New 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' TV Spot Teases First Order

Meet the new villains, same as the old villains ... ?

The Empire never ended.

A new look at the First Order, villains of this winter's Star Wars: The Force Awakens, has appeared online as part of a new TV spot for the movie, and it's bad news for anyone who hoped that the new source of evil in a galaxy far, far away was just getting started.

The shot — which lasts just over a second, and is surrounded by footage that has appeared in earlier trailers — features five figures in black, standing in front of a massive army of Stormtroopers and masses of what looks like Imperial Officers, with the wing of a TIE Fighter (oddly enough, with inverted colors from the ones seen in earlier movies) visible on the perimeter of the screen. One of the five figures, judging by the next shot in the trailer, is Gwendoline Christie's Captain Phasma, although the identities of the others remains unclear.

The shot is reminiscent of set-ups from the original Star Wars trilogy of an amassed Imperial Army — in Return of the Jedi, to meet the Emperor, for example — which, combined with recent revelations that the end of that 1983 movie didn't actually mean the end of the Empire at all, raises the question: is the First Order simply the new name for a very old threat?

All will be revealed when Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens Dec. 18.