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Eye-catching images from the third 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' trailer (pictures)

Director J.J. Abrams unleashes a wave of explosive dogfights, new and familiar faces and even the start of an epic lightsaber battle in the third trailer for "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."

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Danny Gallagher

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1 of 12 Video screenshot by Danny Gallagher/CNET

Rey goes exploring

The new trailer for "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," released Monday night, opens with a shot of a bundled-up Rey (Daisy Ridley) as she explores the remains of a giant spacecraft, or what could be the remnants of a burned-out Death Star. It's one of many reminders of the original trilogy littered throughout the trailer. Discovering Jar Jar's gravesite somewhere in the movie would be a welcome surprise for those fans who still feel burned by "Episode I."

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2 of 12 Video screenshot by Danny Gallagher/CNET

Finn crashes on Jakku

We see the TIE fighter that Finn (John Boyega) was flying hurtling toward the desert planet Jakku. Then we see the fallen soldier stumbling over the top of a sand dune that overlooks a tiny town in the distance. What lies in this covered village for our hero? I hope they have a cantina, because Finn looks really thirsty.

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3 of 12 Video screenshot by Danny Gallagher/CNET

Kylo Ren speaks

An officially licensed toy may have given our ears the first aural taste of the voice of Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). However, you'll think back to this trailer as the first time you heard the low, dark, villainous voice of the newest Star Wars baddie.

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4 of 12 Video screenshot by Danny Gallagher/CNET

Darth Vader's helmet

Kylo Ren proclaims, "I will finish what you started" while standing over the burned, hollow shell of Darth Vader's iconic mask. That should definitely put to rest any rumors that Darth Vader somehow cheated death, never died or was a Highlander the whole time just so he could have a role in "The Force Awakens."

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5 of 12 Video screenshot by Danny Gallagher/CNET

The Millennium Falcon

This trailer finally gives a nice long look at the Millennium Falcon in action as it tries to outrun a pair of pursuing TIE fighters. It doesn't confirm rumors such as the one that broke out just before the release of this trailer that Han Solo's (Harrison Ford) trusty ship might have a new co-pilot, but it's still nice to see the "hunk of junk" still has a few moves up her sleeve.

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6 of 12 Video screenshot by Danny Gallagher/CNET

Jump to hyperdrive

Wait, the Millennium Falcon's hyperdrive actually works!? Did Tesla finally fix it once and for all in an automatic upgrade or something?

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7 of 12 Video screenshot by Danny Gallagher/CNET

Luke, is that you?

Upon first glance, some fans might have been disappointed that they didn't see Luke Skywalker's (Mark Hamill) face in the trailer but it's possible that this shot of a hooded figure with a robotic hand resting on R2-D2's noggin could be the legendary Jedi. If it's true, J.J. Abrams definitely knows how to give the fans just enough that they keep asking for more.

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8 of 12 Video screenshot by Danny Gallagher/CNET

Chewie and Han, together again

It also would have been nice to see a little bit more of Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) or even hear his trademark growl just once, but he'll definitely get a choice amount of screen time when the movie hits the theaters. You only have so much you can put into a trailer that's just over two minutes. If Abrams and  crew threw everything you wanted from a new "Star Wars" movie into the trailer, they might as well release the entire film now. Actually, that's not a bad idea.

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9 of 12 Video screenshot by Danny Gallagher/CNET

BB-8 in action

The trailer also gives us another glimpse of BB-8. The adorable little robot ball has been winning hearts since its first trailer appearance all the way to its debut as the new must-have "Star Wars" toy. Here, it's co-piloting an X-wing with pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac). BB-8 is seen earlier in the trailer rolling along with Rey across a sand dune.

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10 of 12 Video screenshot by Danny Gallagher/CNET

Princess Leia

Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) becomes the latest character from the original trilogy to make an onscreen appearance in a "Force Awakens" trailer as she's comforted in Han's arms. She also gets the closing line of the trailer when she whispers, "The Force, it's calling to you... Just let it in."

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11 of 12 Video screenshot by Danny Gallagher/CNET

Finn picks up a weapon

The trailer closes with a shot of Finn picking up a lightsaber and wielding it like the mighty warrior he's destined to become. This single image really seems to sum up the spirit of the whole movie -- at least what we know of it so far.

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12 of 12 Video screenshot by Danny Gallagher/CNET

The start of the duel

The trailer closes out with Kylo Ren launching his first strike on Finn with his broadsword lightsaber. Just as their blades are about to strike, it cuts to a title screen. If that doesn't make you wish you could see this movie right now, then nothing will.

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" opens in theaters in Europe and Australia on December 17 and on December 18 in the US.

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