Hype surrounding the eagerly anticipated Star Wars film made the jump to light speed as the movie’s makers unveiled a new trailer that delighted fans with a glimpse of iconic characters Han Solo and Chewbacca.
The action-packed second trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens showed spacecraft dogfights and a chase involving the Millennium Falcon before concluding with the unmistakable voice of Harrison Ford as Solo.
“Chewie, we’re home,” Solo says to his Wookiee friend, who offers a signature roar in reply before the trailer closes with a shot of the iconic yellow-on-black Star Wars logo.
The trailer was premiered at the Star Wars Celebration convention in Anaheim outside Los Angeles, sending fans who had flocked to the event — many wielding light sabres and wearing full Star Wars regalia — into raptures.
The hashtag #ChewieWereHome was rapidly adopted by fans on Twitter while #StarWars was soon a top-trending subject on the social media site as anticipation for the movie, due out on December 18, went into overdrive.
Many fans spoke about tears of joy after the trailer’s soaring finale.
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“I’m 41 years old and I cried at the end!” tweeted one fan, sentiments echoed by many after the trailer’s release.
“The Star Wars trailer literally had me in tears and cheering,” US sitcom actor Lucas Neff wrote on Twitter.
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In another scene, played out against the familiar soundtrack used in the first films, Solo’s spaceship the Millennium Falcon is seen being chased inside the cavernous exhaust pipe of a stricken Imperial Star Destroyer.
The trailer also featured a voiceover by actor Mark Hamill, who returns as Luke Skywalker.
Star Wars has attracted generations of loyal fans since the first film arrived nearly 40 years ago, creating a signature moment in the history of popular culture and launching one of the biggest movie franchises ever.