We finally got to meet some new characters in the teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but now we’re getting to put some names with the faces.
J.J. Abrams, the film’s co-writer and director, and Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm, have decided to reveal the identities of some of their new characters exclusively to EW—and they’ve done it in a retro fashion that should bring a smile to anyone familiar with the phrase “Collect ‘Em, Trade ‘Em.”
That was the catchphrase of the Topps trading card company, which in addition to baseball players and comic book characters put out a series of collectible cards featuring scenes and characters from around the galaxy for the original 1977 Star Wars movie.
There were five rounds of Topps cards for that movie, each one designated by a different color, with red and blue leading the line-up. Right now, Abrams and Kennedy have mocked up three from the red series, and five from the blue series.
Will we get more some day? Perhaps…
There’s certainly much more to reveal. We haven’t yet seen Lupita Nyong’o, Gwendoline Christie, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, or Max von Sydow—let alone any of the veteran stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, or Carrie Fisher. And we’ve heard, but not seen, Andy Serkis. (Someday we may see similar reveals with yellow, green, and orange borders.)
For now, we’re getting to know the characters played by John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, and Oscar Isaac—as well as that shadowy figure in the snow with the crossguard lightsaber.
Also, we no longer have to call that adorable, rolling robot “ball droid.” Like C-3PO and R2-D2 before him (her?), that character now has its own alphanumeric moniker: BB-8.
The card captions also give a hint about the state of mind of the characters, but this far from the Dec. 18, 2015 release date, the filmmakers don’t want to reveal any more.
“I’m only sorry we couldn’t give everyone a stick of gum,” Abrams says.
Here’s a rundown of the reveal, listed in order of their collectible card number, with some analysis and speculation thrown in for good measure. (Asked if there was significance to the numbering, Abrams replied: “YES.”) Time to get on that, Bothan spies.
Next page: Meet BB-8