I was born eleven years after the world was graced with the release of A New Hope, and frankly I don’t remember seeing any of the Star Wars movies for the first time – they were always just there. I come from quite a goofy, geeky family with, y’know, feelings and good taste, so liking Star Wars has always been a prerequisite. Star Wars is so engrained in our collective consciousness that I think most people have seen and enjoyed it, even if they don’t consider themselves to be sci-fi fans. I do however, but I also adore the human drama that comes with watching Star Wars. Luke and Leia finding out they are siblings, and discovering their parentage, is a huge factor in the original movies. Themes of inheritance and legacy run throughout all of the movies, from the original trilogy to the prequels and the new movie.
As soon as we learn that Kylo Ren is Han and Leia’s son, everything becomes twice as complicated with this new villain. Why did he turn to the Dark Side? What happened at Luke’s Jedi school that sent him over the edge? How could the amazing Han and Leia produce such a little twat??
And of course the whole internet is going mad with the question of Rey’s parentage. Personally I don’t think she is Luke’s daughter as that doesn’t quite add up (why would he leave her on Jakku?) and it’s a little too neat. Her parents must have been Jedis, and there has been speculation that she was at Luke’s Jedi school – but I’m not sure of that either. It seems she was either sold to someone on Jakku and/or left there for safekeeping, as more than once she says that she is waiting there for her family. So perhaps they left her there for safekeeping and then were killed/capured or whatever and weren’t able to go back for her. Finding out the truth of this, and who are parents are/were will be a really big deal in one of the future films.
As will questions of what lead Kylo Ren to the Dark Side and what Snoke has planned for him in order to complete his training. It wasn’t the face off with Han, so… he’ll confront Leia? Or Rey, again? Your guess is as good as mine!
As for my personal experience of the new film, I’m happy to admit there were several moments where I genuinely welled up and wanted to cry. The meeting between Kylo Ren and Rey was one of these, as was the emotional hug between Rey and Leia. It was just so, so sad that Kylo Ren was so committed to the Dark Side, and that Han and Leia couldn’t keep him for the Light. The literal and symbolic battle between Kylo Ren and Rey is very charged and tense, and filled with the history that they both represent for us as Star Wars fans. They are symbols of what has gone before, and what is to come, and we are again thrown into the depths of a battle between good and evil. Watching their fight, and their desperation, you are just willing a happy ending.
Ah, now, endings. The ending of The Force Awakens is ambiguous and is clearly setting us up for the next film. There are so many unanswered questions! Of course we all cannot wait for the next film, but for now I am happy to re-watch all existing movies… of which there are seven! So we’re not exactly short on Star Wars amazing-ness to enjoy.
I have rounded up the Star Wars post I have been enjoying for your reading pleasure:
Here’s to Rey and more Star Wars brilliance!