Will Star Wars: The Force Awakens Meet the Fans Demands? Guest Post by Elizabeth Eckhart

Just ONE MORE DAY (or a few more hours for you lucky ducks who live somewhere that’s doing a midnight release) until EPISODE 7!  WOO!  I don’t know about you, but I’m going to have to avoid social media until hubs and I can go see it.  Meanwhile, I’m leaving you with this guest post from Elizabeth Eckhart.  Take it away!


Anticipation has never been higher with the release of the new Star Wars film, The Force Awakens, nearly upon us. Ever since the initial announcement of the movie, fans have been wildly guessing what we should expect, and with each small bit of information these fan theories have only increased and become widespread and complex as ever. Although we can’t know for sure if our theories are correct until we actually see the film, we do have a lot of information on what we should definitely see in this new installment.


When director J.J. Abrams first announced that he planned to use less CGI and more practical effects in The Force Awakens, many fans were skeptical of his claim. After all, how would there be any stepping back from the CGI-heavy prequels? However, with the first images and videos from the set showing aliens played by people in costumes and puppets and even a full-scale Millennium Falcon set built, fans began to have hope again.


Both the old and new cast and their characters in particular have almost universally been embraced by the community, since they were first introduced. The return of old favorites like Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher as Han Solo and Princess Leia, respectively, as their older selves has caused much excitement and approval. Even new characters like John Boyega as former stormtrooper Finn and Daisy Ridley as desert Scavenger Rey, have been met with welcome arms. However, one new droid to join us in the seventh film has caused such a huge stir all around: BB-8. This adorable soccer ball-looking robot could give everyone’s favorite R2-D2 a run for his money.


With the addition of these new characters comes new questions. Rey in particular holds many secrets. In one of the more recent trailers, she claims to be “no one,” but, in Star Wars tradition, is more than likely to have a great destiny. Who is she, really? Why is she alone on the desert planet of Jakku? One of the more popular theories is that she is either the daughter of Han and Leia or the daughter of Luke Skywalker, abandoned and anonymous for her own safety. Whatever the case, she seems to be a capable survivor and claims to be a great pilot, and fans will soon find out who she really is.


Another character mystery is that of Kylo Ren, the new dark side character played by Adam Driver. We have been told that he is not a Sith, but that he is following in Darth Vader’s footsteps. The trailers seem to confirm this, with him holding the partially-melted helmet of Vader and promising to finish what someone – presumably Vader – started. As Ren is not a Sith, this makes everyone wonder: will he have dark side powers previously unseen? We know that his lightsaber, a more brutal style with a crossguard, is not a style seen before, so why shouldn’t he have a unique set of powers? Once again, the world will know for sure soon.


One last character mystery has been making the rounds. Where is Luke Skywalker? Mark Hamill has definitely been cast in the film, and seems to take pleasure in teasing the fans about the fate of Luke. But except for a glimpse of a robed figure with a robotic hand in the trailers, Luke has yet to be seen. Is he in exile? Has he gone into hiding, or some sort of Jedi spiritual retreat? Will he come riding back in a blaze of glory with a bunch of fancy new Jedi powers? Some fans even speculate that he has gone to the dark side.


Regardless of these mysteries, the film promises great things. The aerial battles that have always been a part of Star Wars will be present, as we’ve seen with scenes of both X-wing pilots in action and the Millennium Falcon in flight. Fans have more lightsaber battles to look forward to. And given a shot of Rey crying over what looks like a body, there may be some emotional upheaval as well. Until the film’s release, previous films and the spinoffs including Star Wars Rebels and Star Wars: Droid Tales can be enjoyed on outlets like DirecTV and Disney XD. And after its release, we can all enjoy another chapter of this rich story.


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