It’s official – we’ve finally been given our first look at Star Wars: The Force Awakens… as well as its sinister, lightsaber-swinging villain. But who is it? We take a look at some of the rumours.
If you’re anything like me, you were waiting around for the Star Wars VII trailer to drop. And couldn’t believe how awesome it was when it finally appeared on your screen. But while we’re certainly impressed, the new teaser trailer raises one very big question – who’s the new Star Wars VII villain?
It seems that the internet already has plenty of theories…
“There has been an awakening,” says the sinister voice at the start of the trailer. “Have you felt it?”
It’s this voiceover that seems to be the basis of most of the speculation. And for good reason. After all, it sounds an awful lot like Benedict Cumberbatch.
The 38-year-old British actor has worked with J.J. Abrams before, on the recent Star Trek Into Darkness. And over the past few months, he’s found himself constantly linked to the galaxy far, far away. But is that really him in the trailer?
Not long after the new teaser trailer appeared online, I was informed by a source close to production that the villainous, lightsabre scene was filmed on location during the Forest of Dean shoot. At the moment, that remains unverified… but judging from the surrounding scenery, it certainly makes a lot of sense.
But here’s the thing – during the shoot, I paid a visit to the cast and crew at their hotel. And while I bumped into a number of actors (and even J.J. Abrams himself), I never once saw the great Benedict Cumberbatch.
But does that mean he’s not in the movie?
Not at all. In fact, it tells us very little. I’ve since spoken to a number of sources who confirm that Benedict was not seen with the cast or crew during the Forest of Dean shoot. But then, it wouldn’t be a huge stretch to see him staying elsewhere.
After all, while the likes of Boyega and Ridley were able to move freely without being recognised, Benedict Cumberbatch is another matter entirely. Could this have been a case of J.J. Abrams pulling the old switcheroo? Perhaps… but then, he might not be in the movie at all.
There’s another rumour (also doing the rounds across the internet) that the Sith-like villain is actually a character we’ve already seen – The Inquisitor from Star Wars Rebels. Voiced by Jason Isaacs, this new Star Wars villain has been tasked by Darth Vader to hunt down every Jedi in the galaxy. So far, so sinister… but the problem is that ‘Star Wars Rebels’ takes place a long time ago in the galaxy far, far away. Between the prequel and original trilogies, to be exact.
Would The Inquisitor really have survived this long without being seen in the original trilogy? Not likely… and I can’t help thinking that J.J. Abrams wouldn’t want to retcon the character into the old story. After all, he’s a fan himself.
If you ask me, it’s a lot more likely that this is a new villain, created especially for Star Wars VII. But is he the main villain? That’s another question this trailer poses…
I think the majority of fans who’ve watched the trailer assume that this sinister voice and the lightsaber-wielding ‘Sith’ are the same person. But what if they’re not? Throughout the entire Star Wars saga, the Sith have revolved around the notion of a Master and Apprentice.
Even Yoda himself explained: “Always two there are, no more, no less.”
With that in mind, could the trailer’s narrator actually be the Master? And could he be played by Benedict Cumberbatch? It’s definitely a possibility. And it would certainly explain why he wasn’t out on location. But as always, this is just a rumour… and for now, we’ll have to wait and see.
Star Wars VII appears in cinemas on 18 December 2015.
What do you think of the latest Star Wars villain? Who do you think is under the hood? Let us know what you think in the comments below…