(Pocket-lint) - Star Wars - Episode VII: The Force Awakens opens in UK cinemas a week before Christmas on 18 December and we cannot wait. Especially considering the new trailer that has been posted online.

Still no sign of Luke, R2-D2 or C-3PO, but Leia and Han are featured, with an even stronger suggestion that Solo will be an integral part of the new characters' journeys to discovering their talents.

But it is the look and theme of the movie that, from this trailer alone, seems promising in a way that Phantom Menace never was. And it looks like there is a new Sith Lord that actually looks to be a threat, rather than just a mute puppet to progress a plot.

What perhaps holds more promise though is the simple idea of a Stormtrooper becoming a Jedi hero - it is clever and it will be interesting to see how that plays out. It adds a new element to the series that isn't a seven-foot tall Rastafarian dog. And that's something to be applauded.

Apparently, as soon as the trailer hit, theatre servers for ticket pre-booking went down under the weight of traffic. We're not surprised.

With this and James Bond's 23rd official outing in Spectre, this could be a great end of a year for cinemas.

READ: Best James Bond movie gadgets of all time... and one of the worst

Writing by Rik Henderson.