New ‘Star Wars’ character names revealed by JJ Abrams

Poe Dameron, Kylo Den and BB-8 are among the characters debuting in 'The Force Awakens'

The names of several new Star Wars characters set to appear in JJ Abrams’ forthcoming film have been revealed.

Director Abrams and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy shared the character names in a series of 1970s-style trading cards premiered on Entertainment Weekly’s website. Oscar Isaac’s X-Wing pilot is named Poe Dameron; Daisy Ridley’s sand-speeder pilot is dubbed Rey; and John Boyega’s Stormtrooper calls himself Finn.

Meanwhile, the enigmatic lightsaber-wielding figure from the film’s trailer – rumoured at one point to be played by Benedict Cumberbatch – goes by the name of Kylo Den, though the identity of the actor playing him is still unknown. Rounding up the new characters is BB-8, as the cute robot from the trailer has been christened.

The first trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens premiered on November 28 – and franchise creator George Lucas has since admitted that he hasn’t watched it.

The new Star Wars film takes place 30 years after the events of Return Of The Jedi. Plot details leaked online in August suggest the film will follow the search for missing Jedi Master Luke Skywalker against the backdrop of the threat posed by a weapon of mass destruction. The film’s script was penned by Abrams, Toy Story 3 writer Michael Arndt and Star Wars franchise veteran Lawrence Kasdan. Lucas, who is now retired, contributed to its story.

Alongside the returning trio of Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher, JJ Abrams has also cast Isaac, Ridley, Boyega, Adam Driver, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Max von Sydow and British actress Christina Chong.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is set to open in cinemas on December 18, 2015.