Archive for December, 2015

‘The Force Awakens’ Predictions

December 10, 2015

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We’re exactly one week away from the first (public, U.S.) showings of “Star Wars – The Force Awakens.” Obviously, this is one of the most highly anticipated and hyped releases ever, thanks largely to J.J. Abram’s ability to tease fanboys like me. So here it is: my predictions for what will go happen in the latest “Star Wars” film. Let me acknowledge that I know few (if any) of these ideas are uniquely mine; the internet is full of speculation as to what will go down. Here’s where I come down on guessing some of the big unanswered questions:

Rey is Han and Leia’s kid. Obviously the “saga” films have to follow some descendant of Anakin Skywalker. And obviously Han and Leia shack up for at least a little while after Endor. My guess, things go pretty well for the Rebels after they blow up Death Star II. So Han and Leia settle down, have a kid, then something (let’s call it the First Order) shows up which forces Leia to hide her kid on some random desert planet for its protection (hey, Luke turned out alright). And if that’s not obvious enough, just look:

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I’m not convinced that Daisy Ridley isn’t the actual love child of Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher.

No other kids. Not any that will play a significant role, anyway. There’s lots of rumors that Kylo is a Skywalker. And that Finn is Lando’s or Mace Windu’s kid. And that BB-8 was conceived after R2’s first night serving drinks on Jabba’s sail barge. Trying to make all these big connections to old characters is a cheap gimmick. Remember how much we loved when we found out that Anakin built Threepio? Or how much more we learned about Boba Fett after we met his dad? Or how much Yoda and Chewie’s friendship made sense? Sure, there will be have to be some things connecting the old cast with the new. But having too many new characters wind up being someone familiar’s kid would just seem too limiting, both in terms of the actors’ performances and the characters’ development.

Luke’s still good! J.J. and Mark Hamill have both made statements that suggest there’s something up with Luke. Considering how dark things got in “Jedi,” there’s lots of speculation that Luke winds up finally giving in to the Dark Side. I say there’s no way. Sure, Luke starts to go down a bad path when he starts hacking at Vader’s hand. But in that moment he realizes that he can make the choice that his father couldn’t. Luke makes it pretty clear to the Emperor that he’d rather die than give in to his anger. He’s still naive and improperly trained, but that’s exactly why Luke can make such a conscious, deliberate decision. He’s pure good at that point, and I don’t think anything can take that away.

Except that Luke probably accidentally created the new evil. One of the more plausible theories I’ve heard is that the new baddies–the Knights of Ren–were formed by Luke as the new crop of Jedi. Considering how naive and improperly trained he was, he probably wasn’t all that great at managing a group of crazy powerful wizards. I’m guessing Luke winds up in self-exile after he realizes how badly he screwed up, despite his good intentions, solidifying him as the Yoda or Obi-Wan of the new trilogy.

Han lives. There’s lots of reasons why fans think he’s going to be offed. First, Harrison Ford famously wanted Han killed off at the end of “Jedi.” From what I can tell, that was because Ford saw Han become a significantly more boring character in that movie. And he’s right. I don’t think killing Han off is what would have made Ford come back to the role. I think writing him as an interesting character is what brought him back. So I don’t see that as being any proof that Han will eat it in this movie.

Secondly, there’s the idea that Han’s death would give the audience a reason to hate the bad guy who killed him. Except that I wouldn’t hate Kylo Ren for killing Han. I’m a petty fanboy. I’d hate J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan for doing it.

Third, and a really common one online, is the idea that Han sacrificing himself would be a way for the character to fully overcome his selfishness and loner lifestyle. Except that Han already does this. Several times. In each movie. He chases down all those Stormtroopers on the Death Star. He searches for Luke, even though his Tauntaun will freeze before he reaches the first marker. He takes a shot at Vader without skipping a beat. he lets himself get frozen in Carbonite. He volunteers to lead the ground troops to destroy the Death Star shield generator. Han’s already proven himself as a hero. He’s just reckless and insanely lucky, but that’s why we love him.

There will be a post-credits scene. Well, it’ll be a sneak peek at “Rogue One.” Which will still be awesome.

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