There's been so much secrecy surrounding J.J. Abrams' Star Wars Episode VII that we didn't even known what the customary subtitle to the film would be. We finally know that the full title of the film will be Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, and that knowledge allows us to begin to speculate about what that subtitle may imply.
For months on end there has been a steady stream of rumors about Episode VII's storyline - and there a curious amount of those rumors which could be seen as fitting in perfect synch with what the title "Force Awakens" could be hinting at.
NOTE: While none of this has been confirmed, here's a compilation of what we've heard about Episode VII. WARNING! POTENTIAL SPOILERS FOLLOW!
- The setup is a dark future 30 years after Return of the Jedi. Things have not been easy, as The Empire has not simply rolled over and died with the defeat of the Emperor. It's been a long haul fight for both sides.
- The story starts with John Boyega as a stormtrooper (or stormtrooper type) who is shot down on over a desert planet (which may or may not be Tattooine). There he encounters Daisy Ridley's character, who helps heal and protect him, thereby starting his transition to the good side.
- After encountering a severed hand holding a lightsaber, Ridley and Boyega try to return it (either out of duty or for profit).
- Ridley's character is said to be a street-smart salvager working for Max von Sydow's old demented cyborg character. She brings him the lightsaber for info - but he may be an old member of the Jedi-hunting Inquisitors, who are connected to the Sith.
- Ridley and Boyega's quest ultimately leads them to Han Solo and Chewbacca, who recognize the lightsaber as Luke Skywalker's.
- With the kids in tow, Han and Chewy set off to find Luke, who has supposedly been missing since the events of Episode VI (or sometime thereafter).
- When they find Luke Skywalker, he may be half-crazy living in self-imposed exile (Obi-Wan style). As a Master Jedi, Luke is allegedly paranoid about the power he wields and falling to evil like his father. Seeing Ridley and Boyega's Force potential helps pull him back to serving the side of good.
- Luke reveals to Ridley and Boyega that the Inquisitors - who are indeed actively hunting down any Jedi Masters or Jedi-in-training when Episode VII takes place - are very much connected to the Sith. (The first Inquisitor was just introduced in the Star Wars Rebels cartoon series.)
- This prompts a flashback, showing Darth Vader recruiting the very first Inquisitors. That sequence could also (somehow) incorporate a very young Leia, who rumor has it will be played by Carrie Fisher's biological daughter Billie Lourd.
- At some point, Boyega's former boss/commanding officer (Gwendoline Christie) catches up to the young heroes and reveals her own connection to the Force - possibly being a member of the Inquisitor organization, whose ranks may also include the characters played by Lupita Nyong'o and others.
- Concept art reveals what may be Ridley and Boyega eventually having a showdown on an ice planet with a cybernetic villain whose identity has yet to be confirmed.
In this rumored Episode VII storyline there is clear correlation to the "Force Awakens" subtitle. If Luke Skywalker has truly been missing for some time, then arguably the Jedi Order (and general knowledge of Force use) would have disappeared with him. With the Jedi gone, any Sith or Inquisitor factions would be dormant; The Sith could presumably be plotting from the shadows, while The Inquisitors would have little Jedi hunting to do.
If Luke suddenly resurfaces, and the characters played by Daisey Ridley, John Boyega and Gwendoline Christie all potentially reveal some hidden force powers (light or dark) - and if old villains are resurrected, as rumored - then any and all of those developments would fit into the idea of users of The Force "awakening" or making some kind of comeback after not having been in play for awhile.
With every official new detail, it seems like the scoop-hounds who have been digging for Star Wars Episode VII rumors may have been snagging more gold nuggets than lemons the past few months. The storyline laid above is looking more and more likely - and as we've been maintaining all along, it doesn't sound that bad.
What do you think about the Episode VII "Force Awakens" title? How about the storyline rumored above? Are you enjoying the first parts of the new Star Wars shared universe like the Rebels animated series? Let us know in the comments.
[Update #1: Watch the official Star Wars 7 trailer right here!]
Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens will be in theaters on December 18, 2015.