I don’t normally do this, speculate about what films might contain. I’m going to do it with The Force Awakens. It’s worth noting this isn’t the piecing together of a 1001 spoilers from across the web, it’s purely based on the two trailers and the poster. I’ve not read any of the new comics or novels, so it may be some of this stuff is already known due to those outlets.
If the two trailers and the poster count as spoilers for you, or rampant speculation count as spoilers, then you might want to stop reading now.
It’s Not That Rampant
I may joke about rampant speculation being spoilers, but I don’t believe my speculation is that rampant, it’s based on how mythological stories actually work, the general make-up of a Star Wars trilogy story and the way the general trope of Star Wars is for the trilogies to mirror themselves in various ways. This tends to provide a lot of tissue and musculature for educated speculation that results in, I believe, the story being quite predictable.
I realise some may decide this makes the film pointless. I don’t so much as many stories are very similar once they start plugging into that mythological fabric (across many genres, certainly space opera and action films, etc).
There is a reason we watch these sort of stories in the cinema, repeatedly, after all.
It’s Starts On A Desert World…
…and something will fall from orbit and be chased by the bad guys.
We already know it starts on the desert world of Jakku. Instead of Luke Skywalker making a living on a moisture farm, we have Rey, as a scavenger, making a living from the various pieces of battle wreckage that seems to have fallen to Jakku after some ancient battle.
In another act of mirroring, but with a twist, it’s not Droids that hit the sand, but a human being in the form of Finn, the storm trooper fleeing the The First Order for reasons yet unknown (to me anyway, but I assume it is some act of moral conscience). He, like the Droids’ encounter with Luke, will encounter Rey and kickstart her mythological journey from the life she knows by her making a fateful decision.
She will probably resist this decision at first, but something will happen to force that, a consequence for her denying her heroic potential, I suspect this is the scenes in the trailer of Jakku being attacked. These will have been hunting down Finn. Someone will die who is important to her on Jakku, though I don’t know who this is, but it will probably be some surrogate paternal figure.
This will all happen in the first act, which will also see Rey and Finn meet Han and Chewbacca, and the first act will end when they blast off Jakku in the Falcon which is probably the Falcon and TIE Fighter chase scene through Star Destroyer wreckage we see in the trailer.
There Will Be A Mentor…
…and he will die.
In A New Hope it was Ob-Wan Kenobi and he died by the end of the second act. He served the purpose of that archetype in that film: to educate and grow the young hero and then die so he’s forced to make decisions on his own, before he is fully ready, while not being totally unprepared. The natural expectation is this would be Luke in The Force Awakens, but I think they’ve mixed it up a bit and made Luke the analogue to a different character from the classic trilogy.
The mentor in The Force Awakens is Han Solo and he will die.
I believe this will happen for two reasons. It mixes up the mentor role, putting Han in a very different position to the classic trilogy. It also allows Harrison Ford to get out of the Star Wars films what he could never get out of Lucas: a conclusion, a permanent one. I think that’s the only reason Harrison Ford signed up.
At the end of the second act of The Force Awakens we will see Han Solo die. I have no idea what the second act will feature, but it will involve discovery and figuring things out, like all second acts. I doubt it will involve a rescue like it does in A New Hope, I think it will literally be a discovery of once ‘secret’ things.
He’ll need to be killed by someone pivotal to the story, right? Well, we’ll get to that later. His death will drive our heroine into the final act.
There Will Be Siblings…
….and they’ll not be aware of each other.
Star Wars has always been about generational siblings, the decisions they make and the impact their choices have on the galaxy. This will be no different. The twist this time is it won’t be Luke’s next generation, it will be Han and Leia’s (and by virtue of that still Skywalkers)
Rey is the daughter of Han and Leia, pivotally Kylo Ren will be her brother.
This is an important fact as it probably explains a lot. I suspect the events around Kylo Ren, and whatever has happened to stop the Empire being entirely defeated and full ascendency of the Republic, is the source of conflict between Luke, Leia and Han. There will be conflict between these three as that drives story. Old, joyous friends do not.
Luke tried to train Kylo Ren and failed, just like Obi-Wan failed with his father. No doubt for reason’s we’ll discover Luke failed to such an extent Kylo Ren actually looks to the ‘teachings’ of Luke’s dead father: Darth Vader.
This is the conflict of the film. Kylo will be to Rey what Vader was to Luke. Instead of having father and son, we have brother and sister. It also explains where Luke is, but we’ll come to that. It also tells us who will kill Han Solo? In A New Hope, the father of the hero kills the mentor in front of the hero. In The Force Awakens we’ll see the son of the mentor, killing the mentor in the front of the heroine, his daughter.
There Will Be A Super weapon…
…and the good guys will heroically try and destroy it just in time.
What’s Star Wars without a super weapon? Though hopefully they’ll keep the trope to one film this time. We know there is a super weapon as it’s on the poster. There isn’t really much to say about this one. It’ll exist, it will either destroy planets, or in a bid to up the ante, it will destroy stars and planetary systems. It will also up the ante in that it will be a weapon that is actually a planet rather than the size of a small moon. I admit it, this I did get from the web.
The final act of the film will involve an attack on the super weapon. It’ll also need to involve some parallel events with Rey and Finn. These heroes will either be on a planet that’s about to be destroyed fighting some final battler or on the planet that is the actual weapon.
There Will Be An Old Jedi Master…
…and he will be in hiding.
This is what’s happened to Luke. He’s not become evil. We’ll not have some Dark Empire like storyline. I hope not anyway. I believe all the ‘Dark Luke’ speculation is total bollocks. Might he flirt with it as he wrestles with his conscience over the course of the trilogy? Quite possibly, but will he become the bad guy of the trilogy? I don’t think so.
I think Luke will become Yoda, but he probably won’t die.
He’s become ‘Yoda’ and gone into hiding because he remains the last, ageing Jedi in the galaxy. He’s the last one because his attempts to re-start the Jedi Order have failed just like attempts to kickstart a Republic. As I’ve already said, he failed to train Han and Leia’s children, to the extent Kylo went to the Dark Side and sort the teachings of Luke’s father. This broke up the trios friendship and he went into hiding. The Jedi fall into myth again.
This is until he’s discovered in the second film by which point we have some mirroring with The Empire Strikes Back as Rey seeks out Jedi training, possibly in conflict with her parents.
I don’t think Luke will die like Yoda did. I suspect he’ll feature in the first and second film and may well go on to realise his destiny and re-start the Jedi Order. After all, the order needs someone who is wise and powerful to give all those young folks advice. That’s hope, he may actually die by the end of the third film, as Rey needs some reason to face off against the bad guys by herself, rather than rely on Luke.
Bring On The 17th December
Despite encountering relatively few spoilers, two trailers and a poster and then I stopped (I’ve avoided the copious amounts of TV spots), I suspect it’s quite easy to piece together the film. I guess the middle act is the one that’s most confusing. I may be totally wrong, which would be great, but I’d put a small amount of money on a core of the above holding up.
Despite all this, I’m really looking forward to the 17th December. Even if it turns out the film isn’t as good as I hope, the odds that they will be as disappointing as the prequels is pretty low. The performances just come off the screen in the trailers, so it looks like we can expect the best performances in the Star Wars film in The Force Awakens. I’ve also watched the second trailer a handful of times, not to piece together the plot, as at least half those ‘viewings’ were with my eyes closes. The impact of the sound on that trailer, and I assume the film, is absolutely phenomenal. It’s entirely possible The Force Awakens is going to be worth the price of entry even if you never open your eyes.
Beyond that, let’s wait and see. In Star Wars terms it’s certainly interesting times.