This is my second article on Star Wars Episode VII, so it's easy to assume I'm obsessed. How rude! Yet, true. Here, I'd like to delve into seven aspects of interest (some, potentially 'Achilles heels') arising from possible inconsistencies with previous films in the franchise.
When Luke left us he was bright, happy, clear-headed. Jedi go-getter, surrounded by an exuberant victory dance. This warrior'd just vanquished Emperor Palpatine (AKA Darth Sidious), the rotten Empire'd crumbled - the galaxy was partying!!! Given that Luke voluntarily isolated himself (seemingly before baddies reemerged), what made this space-dude crack? Allegedly, the force. Twisted him, forcing him to abandon the rebel gang - suggesting Luke's initially AWOL. But this plot point raises further questions: Does the force itself have a dark side? ie. can a Jedi master overdose on their own powers? Or has his deadbeat dad (you know, Darth) been corrupting him from the Netherworld (despite Darth's eventual about-face in Ep' VI)?
I have it on good authority (from an even more obsessed star wars fan) that he's relocated to the Dagobah system (Yoda's pad). And to me (both in terms of storyline, and above image), that makes sense - sorta. It also makes sense to incorporate familiar places. But it doesn't have to be Dagobah. There's other planets, such as Endor (home to the deceptively strong Ewoks - I mean, how else did they hoist those logs used to pop those Imperial Walkers?), and Kashyyyk (Chewbacca's neck of the woods). Both planets, potential options if you're after a reclusive, nomadic lifestyle. Does this mean Luke's out of action? Retired? Well, it does suggest Luke'll be a greater participant in Episode VIII.
Retrieved by newcomer Finn, Luke's lightsaber (originally Anakin's) is no longer floating through space. It's been recovered. Resting, on what appears Tatooine, but probably Jakku. My initial proposal: Luke planted it during one of his covert fly-by missions - during one of his trips to restock his food supplies. Cunning, as it signals he's alive, wanting to reconnect, but afraid he'll be rejected. Well...given he wasn't actually in possession of it (remember when Darth diced him up on Cloud City, catapulting his arm/saber?), this theory was always doomed. But the question remains: How did his lightsaber end up on another planet? When it was literally pooped out the rear end of Cloud City? Well...here's where the plot thickens. You see, Finn is purportedly Cloud City's Lando Calrissian's son. Yeah, uh-huh, I know.
Before I attempt to shed light on this, it's important to point outit's no longer "Empire". It's now "First Order". If you want my reasoning behind this name change - to pizazz it up to attract investors (ahem). So what's going on in the above image? Have they mustered miscreants from the local pub? Doling out metallic outfits in return for unquestioning allegiance? Well, doesn't appear to be some overnight ragtag ie. Lando Calrissian's son is one of these Storm Troopers - who aren't quite "Storm Troopers". No, this ain't a rebranding effort. This ain't the Empire reborn. More so, imitators, united to carry out the unfinished biz of the Empire.
Where will they set up shop? Coruscant? Death Star 3? Jabba's joint? (not Jaba Point) Well, I don't think it's gonna be a traditional hi-tech setting. These guys aren't the Empire, so a distinction needs to be made. However, an evil base needs to be somewhere sinister. Frigid, inhospitable. So it might just be Hoth (where the rebels took on those robotic dinosaur thingamabobs).
In terms of characters, there's a combo of old & new. How this plays out'll be interesting, given the mainstay (ie Luke, Leia, Han, and their pets) hail from another era. I don't mean "modernization" though - given Episode VII's story world parallels Ep' IV-VI's. More so, commentary on the general mood(s) ie. while Han's quips and Leia's jibes once added levity, Ep' VII seems darker. For one, it partially resembles Nazi Germany. For two, characters are emotionally damaged. So how they marry old with new'll be interesting. But to me, particularly so when it comes to C3PO. How will this lighthearted pacifist fit into this darkened world, when his primary function is comic relief? Well, I know that matte red arm won't cut it.
It's safe to assume Han and Leia eventually shacked up, or at least took a cruise. Rumour suggests they got hitched, but split. Post-divorce, Leia appears to have been promoted (or demoted) to a politician. But Han = Freelance pilot? Stripogram? Well, appears he's been loafing around. Smuggler turned bludger, possibly losing his Millennium Falcon! Anyway, with a nice portion focusing on Han, this should be well and truly answered. What mightn't be, is how someone else could possibly pilot his ship. Powered by three recycled droid brains, unreliable, headache for whoever takes over. Perhaps this (and not a quest to stretch the merchandise dollar) might explain it's modifications.
VII) DARTH VADER - WASN'T HE S'POSED TO BRING BALANCE TO THE FORCE, OR SOMETHING?
It was reiterated, Anakin Skywalker (AKA Darth Vader) would restore balance. Sure, it took several decades; slight detour. But it eventually came to fruition - after he slam-dunked the Empo' down a shaft. Palpatine carked it, justice prevailed, Sith were sent packing. So what happened? Prophesy wrong? Anakin's trials and tribulations in vain? Or will he still restore balance by virtue of being Luke's dad? Furthermore, George Lucas once asserted another sequel was unfeasible, given there was no story left. Did Lucas decapitate the franchise (and thus integrity of any sequels) by ending the diabolical Palpatine? This conundrum perhaps requires considering Ep's VII-IX a new chapter, with new bad guys. Nevertheless, if this is a plot hole, it pales in comparison to Luke and Leia's kiss (in my opinion).
Star Wars Episode VII The Force Awakens is released on Thursday 17th December 2015. Bookings and session times are now available. I recommend IMAX, but it'll be awesome at any cinema.
Luke was the one prophesied to bring balance - the Jedi incorrectly assumed it was Anakin due to his natural talent and high 'midichlorian' count. Tragedy ensued, thus setting the stage for Luke to become a hero. Yoda hid on Dagobah as it was the crash site of an ancient Sith vessel. The 'cave' where Luke fights the image of Vader/himself is actually in the crashed ship. Due to the high level of ambient Sith energy at the site, Yoda was able to hide/cover/disguise his own Jedi energy, thus avoiding detection and persecution by Palpatine after Order 66. It makes sense for Luke to use the same site as the Empire never discovered it. The concentration of Sith energy at Endor is actually in space, at the point where the Emperor died aboard the second Death Star. How nerdy do I sound? Lol.