[Potential SPOILERS for Star Wars: The Force Awakens ahead.]
Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens marketing has highlighted the new generation of heroes and villains featured in J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars movie, played by such relative newcomers as Daisy Ridley as well as established character actors Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, and Domhnall Gleeson. For example, the TV trailer that debuted over the 2015 Thanksgiving holiday frame focused the spotlight on Kylo Ren (Driver), the mysterious Dark Side user who serves an even more enigmatic master, Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis), in Abrams’ film.
The above TV spot likewise offers a condensed version of the picture painted in theatrical trailers for The Force Awakens – namely, that young Jakku scavenger Rey’s (Ridley) encounter with the droid BB-8 and former stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega) sets the film’s plot fully in motion. Give it a watch if you like, as most of its footage has already been included in promos past.
Snoke provided the voice-over heard in the original The Force Awakens teaser trailer, and of late he’s been featured again in TV spots for the film, telling his subordinate “even you have never faced such a test.” What exactly that “test” is remains under-wraps but it is safe to assume that it has something to do with Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) – a character whose not so conspicuous absence from the film’s marketing suggests those longtime rumors that The Force Awakens is about the search for Luke are, at the very least, partially accurate.
You can check out one such Kylo Ren-centric promo clip for The Force Awakens, below:
It’s been reported that the lightsaber Finn’s shown using in The Force Awakens trailers and TV spots is the same one that once belonged to Luke (and his father, Anakin Skywalker, before him), and that Kylo Ren is actively attempting to recover said weapon – something that raises the stakes all the higher for the showdown between Finn and Kylo Ren, which is teased once again at the end of the above TV spot.
Kylo’s obsession with the “legacy” of Darth Vader – and, in turn, Anakin Skywalker – has been clearly established in the promotional campaign for Abrams’ Star Wars movie at this point, though it remains to be seen if Kylo Ren also shares a blood-line connection to the late Sith Lord. It’s known that “Ren” is not the character’s real last name (it’s the name of the order he belongs to), and one popular theory is that Kylo and Rey – whose own familial heritage remains a mystery too – could be The Force Awakens‘ version of Jacen and Jaina; Han and Leia’s children, from the abandoned Star Wars Expanded Universe (a.k.a. Star Wars Legends). The film continues the Skywalker family saga in some fashion, so odds are that at least one of those characters is related to Anakin/Luke.
Finn’s last name is also a mystery, though “Finn” might not even be his real; rather, it’s rumored to be a nickname derived from his stormtrooper call signal, FN-2187. Disney XD’s Star Wars Rebels animated TV series, which is part of Disney/Lucasfilm’s Star Wars canon, revealed that stormtroopers were taken away from their families and trained at a young age under the Galactic Empire. It thus stands to reason that The First Order (which, in The Force Awakens, was formed by the remnants of the Empire) has carried over that same practice, and Finn has little memory of what his life and family were like, before he became a servant of The First Order.
Hence, it makes sense that Finn’s personal journey in The Force Awakens would revolve around him forging an identity for himself outside of The First Order – and judging by clips like the above promo, that is exactly what he sets out to do in the film.
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens hits theaters on December 18th, 2015, followed by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on December 16th, 2016, Star Wars: Episode VIII on May 26th, 2017, and the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25th, 2018. Star Wars: Episode IX is expected to reach theaters in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.
Source: Disney/Lucasfilm [via CBR]