October 30, 2012 Disney shook the entertainment World by purchasing the entirety of Lucasfilm from George Lucas. On the same day they were quick to announce that Star Wars Episode VII was going into development.
More than three years later on December 18, 2015 , also ten years since the last Star Wars film was released, The Force Awakens opens to thunderous applause.
While the film was critically and financially successful there are many who criticize it for being too similar to that of Episode IV: A New Hope.
To get caught up and get the full effects of our journey towards Episode IX check out our other look backs
A Look Back ‘ Star Wars Return of the Jedi’
A Look Back ‘Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back’
A Look Back ‘Star Wars A New Hope’
A Look Back ‘ Rogue One A Star Wars Story’
A Look Back ‘ Solo A Star Wars Story’
A Look Back ‘Star Wars Revenge of the Sith’
A Look Back ‘Star Wars Attack of the Clones’
A Look Back ‘Star Wars The Phantom Menace’
It’s been roughly thirty years since The destruction of Death Star II. Luke Skywalker, the last known Jedi, has disappeared. The First Order, built from the remnants of the old Galactic Empire, and the Resistance, a small military group working outside the support of the New Republic are searching for the missing Jedi.
Ace pilot Poe Dameron is instructed by General Leia Organa to go to the planet of Jakku and retrieve a piece of a map that can help lead them to finding her lost brother.
Shortly after Poe arrives the First Order, led by the evil Kylo Ren, shows up. With his quick thinking Poe puts the piece of the map in the care of his trusty Droid BB-8 who rushes away into the desert. Dameron is captured and taken aboard Kylo’s Star Destroyer above the planet.
We are introduced to Rey, the protagonist of the new trilogy. She lives alone inside of a wrecked AT-AT on the planet of Jakku. Left on the planet as a child for unknown reasons.
She comes across the droid BB-8 and they quickly become friends.
A Stormtrooper by the name of FN-2187 was on the grounds of Jakku when he witnessed Kylo Ren and his First Order destroy a small village and capture the Resistance Pilot Poe Dameron. This didn’t sit well with him and he makes a move to help free the pilot from the interrogation room that Kylo held him in. But not before they were able to obtain the information about the BB unit holding the map somewhere on Jakku.
FN-2187 and Poe make their way to the hanger bay where they commandeer a Tie Fighter and make their way towards the planet. Despite FN-2187’s (Now going by the name of Finn) pleas to get as far away from The First Order as possible.
They are hit with a torpedo and crash land on the planet. When awaking from in the wreckage Finn is unable to locate Poe. Fearing the worst he begins his journey to the nearest town that he can find.
Rey heads to Lima Outpost to trade some of her findings for food. While at Unkar Plutt’s stand he notices she has a BB unit with her to which he is willing to give her 60 portions for. Realizing the droid is like her lost and waiting for someone she doesn’t take the offer and moves on.
Unkar Plutt radios to someone informing them that the droid is there.
Finn finds his way to Lima Outpost and oversees Rey being mugged as a group of men attempt to take BB-8 from her. She fights them off when B-8 notices that Finn is wearing Poe’s jacket. Rey yells towards him and he begins to run away. She catches up to him and he explains that The Droid needs to get to the Resistance.
Just as they are talking Tie Fighters can be heard in the distance. Finn grabs Rey’s hand and he begins to run pulling her along. They nearly get blasted and both fall to the ground. Both of them get up and begin running towards a Quad Jumper which gets destroyed. They make a course correction and head towards…… The Millennium Falcon.
Rey jumps in the pilot seat while Finn gets into one of the Gunner turrets and the chase begins. It becomes apparent that Rey has piloting skills and and strong understanding of the controls of the Falcon. Before you know it the Tie Fighters are destroyed and the two make their way into space.
Kylo Ren, aboard his Star Destroyer, is informed that the BB unit had escaped the planet of Jakku with the help of the traitor FN-2187 and a girl. Kylo angrily questions who this girl is.
A large ship piloted by Han Solo and Chewbacca captures and reclaims the Falcon. Finn and Rey hide on the ship before being discovered by the two former Rebellion heroes. As Han attempts to take control of the famed Millennium Falcon gangs seeking to settle debts with him attack the ship.
After some witty banter and the wrath of Rathtars Han and the others escape in the Falcon.
At the First Order’s Starkiller Base, a planet converted into a star-powered superweapon, Supreme Leader Snoke allows General Hux to use the weapon for the first time.
It is during this interaction that Snoke Reveals that Han Solo is in possession of the BB unit that Kylo had been searching for. The Supreme Leader questions Kylo’s ability to deal with emotions he has in regards to his father, Han Solo. Kylo assures his Leader that Han means nothing to him.
It’s True… All of It
Aboard the Falcon, Han determines that BB-8’s map is incomplete. He then explains that Luke attempted to rebuild the Jedi Order but exiled himself when an apprentice turned to the dark side, destroyed the temple, and slaughtered the other apprentices.
The crew travels to the planet Takodana and meets with Maz Kanata, who offers assistance getting BB-8 to the Resistance.
Rey is drawn by the Force to a secluded vault, where she finds the lightsaber once belonging to Luke and his father, Anakin Skywalker. She experiences disturbing visions drops the lightsaber and flees into the woods, confused and terrified.
The First Order’s Wrath
On Starkiller Base General Hux addresses the First Order military as they prepare for the destruction of a planetary system which is home to the New Republic’s capitol and senate.
Kylo Ren Arrives
The First Order attacks Takodana in search of BB-8. Han, Chewbacca, Finn and Rey. Kylo Ren finds Rey in the woods while the First Order military captures our other heroes.
When all appears to be lost Han, Chewy, BB-8 and Finn are saved by Resistance X-wing fighters led by Poe, who survived the crash on Jakku.
Kylo takes the captured Rey to his ship and the First Order leaves the planet.
General Leia arrives at Takodana with C-3PO and reunites with Han.
At the Resistance base on D’Qar, BB-8 finds R2-D2, who has been inactive and attempts to wake him up with no success.
It’s discovered that Starkiller Base is preparing to fire once more. This time on the Resistance base on D’Qar. To save the fleet and what is left of the New Republic the Resistance leaders devise a plan to go to Starkiller base and destroy the weapon before it is too late.
Strong in the Force She is
Kylo Ren attempts to read Rey’s mind. While he is somewhat successful she pushes back and reads his discovering his conflicted emotions and fear of not being good enough.
Using the Falcon, Han, Chewbacca, and Finn infiltrate Starkiller base. They find Rey and begin plant explosives to disable the shields.
While planting the bombs Han confronts his son Kylo Ren (Ben). He implores him to abandon the dark side and stresses that it isn’t too late to go back with them.
Kylo seems to consider this explaining to his father the conflict within and pleads for help. Ultimately Kylo succumbs to the dark and murders his father.
Devastated, Chewbacca shoots Kylo and sets off the explosives, allowing Poe to attack and destroy the base’s thermal oscillator, which begins a fatal chain reaction from the planet’s core.
Rey and Finn after witnessing the death of Han begin to make their escape and start heading back to the Falcon.
I can Teach You the Ways of the Force
The injured Kylo pursues Finn and Rey into the woods. Finn fights Kylo to protect Rey, but Kylo knocks him unconscious.
Rey takes the lightsaber and begins to fight Kylo. While they seem evenly matched at this time (due to Kylo’s injury. As the planet begins to buckle from the battle going on above Rey is pushed to the edge and channels the Force. As Kylo sees this happening he pleads with her to allow him to train her and teach her how to use the Force. Rey resists and is able to defeat Kylo in a duel. They are then separated by a fissure as the planet surface begins to splinter.
Snoke orders Hux to evacuate and bring Kylo to him to complete his training. Chewbacca rescues Rey and the unconscious Finn, and they escape aboard the Falcon. As the Resistance forces flee, Starkiller Base implodes, forming a star.
On D’Qar, Leia, Rey and Chewbacca mourn Han’s death. R2-D2 awakens and reveals the rest of the map, which Rey and Chewbacca use to find the oceanic planet Ahch-To via the Falcon. After landing on a small remote island, Rey climbs a mountain and finds Luke at the summit. Without a word, she offers him the lightsaber.
Story Impact / Review
As A story this film set the tone of what transpired over the last 30 years since the events of Return of the Jedi. While a New Republic was established remnants of the Empire remained calling themselves, The First Order.
To this point we have no idea what happened to Luke Skywalker except he secluded himself on a Planet after one of his Padawan’s turned and destroyed his Jedi Temple. It is believed that Kylo Ren is this former student who was corrupted by Supreme Leader Snoke.
Han Solo and Leia had a child named Ben. Apparently to honor the fallen Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi.
This films does an alright job in to the previous 6 films. However, there wasn’t much to go off of besides what I noted above.
What it Meant to me
For me the experience was AMAZING. In 2005 I didn’t think we would ever get a new Star Wars movie. I also never thought I would get to experience Star Wars with my kids. Going to see this movie in theaters with my kids was quite the experience and one I will never forget. It was my youngest sons first film and his reaction to the screen was fantastic.
As for the movie itself I absolutely loved it. While many complain about how similar it was to that of A New Hope. I was perfectly content with that aspect and was excited to see where these new characters would go from here.