Not since 2005, has Star Wars Celebration had a movie to centre itself on. So it’s no surprise that this year’s was anticipated with a fervour unseen since 2005. With a panel featuring JJ Abrams, Kathleen Kennedy, and almost the entire cast of the movie, fans were in a permanent state of excitement. But what we really wanted was a new teaser for the movie.
“The Force is strong in my family. My father has it… I have it… My sister has it. You have that power too.”
JJ Abrams is no stranger to imagery. Hell, referential shots were just about the only good thing to be found in Lost. So it’s no surprise to see him pay homage to scenes from previous Star Wars movies in this trailer alone.
While the TIE Fighter pursuing the Millennium Falcon through the corpse of a destroyed spaceship is a very obvious reference to the escape from the second Death Star, what really got to me was the opening shot of the trailer.
One of the most iconic scenes in the original Star Wars is the Tantive IV flying into screen, only to be immediately outmatched in almost every way by the sheer scale of the ship coming in after it: an Imperial Star Destroyer. And here we have that, first with the speck of a dilapidated X-Wing soon followed by the sheer enormity of the Imperial Star Destroyer. And to make it even better, this whole image is built on a desert planet with a tiny land speeder zooming in the distance, reminiscent of Luke’s.
First uttered in Return of the Jedi just as Luke reveals to Leia that not only is Lord Vader his father but, also, that Leia was his sister (he kissed his sis and he liked it; the taste of her Rebel chapstick), the use of that quote seems to confirm a successor to the Skywalker bloodline.
While the movies have only so far shown the male Skywalkers actually becoming Jedi, Leia displayed Force sensitivity in Episodes V and VI. So maybe we might be looking at a female Skywalker finally kicking ass, lightsaber in hand. My money’s on Daisy Ridley’s Rey (Skywalker).
Why is she living in the ship-graveyard planet of Jakku? Who knows. As a descendant of Luke or Leia, she would be a target for political enemies, Sith cultists, the remnant of the Imperial Forces and Star Trek ’09 fans.
And also, after much discussion, my fellow JustSayer Kyle and I have come to the conclusion that Daisy Ridley looks a LOT like another young Star Wars actress: Keira Knightley, whose character was known for her remarkable similarities to Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman). Which basically goes to show that Daisy Ridley has plenty of her grandmother’s features?
Plausible? Very. A bit of a stretch? Maybe. A tad much stalker-ish? Who’s asking?
The Lightsaber of Anakin Skywalker
Very early rumours surrounding The Force Awakens spoke of how Anakin Skywalker’s lightsaber, the same used and lost by Luke in Episode V, would be integral to the plot of the movie. Here we see it being received by, presumably, Leia (given the narration).
While all signs have pointed to a fresh set of stories in a universe set about 3 decades after the events of the last movie, it’s clear that Abrams and team are keeping some very familiar plot anchors for fans of old.
HAN AND CHEWIE!
We’re home, Chewie!
For those of you who may have missed out on Star Wars Celebrations Anaheim, the entire panel is up on YouTube as well. It’s really worth the watch.