Yet again, an unclear parentage is being set-up as significant in the Star Wars universe. What are we betting: is Rey an actual orphan, unaware of her background or simply disavowing her parents? The latter two would fit with the idea she is Han and Leia’s daughter, but what could have happened to separate them?
Daughter or not, her scavenging gear bears a resemblance to the bounty hunter outfit Leia used to infiltrate Jabba’s palace in Return of the Jedi.
This is her rappelling into the hangar bay of that crashed Star Destroyer on the desert planet of Jakku. Very Raiders of the Lost Ark, but what could she be looking for?
“There were stories about what happened.”
“They were true, all of it. The Dark Side. The Jedi. They’re real.”
Like in the beginning of Episode 4, Rey (and presumably the public at large) don’t seem to be aware of the Jedi, or at least the events of the first film have become something of a myth. The assumption after Return of the Jedi was that Luke would go public and form a new order, but that doesn’t seem to have happened. Why? And for that matter…
The absence of old Skywalker – despite Mark Hamill’s high billing – confirms he is going to be a big reveal, one way or another. We’ve always presumed this shot of a robot hand is Luke’s, but why haven’t we seen his face yet? Is it because it’s hidden behind a mask?
There’s more than a touch of the cosplayer about the new bad guy. More than previous Sith, who were out for their own advancement, Ren seems to be personally beholden to the late Darth Vader. “Nothing will stand in our way,” Ren promises Vader’s melted helmet, “I will finish what you started.” Considering that Ren, like the rest of the universe, doesn’t know Anakin Skywalker had a deathbed return to the light side of the force, this is presumably destroying the universe with a Death Star, or wiping out the Jedi once and for all.
So who is Ren? Simply making him a random Vader fanboy might seem odd, but fits with the mysterious origins of Darth himself in the original films. (The prequels committed the cardinal sin of believing everything had to be explained.) It’s possible Adam Driver plays Vader’s secret apprentice – fitting with the old Sith ‘rule of two’, Vader should have been training up a protégé to help him overthrow the Emperor. This was a rich seam for the old Expanded Universe novels, comics and video games to create new characters, but all of that has been thrown out now, allowing a new old apprentice to step to the fore.
Alternatively, some fans have a daft theory that’s less daft the more you think about it – that he’s Luke, and Adam Driver’s casting has been a fake out.
Ren certainly sounds emotional talking to the late Sith, and who else would have access to Vader’s funeral pyre on Endor? Did Luke fall to the Dark Side and decide to go into the family business as he entered middle age?
Vader tortured both Leia and Han in the original trilogy (fans forget what a bad man is on our lunchboxes) but Ren goes a step further, using the Force to interrogate Poe Dameron’s mind. This is pretty advanced stuff, and seems to prove Ren is more than an enthusiastic amateur when it comes to the Force.
Not really, but this shot of Finn’s damaged aircraft spinning away is a fun nod to Vader’s exit in A New Hope.
First revealed on the official poster, Starkiller Base is a superweapon even more powerful than the Death Stars – it can destroy entire star systems. It’s built into the core of an ice planet, which looks suspiciously like the snowy forest being swept away in an energy shockwave.
Evacuate the solar system. The First Order is on the march.
More family matters. It’s now confirmed that Finn is an ex-Stormtrooper from the First Order, but this line suggests his links go deeper. Were his family true believers in the Empire-aping cult, or does he simply mean he joined the army early?