The Force Awakens: 5 things you should know about the new Star Wars movie

Five hundred replicas of Stormtrooper characters from "Star Wars" are placed on the steps at the Juyongguan section of the Great Wall of China during a promotional event for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Five hundred replicas of Stormtrooper characters from "Star Wars" are placed on the steps at the Juyongguan section of the Great Wall of China during a promotional event for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.PHOTO: REUTERS

The Force Awakens, the latest instalment to the Star Wars franchise, opens at the end of the year.

Even though it's two months away from its release on Dec 18, Star Wars mania has swept planet Earth. On Monday (Oct 19), fans overwhelmed cinema websites selling advance tickets, and the new trailer for the film went viral.

Here are five things you should know about The Force Awakens.

1. Return of the original cast

The Force Awakens takes place three decades after Return of the Jedi.

It is a continuation to George Lucas' Star Wars saga that started with a trilogy comprising Episode IV: A New Hope (1977), Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983).

A prequel trilogy was later released between 1999 and 2005.

These include Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999), Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002), Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005).

The Force Awakens features three of the original cast of the Star Wars trilogy: Harrison Ford as Han Solo, Carrie Fischer as Princess Leia, and Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker.


PHOTO: LUCASFILM

Watch the official trailer.

2. New characters

Here's a list of the new characters in The Force Awakens.

You should already be familiar with these heavyweights: Han Solo, Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, R2-D2 and C-3PO.

Rey (Daisy Ridley)


PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM YOUTUBE

Finn (John Boyega)


PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM YOUTUBE

BB-8


PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM YOUTUBE

Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac)


PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM YOUTUBE

Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie)


PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM YOUTUBE

Kylo Ren (Adam Driver)


PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM YOUTUBE

Maz Kanata (Lupita Nyong'o)

General Hux (Domhall Gleeson)

Supreme Leader Snoke (Adam Serkis)

3. Ridley's instagram reaction to the trailer

Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey in the movie, watches the trailer for the first time and shares her reaction on Instagram. Her post has garnered some 17,000 likes since it was uploaded eight hours ago.

https://instagram.com/p/9CzDvblE6W/

Her post on Instagram says: "Staying in a little B'n'B with my friend... Set an alarm to watch the trailer... My friend filmed my reaction. Totally emotional seeing it for the first time and so so so incredibly awed to be part of this incredible legacy."

4. Brienne of Tarth


Gwendoline Christie attends the 67th Emmy Awards, Sept 20, 2015 PHOTO: AFP

A cool chrometrooper known as Captain Phasma makes its debut in the film and is played by 1.91m-tall Gwendoline Christie, better known as the actor who plays Brienne of Tarth in Game of Thrones.

5. Who's behind the Force Awakens

The Force Awakens will run for two hours and 16 minutes. It is directed by J. J. Abrams, best known for directing films such as Mission Impossible III (2006), Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek Into Darkness (2013).

The Force Awakens movie poster is illustrated by American artist Drew Struzan, who also designed the other posters in the Star Wars series, as well as other notable ones such as Indiana Jones and Back To The Future.


PHOTO: OFFICIAL STAR WARS WEBSITE