The latest installment in the storied franchise will hit theaters on Dec. 18, 2015

By Tim Nudd
November 28, 2014 11:30 AM

Feeling a seismic disturbance in the Force?

That’s because, for Star Wars fans, the most anticipated 88 seconds of the year – and probably the decade – have arrived, in the form of the first trailer for J.J. Abrams’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which hit the web Friday.

The highly anticipated clip starts with an unmasked and frightened stormtrooper panicking in the desert – what has him so worried remains unseen.

“There’s been an awakening. Have you felt it?” an ominous disembodied voice asks over the trailer.

Before viewers have too much time to contemplate the question the are treated to a flurry of familiar Star Wars staples: droids, stormtrooper armies, X-wings, lightsabers, and finally a soaring shot of what looks like Han Solo’s loyal craft The Millennium Falcon.

While the teaser ends on John Williams’ triumphant score, Star Wars fans are reminded this awakening is one of both the light and the dark side.

The latest installment in the storied franchise will hit theaters on Dec. 18, 2015 – more than a decade after the most recent Star Wars film, Revenge of the Sith, and almost 40 years since the original Star Wars.

The Force Awakens is set about 30 years after 1983’s Return of the Jedi, the last of the six films released so far, chronologically speaking, in which Darth Vader and the Empire were defeated.

Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill and Peter Mayhew are reprising their roles from the original trilogy, though the movie will focus on several new young characters, Lupita Nyong’o and Adam Driver among them.

The new trailer is also rolling out Friday in 30 select Regal, Cinemark and AMC theaters and will play throughout the holiday weekend.

RELATED: Meet the New Star Wars Cast

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