Let’s start with our trio of main characters: Rey, Finn, and Poe Dameron.
Rey is a scavenger from the desert planet Jakku. I loved that it was her that turned out to be force sensitive. She’s independent and feisty and I think she’ll make an interesting Jedi. The dream sequence she has when she touches Anakin’s lightsaber for the first time is really intense and possibly a little traumatizing. I don’t think she realized what she was getting into, there’s a lot of history and emotion in that lightsaber. The other thing I loved about her character is that we aren’t just told that she’s a scavenger, we actually see that skill in action. Rey proves to be very useful in the field and even impressed Han Solo with her resourcefulness and ability to handle The Falcon (the ship that she is now the pilot of).
Finn is a stormtrooper that has broken through his brainwashing and abandoned The First Order. His name isn’t actually Finn (we don’t actually know his birth name), the name was given to him by Poe based on his stormtrooper number FN-2187. I think Finn is an interesting character and I’m curious to learn more about him. It’s clear that The First Order is no longer using clones, something that Ren points out to General Hux as a bit of a flaw considering one of the troopers broke their conditioning. It seems that they now abduct children? people? and condition them to fight. It will be interesting to find out where Finn came from, since I’m sure that will come up at some point. The other big thing that I want to talk about with this character is the tease that he was going to be the new Jedi character. Yes he does use a lightsaber but no he is not force sensitive. I say he’s not with a fair degree of confidence because think about it, if he was Kylo Ren would likely have sensed it and either tried to turn him to the dark side or he would have killed him.
We don’t know too much about Poe Dameron but we do know that he is the best pilot around (something he demonstrates several times) and that he is good friends with BB-8. He’s pretty cocky and talks back to Ren during his interrogation. He also makes a connection with Finn when they help each other escape The First Order (the jacket Finn wears is actually Poe’s). Poe seems to be the Han Solo of this trilogy. He is also the leader of the Resistance X-Wing squad that’s responsible for destroying Starkiller Base.
Now let’s take a look at our new villains.
Kylo Ren is one of my new favorite characters. He’s very complex and displays quite a bit of emotion (he’s prone to very violent tantrums with his lightsaber). Speaking of his crossguard lightsaber, I don’t know why so many people hated it. I think it’s a pretty cool design and he uses one of the hilt blades to great effect in battle, turning one into Finn’s shoulder during a clash. We know some of his back story: he’s the son of Han and Leia and he was one of Luke’s students. The force is very strong with him but he lets his anger control him. He killed all of Luke’s other students and turned to the dark side. This is the event that causes Luke to go into hiding and Han to run from Leia and go back to smuggling; they both feel responsible for losing Ben. He takes the name Kylo Ren and becomes an enforcer for The First Order and the leader of the Knights of Ren. Ren idolizes his grandfather, Darth Vader, and wants to be like him. During the conversation with his father, you can see that the light side is still pulling him and for minute you think he might actually listen to Han and go with him but he ultimately gives in to the dark side and kills him.
The other main villains are General Hux, Captain Phasma and the mysterious Supreme Leader Snoke. Hux is very dictator like and I saw strong comparisons to Hitler and the Nazi Party during his speech on Starkiller Base. We don’t get to see much of Captain Phasma, but damn does she look cool (shadow trooper maybe?). We know she survives the trash shoot and destruction of the base somehow though because J.J. Abrams has said that she will be important moving forward. Supreme Leader Snoke is the Sith lord controlling Kylo Ren and is the one responsible for his turn to the dark side. We know pretty much nothing about him, but he seems to stay calm under pressure. My theory is that his true identity is that of Darth Plagueis, Palpatine’s master. Even though Palpatine said that he killed his master, that doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s dead. He does appear to be badly scarred. That’s just my theory though, so we’ll see what actually happens.
Well that’s the end of my review on Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I thought it was amazing and I hope this is a good sign of what’s to come in Episodes VIII and IX. There are definitely questions that I want answers to, like who are Rey’s parents and why was she abandoned on Jakku? My thought is that she wasn’t abandoned, but hidden much like Luke and Leia were. They were force sensitive and needed to be protected. I’ve read speculation that she may be Luke Skywalker’s daughter, which I can see as a possibility. It is curious that R2-D2, who went into a depressed, low power state when Luke left, came back online just after Rey’s force powers awakened. I’ll end this with one last thing that I would LOVE to see with Rey. I reeeaally hope that she turns her staff into her lightsaber. Our new villain has an unconventional lightsaber, so why not out hero? What do you think of my thoughts and theories? Let me know and may the force be with you!