‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’: New Photos and Character Details Revealed

New photos from ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ were released on Wednesday and we finally know more about the characters!

For all the hype surrounding ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’, there’s still very little known about the movie that’s expected to break all kinds of box office records when it opens on December 18.

Granted, director J.J. Abrams could just release a teaser trailer and say go to the theaters on that day and millions of people (including this one) would show up no questions asked.

That said — it’s still nice to get a little more information about the upcoming film and thanks to a new photo spread over at Entertainment Weekly along with a few details from Abrams at least part of the new ‘Star Wars’ story is starting to come together.

The character with probably the most intrigue surrounding him is Adam Driver’s new big bad named Kylo Ren. He’s the mask wearing villain who fashioned himself a lightsaber broadsword that had everyone buzzing after the initial trailer was released several months ago.

According to Abrams, Kylo Ren isn’t a disciple of Darth Vader but he definitely knows the history and the mask he wears was fashioned after the infamous Sith lord who met his demise at the close of ‘Return of the Jedi’.

“The movie explains the origins of the mask and where it’s from, but the design was meant to be a nod to the Vader mask,” Abrams said. “He is well aware of what’s come before, and that’s very much a part of the story of the film.”

Abrams also confirmed that the new lightsaber that has everyone talking ahead of the film’s release was designed by Ren himself so he’s a self made man, which may be another nod to the history of this new villainous character. Just like in the original ‘Star Wars’ when Luke Skywalker realizes that he’s meant for more than being a moisture farmer and eventually becomes the savior of the universe, the reverse could be in effect for someone like Ren, who believes in the dark side of the force instead of the light.

“As you see in the best of storytelling, and no doubt the best of Star Wars, these are tales in which an every person has to step up,” Abrams said. “And I think that what makes Ren so unique is that he isn’t as fully formed as when we meet a character such as Darth Vader and I think that there are two sides to the Force. Both sides, arguably, would see themselves as the hero of their story, and I think that applies here.”

The other tidbit revealed about the new character is the fact that Kylo Ren isn’t exactly his real name. Apparently, he comes from an order known as ‘The Knights of Ren’ — but that’s all Abrams is saying without giving anymore detail about who those people are in the movie.

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Lawrence Kasdan — who co-wrote ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ as well as ‘Empire Strikes Back’ and ‘Return of the Jedi’ — also teased a bit about Ren’s character by saying that “there’s never been a character quite like the one that Adam (Driver) plays. I think you’re going to see something that’s brand new to the saga.”

Domhnall Gleeson (best known for his role in the ‘Harry Potter’ movies) is also playing a villain in the upcoming film as he portrays General Hux — ‘the cruel leader of The First Order who craves to show the galaxy his might.’

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Gwendoline Christie aka Brienne of Tarth from ‘Game of Thrones’ plays Captain Phasma, one of the Stormtrooper leaders in the First Order. Her name was actually derived from the classic horror film ‘Phantasm’ according to Abrams.

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Abrams also revealed that two key characters — Rey (played by Daisy Ridley) and Finn (played by John Boyega) have both had their last names omitted on purpose. In other words they might have famous family names like maybe Solo or Skywalker and so for now they are on a first name basis only.

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Check out the rest of the photos courtesy of EW:

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