Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Speculation and Predictions

Star Wars LogoI have a problem. I love spoilers. And I hate spoilers. To be more specific, I love finding spoilers and feel elated when I discover some bit of information about a film that I’m excited about seeing, such as Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And then I hate that I ruined that part of the experience for myself.

I am a HUGE Star Wars fan. So much so that they portrayed me as kind of a psycho in the documentary The People vs George Lucas (but the very brief clip was taken out of context from a long rant about Jar-Jar Binks…I swear). As a nine-year-old kid, I went crazy waiting to see the original film after seeing an article and pictures in TIME magazine, and I read the novelization on the train when we went on a trip to California. Once we arrived, I did not want to go to Disneyland, I did not want to go to Sea World, and I couldn’t care less about Fisherman’s Warf. I wanted to see that film. So I somehow talked my family into waiting forever in a line that went around the block, and squeeze into uncomfortable balcony seats in a huge, old theater in San Francisco, and saw a movie that blew my freaking mind. I had amazingly high expectations, and it somehow surpassed them by a mile.

If possible, I was almost more excited to see The Empire Strikes Back. I bought the novelization again and read it ahead of time, and felt like a secret agent carrying around the knowledge that Darth Vader was Luke’s father (oops…SPOILER ALERT!) before anyone else knew about it. Anyone I knew, at least.

Return of the Jedi wasn’t quite as exciting for me ahead of time. By then, I was a high school rocker who thought he was too cool for that stuff now. And yet, I still somehow managed to talk my much cooler friends into waiting in line for the film (okay…maybe we snuck in some beer…my memory’s a little fuzzy) before going out and tee-peeing the house of a guy we knew. But even then, I remember being taken back to my childhood and getting excited all over again once I was in the theater.

Then, in college, I got back in touch with my inner geek. Not only did I go back to collecting Star Wars stuff, I managed a collectibles store and had access to LOTS of it. I read many of the books and comics. I enjoyed most of it, but it just wasn’t the same.

I couldn’t wait to see Episode I when it was released, and went on opening day. And my heart sank as I watched the film. I was so disappointed in so many things, especially Jar-Jar Binks, that I almost didn’t even want to see Episode II in theaters. When I did, I thought it was only a slight improvement over Episode I. My subsequent lack of anticipation for Episode III may have helped make that film a much better experience for me. Even after the previous disappointments, the idea of getting to see that infamous duel between Obi-Wan and Anakin that led to the creation of Darth Vader was something I looked forward to. So much so that, yes, I even read the novelization before the film came out (for old times’ sake). I enjoyed Revenge of the Sith, but nowhere near as much as the original trilogy.

I’ve been waiting over thirty years for them to continue the original story in a new trilogy, and no matter how much George Lucas protested and claimed that he wouldn’t do any sequels, I always knew in my heart that it would happen somehow, some way, some day. So there’s no way in hell I’m going to sit around until Christmas to find out what’s going on with this movie. I’m sorry. I will be a little disappointed when the time comes to see it, but I just can’t help myself.

So for myself and anyone else who feels the way I do, I’m going to use this post to list what I know so far about Episode VII, speculate about rumors and my own ideas, and update it as I go along. Ready?

WHAT WE KNOW:

  • The Force Awakens takes place about thirty years after Return of the Jedi (so, kind of real-time). The Empire still exists or has once again risen, only now it’s called The New Order (presumably because there’s no longer an emperor). The Rebel Alliance either still exists, or the New Republic has collapsed back into a rebellion, and The Resistance is the name of the group fighting against the New Order.
  • Expanded Universe (now referred to as “Star Wars Legends”) material is no longer considered canon in the Star Wars universe, although some elements may still be used. The only canon stories are now the six films, the Rebels animated show, and The Clone Wars animated show (although the 2003 animated show is not).
  • Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Leia Organa, Chewbacca, R2-D2, and C-3PO will all appear, played by the same actors as in the original trilogy.
  • The new characters who will appear in the film include Finn (John Boyega), who is either a stormtrooper or pretending to be one; Rey (Daisy Ridley), who is a scavenger on the desert planet Jakku, where there was a huge battle between the Empire and the Rebellion following the Battle of Endor; Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) a hot-shot X-Wing pilot for the Resistance; BB-8, a rolling droid that resembles a ball; Kylo Ren (probably Adam Driver), a bad guy who looks like a mix between Darth Vader and Darth Maul; and some kind of super-stormtrooper in chrome armor (Gwendoline Christie). Several more actors appear, including Max von Sydow, Domhnall Gleeson, Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyong’o, Maisie Richardson-Sellers, Billie Lourd (Carrie Fisher’s daughter), and Warwick Davis, who played Wicket the Ewok (as well as two characters in the prequels), but there is on confirmation on who these actors play.
  • Many elements from the original trilogy still exist, although some of them in updated/altered forms: Stormtroopers, TIE fighters, X-Wing fighters, droids, and light sabers.
  • Someone finds Luke’s old light saber…the one that originally belonged to Anakin and was lost, along with Luke’s hand, in Cloud City on Bespin.
  • Kylo Ren carries a light saber with a cross-guard, which some people find really cool, while others freaked the freak out about how lame it is.
  • The Millennium Falcon is still around, with a rectangular radar dish replacing the round one lost in the Battle of Endor.
  • Han Solo and Chewbacca are still two of the coolest dudes in the galaxy.

SPECULATION:

There are a lot of rumors and supposed spoilers floating around the innertubes, many of which have already proven to be false. So even information “leaked from insiders” needs to be taken with a grain (or maybe a boulder) of salt. Still, some of this may very well prove to be true, so SPOILER ALERT just in case!

  • One rumor I happen to believe is that someone finds Luke’s/Anakin’s original light saber and it is taken to Princess Leia at the beginning of the film. This rumor usually includes the fact that Leia is the leader of the Resistance. This may be the catalyst that sets the story in motion.
  • Many people believe that Rey is Han Solo’s (and probably also Leia’s) daughter. A couple of clues include the fact that they haven’t revealed her last name (as they did other characters’), and that she carries a blaster that looks exactly like Han’s from the original trilogy. She also seems to be standing next to the Millennium Falcon‘s landing gear in some pictures.
  • There is speculation that Finn may be Lando Calrissian’s son, but I don’t buy that one. However, I did read something I think is much more likely: That Finn may be the son of Zare Leonis from the Rebels TV series. Zare is the cadet who helps Ezra and the other rebels from the inside, but remains a stormtrooper-in-training because his force-sensitive sister has been captured by the Empire. This would make sense in many ways, including the fact that Finn appears to be a stormtrooper, but is also one of the heroes, and is apparently force-sensitive (he has Luke’s light saber hanging from his belt in some artwork). If there is one of Lando’s offspring running around, it’s more likely the character played by Maisie Richardson-Sellers.
  • Why no Lando himself? They probably didn’t want to overload the new film with too many returning OT characters. Plus, they might be saving him for Episode VIII, especially if…
  • Han dies. This is total speculation, but it’s not exactly unlikely by an stretch of the imagination. Harrison Ford made it clear way back when he was making the original films that he wanted to be done with the character, and Han was supposed to be killed more than once. This could be his way out, along with providing a huge emotional impact.
  • One of the most prominent rumors is that Luke went into exile decades ago because he was afraid he couldn’t contain his force powers, and was afraid he might turn to the dark side like his father. A lot of fans are upset by this rumor, because in the EU, Luke went on to start the New Jedi Order and train a new generation of Jedi. Personally, I like this idea and I think it’s a more interesting story. After the prequels and The Clone Wars, I’m pretty Jedi’d out, and I think they’re cooler as mysterious loners who are few and far between rather than an army of super-powered badasses taking down everything in their path (other than their own clone troopers after Order 66, that is…).

There will be more to come as I find out more and update this article. Stay tuned!

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~ by christophervalin on April 27, 2015.

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