Star Wars: Episode VII: Did J.J. Abrams Just Reveal The Empire’s Presence?

By Brent McKnight | Published

star warsJ.J. Abrams may keep things locked tight in his “Mystery Box,” but that doesn’t mean he’s not going to open it up from time to time and offer fans the most obscure, miniscule glimpses inside of Star Wars: Episode VII. And he’s done it again.

There may be SPOILERS for Episode VII in this, but probably not. Still, if you’re sensitive to such things, you may want to sit this one out.

If you spent much time online yesterday, you probably know that Apple was all up in everyone’s business. Apparently there’s a giant new phone, every iTunes user now owns a new U2 album for some reason, and, most important to this post, there’s a new watch.

Abrams has used social media (specifically surrounding the Force For Change charity) to pull back the curtain a little bit. He posted pictures of a new X-Wing fighter based on the designs of Ralph McQuarrie, stood in front of one of the puppet creatures that will appear in the movie, and showed off a mechanical hand that could possibly belong to the film’s main villain (the Emperor? Inquisitor? Jedi Hunter? who the hell knows). Today, via the Bad Robot Twitter account, he released another photo of a handwritten note good naturedly decrying his overwhelming desire to purchase one of Apple’s new smart watches (I bet they’ll give him one for free).

That’s not the interesting part, however, for that you need to look past the central focus of the photo. Fans of the Star Wars universe might recognize the background. It looks suspiciously like the walls in the corridors of the Death Star from A New Hope. You see a similar backlit pattern from time to time, like when characters are running around, and especially when Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi have their iconic showdown.

star warsThat’s what it looks mostly like. But before you go running around claiming we’re saying that the Death Star is in Episode VII (we’re most certainly not doing that), this is a design motif that has appeared elsewhere throughout the franchise. It also looks a bit like the floor of the freezing chamber on Cloud City where Han Solo is frozen in carbonite.

star warsThat said, what appears in Abrams’ picture is different than both of those. Maybe it has something to do with the massive weapon the remnants of the Empire are working on (we’ve heard that it could be an entire weaponized planet, like an even bigger Death Star). Then again, it could also be the interior of a ship. It does look pretty sinister. Whatever this turns out to be, it’s looks very vintage Star Wars, and it’s another indicator that this new film is going to great lengths to capture the aesthetic and feel of the franchise we know and love. And that can only be good news.

We obviously won’t know anything for sure until Star Wars: Episode VII hits theaters on December 18, 2015, but it gives us even more to mull over in the interim.

This is the way.

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