‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ trailer: Darth Vader’s charred helmet ignites a theory

April 16, 2015 | 3:30 p.m.

Among the familiar faces that appear in the “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” teaser that debuted during the panel for the film at the Star Wars Celebration fan expo, perhaps the most surprising visage from films past was not an actual face but a certain charred helmet.

Fans will remember that near the end of “Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi,” Darth Vader sacrificed himself to save Luke Skywalker, who was being attacked by the Emperor with Force lightning.

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Vader threw his master down the reactor shaft of the second Death Star, but during this rescue, Vader himself was struck by the Emperor’s lightning. With this final act of redemption, Vader, once again Anakin Skywalker, dies in his son Luke’s arms.

Later, Luke holds a private ceremony for his father on the forest moon of Endor, and viewers see Vader, or at least his armor and helmet, engulfed in the flames of a funeral pyre. After Luke returns to the victory celebration that continues in the Ewok village, he steps away and briefly sees the spirits of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda, who are then joined by the spirit of Anakin Skywalker, for a final farewell.

But perhaps that final image will not be the last fans will see of the Chosen One.

“The Force is strong in my family,” starts the voice in the trailer. “My father has it.”

If the speaker is indeed Luke Skywalker, does the verb tense tease that Vader will play a role in “The Force Awakens'” storyline?

Fans can expect a long wait to find out if the helmet is more than just a ghastly reminder of the Skywalker legacy.

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is set for a Dec. 18 release. The film stars a large ensemble of newcomers, including John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver alongside franchise veterans Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford, who will reprise their original roles.

– Tracy Brown | @tracycbrown |@LATHeroComplex

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14 Responses to ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ trailer: Darth Vader’s charred helmet ignites a theory

  1. Guest says:

    Well Obi-wan had plenty to say after his death so why should Anakin be any different?

  2. @GrahamPink says:

    Might actually have to go see this movie.

  3. @darrenroark says:

    It's the same dialog taken from Jedi, just in a slightly different order.

    • rutvig says:

      With the addition of the: "and you have it too." I believe this to be newly recorded material.

      • Jeremy says:

        The whole thing is re-recorded. However, Luke did say "You have that power too" when Leia said "You have a power that I don't understand and could never have" he said back "You're wrong, you have that power too. In time, you will learn to use it as I have. The force is strong in my family. My father has it…I have it…and…my…sister has it."

  4. Stephen Coelho says:

    Last line of the jedi code: “there is no death, there is the force” that’s probably why he uses present tense.

  5. James says:

    I believe he was attacked not by "Force Lightning" but…."Greased Lightning"!

  6. Norm says:

    My Theory.. the present tense is the whole "living force" metaphysical thing. He's talking to.. his nephew, Kylo Ren (if that is his real name) in a flashback. After seeing Kylo's saber hilt up close, it looks ancient, hence why I think it has the jagged blade. I think he's collecting Sith artifacts for their power maybe. The mask, the ancient saber, maybe even his mask is ancient?? It does harken to Revan, but maybe not.

  7. DB says:

    Ummm…Darth Vader’s voice and breathing as an under layer to Luke in the trailer? Am I the only one that hears it? Am I hearing things lol?

  8. Chris Czubowicz says:

    The lightsaber that is being handed to someone in the new trailer looks an awful like the lightsaber
    Obi-wan gives to Luke in A New Hope, which is actually his father's, Anakin Skywalker. I have the licensed replica and the hilt sure does look very similar. I beleive the new "the force is strong in our family" speech has to do with him saying it to his son. The fact that it speech still has, "my sister has it" leads me away from it being a child of Leia and Han so it would leave a child of Luke…… Just adds another teaser to be speculated about, maybe even until the movie is released.

  9. Tom says:

    It seems that someone (my guess is Kylo Rn) has looted Vadrs pyre on Endor. There is a close up picture out there of his hilt, and it looks cobbled together, but most of the pieces look like Vaders hilt from the original trilogy.

  10. XCalburLdy says:

    I am not sure who Luke is talking to in the trailer but find it hard with all the books out there that were approved by George Lucas that it could be anyone than possibly his own child. That area was never explored in the books that were done. However, there was plenty on Han and Leia's children, twins, Jada and Jacyen. With the books having that out there, I think there would be too much unrest if they tried giving Leia and Han different children. Being a Star Wars fan myself and have read many of the books that were out there, I think many fans would be upset if they changed this, with that lore already out there. The books never went into Luke having a kid, so there is creative room there. But we won't know until it comes out, I just hope that they made wise choices and not exploited what was already out there. We will have to see as the time comes, and yes, now that Disney has it, Lucas does not have to approve the story line. I just hope they do the films justice and not go crazy. I think that is why Lucas did the prequels, even though they were sub-par and focused on the younger generation, was because there was so much information about what went on post Jedi in the books that were being put out that it was dangerous territory to tread on. But, I have seen the new trailers and hope and pray that I will be able to go opening day. The trailer looks awesome. Been there for every opening day since they were re-released and hoping for a great new platform in the new movies!!! So siked!!!

  11. Chris says:

    Um, Luke’s son Ben is a major character in about 20 books in the Expanded Universe.

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