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Speculation: The opening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens explained!

DISCLAIMER: This is speculation based on accurate fragments of the story we have obtained over the last year.

I’m not here to debunk anything or state anything concretely as true or accurate. But I am going to take the pieces of the puzzle that make up Star Wars: The Force Awakens and attempt to make sense of the disparate misshapen pieces. Upfront, I have to say that I am extremely skeptical of the Skywalker lightsaber being the MacGuffin of this film, at this juncture, based on the evidence I have seen.  All that jazz might be accurate and I just haven’t been privy to seeing anything to reinforce it. But I’m tossing it out for this piece because I think it makes us tread water to figuring out the mystery of this film. I have tried to reconcile that rumor with the factual bits of the opening of the film and I cannot do so at this time.

Moving on, one shot in the new teaser has made me rethink how the film is organized today, at least for the first acts of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

The average Stormtrooper is 6 feet fall and a few people we believe to have been cast as Stormtroopers are a little taller than that even. John Boyega is five feet, nine inches tall. That’s a little short for a Stormtrooper, well below average. For as far as I can tell, there aren’t any throwaway shots in that teaser and this shot of the Stormtroopers focuses entirely on the short guy:


Clearly the short guy is the focal point of the shot. The shot is important and more than a design reveal. So I am in the camp that the short Stormtroop is John Boyega. I also used to believe he wore the new visor helmet Indie Revolver revealed. However, that would make him a Flamethrower/Incendiary Trooper and I don’t think Boyega’s character flame throwers anything. When the ramp opens, I can see the village that is burned down, which was an outside set at Pinewood I am very familiar with.

Speculative organization of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens opening:

  • The film opens on a drop-ship on course to a desert planet.
  • The ship enters the atmosphere,  we see Boyega’s character who is noticeably a little short for a Stormtrooper.
  • Imperials land at the village led by the “Sith” with the cross guard lightsaber and begin burning the village down. Stormtroopers then reinforce the flamethrowers as resistance is met. Many troopers die.
  • Boyega’s character conscientiously objects to the village burning during the fight, sees his friends die and he steals a TIE Fighter to flee the carnage. He’s a moral hero to be.
  • The TIE he stole is shot at and severely damaged. He keeps it in the air for a ways until he’s forced to eject, and he wakes up in the sand dunes as seen in the teaser.
  • Scavengers ascend on the TIE after he realizes they’re coming to kill him for his ship and the Imperials are coming to kill him for deserting the troops. He’s screwed, hence how scared he is.
  • “Kira” observes the smoke from the burning village. She then travels and finds Boyega in trouble.
  • “Kira” saves Boyega from the ruthless scavengers.
  • “Kira” is informed they’re looking for the MacGuffin of the film and her bid station is their next target if they didn’t find it at the village.
  • The two are now working together for a mutual advantage and survival.
  • They board the Falcon and fight their way off the planet.

I can’t explain what the Imperials are looking for. That is still a mystery. We know the bad guys appear to have Darth Revean, Darth Bane, and Darth Vader’s helmets. It appears that lightsaber he uses is from a different era in the universe and is of lower technological design than the modern lightsabers we’re used to seeing. So the Sith antique collector rumor really appears to have legs. Are they looking for something, an artifact? There’s a lot of concept art showing the heroes in catacombs and caves and place Indiana Jones belongs. It certainly appears the good guys are looking for something, probably before the bad guys find it.

If they’re looking for “Kira,” that might explain why Han Solo and the Falcon are there in the concept art. The Falcon is clearly there in the teaser. There have been rumors that Han and Chewie get the Falcon back in this film. But as late as early 2014, there was concept art showing Han outside the Falcon on that planet (unless Han was a placeholder for the current owner). Is there a race to obtain a certain person that is the key to the future? Perhaps the crew of the Falcon are looking for the same thing the Imperials are before the film even begins and both have ended up on this backwater planet.

If John Boyega’s character objects to burning people alive, he gets to have his bad guy heritage while proving to the audience he’s a moral character. It also would give “Kira” some reason to trust him as someone that’s more than just a Stormtrooper. It allows the character to have a checkered past while being someone who has proven they’re worthy to lead us through this adventure in the new film and does what we think we would do in the same situation.

Another thing to note is that I have heard early credible reports, before John Boyega was even announced as a cast member that he was training with a heavy lightsaber. Now I believe that was because he has to fight two-handed against that cross-beamed lightsaber if he hopes to have a chance.

The concept art depicts John Boyega’s character as using a lightsaber. However, the earliest moment I have seen him with the saber is in the catacomb environment which is probably more towards the middle of the film. So how does he go from a Stormtrooper to a Jedi/Padawan so fast? Do the heroes find their sabers in the catacombs? Or was he always a Jedi on a secret missing to infiltrate the Empire and his cover was blown when they asked him to murder innocent villagers? I kind of doubt that last part.

We know the old alien woman is in the catacombs. They meet the young alien who brings them to the old woman. The old woman is depicted as working on crystals in some of the art. After that, the young alien is with the heroes on the grass planet and Boyega has a lightsaber. On the snow planet, “Kira” is using one too. Perhaps the old woman gives our heroes their new weapons and sends the young alien, probably her granddaughter, to take the two new Jedi to Luke Skywalker who can instruct them.

As we know from the teaser, the Force has awoken for the dark and the light. It makes me think there really aren’t Jedi in the galaxy before our new heroes step up into those positions as the conflict is staged. Everyone is coming into being in this film seems to be the case.



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Jason Ward (EIC)

Owner, Editor and content supervisor of MakingStarWars.net
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