After my review, it’s time for an in-depth analysis of the movie, this post contains HUGE SPOILERS.
I’ll start with who is Rey. Like I said in my review we don’t learn who she really is, by that I mean what is her last name and who are her parents. It’s hinted that she is a Skywalker at least it’s a strong possiblity. Here’s why I think that – at Maz’s castle she’s going to touch the Skywalker lightsaber and it’s calling to her, she sees things while touching it, she sees Luke, she sees the massacre of the new jedi by Kylo Ren and the Knights of Ren and she sees herself as a baby, she’s also hears “it’s your first steps” (or something similar) and the voice is Obi-Wan (voiced by Ewan McGregor). It’s probably not luck that when she touches the lightsaber she sees things, it has to mean something. We know, she’s not Han and Leia’s daughter but she maybe Luke’s daughter. I loved that Maz referenced the saber as Luke’s and Anakin’s by saying it belonged to Luke and before him to his father and she tells Rey that this same lightsaber calls to her, it’s the Skywalker lightsaber so if it’s calling to her, there’s a reason. There is also the ending scene that makes me think this theory is right even more. When Rey hands the Skywalker’s lightsaber to Luke, the way he looks at her and the way he looks at him, there’s something in their eyes that also says that they recognize each other somehow. Plus, when Kylo tortures Rey he tells her he sees the island she thinks about, an island and what a surprise, Luke lives on an island, that’s a strange coincidence! It would make sense that Luke is Rey’s father, he could have abandoned her on Jakku to protect her from Kylo Ren and like he was too ashamed to have lost Ren to the dark side, he just didn’t take her with him. We will know for sure if Rey is related to Luke in Episode VIII but that’s two years of wait so not now.
Since I mentioned that final scene of the movie, I’ll continue with it. Earlier in the movie, Han Solo mentions that some people who knew Luke very well said that the last Jedi hid in the first Jedi Temple. We knew that the Jedi Temple on Coruscant was the main one but there were others now we know that there is a first temple and this first temple that was built is not the Coruscant’s one, it’s some place in an unknown region. The temple is made of old stones with a lot of stairs, it’s very old, it reminds me of these old mankind civilizations at a time that was probably older than the dark lightsaber that Pre Vizsla has in The Clone Wars, and it’s actually interesting because it opens a door for Episode VIII, a door to tell a story of the origins of the Jedi, Luke being at this particular place has a meaning, he came back to the origins of the Jedi. Concerning Luke, he doesn’t talk at all in this movie, no lines, we see him in a flashback when he says goodbye to R2-D2 after the massacre of the Jedi by Kylo and once in the last scene. His Jedi costume is interesting, it’s all white, the cloak, the jedi clothe, it makes him look like a wise Jedi like Yoda-wise and him being in this temple really makes him appear as a Yoda figure. Luke’s jedi outfit echoes to his father and his former master – in Return of the Jedi Anakin and Obi-Wan wear white clothe except for the clothe and these white outfits are very similar to what Luke is wearing but it’s not just that, Luke also shares Obi-Wan’s beard and Anakin’s haircut, it’s the same one, you have to look closely to see it because Anakin had wavy hair and Luke has straight hair. It makes a great father-son connection, strong of symbolism. Anakin had brought balance to the Force by killing the Emperor and now it’s up to Luke (and Rey) to continue this task by destroying Kylo Ren and Snoke.
I have a lot of things to say about Kylo Ren. Like I said in my review, he is frightening and scary, that’s a really impressive villain but there’s more it. Kylo Ren mirrors Anakin Skywalker in many ways. Both are broken characters that eventually fall into the darkside because they are seduced by it, Kylo was seduced by the darkside because of Snoke while Anakin it was because of Palpatine and both Palpatine and Snoke are the big supreme villains, Palpatine in the first 6 movies, Snoke in this new trilogy. To come back to Kylo, he is a tormented character, there’s a lot of conflict inside him, he’s torn apart, despite being on the darkside, the light side tries to get in him and he tries to resist it, the way Darth Vader tries to resist to his true self – Anakin Skywalker at some moments in Return of the Jedi and both actually say “It’s too late for me” but the difference is Vader is able to go back to being Anakin while Kylo Ren who’s real name is Ben, is not able to come back to being Ben, he destroys Ben by the end. There’s more elements that mirrors the two characters. Padmé says about Anakin before dying “There’s still good in him, I can feel it” and Leia says the same to Han about Ben. Padmé was right about Anakin, there was still good in him but is Leia right? Kylo Ren has a very human side like Anakin, they are very similar, very much, they’re the same kind of character even in the way they fight, the way Kylo wields his lightsaber is similar to how Anakin wields his lightsaber. Another mirroring situation is at the end of the lightsaber fight with Rey, Kylo ends badly injured and his face will probably have a scar from it like Anakin has a scar on his face in Revenge of the Sith and even if it’s not the same kind of injuries, they both get injured after an intense lightsaber fight that both looses. It’s not surprise that Kylo worships Darth Vader, his grandfather but he worships the bad side of him, his worst side, his dark side and thus he tries to imitate him wearing black clothes and a helmet with a voice modulator. What Anakin did when he turned to the darkside was really evil killing all these younglings (and Kylo mirrors also what Anakin did by slaughtering the new Jedi Order that Luke had started and he’s not alone doing this, he has the Knights of Ren with him, the same way Anakin had the 501st Legion to help him and it makes a great dark connection between the two characters) and yet Anakin was able to come back to the light side at the end thanks to his son Luke, thanks to his family. However, Kylo’s family is not able to save him, Kylo kills his own father, he kills Han Solo. So I don’t think, redemption is possible for him anymore because he kills his own father, his family can’t save him (so if his family can’t save him, nobody can) thus nothing can give him redemption, he’s really gone into the darkside. At the end he is fully into the darkside, nothing keeps him from going darker.
Speaking of killing his father, this scene was literally heartbreaking, I was crying like Rey was crying, Han Solo’s death was just as heartbreaking as the Order 66 scene in Revenge of the Sith. Han tries to bring back Kylo and we see all the conflicts there is in Kylo in this scene, we see him tormented, almost crying, he gives his saber to Han which shows there’s a part of him that doesn’t want to do it but in the last moments he kills Han and we know that there’s no more light in him after this scene. The place and how Han dies mirrors to Qui-Gon Jinn’s death and to Darth Maul’s fall into the void in Episode I The Phantom Menace. Kylo pierces Han’s chest with his blade, the same way Maul pierces Qui-Gon with his lightsaber and Han falls into the void of the Starkiller base the same way Darth Maul falls into the void of the Theed generators and I think there’s a lot of meaning to this scene. When Maul falls into the void and Obi-Wan Kenobi is standing above him signifies the defeat of the darkness (for some time as Darth Sidious is alive and he’s the one who’s the master) and the light side winning while Han falling into the void represents the destruction of Kylo’s light side of Ben and Kylo standing on this bridge represents the victory of his darkside. That’s how I interpret it and I think it’s beautiful to have this connection with Episode I but it’s also so heartbreaking at the same time because it’s HAN SOLO, Han dies. He is one of my favorite characters and The Force Awakens makes me love him even more so seeing him die is, I don’t have words to describe how sad it is. I can say it, I was speechless the first time I saw the scene and the second and third time too, after the first time I knew it happened but I was just speechless again for the second and third time because it was so unexpected and it’s the most powerful scene in the entire movie. Harrison Ford and Adam Driver’s performances were just breathtaking. There is a lot being said in their eyes much more than what the two characters say to each other, their eyes speak, you hear what the eyes say, you hear it. When Han touches his son’s face for the last time before falling into the void, his eyes they are surprised, they are scared too but they also say ‘I love you son.’ As Han’s death echoes to Qui-Gon Jinn’s death in TPM, it also echoes to Obi-Wan’s death in ANH as the three characters are guide figures who die in front of the people they helped powerless. But, Han’s death really echoes to TPM more than ANH and it’s aftermath as well. After, Han’s death, Rey unleashes her anger and ends up defeating Kylo Ren just like Obi-Wan defeated Darth Maul.
One last thing about Kylo is the name, why Kylo Ren, why the name Knights of Ren. We know that he admires Vader in a crazy way and that he is the master of these knights who are Vader worshipers but the name Ren is still a mystery. It’d be interesting to know more about this. I think Kylo’s real name Ben is definitely a tribute to Obi-Wan Kenobi, that’s obvious but Obi-Wan has always been good while this Ben turned to the darkside so it’s interesting to notice, Kylo is his contrary.
Since we’re the darkside let’s continue on this path with Snoke and Hux. Snoke is the supreme leader of the First Order, the big villain of this third trilogy. Snoke’s design is strange, frightening and scary, he is hugely damaged, his face has suffered some bad injuries, he’s mutilated, what happened is a mystery, this character is a great mystery. This damaged face actually mirrors Palpatine who had a damaged face after his fight against Mace Windu, so they are similar villains in the way they look though, Snoke’s head is really scary comparing to Sidious’s damage face. We know Snoke’s name, we know what he looks like – the tallest character in the Star Wars universe. We only see a projection of him, it’s an hologram but it’s not blue, it’s his real colors, the projection is huge, he is twenty times the size of Kylo Ren! We can assume the projection represents his real heights, Kylo and Hux already saw him in real so I don’t see why his projection in the starkiller base would be made taller than he actually is as he is only speaking to them, it’s not like he was trying to impress someone so I think this hologram/projection represents his real size. We know he is a dark side user but whether he is a Sith like Sidious or someone like Mother Talzin who is not a Sith but a dark force user or like the Son who is a dark force user too. He is the one who seduced Kylo Ren into the dark side another elements that mirrors to Darth Sidious who seduced into the dark side Anakin, another connection here, both are interested by the Skywalker lineage, both know how much this family is powerful and both uses this family to get to their end. Darth Sidious used Anakin to create his Empire, without Anakin saving him, Mace would have killed Sidious and we can see that Snoke has plans and he uses Kylo Ren to achieve his dark plans which is to control the galaxy and probably more, much more. I have a theory, I’m not sure about this one but I think it could be interesting. Snoke seems to know a lot of things, he seems to have been here for a long time and I think he could be some kind of an original dark side of the Force user, someone like the Son. In the same way that we may explore the Jedi’s origins with the first Jedi Temple, Snoke could reveal the origins of the dark side.
General Hux is the Hitler of The Force Awakens and the First Order is the Nazis of this movie, it’s evil in its darkest and craziest form. It’s a real dictature with strong indoctrination. The stormtroopers are stolen from their family at birth and indoctrinated to believe the First Order is the right thing and that’s something Hux is proud of, he seems to be at the head of this program and probably created it or his ancestors did (it was mentioned in a canon SW book that such thing should be done by the Empire and the character who proposed it was a Hux!) Hux mirrors Tarkin, they both are characters who loves power, who loves fear and who have only one goal to rule with an iron fist, Tarkin was blind by his success and arrogance while Hux is not, he is enough intelligent to leave the Starkiller Base before the planet explodes. Tarkin was a frightening villain but Hux brings it to an higher level. His speech at the Starkiller Base is so terrifying, it’s like hearing Hitler to talking to its troops and it really mirrors that – we see all the troops of the First Order aligned in front of Hux in a perfect order and disciplined and Hux is standing in front of them, behind him red flags of the First Order and the symbol of the order is black much like Hitler and his Nazis flag. This scene also mirrors to something from the Star Wars universe. It mirrors to Attack of the Clones, the ending scene when Palpatine and some senators are standing in front of the clone troopers army. Both armies are disciplined and aligned in order in front of their chief who is standing above them on a platform.
We’ll continue with the villains and now it’s time to talk about the Starkiller Base, it’s built on the planet itself, a snow planet which name is for now unknown. This new super weapon definitely mirrors the Death Star, it has a trench like it, it is round, it’s a super weapon of course and it can destroy planets. The way the Starkiller explodes also mirrors to the way the Death Star blown up, it’s very similar but much more bigger, much more brighter. The Starkiller is also so much bigger and so much more powerful. As its name indicates it’s a starkiller, it draws the energy from the Sun and uses it to destroy a solar system. The Starkiller actually destroys the Republic system located in the Hosnian system (spelling?). I’ll come back to the Republic later.
Concerning, the troops of the First Order, they are a direct continuation of the Empire and echoes to it. We still have Tie Fighters, they are now from a different color – they are black with red mark and white wings and can contain one pilot and one gunner. The star destroyers are also bigger with a similar design but with some big differences also. The stormtroopers armors also echoes to the Stormtroopers armors of the Empire, same for the weapons and also they have this system of pauldrons, the pauldrons represents the rank, white, black and red represents three ranks of officers like the stormtroopers in the Empire had but they also mirrors to the clones, I’ll explain why. They are trained from childhoon, they don’t have names, they are just numbers, it’s all they are, they are one army, no individuals but the difference with the clones is they developed an identity they found themselves a name but the stormtroopers did not. Something else, the First Oder has taken from the clone army is the riot troopers – with shields and baton like the Riot Clone Troopers. The stormtroopers indoctrinated are literally slaves of the First Order, they don’t have free will, they are one army, there are not individuals, they don’t have names, they are just a numbers. The clones had free will except for one thing – the Order 66 because of their inhibitor chips but the stormtroopers don’t have an inhibitor chip, they are really indoctrinated. However, Kylo Ren finds them less efficient than clones and he suggests that Snoke takes an army of clones instead.
FN-2187 that’s Finn’s name, what is his real name, we may never know, we was taken by the First Order when he was just a baby so I don’t expect to learn his real name later on. Finn mirrors Jar Jar Binks and C-3PO. These two characters were the comic relief of the previous movies and Finn is the comic relief of The Force Awakens. He gets a lot of funny lines and funny situations and I love this side of his character the same way I loved Jar Jar Binks and C-3PO, he finds himself in the same kind of funny situations. Finn is not just a comic relief, he is also a serious character. He mirrors Captain Rex (from The Clone Wars and Rebels) actually in a very interesting way. Captain Rex is a clone, raised from birth to be a solder and he realized thanks to Fives that he had to remove his inhibitor chip to avoid Order 66, to avoid to do something wrong, he eventually becomes a rebel in Rebels fighting the Empire. Finn’s story is similar, he was raised from birth to be a soldier and Finn realized when his friend died that this was wrong to kill the villagers, it was wrong so we have this same awakening that Rex has except that Rex’s awakening was off-screen. Also, Finn is not a Force user, he’s just a normal person, he’s not special, he’s just the every man and this every man becomes a hero by the end of the movie, there’s a good message here. There’s one thing that makes him become a hero, at the start he just wants to run away from the First Order but in the end he is a hero and well we can say he is a member of the resistance and this thing is called love. He doesn’t say to Rey ‘I love you’ but it’s pretty obvious he loves her and it’s his love for her that gives him strength. The way he shouts ‘REY’ when Kylo leaves with her, is one of the biggest proves of his love for her, it’s not just friendship. When he comes to rescue her at the end and she hugs him, the camera shows him smiling, we see the face of someone who’s in love with her and at that moment I think he sees that she loves him back. Right from the beginning, we see he has a crush on her, he holds her hands when they escape while she doesn’t need and when she says she needs to go back on Jakku he asks if it’s because she has “Boyfriend? Cute little boyfriend?” it’s quite obvious why he asks. During the lightsaber fight, when Rey is pushed against a tree, immediately he reacts to it and he is worried, also during this Starkiller base sequence, he also gives his jacket to Rey for a moment because it’s cold, he’s very affectionate around her. We see she loves him back not just because of the hug but because she cries when he’s in a coma after his injury from his fight against Kylo, she really cries for the man she loves. In the end, Rey kisses him on his forehead while he’s still in a come by saying she knows they’ll see each other again and says “goodbye my friend,” but you obviously feel that there’s more than just friendship between them. Love is an important theme in Star Wars and Love is part of The Force Awakens too. How love is presented here mirrors how love is presented in some of the SW movies. In The Phantom Menace, Attack Of The Clones and Revenge of the Sith, it is a bit similar in the way that Anakin does what he does because of Padmé, because of his love for her, his love for her will make him turn to the dark side to save her while he destroys her but there’s this same theme of acting for love.
We also find the love theme with Han Solo and Leia, it’s different, it’s an old love. The hugging scene is a beautiful one and it’s also sad because this scene foreshadows Han’s death, it’s a final goodbye hug, we can see that Leia feels it, the look in her eyes, it’s not a happy look, it’s sad, there is no kiss, just a final hug for two people who were once in love and who obviously still have feelings for each other but in a different way now and it’s even more heartbreaking when Han dies that they show us Leia feeling it through the Force mirroring Yoda feeling the Jedi dying during the Order 66. Their relationship in this movie refers a lot to their past with Leia’s lines, the first time they see each other again she tells him he has “the same jacket” and he answers “it’s a new one,” there’s some flirt in their lines in the way they flirted back in the days of the Rebellion and so it mirrors to The Empire Strikes Back and A New Hope, but there’s something less intense in a way. They’re more like an old couple who got separated but who are still friends and who still have feelings for each other deep inside and it’s a beautiful moment when Leia asks Han to bring Ben back and the way she tells him that there’s still good in their son and that they can bring him back to the light. Leia is the one who’s more bitter which is normal because she lost her son and Han, both left her. Leia is a bitter character, she’s tired of this fight, a fight she has known all her life. Han is also different, he is wiser and more responsible, he is the Obi-Wan Kenobi of this movie.
Now, let’s talk about the Resistance and the Republic. The Republic, we don’t get much of it as it is destroyed but the fact that they brought back the Republic mirrors to the Prequels where the Republic was leading the Galaxy and it’s the same thing here in this movie, the Republic is leading a lot of systems and it has a Galactic senate much like the previous Republic. It’s not on Coruscant anymore, it’s in the Hosnian system, we can suppose that it’s still Chandrilla the planet capital of this Republic as it is in Aftermath novel. The capital of the Republic is very similar in architecture to some buildings of Coruscant with a Renaissance look added to it and there’s water, we kind of see a lake or a sea before the planet gets destroyed. The way the people are dressed on this planet also mirrors the way people were dressed in Coruscant. For the Republic fleet, it’s a little difficult to see what the ships looked like so I can’t say much about it. For the Resistance, it mirrors the Rebellion and more A New Hope as they only have X-Wings, new versions of it but X-Wings nevertheless. The Resistance troopers and officers mirrors to the Second World War soldiers of the Allies Forces and to the honor guards and rebel officers of A New Hope, actually the interior of Resistance base looks like a lot the Yavin Temple where the Rebellion base was, so we can see a continuation of the Rebellion in the Resistance. The rebel pilots also have a similar outfit – orange and white with similar helmets, they are not the same but it’s very similar.
Now I want to talk about Jakku, just a little bit. Jakku is very similar to Tatooine in the fact that it’s a desert but it’s also different in the way that there’s not real houses there, it’s tents and other kind of shelters. The remains of the Star destroyer and other ships, this old battlefield echoes to Star Wars The Clone Wars, the remains of the battlefield on Ryloth, it leaves a mark and it’s a reminder of history, of what came before. Since, I’m talking about Jakku, I’ll mention Rey again. There is a scene that mirrors to Star Wars Rebels when Rey is wearing the old rebel pilot helmet, it mirrors to Ezra and his love of wearing helmets. Rey’s life on Jakku also mirrors Obi-Wan Kenobi’s life on Tatooine – a lonely, harsh and poor life and both planets are desert planets which emphasizes even more the loneliness.
It’s time to talk about two intriguing characters Lor Tan Sekka (Max Von Sydow’s character) and Maz Kanata. These two characters mirror each other – they are both old people who have a good knowledge of the Force and the light side, they both knew the Skywalker on some level and both have traveled a lot. Lor Tan Sekka even knew Kylo was Han and Leia son and was a Skywalker, so we can definitely assume that Sekka was in this village as a refuge but he had to be once someone working with the Jedi, maybe he was a senator, or simply a friend of the Jedi but he has some good knowledge, one thing is sure is that he was a good friend of Luke and that’s the probably reason he ends up with a part of the map to find Luke. Who he really was? It’s not clearly explain as he dies two minutes after the beginning of the movie savagely killed by Kylo. The fact that he gives a part of the map to Poe and Poe puts it inside BB-8 mirrors to Leia giving the plans of the Death Star to R2-D2 in A New Hope. Concerning, Maz Kanata, she is a strange character. She’s small like Yoda but instead of being green she is orange. She wears googles and her eyes seems to have a special power but it’s not clear what her eyes do, at one moment she removes her glasses to touch Rey’s hand and tell her about the Force. Maz looks like she is a guardian of the light side despite being the owner of a castle full of bounty hunters and smugglers. She knows the Force and the light side in particular (plus she has the Skywalker lightsaber) and she also knows the dark side as she mentions that she has seen the evil take many forms “the Sith, the Empire and now the First Order.” She’s full of wise words, she mirrors to Yoda, she’s the character with knowledge of this movie but she has her own way of talking about it. While we’re still talking about her, I want to make a mention of her castle, it echoes to the cantina in A New Hope and we even find music here like in the cantina! The planet Takodana echoes to Naboo with all these green and lakes, it’s nature all around.
Now, I’ll talk about BB-8 and Poe Dameron. BB-8 is a mix of R2-D2/C-3PO and Jar Jar Binks, he’s part of the comic relief of the movie even if Finn is the big comic relief of the movie. BB-8 mirrors in many way R2-D2, he is faithful to his master who is Poe and is sad when he thinks his master his dead the same way R2-D2 is sad when Luke is gone and R2 goes even further by shutting himself down. Speaking of C-3PO, he still continues to be a little comic relief, when Han and Leia meet again, he’s bring some fun and he interrupts them the same way he interrupted them in The Empire Strikes Back during the kissing scene. Concerning Poe Dameron, he doesn’t mirror any character we’ve seen before, except that maybe he is the best pilot of the Resistance and his piloting skills as impressive on the same kind of level as Anakin Skywalker.
The battles, the one at the Starkiller base mirrors A New Hope, Return of the Jedi and Revenge of the Sith. A New Hope because it’s a X-Wing vs. Tie Fighters dogfight above a super weapon and also because there is a trench run sequence plus the explosion of this super weapon. Return of the Jedi, it’s because of the ground skirmish, with Han and Chewie having to put explosives in the base like they did with the Imperial Bunker on Endor and also that they have to deactivate the shields before the attack on the base is launched. Finally it mirrors Revenge of the Sith in the way the battle between X-Wings and Tie Fighters is a real chaos like the opening battle of Coruscant, there are starfighters everyone, shots and explosions all around them. The battle on Takodana at Maz’s castle mirrors Attack of the Clones and Return of the Jedi. AOTC because it is a rescue like when the clones come rescue the Jedi in the arena. ROTJ, we get a similar shot of Han and Chewie with their hands on their head surrounded by stormtroopers when reinforcements arrive, in ROTJ it was ewoks, here it is X-Wings. In the action scenes, we have also some parallels, the Rathtar (spelling?) that Han carries in his ship are very similar to the Blixus with tentacles and ugly faces of monsters. The escape on Jakku mirrors A New Hope when Luke escapes Tatooine and goes into the Millenium Falcon and here it is Rey who goes into the Millenium Falcon, two people who lived in the desert who takes the same ship to leave the desert.
And that’s all for this in-depth analysis, I may update the post if I think of more elements but that’s all I thought about for now!
May the Force be with you!