Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens
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Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) More at IMDbPro »Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (original title)

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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Star Wars: The Force Awakens can be found here.

It's been thirty years since the Rebel Alliance defeated the Galactic Empire in the Battle of Endor and destroyed the second Death Star, and the galaxy is again in darkness. A tyrannical regime called the First Order led by Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) is bent on dominating the galaxy, and the Resistance, a guerrilla force under the command of General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), and backed by the reinstated Galactic Republic, fights to save the galaxy from the First Order. On the desert planet Jakku, Rey (Daisy Ridley), a desert scavenger with a mysterious past, crosses paths with the droid BB-8 and Finn (John Boyega), a former First Order stormtrooper, and Rey learns that the First Order is after BB-8 because BB-8 is carrying secret information on the whereabouts of the legendary Jedi knight Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), who has disappeared, and that they must stop BB-8 from falling into the hands of the First Order and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), a member of a Sith-like order called the Knights of Ren. Joined by the legendary space pirates Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), Rey and Finn set out to get BB-8 to the Resistance base; and they aid the Resistance in infiltrating the First Order's Starkiller Base on a snowy planet, destroy a powerful superweapon extending beneath the planet's surface, and stop the First Order from using the weapon to destroy the Resistance base.

Yes; Episode VII, The Force Awakens, takes place approximately thirty years after the end of Episode VI, Return of the Jedi.

Yes, both R2-D2 and C-3PO are in the film, though in a more limited capacity than they were in the other films. New droid BB-8 takes center-stage for this adventure.

The First Order's Starkiller Base is a planet that has been modified to house a huge superweapon capable of destroying not just one planet (like the Death Star was) but multiple planets in a single strike from a great distance, targeting entire systems as opposed to one planet. It is therefore much larger and far more deadly than even the Death Star was. The Starkiller Base was named after George Lucas's original last name for Luke Skywalker (who was called Luke Starkiller in early drafts of the original Star Wars). The base is so called because it is powered by draining energy from a sun. The name "Starkiller" had also been previously used in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, both the video game and the accompanying novelization, as the name of Darth Vader's secret Sith apprentice.

No. The Force Awakens is an original story, though the creators said they would draw inspiration from the Expanded Universe, and they have to some degree. There are just too many characters and plotlines to try and tie in to a new film that your average movie-goer wouldn't understand. All stories previously published in novels, graphic novels, comics books, encyclopedias and other materials that tell what happened after the events of Episode VI, Return of the Jedi, are now referred to by Lucasfilm as "Star Wars Legends." As to what has not been retconned or otherwise is not different, the protagonists (or particularly Luke, Leia, Han, R2-D2 and C-3PO) of the original trilogy lived on, surviving for thirty years, in which time, Han and Leia were married and had a son who at some point adopted the ways of the dark side of the Force, taking on the archetype of the sorcerer in black who wields a red lightsaber. In The Force Awakens, it is only established that Han and Leia had one offspring; whereas in the old Expanded Universe, they had opposite-sex twins as well as a second son later on, the daughter being the last surviving offspring by the time of three decades after the events of Return of the Jedi. Chewbacca is also still alive and intact in the film versions of galactic history. The general idea of the Starkiller weapon is inspired by the Sun Crusher in conjunction with planetary defense concepts.

Finn, a.k.a. FN-2187, is a First Order stormtrooper who had been taken from his family at birth and raised/conditioned to be a loyal servant to the regime. In the novel Before The Awakening, his training in the First Order is detailed. He is the squad leader of a four man team of cadets, comprised of him, FN-2199 (a.k.a. Nines), FN-2000 (a.k.a. Zeroes), and FN-2003 (a.k.a. Slip). During his training, he gains the attention of Captain Phasma, due to his exemplary skills at leading his squad, marksmanship, melee and hand-to-hand fighting, combat tactics, and unit cohesion. He is said to be an elite Stormtrooper, with the potential to become an officer. Though Phasma starts to become suspicious of FN-2187, because he shows traits of empathy for Slip (the weak link in the unit). Finn also always felt like an outsider, questioning his role and the motives of the First Order. Even fellow Stormtroopers and his own unit recognize him as being different. The film starts with FN-2187 being sent into his first battle, then having one of his squad (Slip) killed immediately. Realizing he can't kill innocent civilians in cold blood, never fires his weapon. Phasma, already suspicious of him, schedules him for reconditioning.

Rey is a scavenger who has spent several years of her life on the planet Jakku, awaiting her family's returning to get her. She is compassionate, respecting life, even that of a droid. However she is willing to defend herself and kill if necessary. She is a skilled fighter, pilot and mechanic. Mid-way through the film, it is revealed that she is incredibly powerful in the Force, even with (according to another character) no training. There are several fan theories about her parentage. The leading theories are that she is: (1) Luke Skywalker's daughter; (2) Obi-Wan Kenobi's granddaughter or perhaps his niece; (3) both a Skywalker and a Kenobi; (4) daughter of Han Solo and Leia Organa, that perhaps Han didn't know about if he left Leia shortly after the conception; (5) a reincarnation of Anakin Skywalker or perhaps even another uniquely immaculately conceived individual, implying messiah; (6) a descendant of Palpatine; (7) somebody who was a Padawan in training, however had her memory wiped for her own safety; (8) an experimental genetically-engineered being, derived from cells in Luke's severed hand; or (9) none of the above and simply an individual with whom the Force is strong J.J. Abrams said in an interview that "Rey's parents are not in The Force Awakens". Which can all but rule out Han, Leia and Luke. However, Abrams may have been speaking in the plural sense, which may not completely rule out the possibility of one of her parents appearing in this film. Also, Abrams has been known to mislead fans in interviews in the hopes of surprising them when the project is released. So Rey's parents could still potentially be anybody.

In the novel Before The Awakening, it explains that Rey scavenged a flight simulator from the wreckage of a starship. Every night, Rey would practice flying the different ships available through different scenarios. Putting hundreds, if not thousands of hours into the simulator. Later on in the novel, after a sandstorm, Rey uncovers a near-intact hyperspace freighter. She spends several months repairing it, with the intention of selling it to Unkar Plutt. Eventually, she fixes it up completely and spends some time flying it around in the atmosphere. While her time flying an actual ship was limited, she at least had some experience. Which is why her rushed take-off of the Millennium Falcon was shaky to say the least.

No, First Order Stormtroopers are not and very few Galactic Imperial Stormtroopers were. The Galactic Republic, which became the Galactic Empire, originally had Clone troopers. However, throughout the years, the Empire started to phase out the clones of Jango Fett, or Clones altogether, and began to recruit or draft men from the normal Human populations throughout the galaxy. The First Order, while a remnant of the Empire, tried a different approach. They take infant children and raise/condition them from birth to be loyal servants to the Order.

No, although the voices of both Alec Guinness and Ewan McGregor can briefly be heard in one scene.

Lando does not appear in The Force Awakens, but writer Lawrence Kasdan has hinted that he may return at a later point. Actor Billy Dee Williams theorizes that because Lando didn't appear until the second film in the original trilogy, that perhaps he'll come back for the the sequel trilogy's second, Episode VIII. The interview can be read here.

TR-8R is the fan name for the riot control stormtrooper who gets in the melee fight with Finn. The name, is a play off the character's only line: "Traitor!" The character's real name is actually FN-2199, nicknamed "Nines". The novel Before The Awakening chronicles Finn's training as a First Order Stormtrooper, and Nines was part of Finn's unit before Finn deserted the First Order, which is why they recognized each other. In the story, Finn and Nines train in melee combat, and Finn actually bested Nines. Though that may be due to Nines being tired from fighting and beating four opponents previous to Finn.

No. Actor Denis Lawson, who played Wedge in the original trilogy, was approached to reprise his role, but when asked in an interview if he would appear, he simply said, "I'm not going to do that. It would just bore me." Lawson also turned down a cameo in Episode III as Captain Antilles, the long-time owner of R2-D2 and C-3PO in between Episodes III and IV.

Mark Hamill confirmed at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim that the line is spoken from Luke Skywalker. In fact, his lines in the trailer are a straight excerpt from a conversation he has with Leia in Return of the Jedi, just in a different order. Hamill also confirmed at Celebration that he did do a studio recording of the lines spoken in Jedi, and that J.J. Abrams did in fact use the newly recorded dialogue in the second teaser. His newly recorded lines can be heard in the teaser if one listens very closely, in the form of a whispery echo sound after each line of spoken dialogue.

Kylo Ren's cross-guarded lightsaber is a unique design, never seen before in the Star Wars films. The lightsaber is based on an ancient lightsaber design, however the weapon itself is a fairly new construct by Kylo Ren himself (Sith Lords, like the Jedi, build their own lightsaber as part of their training). The cross-guards are actually vents to help disperse the immense power of the unstable main blade. The vents also act as two small extra blades, that both protect the wielder's hands and can be used to injure an opponent if engaged in a saber-lock (as Ren did to Finn). The blade has a crackling fiery appearance because the crystal itself is cracked.

The Force Awakens introduces several new planets to the Star Wars franchise. (1) Jakku is a desert planet similar to Tatooine. A majority of the first act takes place here. It is home to the desert scavenger Rey, as well as Lor San Tekka. (2) Takodana is a planet covered in forests and lakes. It is home to Maz Kanata, who resides in a castle that also serves as a watering hole to smugglers, pirates and spies to the Resistance and First Order alike. (3) Starkiller Base is a planet that has been converted into a new superweapon by the First Order. Using the power of the sun, the weapon is capable of destroying entire solar systems. It has forests but is also covered in snow. It's unclear if the planet has constant winter, like Hoth, or if it was caused by the First Order's depleting of the sun. (4) Hosnian Prime is the new home of the reformed Galactic Senate. (5) D'Qar is the home of the new Resistance base and is located in the Outer Rim. (6) Ahch-To is the home of the first Jedi Temple (according to the novelization).

Lor San Tekka is an explorer and a member of the Church of the Force. The church is for people with whom the Force is not strong but believe in the ideals of the Jedi Order. After the new Jedi Order was destroyed by the Knights Of Ren, Tekka retired to the planet Jakku, where he discovered part of the map that lead to Luke Skywalker's location. Fans' theories suggest that he stayed on Jakku to keep watch over Rey, like Obi-Wan did for Luke. The canon Marvel comic book series Poe Dameron is set before the film and features Poe going around to different worlds on his hunt for Tekka, with the First Order also trying to find him first.

Snoke is the Supreme Leader of the First Order. He is also a Force user, who has trained Kylo Ren in the ways of the dark side of the Force. Little else is known about Snoke, though his holographic appearance suggests he is quite old with desiccated, severely scarred flesh. There are countless theories on whom Snoke may be, such as: (1) He is actually Darth Plagueis, Emperor Palpatine's Sith master, notable for his ability to keep people from dying. Plagueis, letting Palpatine believe he killed him in his sleep, retreated to the far reaches of the galaxy, biding his time until Palpatine fell. (2) He was formerly a secret apprentice of Palpatine or perhaps an Imperial Inquisitor. Acolytes trained in the dark side, but not considered Sith lords. (3) He is Ezra Bridger [From Star Wars: Rebels]. (4) He is Gallius Rax from the Star Wars: Aftermath trilogy of books. At the end of the third book, Empire's End, Rax is shot repeatedly and winds up dying. While this could explain Snoke's facial wounds, Rax is never shot in the face. He also was skeptical of the powers of the force, therefore he was never trained how to wield it. So it can be more or less confirmed that he is not Snoke.

The leading theory is that Luke and Leia kept their lineage a secret from the galaxy, so nobody knew that Darth Vader was actually Anakin Skywalker, father to Luke and Leia. Growing up, Ben Solo was showing that he was force sensitive and also showing anger and despair. "Too much Vader in him." as Han says. So Leia sent Ben to train with Luke. At some point, Ben learns that Darth Vader is his grandfather. Possibly Snoke revealed this to him. If Luke and Leia kept their parentage a secret, they wouldn't have told the story about how Vader redeemed himself and embraced the light side by saving Luke and casting Emperor Palpatine into the reactor. It was simply assumed that Vader and the Emperor died when the Death Star was destroyed. Once Ben turned to the dark side and became Kylo Ren, he decided to take up his grandfather's legacy, which was to hunt down and destroy the Jedi in the name of the dark side. As far as Kylo knows, this is what Vader started and intends to finish.

There a few factors that likely lead to Kylo Ren being weaker by the end of the film.

1. He is shot in the side by Chewbacca's bowcaster and was bleeding. Several times throughout the film, Chewie's weapon is shown to be extremely powerful, sending enemies flying in the air and taking out multiple targets with one hit. Kylo isn't sent flying back. In fact, he absorbs the impact and falls to one knee. He is likely using a lot of his concentration and Force powers to remain upright and conscious after taking the hit.

2. Kylo had just killed his own father. We have seen throughout the film, that Kylo is conflicted, torn between his family, his past and with the dark side of the Force. While he decided to fully pledge himself to the dark side by committing patricide, it is very likely still weighing heavy on his mind, distracting him.

3. It has been established that both Rey and Finn are skilled at hand-to-hand combat. Rey is seen early in the film, taking on two attackers single-handedly, a set of skills she likely learned growing up in solitude on the harsh scavenging planet, Jakku. Finn was raised from birth to become a First Order stormtrooper, and he has been trained in blasters and melee combat accordingly. Finn is also praised by Captain Phasma to have received high marks in combat training and was considered officer material.

4. Snoke mentions that Kylo's training has yet to be completed, therefore, while skilled, Kylo is not yet a master.

It's interesting to note, when the heroes first arrive at the Resistance base, BB-8 approaches R2 and tries to get him to wake up. C-3PO says that R2 has been in low power mode ever since Luke left. At the end of the film, when the heroes return, R2 powers up, meets BB-8, and together they project the entire map that leads to Luke. Soon after, Rey, Chewie and R2 depart to find Luke. If one looks closely, when the group first goes to the Resistance base, Rey isn't with them, as she was captured by the First Order. At the end, she returns to the base with the rest of the group and that's when R2 powers up. So it's likely he was waiting for her specifically and not the missing piece of the map.

No. Finn is very much alive. He was sliced up the back by Kylo Ren's lightsaber, which caused him to lose consciousness and put him in a coma. But with the futuristic healing techniques in the Star Wars universe, he will likely make a full recovery and be back for more adventures. He is in the sequel, The Last Jedi, but there is a theory he is therein paralyzed, yet he could use some form of bionic implants to maintain his ability to walk.

While no concrete answer has been provided, implications to these are made in the short story "The Perfect Weapon", released as part of the "Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens" book series. In the story, the character Bazine Netal (who appears in the movie as the female First Order spy in Maz Kanata's cantina) is hired by a mysterious client to get a package from a former Imperial stormtrooper who had fought in the Battle of Endor. While the contents of the package and the identity of the client were never confirmed, it is hinted that Kylo Ren was the client and the remains of Vader's helmet were the package.

Luke originally lost his hand during his duel with Darth Vader in Episode V, The Empire Strikes Back. At the end of that movie, he received an artificial hand that looked just like his normal one. In Episode VI, Return of the Jedi, Luke was shot in his prosthetic hand. He later covers his hand with a glove, and we can briefly see that the flesh on the hand is damaged (yet the hand apparently still functions normally). However, during Rey's Force vision and later in the final scene of The Force Awakens, Luke clearly has a mechanical hand devoid of flesh. One theory is that Luke never bothered replacing the damaged hand (as a reminder of how close he came to turning to the dark side) and the prosthetic flesh on it eventually deteriorated . Another theory is that Luke lost or damaged his prosthetic hand in a fight occurring after the events of Return of the Jedi but before one of the events shown in Rey's vision in The Force Awakens; in that perhaps Luke was trying to disappear from both the First Order and the Resistance, so he may not have been able to go to a high-level medical facility, out of fear of being recognized and his only option may have been a facility in a less familiar part of space, where he had to settle for any prosthetic he could find.

Technically, Luke did not take years to learn the ways of the Force either. As the prequel movies showed, a formal Jedi training normally took years, with the apprentice typically entering during early childhood, and finishing after reaching adulthood. However, in Episode IV, A New Hope, Luke is introduced to the Force by Obi-Wan who also gives him a lightsaber. Literally several hours later, Luke already succeeds in deflecting lasers while blindfolded, and he uses the Force to guide his torpedo to its target. When Luke duels with Darth Vader in Episode V, The Empire Strikes Back, he manages himself quite well, even though he only had a reltively short time training with Yoda. A lot of what Luke does seems pretty much self-taught, so apparently, some Jedi apprentices are strong in the Force and adept that they can master the basics much faster than others. It may take additional training by a Jedi Master to reach their full potential, though.

While Rey's parentage remains a mystery, it is evident that she's also incredibly powerful in the Force. However, she was able to perform the Jedi mind trick, telekinetically draw an object toward herself, and defeat a powerful Dark Side user, all without any training and barely any knowledge of the Force. It has been suggested that when Kylo Ren reached into Rey's mind to extract the image of the map, he unwittingly allowed her to reach into his mind as well. Therefore, the experience may have given her some knowledge of the Force. It's also possible that Rey already learned these powers, but they were suppressed for a mysterious reason. However, the Force was awakened in her when she took ahold of Luke's lightsaber in Maz Kanata's temple, hence the title of the film. Also, while the Jedi and the Sith were considered extinct, and Rey believed Luke Skywalker to be a myth, the Force was common knowledge, as "may the Force be with you" was a common saying. Therefore, it's likely people knew about the abilities to mind-trick and control objects from a distance. So Rey, hearing the stories, decided to make an attempt at it and succeeded.

It was also established by Obi-Wan in A New Hope, that the Force will partially control your actions, but will also obey your commands. Throughout the series, it is suggested that the Force is a conscious entity that is always looking for balance. It is therefore not unthinkable that the Force favors certain key players in helping them guide their actions. Rey, remembering what Maz Kanata said, closed her eyes and let it guide her.

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