Wars fanatics caught a few glimpses of new footage on the franchise’s Instagram account in August. The short clip included glances of the new evil empire, and heroes Rey and Finn—who seems to have found himself a lightsaber.
Instagram teaser 2, Oct. 19, 2015
It was only one long clip, but the second Instagram promo was the first to show an interaction of Finn and Poe Dameron. It ends with an appeal to tune into Monday Night Football on Disney-owned ESPN.
Instagram teaser 3, Oct. 19, 2015
Another appeal to tune into Monday Night Football, this clip was the first to show the fleet of TIE fighters flying over Rey in the forest.
Monday Night Football trailer, Oct. 19, 2015
During Monday Night Football on ESPN—a channel owned, like Star Wars, by Disney—the full theatrical trailer for The Force Awakens debuted on US television. The trailer centered around Rey, from the desert planet of Jakku, seemingly setting her up to be the main hero of the film.
Japanese trailer, Nov. 5, 2015
A few days later, a new theatrical trailer emerged, originally intended for Japanese audiences, was released. Thanks to the internet, it spread like wildfire around the world almost immediately. It was similar to the US trailer, but with more interactions between Finn and Rey.
“I Know Your Eyes” TV spot, Nov. 8, 2015
This is the first of the trailers that we’ll see on TV to whip us into a Star Wars frenzy between now and the time the movie is released. Although it was short, it included a bunch of new clips of Finn, Rey, Han Solo, and the lovable spherical astromech droid, BB-8, and a voiceover from a new character not previously introduced.
60-Second TV spot, Nov. 11, 2015
Appearing just three days after the last trailer, this longer TV trailer is essentially an expanded version of the one before it, showing the exact moment where Finn and Rey formally meet each other, and we hear more about Kylo Ren’s Darth Vader fanaticism.
“Rey and Kylo Ren” TV spot, Nov. 16, 2015
The second short TV trailer has the smallest percentage (?) of new footage of any trailer so far, presumably because there’s going to come a point where if Lucasfilm release any more footage of the film, we’ll have seen it all before it comes out.
“Finn” TV spot, Nov. 18, 2015
The next TV trailer in the seemingly unending onslaught of trailers reframes the film with Finn as the hero, even going so far as to show him in the gunner’s seat of the Millennium Falcon—something we’ve not seen since Luke Skywalker helmed it in A New Hope.
“Red Squad Blue Squad” TV spot, Nov. 22, 2015
The fourth TV trailer is composed almost entirely of previously-seen footage, with a few more cutesy moments of BB-8 rolling around being adorable. We also see Rey piloting the Millennium Falcon—something its owner is generally quite protective of.
“The Belonging You Seek” TV spot, Nov. 22, 2015
The fifth TV trailer seems to have the least new footage in it. It frames Rey as the heroine, and her line “I know all about waiting,” is recycled here—which seems apt, given that this has been the eleventh trailer so far.
Thanksgiving 2015 TV spot, Nov. 27, 2015
Coming during the US's Thanksgiving holiday, this is the sixth TV trailer released for the film. It focuses on combat, including new footage showing X-wings in dog fights with TIE fighters and Chewbacca in the midsts of battle.
Rey and Kylo Ren 60-second TV spot, Nov. 29, 2015
This action-packed promo plays Rey’s life on Jakku off against Kylo Ren and his fanaticism with the Dark Side of the Force, building to a climax of all the battle scenes we’ve seen before.
“Dark Side” 30-second TV spot, Nov. 29, 2015
This is a cut-down version of the longer spot that was released on the same day, focusing on Kylo Ren and his desire to bring the Dark Side of the Force to the Star Wars universe.