[Mild SPOILERS for Star Wars: The Force Awakens ahead.]
Director J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens will bring moviegoers up to speed on what’s been happening in the Star Wars galaxy over the past thirty years (since Episode VI – Return of the Jedi). That means the film will not only feature a whole new generation of characters, of both the heroic and dastardly variety, but also previously-unseen planets in a galaxy far, far away, too.
One such world, the desert planet of Jakku, has featured heavily in marketing for The Force Awakens – fittingly so, since it’s where protagonist Rey (Daisy Ridley) has lived for years, when her adventure with the ex-stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega) begins in the movie. The Force Awakens footage released to date has also teased a handful of additional new planetary settings – and we may now know the names of most, if not all, of them.
The latest issue of Empire Magazine includes a Lucasfilm-approved star map for the Star Wars galaxy, which reveals the list of planets that will be introduced (or at least referenced) in The Force Awakens includes Jakku, as well as Takodana (more spoiler-y details on that world HERE), D’Qar, and Hosnian Prime.
In addition to those worlds, there’s the planetary Starkiller Base, which has an origin point somewhere in the Unknown Regions of the Star Wars galaxy, according to Empire‘s map. Starkiller Base houses the First Order (which was formed by the remnants of the Galactic Empire during the aftermath of Emperor Palpatine’s death) and has been teased prominently through promotion for The Force Awakens – as has with the super-weapon that it contains. The “planet” is seemingly mobile like the Death Stars before it, so in that regard it makes sense that it wouldn’t have a fixed location on a map of the larger Star Wars galaxy.
According to Empire, D’Qar is “rumored” to be where a major Resistance base is located in The Force Awakens. It’s likely then that this is the planet where Rey, Finn and the droid BB-8, while accompanied by Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), run into General Leia (Carrie Fisher), who is now a leader of the Resistance against the First Order.
Both Jakku and the Starkiller Base have their own distinct environments (they’re the desert planet and ice planet, respectively), but we haven’t seen enough of D’Qar – or wherever Leia and the Resistance is located – to evaluate what the planet is like, other than it appears to be relatively unsettled and brings to mind the heavily-forested Yavin 4 (where the Rebel Alliance was based) in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. Similarly, Takodana is the setting for a major battle that breaks out between members of the Resistance and the First Order in The Force Awakens – at least, that’s what trailers and TV spots for the film have suggested – and appears to be the “jungle planet” of this Star Wars film.
As for Hosnian Prime? Well, the obvious guess would be that’s the planet where First Order agent Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) gets into a lightsaber fight with Finn, as has been teased in multiple Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailers and TV spots. The longstanding rumor is that the place where Kylo, Finn, and possibly also Rey duke it out will be an “ice and forest” planet; such a place would be appropriate for a climactic showdown, seeing how “ice” and “forestry” appear to be associated with The First Order and Resistance, respectively, in The Force Awakens. Whether or not that world is also Hosnian Prime, that remains to be seen.
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.