Star Wars VII – The Force Awakens: What do we know and what can we infer?

The third and final official trailer for Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens, the year’s most hotly-anticipated movie release, was made public about a couple of days ago.

This eagerly-awaited movie will be officially released in cinemas worldwide, on December 18 this year – just in time for Christmas.

The new hotly-anticipated Star Wars movie will be in cinemas on 18 December.

The new hotly-anticipated Star Wars movie will be in cinemas on 18 December. (Photo: LucasFilm)

But based on what we have seen in the movie advertising material so far, what do we already know and what can we deduce?

Movie introduces new characters and brings back familiar favourites

It has already been confirmed that the movie takes place about 30 years after the conclusion of the events in Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. For the storyline though, we still don’t have much of a clue as to where exactly it is leading, or even what the main characters are on a mission to do. But what we do know is that there are plenty of attacks and explosions and running.

We also know for certain, that besides the return of some familiar favourites – such as Han Solo, Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker and our beloved robots R2-D2 and C-3PO, a brand new cast of characters will be taking centre-stage.

Who are the new characters?

Out of these new characters, the key ones will be Rey – a scavenger living on the planet Jakku, Finn – a former Stormtrooper and Kylo Ren – the bad guy who is determined to ‘finish’ what Darth Vader started, whatever that is. That much is obvious. However, what can we make out of it all?

Darth Vader started something, and Kylo Ren is determined to finish it. But what is that 'something.'

Darth Vader had started something, and Kylo Ren is determined to finish it. But what is that ‘something.’

In trailer #3, Rey believes that she is ‘no-one.’ But usually, when a character says this, he or she turns out to be someone important. A notable example is Luke Skywalker himself.

As well, Finn has been seen to be holding a blue lightsaber, ever since the release of the movie poster. Was he really a former Stormtrooper, or was that merely a disguise to cloud who he truly is?

We must also not forget that Rey and Finn’s surnames are being kept hidden from us. At the same time, Kylo Ren is a nickname and not a birth name – much like how Darth Vader was a nickname. Kylo Ren takes the name ‘Ren’ from his being a member of the shadowy evil organisation, Knights Of Ren. So I have reason to suspect that one or two – if not all – of these three new characters are the offspring of either Han Solo/Princess Leia or Luke and an unknown female.

If I had to make a stab in the dark regarding the bloodline of the new characters, I suspect that Rey and Kylo Ren could be siblings. This bloodline may also explain the evil guy Kylo Ren’s strong affinity with the Force. Another theory is that Kylo is a Darth Vader clone, but I think that his being a member of the Skywalker family is more plausible.

As for Finn, I think that knowing director J.J. Abrams’ penchant for his attempts at throwing red herrings into the mix, his holding the lightsaber in the promotional posters does not mean that he is a Jedi. He has merely found that lightsaber and safeguards it purely because he realises its importance, but does not possess the ability to actually wield it. Finn, I suspect, is simply someone who had coincidentally happened to bump into Rey and thus decided to come along too.

We don’t get to see Luke Skywalker in the promotional materials

Another huge talking point in the three trailers, as well as the movie poster – is that we don’t get to see Luke Skywalker’s face at all. Some have speculated that this is because Luke and Kylo Ren are the same character, despite the casting of two different actors for the two roles. Luke is played by Mark Hamill and Kylo Ren is played by Adam Driver. Others have also suspected that this is because Luke is Kylo Ren’s master or that he is a fellow member of the sinister Knights of Ren.

However, I do not buy into this theory though. It does not make sense for director J.J. Abrams to suddenly have Luke switch sides and become the bad guy, especially after all that he had done, to resist the dark side in the earlier movies. At the same time, it would surely create a huge storm amongst many faithful Star Wars fans out there, if Abrams really threw this twist into the movie. No, I think that it makes much more sense to say that Kylo Ren is either Luke’s son or his nephew, as I had mentioned earlier.

I also think that the main reason why Luke is absent from the promotional material, is that he has gone into isolation, much like Yoda. So we won’t see much of him till the very end of the film. And he does not play a significant part in this film, but will feature much more in the next one. I suspect he does not feature in the promotional materials, as this will betray the fact that he is in hiding – thus giving a massive clue as to where the storyline is leading.

Is this Luke Skywalker's hand?

Is this Luke Skywalker’s hand? (Photo: LucasFilm)

The scene where a bionic hand pats R2-D2 in both the second and third trailers, also points to the fact that Luke is in isolation. Though it has yet to be confirmed, my gut feeling is telling me that this is Luke’s metallic hand and he and R2-D2 are alone and holed up somewhere – as we already know, Luke’s hand was sliced off during battle with Darth Vader.

Who could Luke be talking to in Trailer #2?

Despite his physical absence from the movie promotional materials, Luke gives a voice-over in the second trailer though – where he says to an unknown person, “The Force is strong in my family. My father has it. I have it. My sister has it. You have it, too.”

While some have mentioned that this is an old quote from Return of the Jedi, where both ‘my sister’ and ‘you’ referred to Leia in that case, I don’t think ‘you’ refers to Leia this time around though. After all, the quote has been edited slightly. Instead, I suspect that it refers to Rey.

Who is giving and who is accepting the lightsaber?

Who is giving and who is accepting the lightsaber? (Photo: LucasFilm)

Also, Trailer #2 showed a scene of someone handing a lightsaber to another person at the exact time when Luke spoke the words ‘my sister has it.’ Many people assumed that this was Luke giving the lightsaber to Leia.

But my gut feeling is telling me that the recipient of the lightsaber could in fact, be Rey.

An alternative theory is that the person accepting the lightsaber could also be Kylo Ren, who had initially trained under Luke as a Jedi – before he became lost to the Dark Side of the Force.

Where the story could possibly be headed

With this, I also suspect that this could be where the story itself could be leading – Rey and Finn are on a quest to search for Luke, the last Jedi Master in existence, possibly because Rey feels The Force stirring within her. And with Finn as company, she seeks out Luke, finds him and ultimately trains as a Jedi under his tutelage. She will be the one to bring balance to the Force and get Kylo Ren back to the light, just like how Luke had been the hero in the initial Star Wars saga.

However, whatever the story is about in the upcoming Star Wars Episode VIII: The Force Awakens movie, we won’t find out the ultimate truth till December 18.

Only two more months to go…


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