Spoilers ahead, you’ve been warned.
I finally saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens last night. I’ve always loved Star Wars, though I am much more of a Trekkie. This is not by any means an in depth review. I just had a few thoughts and needed to write them down.
My first reaction upon leaving the theater was the text this to some friends:
I felt a great disturbance in the force, as if millions of fans suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly speechless. Something terrible has happened.
R.I.P. Han Solo. Scoundrel, smuggler, general, and scruffy looking nerf herder.
Yeah, I’m sure he would take great offense at that last part. If there is one thing that I want to see happen in Episode VIII and IX, its Chewbacca ripping off Kylo Ren’s arms and beating him to death with them, though I kind of doubt that will happen. I did love that Chewy shot him.
That’s all I have to say about that.
I thought the movie was fantastic. The acting was superb, I loved the action, the humor, and most of all the blatant references to movies past. “Is there a garage chute…or trash compactor?” “How do we blow it up? There’s always a way to do that.” Han always had the best lines. I thought the effects were great. I thought I was going to be annoyed that BB8 was not R2D2. I thought going in that we didn’t need a new main droid. They certainly could have used R2 instead, but BB grew on me really quickly. This was an amazing movie and truly a worthy successor to the original trilogy.
My main reason for writing this blog is a crazy theory I had while driving home from the movie. I am sure I’m completely wrong, and I’m certainly not a super knowledgeable Star Wars fan, so I’m probably missing the point on a lot of things, and probably am not the only one who has thought of it, but here it is anyway.
Way back in The Phantom Menace (chronologically speaking) Qui Gon Jinn thought that Anakin was the one who was prophesied to bring balance to the force. In, I believe it was Revenge of the Sith, Yoda, Mace Windu, and Obi Wan Kenobi are talking about Anakin and the prophecy, and Yoda says “A prophecy that misread could have been.” I know that haters of the prequels want to ignore everything in them, but I think when all is said and done, the entire Star Wars story is the story of the fulfillment of the prophecy.
Let’s look at Anakin’s story. By chance, he ended up being trained as a Jedi, but was never quite what a Jedi should be. His arrogance, and lust for power prevented him for completely embracing the Jedi way. Why did Anakin ultimately turn to the dark side? For all his faults, in the end, he would have done the right thing, but he needed to save Padme. While twisted, his ultimate goal was to save the woman he loved and his unborn child. He never truly embraced the dark side, and after her death, he simply lacked the will to care until Luke was in danger.
Like his father, Luke also ended up being trained by chance. Who knows if it would have ever happened if R2D2 and C3PO hadn’t ended up on Tatooine. Like his father, he was older, full of fear, and very much not what the Jedi came to expect its members. In the end, he faced Vader, not just to become a Jedi, but to save his father and to protect his sister, not completely unlike Anakin’s motives in turning to the dark side. In Return of the Jedi, it’s ultimately his desire to protect Leia that leads him to cut of Vader’s hand. At that moment, he had a choice. He could have killed Vader and joined the emperor, thereby keeping Leia safe. That’s sort of what Anakin did. Instead, he resists the dark side and refuses to kill his father.
It’s Anakin and Luke’s refusal to embrace the dark side while having some of it within them that I think makes Kylo Ren so fascinating. Ren did not resist the dark side. He embraced it. It’s not the dark he struggles with tempting him, he struggles with the temptation of the light. By choosing the dark, he did what Anakin never could do. And then, like Luke, reached the same crossroads. Spare his father’s life and be saved as Luke was, or kill him and make his journey to the dark side complete. We know the choice he made.
So, here’s my crazy theory. I think in Episode VIII, we will finally learn what the prophecy is. It’s kind of perfect that Lucas never actually told us what it was, so Abrams can craft it to fit his story. Ultimately, I think the one who is destined to bring balance to the force, is the one who fully embraces the dark side and then travels back to the light, which neither Anakin nor Luke did. I think that is Kylo Ren’s destiny. It’s not the one he wants now, but is ultimately what he will do.
And if that is true, it may answer the question of why Luke went into exile. He may have known that Kylo Ren had to complete his journey to the dark side and kill Han. Yoda could not interfere in Luke’s battle with Vader Empire Strikes Back, and Luke knows he couldn’t stand by and watch Han die, so he goes into exile so that events can unfold as they are meant to without his interference. That would be an awesome twist.
Yeah, I know. In ten minutes I will probably realize that sounds stupid.
Lastly, I do have a few things to say about Finn, Rey, and Luke. I assumed, given that he was using a lightsaber in the trailer that Finn was a Jedi. I don’t think he is one at all. I think he might be a clone, but I’m not sure how much that matters. I think he will be a hugely important character, but I doubt he will be a Jedi.
Rey is fascinating. Who are her parents? If it were Han and or Leia, I think we would know. Could she be Luke’s daughter? I think that is possible, especially since Luke is not the prototypical Jedi, and it would be fitting for him to have ultimately had a child as his father did. I would love that parallel. It would also explain why she was left on Jakku. After failing so badly to train Kylo Ren, and with his other students murdered by him, I think Luke would be afraid of being his daughter’s destruction. My money is on her being Luke’s daughter, but who knows? I do think that whoever her parents are, that will be very important.
Rey is a lot stronger with the force than any other untrained Jedi we’ve met. Anakin could race pods because the force was strong with him, but he couldn’t, as far as we know, use the Jedi mind trick. I think the same is true of Luke. I think Rey is far more powerful than all of them. Why? I have no idea, but I don’t think it was just out of convenience that she used Jedi powers without being trained. Or perhaps her training began when she was small and she just doesn’t remember (or had her memory altered to protect her, that is also a possibility).
And as for Luke’s role in the next movie, it seems too easy that her finding Luke is because he is going to train her. After he failed so badly with Kylo Ren, I think he’s not going to want to train her at all. Obi Wan failed with Anakin. Luke failed with Kylo Ren. I think a big part of the next movie will be about Luke’s journey back from his failure with Kylo Ren to train Rey.
So, that’s all I’ve got. It’s all completely wrong I’m sure. Guess we’ll find out in Summer 2017.
Thanks for reading!