Since Disney bought Lucasfilm and confirmed episodes VII – IX of Star Wars were happening, the rumor mill has exploded across the galaxy with speculation over what direction this final saga could take.
Fresh off his reboot of Star Trek, J. J. Abrams was a welcome addition to the project, taking the director’s chair with a mountain of expectation on his shoulders. Though many details are still being kept firmly under wraps, we have been privy to a few snippets as carefully revealed in teasers and posters over the past year. So to save you the arduous task of trawling through millions of internet pages, here is all the things you need to know about the upcoming Star Wars movie.
The original cast are back…
It wasn’t long after news broke of a new trilogy that fans’ minds were set at ease, as most of the original cast, and certainly any notable not dead characters, were confirmed to return.
Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill are all back to the series as Han Solo, Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker respectively. While Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew and Warwick Davis return also. There are also rumours that Hayden Christensen will reprise his role as Darth Vadar, but there is currently nothing to support this entirely unsubstantiated theory.
…with some big new faces
However, with the biggest new movie in a decade comes a flock of stars eager to jump on board and stake their place in cinematic history. The Force Awakens has recruited some big up-and-comers for The Force Awakens including Adam Driver, who plays villain Kylo Ren, and Domhnall Gleeson who plays bad guy General Hux.
Established stars including Andy Serkis and Simon Pegg have also been confirmed, while other rumours such as Daniel Craig playing a stormtrooper have been publicly refuted. This won’t stop us dreaming though.
Goodbye Galactic Empire, Hello First Order
The Force Awakens is set thirty years after the Battle of Endor, which took place at the end of Return of the Jedi and ultimately saw the destruction of the Empire’s long reign over the galaxy, as depicted in Revenge of the Sith. However, it seems Abrams is keen to honor the original trilogy with something narratively quite similar, and rather like the Rebellion in A New Hope, a new resistance is gaining strength to try and seize power back to the dark side.
This resistance is called the First Order, led by a militant force that continue to purport the ideals of the old Galactic Empire, martyring Emperor Palpatine and Lord Vadar. Complete with First Order Stormtroopers and a sinister Nazi inspired military garb, this could be their time to rise up and challenge to Republic once more.
Kylo Ren ❤ Vadar
From the moment we first got a glimpse of the crossbar lightsaber, we all collectively gasped in excitement. The cloaked figure walking through the snow is Kylo Ren, a Sith continuing the work of Darth Vadar, and seemingly emulating his famous masked appearance in his honor.
Little else is actually known about Kylo Ren, besides his fanboy obsession with Vadar. There is speculation that he is one of Han & Leia’s children or, more unrealistically, that he is actually Luke Skywalker, which brings us to…
It is all but confirmed that Daisy Ridley’s Rey is one of the Solo children, while it’s also being rumoured that Kylo Ren is her twin brother gone bad after learning the ways of the force. This would also continue the theme of family feuds which was such a strong thread throughout the original trilogy.
Anyone familiar with the Star Wars universe knows that Luke and Mara Jade Skywalker only have one child – son Ben (named after Obi Wan Kenobi), so to continue the typical Star Wars narrative would see the family focus shift to Leia’s children.
One of the biggest talking points since the main poster reveal has been the noticeable absence of Luke Skywalker, leading some to speculate that he has turned to the dark side. Mark Hamill himself proposed this character arc ten years ago in an interview, so it would not be out of the question.
It could also be that this is a marketing rouse to get people talking, but to leave out one of the main characters from the promotional material suggests something is being deliberately withheld. We don’t know for sure, but we are confident that a twist is afoot.
And finally, something for the real fans is the news that Abrams is going back to basics, and abandoning the much criticised overuse of digital filming and CGI throughout the prequel trilogy. Instead, this will see more of a reliance on props, models and physical sets, thus giving the film a style much more aligned to the original movies.
What we can expect from The Force Awakens is something that feels and looks more like A New Hope than The Phantom Menace, which can only be a good thing.
And here’s some wild rumors that are not confirmed
Amid all the known stuff is a sea of rumours which are mostly based on nothing but the faint hope of a few desperate fans. So to put your minds at rest, there is nothing to suggest Darth Vadar will be returning from the dead, or that Jar Jar Binks will be making an appearance, or even that Daniel Craig will have a masked cameo as a stormtrooper.
What could be genuine possibilities include the death of Han Solo, Luke’s evil turn and the discovery of Luke’s old blue lightsaber.