Man, are we Star Wars fans lucky these days. With every revelation about the Force Awakens, we just get more and more excited. Doesn’t take much, does it? Ha! No, it doesn’t with me either.
With Disney’s D23 Expo just a couple weekends ago, we got a new Drew Struzan poster featuring some of the stars of episode 7. Obviously there was quite a buzz over Han Solo, and we got another glimpse of Kylo Ren. For whatever arguments folks presented over the quality or beauty of the piece, I was most taken with all that the poster’s imagery hinted at. I thought there was subtly (and not so subtly) a lot there. One of the intriguing reveals was Finn brandishing what appears to be Anakin Skywalker’s blue lightsaber; you know, the one old Obi Wan gave to Luke; the one that Obi Wan had years before picked up after defeating Anakin on Mustafar. What if it is indeed that weapon…?
There’s a lot of history to that lightsaber. Well, I’ll get back to that.
Disney and Abrams seem to have done a pretty good job at controlling the amount of available information concerning the story and character arcs of episode 7. Oh, I’ve seen the pics of toys and sketches of ships and various other odds and ends posted all over the net; but, overall, I feel like we know (or don’t know) about what the powers that be would have wanted us to at this point in time.
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One of the things I’m actually surprised we’ve been given as much info to chew on as we have is the character of Finn. It’s become fairly apparent that Finn goes through quite a ride in The Force Awakens. From the trailers and material we’ve seen, one can surmise Finn was a stormtrooper, and through circumstance or choice detached from the First Order and started hanging around with the “good guys.” And now, in the recently revealed trailer bits, we see him squaring off with this episode’s equivalent of Darth Vader or Maul, and with a saber in hand, no less. Quite a ride for Finn, indeed.
It’s good stuff. It’s gonna be fun to see his character arc unfold.
We’ve seen the Star Wars movies focus a lot on light side force users being tempted or succumbing to the dark side. Is Finn a guy whose path went the other way? Will we witness a character who early on forsakes his tendencies towards the dark side, and has the foresight to abandon that path before it overcomes him? And how did a character who has force power get wrapped up with the grunts of the First Order, anyway? Wouldn’t he have been found out? Or perhaps, like Luke, he and those around him didn’t realize he was force sensitive until later in his life. This may be the very reason why we see him fleeing – the revelation of his ability. There’s speculation that he escapes with Poe Dameron. Maybe the captured hotshot pilot was his ticket out of there, or maybe Dameron was the first to recognize his potential, and convinced him to “turn good” and run. The possibilities are myriad.
(I suppose an argument could be presented that he may not necessarily have force powers at all, and is simply carrying that blue blade. Unlikely, but just tossing it out there…)
On the other side of the equation, we have Kylo Ren. A recent reveal of a large sized action figure of Kylo had a description on the box that marked him as very powerful and hot tempered. Certainly not a stretch for our villain. We’ve seen him raise a hand as if to use force powers in a burning village, seen him in crouched stance, activating his saber in a snowy forest (a setting where, not so coincidentally, we’ve now seen Finn wield his)…and we’ve seen him cradling the burned helm of Vader. Ah, that’s been a detail of interest since the first trailer. For it is rumored that Kylo Ren also as an affinity, an obsession, with all things pertaining to the Dark Lord of the Sith. If that is true, then imagine the significance that Anakin’s…um, Darth Vader’s original lightsaber would hold for him.
Imagine the anger Kylo would harbor over a betrayer, a mutineer of the First Order, possessing the sacred and holy weapon of the great Darth Vader. It would be intolerable, an embarrassment beyond measure. Not only would Finn invite the wrath of Kylo Ren for his betrayal, but he would incite a fanatical hatred and an insatiable desire to be hunted down and destroyed.
Now, another notable aspect in all this is that we’ve seen what appears to be Leia being handed that very same saber. This makes it all a little tougher to piece together. But with Finn’s apparent allegiance to Rey and our heroes, its not a stretch to consider that somewhere along the way the saber is bestowed upon Finn, or Finn retrieves it through some actions of the story. This would also put the Skywalkers, Solos, and their relations and friends directly in the path of Kylo Ren – anyone with any association or link to that saber. It would also concern one particular master jedi, one who also wielded the now legendary blade…
So, there’s a lot to ponder, a lot to wonder about. No doubt the characters, old and new, will drive the story of the new saga. But the more I think about it, the more The Force Awaken’s plot may revolve around that most prized of objects – Darth Vader’s original lightsaber.