The force has finally awoken and it’s a good one, if you haven’t already check out our review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. So with the first new instalment released many questions have now arisen from the events of the film, which we hope will be answered in the coming films. If you haven’t seen the film then this is you spoiler warning turn away now! Anyway so what are these questions you ask?
Who is Supreme Leader Snoke?
Once again Andy Serkis pops up with his experience in motion capture technology and plays the mysterious Supreme Leader Snoke. In The Force Awakens we only see him when Kylo Ren and the rather ruthless General Hux are speaking to his massive hologram. We know they are looking for Luke Skywalker but just who is he? How did he become this Supreme Leader of a new regime and how familiar with the force is he? Just before General Hux escapes from the First Orders base Starkiller Base, Snoke tells Hux to come to him with Kylo Ren so that he can finish his training. This suggests he has some power, but just how much?
What caused Kylo Ren to turn to the Dark Side?
The film opens with Kylo Ren as the main antagonist, which he remains primarily throughout the film. However after a while we learn that he wasn’t always on the Dark Side, seemingly seduced by Supreme Leader Snoke to join then. What we also learn is that one of the reasons Luke Skywalker has went into hiding is that he feels personally responsible for the slaughter of his new school of Jedi. I think we are safe to presume that the pupil who went dark was Kylo Ren, and due to his familial relationship to Skywalker, Luke took the turn poorly. But what caused Kylo Ren to turn to the Dark Side? Was it just manipulation by Snoke? or were there other factors. When Rey discovers she has the force in a face-off with Kylo Ren we also learnt that he has a hidden fear of not being as powerful as Darth Vader. Is that something that caused him to go dark, or is it a by product of joining the Dark Side and wanting to realise his full power?
Are there any governing bodies left?
Not an exciting question on first glimpse but it’s a deep one. We watch the First Order blow five planets of the Republic to smithereens at the flick of a switch in the film. Are there any other Republic planets left? Or was that the core of them? If that was it then are the only factions left in the Galaxy the First Order and the Resistance? If so then a political vacuum has been created and that will lead to war. There will likely be other parties waiting in the wings somewhere to take power, is there something bigger than the First Order? Who knows.
What are the motives of the First Order?
One of the very minor niggles I had with The Force Awakens is that the First Order wields a stupid of amount of artillery power with Starkiller Base. A planet triple the size of the Deathstar that has the ability to blow five planets up at once with their weapon. If they were looking to rule the galaxy like the Empire and destroy the Republic then surely they could have done this sooner? And why didn’t they just blow up the Resistance base first? But what if that isn’t their motive? As it stands, apart from dismantling the Republic the only other goal they seem to have is to find Luke Skywalker. Hopefully the next instalment especially will shed some light on this, otherwise they risk winding up as a generic evil empire.
How strong is the Resistance?
One thing that stood out during the climactic battle is that the Resistance appear to be tiny. They don’t appear to have any fleets, they lost half their X-Wing force in the battle against Starkiller Base, and with the Republic gone do they have any support at all? It could be that we just haven’t seen the full extent of their forces, but considering you had all the big players (Admiral Ackbar baby wooooo!) congregated on their base it would suggest the don’t have much left. As it stands I’d be very surprised if they would even be able to resist much of anything with or without Luke Skywalker. We shall see.
What is left of the First Order?
So when the credits rolled on Star Wars: The Force Awakens the galaxy is in pretty dire straits, because no one party has much to sing about at the end. The Republic appear to be history, the Resistance seem to be very, very small and the First Order’s utterly massive Starkiller Base has exploded. So what is actually left of the First Order? We know Supreme Leader Snoke was projecting his hologram from somewhere else in the galaxy, and wherever he is General Hux and Kylo Ren are on there way there too. But was Starkiller Base their jewel in the crown, or do they have something bigger and badder up their sleeve? They still have some ships milling around but surely there must be more?
Where is Captain Phasma?
It was always going to be the case that lots of new characters would be introduced in the film, and not all would get their screen time but I was a touch disappointed that Captain Phasma was essentially non existent. I sincerely hope there is more to come from her but surely she didn’t survive the demise of Starkiller Base. Leading into the film Captain Phasma looked like a cool and intriguing character, afterwards the cynic in me felt like it was a creation to sell toys. I’m confident J.J. Abrams wouldn’t do that for a franchise that is close to his heart but at the end of the day, it is owned by Disney and they merchandise the shit out of everything. My fingers are crossed we will see more of Captain Phasma, and if she did indeed survive where is she? Did she escape with General Hux and Kylo Ren or is she somewhere else?
How much time will pass between Episode VII and Episode VIII?
When Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back was released, narratively there was 3 years separating it from the events of Episode IV: A New Hope. Where will we be for Episode VIII? Will it follow directly on or will we have a few years of rebuilding and character development off screen? Why does this matter, ask you might. Well it’s simple, if we enter the next instalment a few years down the line a lot of major development will have occurred off screen. Kylo Ren would have presumably went through his final Dark Side training with Supreme Leader Snoke, the Resistance could expand their operation, the Republic might even have time to rebuild on another planet or somebody else fills their gap, and the First Order may well have built Starkiller Base 2.0. Not to mention Rey would have surely begun some training in the force, with our without Luke Skywalker. All of this can occur off screen without issue, but the narrative time between episodes will play a big part in how much we see of this character development.
What mental state is Luke Skywalker in?
Lets be honest, he didn’t look great at the end of The Force Awakens and surely the fate of Han Solo at the hands of Kylo Ren isn’t going to make him feel any better. The last Jedi has a huge burden on his shoulders, not just in that he is one of the last hopes for the Light Side, but he is seemingly the only person left to train Rey in the good of the force. Luke has never had it easy, and he struggled a fair bit during his character arc throughout Episodes IV to VI with everything that went on, so it is no surprise he isolated himself after his training of new Jedi went awry. It would seem unlikely that the next time we meet him in Episode VIII that everything will be rosy, which to be honest provides fresh angle of his character to explore. Will he end up like an Obi-Wan Kenobi or Yoda in teaching, or is there a different fate in store? I’m leaning towards the latter.
So that is all we can think about for now after our first viewing, be sure to check out our reviews, analysis and further thoughts as we likely watch it a few more times! What do you think folks? Any burning questions you have coming out after the film?