Last week, the internet – and the world – lit up when the teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens dropped. It was the first glimpse we got of JJ Abrams’ upcoming movie (we still have to wait over a year for it), and what we saw was a tactile world filled with a magical blend of practical and computer-generated effects. While the trailer showed us only John Boyega’s and Daisy Ridley’s characters (none of the original trilogy’s cast were to be found), we did hear the voice of another: The teaser’s opening shot of a desert, on what we can reasonably assume is the saga’s long-standing planet of choice, Tatooine, is accompanied by a cryptic voiceover from an unknown character, providing the portentous line, ‘There has been an awakening.’ The internet was aflame with speculation, with the general consensus landing on the rumour that it was Benedict Cumberbatch’s oration that served as the clip’s overture. It made sense: Cumberbatch had already starred in Abrams’ other sci-fi franchise in Star Trek Into Darkness, while the actor also voiced a theatrically inclined – and altogether evil – dragon in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. And yet, Cumberbatch was nowhere to be found on the cast list for The Force Awakens.
But thanks to Absolute Radio, we have now learnt who the true voice is. At last night’s premiere for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Andy Serkis confirmed that he provided the voiceover for the trailer. Serkis, who has provided two groundbreaking motion-capture performances in the form of Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Caesar in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, is also lending his voice to the Star Wars universe. Of course, he couldn’t confirm what character he was playing, and we still don’t know if he’ll be flesh-and-blood or another mo-cap triumph. But at least we know what he sounds like.