Warning: spoiler alert!
If you have not seen The Force Awakens, stop what you’re doing, most definitely do not read this, and go see the movie.
Seriously, do not read this before seeing the movie. You will be spoiled.1
Q: I wasn’t surprised to see another Death Star in these new movies, but I was surprised to see it in the first one! How are they going to top that next time?
While other movie franchises have run into trouble by defeating their best villains before the climax of the series,2 George Lucas hit upon an innovative (sort of) solution to the bad guy arms race: just do it again! By putting a new Death Star style weapon in their first Star Wars movie, I can’t help but imagine that Disney will be giving us Death Star after Death Star until the day we die. I predict the scariest of them all will be the low emissions hybrid Death Star… no exhaust ports!
Q: Han and Leia split up? What’s up with that?
At the age I was when I first saw Return of the Jedi, I assumed that two people kissing at the end of a movie basically made them married forever. Thirty years later, life has turned out to be more complicated than that in galaxies both near and far. At least we don’t have to figure out how we feel about it when one of them begins seeing other pigs.
Q: So, Resistance, Republic, First Order? What’s with all these new groups? Do I need a poly sci degree from Alderaan U to figure this out?
No, but apparently you do need to have read all the books that have been released since Disney bought the franchise. Long story short, after defeating the Empire, the Rebellion started a new Galactic government (the Republic) but many of the soldiers and officers of the Empire gathered together on the fringes of the galaxy to start a new interstellar conquest club called the First Order. When the Republic declines to put any “boots on the ground” to fight these new Empire sympathizers, Leia starts up her own military splinter group (the Resistance) to harry them and basically fight the kind of proxy war that we are all too familiar with in our own galaxy.
Q: Admiral Ackbar is so much skinnier in this movie. Is he sick?
Nah, the Admiral is just at a healthier weight since taking his doctor’s advice and easing off of the late night bowls of Admiral Ackbar cereal.
Q: What’s up with the Kylo Ren temper tantrums? They seem more childlike than Vader-like.
Ah, you are forgetting the Hayden Christiansen years. Maybe his parents only let him watch the prequels when he was growing up. That would make anyone a pouty Jedi.
Q: What do you think the next big family reveal will be in the Star Wars family tree?
Ok, so in order of decreasing obviousness, here are my predictions for the next set of “I am your father” moments in Star Wars history.
1) Rey and Luke Skywalker: I basically agree with the internet on Rey’s likely parentage. For me, what did it was the fight that she and Kylo have over the lightsaber. It had the bitter one-upmanship of an inheritance battle between different branches of the family. (“Well, if you get grandpa’s lightsaber, then I get his charred, mangled skull!”)
2) Rey and Finn. Last time we were teased with a first movie romantic interest, remember how that turned out? Yes, I know: “Black Stormtrooper and white desert scavenger, how could they be related?” Well, as we have noted, families are plenty complicated these days. Besides, their backstories look a lot more similar than Tatooine farmboy and galactic royalty!
3) Captain Phasma and Boba Fett: Boba is definitely the last character who got so much love for essentially wearing a badass costume, saying three lines in the whole movie, and then going out like a punk.
Well, there you have it, the inaccurate answers to all your unanswered Force Awakens questions. And if you read this before seeing the movie, well, I warned you. (But seriously, see the movie!)