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Movie Discussion: Star Wars The Force Awakens (Heavy Spoilers)

Updated on December 22, 2015

Discussion

Here I'll keep my thoughts, opinions, and predictions for the Star Wars universe based on the newest film. Obviously, lots of spoilers, but I do encourage feedback, both agreeable and contrary.

The new stormtroopers
The new stormtroopers | Source

The Plot, Recycled and Reused

I'm aiming to get my complaints out of the way before more of the hopeful perspectives I have. While I really enjoyed the film, I didn't realize how heavy this film relied upon previous works. As said before, I feel that the two opposing factions (the Resistance and First Order) are simply renamed from previous works (the Rebellion and the Empire respectively). It's emphasized more when the Resistance retains many of the leaders of the Rebellion, and aside from sleek new upgrades, the First Order is cosmetically the same as the Empire. It's a slight note, but given the state of affairs of the film, it feels much more that the plot needed Episode 6's ending (that with the apparent failure of the Empire and the breaking of its power) was erased so that the same conflict can continue. Even some of the grand set pieces are the same, such as the Starkiller weapon is literally just a bigger Death Star, and its protective shielding is disabled by ground troops while a battle reigns overhead (just like the battle of Endor).

There are some staples that are good (the Skywalker bloodline continues to be at the center of the conflict) although personally, I do hope the rumors that there are a new pair of Skywalker twins doesn't come to pass (more on that in a bit).

Captain Phasma
Captain Phasma | Source

Captain Phasma

Why do you exist? It's nice to see a female Stormtrooper, I guess, and one with chrome armor and a special, outfitted firearm but her presence and actions in the film amount to something more of comedic relief (being that she doesn't put up much fight in an interrogation against Finn in protection the Starkiller. Her fate is amounted to a joke, being thrown into a similar trash compactor like in the original film.

There was a lot of talk of making Captain Phasma the new trilogy's Boba Fett. Many assumed this would be Boba's physical presence and uniqueness. I guess they figured it would be more ironic for Phasma to be tossed down into a pit just like Boba and the Sarlacc.

Is Captain Phasma really dead? I dunno. The movie didn't make me want to care.

The Unimpressive Arc of Kylo Ren

Kylo Ren (and his stormtrooper regiment) were introduced with so much destructive, intimidating flair. The introduction of Ren actually stopping a blaster shot the equivalent of a sniper round was fantastic.

Then his issues began. Hood over his mask was his best look, as I find his mask...kinda lame. It's three or four different shades of black. Once his mask comes off, he's a simple-looking boy. His anger is left unchecked but instead of an awesome display of power, he just hacks at things with his lightsaber (which is one of the best bits of this film, I do confess, the lightsaber, not the tantrums). The character arc is quite clearly showing his hesitation and ultimate downfall but my interest is dulled as his arc progresses.With hope, the character will become more formidable in the future.

Also of note is his name, in several respects. First, he is no Darth. One would assume that's just because he's an apprentice and is still in training (as Supreme Leader Snoke says), but Snoke himself doesn't claim the title Darth. Darth is a title that the Sith use. Die hard Star Wars fans know that Sith doesn't equate to 'evil Jedi,' but more of a religious group that believe in certain principles and practices (such as the 'Rule of Two' which stakes that must only be a Master and an Apprentice). It will be interesting to see what differences Snoke and Kylo Ren's group will have in comparison to the Sith.

Also, Ren seems to be more of a clear title. While originally named Ben, Snoke calls him his 'Master of my Knights of Ren.' There are more like Kylo, although they were inferior in station and none have completed their training. Mentioned above, this is one clear difference that we have so far that differentiates the Sith and Snoke's group.

Finn wielding the Skywalker lightsaber
Finn wielding the Skywalker lightsaber | Source

Is Finn Force-Sensitive?

A lot of people like to think so but I'm not convinced. While promotional items seemed to advocate Finn being a new Jedi, every time the ex-stormtrooper wielded a lightsaber he lost his fights, first against the 'riot control' trooper and second against a wounded Kylo Ren, badly. Still, only those Force-sensitive are said to be able to wield a lightsaber but it's very reasonable that Stormtroopers are given training to understand how Jedi fight in order to counter it, especially since the First Order was actively hunting Luke Skywalker. I'd say that Poe Dameron (my new favorite character) has more chance of being Force-sensitive, especially flying a different X-Wing than everyone else and destroying all opposition as if he was the Red Baron himself.

Still, there's a very specific scene that Captain Phasma remarks that his signs of insubordination were his first and the film shows that it was strong enough to release a prisoner and flee immediately. It could have just been the horror and destruction he witnesses during the film's opening raid that snaps him out of it, but Phasma seemed to think that a simple re-education sequence would be enough to cure him, even giving him the responsibility of turning himself over to said 'teachers.' Granted, Phasma seemed largely incapable of any task assigned to her, not to mention he seemed to have no difficulty shooting other Stormtroopers (which, if he identified what they were doing in the opening sequence was wrong, that implies inherent morality which isn't a topic I think Star Wars films want to engage in).

There's also a little mystery in how Stormtroopers in the First Order are 'recruited,' since it seemed to indicate that Finn was taken as a babe. If it's important, I'm sure we'll hear more about it in the future.

Do you think Finn will become a Jedi?

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Rey holding her staff with Finn and Kylo Ren
Rey holding her staff with Finn and Kylo Ren | Source

Where Does Rey come from?

We know that Rey thinks her family is going to return to her on Jakku (or as I call it, Neo Tatooine), and she has a vision of someone leaving her as a child/toddler. We know that she is Force-sensitive, which gives reason to imagine her parent or parents are Force-users (although this is not exclusive). So, who is her family and who left her there?

A huge theory is that there are Skywalker twins again, with both Rey and Kylo Ren/Ben. The film boils down to a confrontation between the two, Rey thinks of Han Solo as a father figure, and at times they seemed largely matched in wills and usage of the Force. Also after Han dies, Leia ignores Chewbacca to embrace Rey which is strange considering the two of them never met. Again, since the Skywalkers are always at the forefront of the Star Wars conflict, it would make sense to have another set of Skywalker twins (as Luke and Leia were). Honestly, I hate this theory since this film has already relied on the original trilogy so much. I wouldn't be surprised if Kylo Ren turned from the Dark Side just to protect his sister. That's just a personal preference and I feel that there should have been some kind of mention or reference to Han and Leia having more than one child (although Leia being Luke's sister was only mentioned once in Episode 5 before it seemingly comes out of nowhere in Episode 6).

There's also the theory that Luke Skywalker is Rey's father which would also support the 'Skywalkers in everything' trend. That would explain her connection to the lightsaber. It could also be that she is the offspring of Luke's original Padawans he was training. Maybe she was hidden away before her mother/father joined Luke, and maybe now they are dead or are part of the 'Knights of Ren.'

There's also a more crazy theory that she might also have been a student who was mind-wiped before being left on Jakku. If she herself was a student her Force abilities, instead of just being inherently strong, could be argued that she's relearning these abilities. Granted, in her flashback she's seen to be very young, but this could be a fabrication, since her memories of her 'family' are so vague to begin with.

And finally, there's a chance she could be the offspring of a character we have yet to see, or one that hasn't been given much importance. Maybe she was the daughter of Max Von Sydow's character, the one at the beginning with the map. That might also explain why he had the map and was hiding out on a planet, not wanting to endanger his daughter if he should be caught.

Who do you think is Rey's parent(s)?

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Also, I would just like to point out the idea that Rey will be constructing her own lightsaber, and due to the heavy emphasis of her staff that she wields before being taken by Kylo Ren, she would make herself a lightsaber staff, almost identical to the one Darth Maul used in Episode 1. I'm just saying, the good guys never get to use some of the cooler lightsabers, and I want Rey to have that distinction.

A shot of Mark Hamill, playing the character Trickster on CW's Flash
A shot of Mark Hamill, playing the character Trickster on CW's Flash | Source

The Hermit Jedi's state of mind

We don't know much about Luke's status quo. He was training Padawans, one became Kylo Ren and screwed up everything, and Luke took off while leaving behind clues to his location. He's been in hiding for some time, seemingly in isolation.

I think Luke will play a lot like Yoda in the original trilogy, although he might become more of a direct proponent. Like Yoda, Luke considers himself to have failed and pushes himself into isolation, a place where he can help nor hurt anyone else. Like Yoda, Luke will have (presumably) lived alone for some time meaning, like Yoda, Luke may become highly eccentric and possibly even a bit crazed.

Outside of Star Wars, Mark Hamill has been involved in a variety of projects, most notably being the voice of Joker in a series of recent Batman games as well as many animated films. He's playing the Trickster on the Flash (seen above) who is a lot like the Joker in mannerisms and design. He's voiced and played a lot of villains most recently in the past, which fueled speculation that Luke Skywalker had turned to the Dark Side for the film. Based on his track record, Mark Hamill plays a very well received character whenever he goes a bit bananas, and I can see him doing the same for Episode 8.

How do you feel about a crazy Luke Skywalker?

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Miscellanious Thoughts

  • Man, after seeing this film I care even less about the newest Star Wars Battlefront game.
  • What/How big is Supreme Leader Snoke? Does he use a lightsaber? Was he around when Darth Sidious and Vader ruled over the galaxy?
  • Did Leia ever train her Force-sensitivity at all, or is she exactly how we left her in Episode 6?
  • Where were all the Y-Wing bombers during the bombing run on Starkiller? It seems you would have more than newer X-Wings to attack a planet-sized base.

Comments/Feedback

Those are just some of the theories I've gleaned, modified, or created myself that I particuarly like, or the thoughts that I've had. Do you agree, disagree?

I'd love to hear some of your thoughts in the comments below. Tell me something I've missed or haven't considered, or tell me why one of my thoughts is wrong. I want to talk about it, and right now the world is still worried about spoilers so feel free to discuss it here.

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    • Travis W Wood profile image
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      Travis Wood 23 months ago from Woodstock, Georgia

      @Jonathan

      I like the thought of Chewie finishing their trio (although I do hope Poe Dameron gets more screentime) because Rey has already proved that she understands the Wookie language (as well as Droid-speech).

      Though, I hope Snoke wasn't the mastermind behind the mastermind. It would cheapen the deviousness of Palpatine. However, i think a previous interaction between the two would be good, possibly with Snoke's disfigurement from Palpatine.

    • profile image

      Jonathan 23 months ago

      I have a feeling that Luke has walk the path of both the dark and the light side. Hence his isolation. I believe that Rey is his daughter. I recall reading in a couple of books before they were considered fan fic that Luke had joined the dark side but fell in love with a women and they both eventually returned to the light side. I'm hoping that fynn does indeed become well aware of the force and he and Rey become the dramatic new duo with chewy as the sidekick. I think there is a lot more to Captain Phasma then they portrayed throughout force awakening. I think the jealousy and rage of being humiliated and thrown down a garbage chute. I have a feeling that they are going to link smoke back to be the mastermind from the original series. But it's all still up in the air.

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      ShoeFlor 23 months ago

      I agree with you, Travis, about the Kylo Ren thing: throwing a tantrum isn't all that scary! I doesn't make you fear him, just want to spank him! I wrote about that in my article, as well. Check out "Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Horribly written, with enough plot holes to fly a Star Destroyer through" and let me know what you think. I'm working on another article, but it's going to seem "nitpicky" to some, I'm sure. Things like "since when can you use the Force to read minds??"

    • Travis W Wood profile image
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      Travis Wood 23 months ago from Woodstock, Georgia

      @Josh

      I hadn't heard that about Chrisiansen aside that it was a threat to prequel haters.

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      Josh B. 23 months ago

      Exactly. Im pretty excoted tosee how Kylo turns out. Ive heard say that Hayden Christiansen is going to be in this trilogy, so its possibke that we might see some force-spirit Anakin action, which might be tge saving grace for Kylo at some point. I really want to see this movie again though! I feel like i missed a lot of smaller details.

      Btw, did you catch the short scene when Finn finds the little Training ball thing that obi wan used to train luke with, when they're on the Falcon? Pretty fantastic easter egg. Lol!

    • Travis W Wood profile image
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      Travis Wood 23 months ago from Woodstock, Georgia

      @Josh

      Yeah, they kinda skipped over the visible fates of a lot of characters. Audience members are probably sure Kylo Ren is back, but I wouldn't have known Phasma was coming back unless I heard about it in interviews. I would think Maz is okay (I would hope so at least), considering she did say the story of how she got Luke's lightsaber is for another time.

      It's also interesting given your opinion on Kylo Ren. He acted a lot like Anakin before he gave way to the Dark Side. Since they've made it a point that the redemption of Kylo Ren is an objective from the start, it's more of a contrast because he's struggling with the light instead of the dark, per say.

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      Josh B. 23 months ago

      I agree with pretty much all of these theories, lol! I really do think Rey will be making a saberstaff as well, it would suit her, and set her aside from the rest of the characters i think.

      My only real complaints about the movie were the pacing, and lack of explaination in certain areas, but a really loved everytging else! The story seemed to skip along a bit too fast, but id have to watch it again to be sure. I dont like how they neglected to show what happened to the remaining characters after the Starkiller imploded, such as Phasma and Kylo. They could've at least shown a scene of their escape or something. Same goes for Maz kanada (no idea how to spell her name... The little yellow lady-thing), like, did she die? I mean the Tie Fighters blew up the building she was in, but they never showed her die, or anything.... So, wth?

      I did however (contrary to popular opinion it seems) really like Kylo Ren's character. I like that he was unstable, and had serious issues. I can tell they wanted to make him contrast against Darth Vader, otherwise there really wouldn't have been much difference between the two. I think he will develope into a great character! However, i wish he hadnt removed his mask so early in the movie.

      I also was not a huge fan of the disney humor in the movie. It seemed like Finn was trying to hard to appeal to the "current generation" with things like "you got a boyfriend?" And "Droid please!", and imo, it took away a bit of the otherworldy feel. I mean, i laughed, and it really wasnt a big deal at all for me, but still.

    • Travis W Wood profile image
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      Travis Wood 23 months ago from Woodstock, Georgia

      @Corey

      *laughs

      That's fantastic. You know what? How did they get all those plans? Might might have some info, but not nearly enough to make a coordinated assault. And the fight that Han died, Chewie shot Kylo Ren, and then Leia hugs Rey. The film kinda treats Han's death as a footnote, despite being a heavily beloved character for so long.

      And the one fuse opening all the doors is a bit silly, I agree, but I could it could be a Force thing? Still, what switch opens all the doors but doesn't trip some kind of major alarm?

      Everything else, I guess the Force explains that? It does awaken, or so the title claims.

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      Corey 23 months ago

      Thx for the venue to vent!! Loved reading your thoughts :o) please don't mistake my nitpicking small points as a dislike of the movie. I've seen it twice and plan on a third before the new year. Loved it and can't wait for VIII.

      That being said, I too was dissappointed with the Storm Trooper / Cylon's character. Especially knowing the actress under the helmet and her fantastic ability to play a formitable character.

      I also wanted to see mor of Chewy's emotional response to the sudden death of his best friend! There should have been more of a struggle to pry him away from a grief enduced rage filled killing spree followed by some type of memorial before Rey went off to find Luke.

      I like how remenisent of Obi Wan Luke is in appearance! One thing I do NOT want to see is Luke allowing Ren to cut him down so he can disappear and guide Rey (or whomever) from the "other side".

      One last note... The next film needs to be a bit more of a struggle. EVERYTHING was far too easy and convenient in this story!

      - The Falcon was just sitting there and fired right up even though Han has always had issues with it.

      - Directly after leaving the planet our new heros fly straight into the path of Han and Chewy.

      - The scary alien monster things perfectly flanked BOTH groups of bad guy's.

      - Leia shows up on scene just seconds after a serious skirmish?! Since when does a General get that close to the fighting?

      - Did I miss a scene or did many Bothans not die getting the plans to the Starkiller? Where did they get all that info and how does sanitation worker Fin know so much about how it works?

      - I realize Rey is mechanically inclined... But pulling ONE fuse opens ALL the doors? Even R2 got shot up trying to get Han in to take down the shield.

      At any rate, I enjoyed all the characters (save the Cylon) and think Ren's character has been set up well. We got to see his raw power early but then got to understand the troubled boy behind the mask. Yes his power seemed to deminish as the movie went on, but I think after Rey got into his head he became filled with self doubt. His military counterpart seems to be working agianst him a bit and he can't get his master to complete his training. Top all that off with the map falling through his fingers multiple times and you have a guy who is grasping at straws just to stay in control. Now that he has killed Han (throw back to Luke having to kill his father for his training to be complete) I think we'll see a much more focused and composed threat.

      J.J. Abrams is a master at Easter eggs, so I am excited to see little by little the things we have all missed.

    • Travis W Wood profile image
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      Travis Wood 23 months ago from Woodstock, Georgia

      @Haley

      That's more of a self-couned term to refer to how Anakin was conceived, since there really wasn't a father. I probably should've explained that.

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      Haley B 23 months ago

      What is a "force baby"?

    • Travis W Wood profile image
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      Travis Wood 24 months ago from Woodstock, Georgia

      @Joseph

      You know, I think that might be best for the reputation of the Jedi. A lot of people like to poke at how sour and unfun the Jedi were in the prequel trilogy. Having Luke venturing into the Dark Side, mastering it (possibly in the hopes of returning Dark Side users out of it), and eventually finding some kind of middle ground. He is definitely wearing the attire of a traditional Jedi, but I would like the whole Gray Jedi mentality. I think there's enough room to expect such an outcome too, since the term 'Sith' was never used in the film, it's possible both sides are taking up different dogmas.

    • Travis W Wood profile image
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      Travis Wood 24 months ago from Woodstock, Georgia

      @Julia

      Personally, I love the idea of Chewbacca killing Kylo Ren, although Chewbacca has never really seen the spotlight over the more human characters. And I agree about the future of Captain Phasma. While one of the weakest points of the film, I can see her quick submission to Finn being one to motivate her to revenge in the future.

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      Joseph 24 months ago

      I had an idea of what was going to happen based off of the eu. It seems similiar, but with small changes. Since star wars is so heavily based in budhism I think luke masters the dark side then walks a middle path type thing. He uses his hate/anger to fight vader so i dont think that him learning the dark side is an absurd thought. I thought it was funny how he went into isolation but left a map. Whats the point of hiding then?

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      Julia 24 months ago

      I am entirely convinced that Finn is not meant to become a Jedi, even if he is Force sensitive. I do not think Rey is anyone's daughter that we know. I have heard speculations that she is somehow related to Obi Wan Kenobi. I guess we shall see. I suppose it is plausible that she could be the daughter (or granddaughter) of Max Von Sydow. Or she could be a "Force Baby" which is another popular opinion I have heard.

      I don't think Leia really ever learned to use the Force. And I doubt that's where they will go with her character. I would think it would be cool if Finn and Chewbacca become good friends and travel the galaxy/fight bad guys together. Kind of as an homage to Han's death. I have also heard many fans wanting a battle between Chewy and Kylo Ren in which Chewy defeats Kylo to avenge Han's death. Not sure if that is where the writers plan to go with it though. I think it would be really cool for Poe to also form a mentor type relationship with Finn, since Finn was the one who helped Poe escape and all.

      Lastly, I am super interested to see how Luke acts after being a hermit in hiding for so long. I think perhaps we may see in the next movie some training going on with Rey on that deserted planet he was on. I could see them making him more of a Yoda type figure.

      And as the rumors have it, film makers have said that Captain Phasma will be back in the next movie. Hopefully her character won't suck. I think it would be interesting for her to have a grudge against Finn and try to come destroy him.