Fans are getting a better glimpse at J.J. Abrams's highly anticipated sequel in the iconic space saga, which storms theaters Dec. 18

By Alexis L. Loinaz
April 16, 2015 02:35 PM

That galaxy far, far away just got one step closer for Star Wars die-hards.

The second teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens exploded online Thursday in an exclusive reveal from Entertainment Weekly, giving fans an expansive glimpse at J.J. Abrams‘s highly anticipated entry – aka Episode VII – into the iconic space saga.

And the clip did not disappoint.

Paying homage to all manner of vaunted Star Wars lore, the trailer opens with the rueful strains of John Williams’s famous “Jedi Theme” before delivering an eyeful of snippets that hint at rousing adventures to come: a downed Imperial Star Destroyer ship, Darth Vader’s mangled helmet, R2-D2 perched by a blazing fire.

“The Force is strong in my family: My father has it, I have it, my sister has it. You have that power, too,” a voice – presumably Luke Skywalker’s – intones as the trailer erupts into a panoply of high-speed aerial chases and explosions before delivering a surprise finale.

The film picks up 30 years after the events depicted in 1983’s Return of the Jedi – a direct through-line to the sci-fi epic’s classic tale of space-hopping, planet-marauding, Force-wielding rebels out to defeat Darth Vader and his sinister Galactic Empire.

The film also reunites three of the original films’ headliners – Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher – who are now joined by new cast members Lupita Nyong’o, Adam Driver and Oscar Isaac, among others.

Fans got their first glimpse of The Force Awakens in a much-dissected teaser trailer (three-pronged lightsabers! soccer-savvy robots! Benedict Cumberbatch-ish voice-over!) unveiled over Thanksgiving. It marks the first in a series of films to explore a revitalized Star Wars universe since the release of a tepidly received trilogy capped by 2005’s Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.

Disney, the studio behind the new slate of films, has announced plans to release a stand-alone film – Rogue One, starring Felicity Jones – in December 2016, and it has already lined up an as-yet-untitled sequel to Episode VII for May 2017.

The Force Awakens, meanwhile, makes the jump to lightspeed in theaters on Dec. 18, 2015.