Friday, 1 January 2016

The Force Awakens - Questions


Carry on below the break.

Who the hell is Rey? 

Well, we know who she is, but where does she come from? Rey's ability with the Force, with no training whatsoever, is remarkable, stronger than any character we've seen before. We know that she was abandoned on Jakku, seemingly to the hands of her alien employer Unkar Plott, by her family, and has been waiting for them to return for her ever since. Given that the villainous Kylo Ren was revealed to be Han and Leia's son, the obvious question is whether Rey is, too, related to the characters of the first trilogy.

I can't imagine she's another child of Han and Leia; given their desperate need to get their son back, they're hardly likely to leave their daughter on some planet. Some have suggested she's Han's illegitimate daughter by another woman, which isn't impossible, but strikes me as poor plot choice. Lots are expecting her to be Luke's daughter, which is more likely, but seems a bit too trite. A more interesting idea would be a connection to Obi-Wan. There's seemingly some link in that his voice (both his voices!) are briefly heard during Rey's "Force vision." Personally, I'd prefer it if she turned out to be just another person, who happens to have a natural gift for the Force and no familial link to the other principle players. Not everyone has to be related, after all. Whoever her parents are, they're right bastards for dumping her on Jakku.

Who the hell is Snoak?

The mysterious leader of the First Order, who speaks to Kylo Ren and General Hux through a towering hologram. I'm assuming, for the moment, that he isn't actually that gigantic, and just has a ridiculously huge hologram for ego purposes. Looking at him, he's possibly human, and certainly ancient and disfigured, probably distorted by years of Dark Side abuse. The novelisation of the film, which is based on an earlier draft of the script and therefore not entirely reliable, reportedly strongly suggests that Snoak was active behind the scenes before the Empire was established. Of course, the hologram we see may actually be nothing like Snoak's true appearance, raising the intriguing possibility he's someone we've already met. If he turns out to be Jar Jar Binks I'm going to do the Ewok dance of joy.

What makes Finn so different from the other Stormtroopers?

It's apparent that Finn is just one member of a huge stormtrooper army, created by taking tiny children and raising them to be dedicated soldiers. He must have undergone rigorous psychological conditioning over a period of years. He's never displayed any nonconformist tendencies in any of his evaluations. Yet, upon his first battle, he is so horrified by what he sees that he immediately makes an escape with a prisoner of his government. Aside from the mixed message of humanising the stormtroopers before showing dozens of them mown down, this raises some questions. Just how was Finn, unlike any of his brethren (with the possible exception of his comrade who dies with him on Jakku) able to display these tendencies, and why did they never show up before? Seemingly there's some level of friendship and fraternisation allowed in the ranks, given his turn of phrase and that he knows what a boyfriend is, so it's not a case of robotic brainswashing. Still, it seems remarkable that he could turn on his heels like this with no previous hints of conscience. It makes me wonder, does Finn have some Force sensitivity that protects him? He also seems pretty good with a lightsaber on his first go.

Did Han really think his son could just come back with him?

Because surely he'd at least be put on trial. Guy had the blood of millions on his hands.

How did Maz get hold of the Skywalker lightsaber?

Maz is over a thousand years old and has the legendary Jedi's lost weapon, which he dropped when said weapon's previous owner lopped his hand off. Who was hanging around the gullies of Cloud City to catch that? What happened to his Luke's hand, while we're at it? I can imagine Maz getting hold of the lightsaber from one of her less-than-salubrious bar patrons, but there's definitely an interesting story to be told there.

What the hell has Luke been doing for the last few years?

I hope he hasn't been standing on that one spot all that time. Where does he live on that rock? That may, possibly, be a gravestone by his foot, which is intriguing... or it might just be an interesting rock. I hope he does find rocks interesting, because there's not much else for him to look at on Craggy Island.

Why did R2-D2 suddenly pop back to life?

It's suggested by some that C-3PO and BB-8's presence sets R2 rebooting, but there's nothing in the finished film that suggests this. He just switches back on, and beams out a shedload of data that might have been really bloody important over the last few years. Maybe it's a Force thing, and Rey's presence triggered it... but there's even less evidence of that. At least no Bothans died for that information.

Who's King Prana?

Han is smuggling three horrific, man-eating monstrosities for someone called King Prana, who's hinted at being very bad news. The last time Han name-dropped like this, it was Jabba the Hutt. We're definitely going to see King Prana in a future film - maybe even the Han Solo prequel.

Who's Max von Sydow playing, and what's he been up to?

He's barely in the movie before he gets killed off, but von Sydow's character, Lor San Tekka, is clearly set up as a kind of Obi Wan figure with a hell of a backstory, both with Kylo ren and Poe Dameran. Surely there's more to learn about this guy? Is he a Jedi? An associate of Luke's? He was blatantly involved in Kylo Ren's training in some way.

Why doesn't anyone in this galaxy know what a parsec is?

I mean, really.

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