It’s been a crazy week for Star Wars rumors, most of which center around who the bad guys will be. As thirty years have passed since Return of the Jedi, and some fans just can’t let go to the EU concepts of a “New Republic” and no Empire, some of these rumors have been greeted with outright hostility from segments of Star Wars fandom.
– In general the setting looks kind of post-apocalyptic with a lot of leftover vestige from the empire. It seems much more dark and rough than the prequels. The feeling was that it has not been easy in the last 30 years since RETURN OF THE JEDI, probably with a very long war to truly “end” the empire.
– There are still white storm troopers in action. The empire is probably not completely dead.
The post-apocalyptic thing is how many people described the sets in Abu Dhabi and the AT-AT wreckage. A lot of the look of Episode VII is that the galaxy has suffered a tough thirty years of on-going war. As the Roman Empire didn’t completely fall when the Western Roman Empire went away, there is most likely still a Galactic Empire in Star Wars.