So all aboard the hype train, right? Having been sat down by my Dad nearly 15 years ago to watch the original trilogy, I can honestly say that I have never been more excited for a ﬁlm. Forget Christmas, this December is all about Episode VII! Star Wars is a series that fully captures the imagination and, when done right *cough* prequels *cough*, blends fantasy, western and sci-ﬁ together in probably one of the most iconic ﬁlms ever made. With just over a month left to go until the new ﬁlm, and the trailers not giving too much away, let’s break everything down and look at who’s who, and what’s what.
First, the who. Rey, played by Daisy Ridley, hits the screen ﬁrst in most trailers, revealing her to most likely be our main protagonist. At the moment there’s a very strong smuggler/rogue vibe to her, a sort of Han Solo – Luke Skywalker cross over. As it stands, she seems to be hiding out on Jakku (that desert planet from the trailers), but what is she hiding from? The theorists out there look to her parentage, the original characters, and a certain ‘sith’. Does her mirroring Kylo Ren’s pose on the posters point to some sinister connection?
Which leads on to the next new character, Kylo Ren, portrayed by Adam Driver. Meet the new Darth Vader ladies and gents. This sinister fellow seems to be both a spiritual and actual successor to the big bad of the original trilogy. Wielding what can only be assumed to be a ‘homemade’ lightsaber, you know, the one that looks like an actual sword. It is rumoured that he is not actually Sith and instead he belongs to the ominous Knights of Ren, who we will no doubt learn more about once the ﬁlm hits the big screen.
Filling in the role of the prodigal son-Jedi role is Finn, played by John Boyega. Entering stage left as what appears to be a stormtrooper, before starting a whirlwind adventure ending in a lightsaber show down. Are we looking at an apprentice for Luke, suspiciously absent from any trailers? It seems his will be an interesting character, teaming up with Ridley’s Rey to ﬁght Driver’s Ren.
Rounding oﬀ the new characters are those who we don’t know too much about. The shiny stormtrooper we see in the trailers is Captain Phasma, played by the brilliant Gwendoline Christie of Game of Thrones fame. We also know that, true to form, Andy Serkis will play a motion capture character in Supreme Leader Snooke. Both of these characters are aligned with the villainous First Order. In contrast to this, Oscar Isaac will play Poe Dameron, a pilot in the Resistance – this ﬁlm’s Rebels. Rounding oﬀ those new characters to pay attention to is Maz Kanata, played by the Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o, a pirate who has lived for over a thousand years.
All of these characters will be set against the backdrop of the struggle between the First Order and the Resistance, the new iterations of the Empire and the Rebellion. As this is set thirty years after the Return of the Jedi, expect to see old favourites like Han Solo, Leia, and Chewbacca make an appearance, though the fate of Luke is unknown. This ﬁlm looks to promise some good old fashioned Star Wars action, more akin to the original trilogy than the prequels, and I imagine it is going to be well worth a watch, or three, this Christmas.