21. The Force Awakens official poster
While early images from the new squeal trilogy had been released by this point, this was the poster that was released as the official poster for the movie. The one that would go alongside the other official posters that we had all come to love. In many ways, just like the movie itself, it’s a collage of action that draws inspiration from many of the previous Star Wars entries.
Like Darth Vader and Darth Maul before him, Kylo is given the role of the oversized looming threat in the background that casts a cloud over the rest of the poster. Han Solo, who has graduated to the mentorship role in this movie is given about as much real estate on the poster as Alec Guinness was given on many of the Episode IV posters, even though Harrison Ford, like Guinness in the 1970s, was the most popular actor to be in the movie.
The poster also strikes an intentional color clash, with the reds and oranges all on the left of the poster and the cooler blue tones to the right, with Rey acting as the barrier between the two. When this poster was released, one of the biggest reactions to the poster was the lack of Luke Skywalker appearing anywhere on the poster. We knew at the time that Mark Hamill would be reprising the role in the movie and had even seen publicity shots where he was present, but this was really the first indication of how little screen time Luke would get in the first installment of the sequel trilogy.
One other interesting thing to note is how Rey’s staff seems to line up with Kylo Ren’s lightsaber, an early suggestion that these two characters might be more in sync and less oppositional than protagonists and antagonists of earlier trilogies. Though, don’t forget at this time, we had yet to see Rey hold a lightsaber of any kind. All of the promotional material had Finn wielding the blue blade, and this poster continues that trend.