JJ Abrams premiered the second teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens at a special event Thursday, giving fans a first look at Harrison Ford reprising his iconic role as Han Solo.

New Star Wars: The Force Awakens Teaser Trailer Released

Thousands gathered at the Star Wars Celebration on Thursday, hoping to catch a glimpse of the new trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the film’s director JJ Abrams. Abrams debuted the trailer with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, and the two also participated in an hour-long panel to dish on the new Star Wars installment.

New Planet: Jakku

In addition to releasing the trailer, Abrams also released a little more information on the characters of the film, both new and returning. When he first released the original teaser for The Force Awakens four months ago, the Internet went crazy with speculation, but Abrams refused to divulge any spoilers, including who the characters featured were. At the panel, however, he finally divulged a few of his secrets.


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One major revelation: the desert planet featured in both teaser trailers released thus far is not Tatooine. It is actually a brand new planet named Jakku, filmed in Abu Dhabi. “Star Wars is as much a western and fairy tale as it is anything else…What you expect and want to see are real, tangible, John Ford beautiful landscapes. And Abu Dhabi provided just that,” Abrams said.

BB8 And R2D2

Abrams also added that his goal in making the film was to have as many physical sets and props built as possible in an effort to keep the CGI minimal. This included building the new droid BB8 – the soccer ball looking little guy featured in the first teaser trailer. “There were a lot of discussions about how having a CG BB8 would be so much easier for shooting. But we also knew it would be better for the film, for the actors, for the sets, for the look of it if it were performed [for real],” Abrams added.

BB8 even made a surprise appearance at the panel alongside R2D2.

Star Wars Celebration-BB8-R2D2

New Main Characters – Everything You Need To Know

Of course, droids weren’t the only cast members that attended the panel. New comers John Boyega, Oscar Isaac and Daisy Ridley were all in attendance, and they each got to reveal a bit about their characters.

Boyega revealed that his character, Finn, is, in fact, a Stormtrooper. “When we find Finn, he’s in incredible danger. And the way he decides to react to this danger changes his life, number one, and launches him into the Star Wars universe in a unique way,” Boyega revealed.

When asked if, as a stormtrooper, his character was evil, Boyega played coy. As for Rey (Ridley): “She is a scavenger in a ship graveyard [on Jakku]…She’s completely self-sufficient and does everything for herself, until she meets another character and an adventure begins,” Ridley said.

Ridley isn’t the only strong female character to be featured in the new film. Both Gwendolyn Christie (Game of Thrones) and Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years A Slave) will appear in the film, but they were unable to attend the panel, and Kennedy promised the crowd that, moving forward, Star Wars will be full of “really strong women.”

Oscar Isaac, Daisey Ridley, John Boyega

Oscar Isaac, Daisey Ridley, John Boyega

Isaac plays Poe Dameron, who is featured in the teaser. Isaac described him as “the best freaking pilot in the galaxy who is “sent on a mission by a certain princess, and he ends up coming up across [Finn], and their fates are forever intertwined.”

Returning cast members, Mark Hamill (Luke), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) and Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), also took the stage. Though they didn’t say much about the new film, Fisher did confirm that Princess Leia’s famous hair buns will not be making an appearance. “But we have an alternate thing you’ll be very into, which is not the metal bikini,” Fisher joked.

Other fun tidbits from the panel:

Boyega got Harrison Ford to sign his Han Solo action figure (and he does a killer Harrison Ford impression.) He also didn’t tell his parents he was cast until the release of the cast photo because he was so nervous.

Isaac dealt with his nerves different, saying that when he learned he was cast, he pumped himself up for the first read through by blasting the Star Wars theme in his hotel room and using his shampoo bottle as a light saber.

WATCH The Force Awakens Panel:


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