In Star Wars: The Force Awakens there is space battle. The truth is the X-wings and TIE Fighters face off in space and in the atmosphere. There are lots of shots detailing X-wings in various positions in space and in the sky above the snow planet. I think this battle is going to be huge and it is going to be the ultimate Star Wars aerial battle with lots of dogfighting and action. I personally can’t wait to see what ILM does ten years after the epic space battle over Coruscant in Revenge of the Sith. Unfortunately, this stuff is pretty abstract and does not translate to text well. But imagine a huge battle in space and the sky and you’re on the right track.
The action in space is put to a stop in one fell swoop. It is just silenced. The Imperial General (Domhnall Gleeson) orders the activation of “The Array,” as the Imperial Catapult is not yet charged up. In that moment, projectiles are fired and all the ships in space are destroyed. The General is coldhearted. He destroys his own men in their TIE Fighters to take out the Rebel ships. To me it sounds like a chess exchange and the Imperial General was willing to sacrifice a few pawns. Cold.
*Queen Leia’s super weapon fails. The Rebel’s “Sledge Hammer” falls into the atmosphere of the planet and it breaks apart (whereas previously it was crushing through Star Destroyers). It would seem this could be a visual effect sequence that will be memorable. A rather large ship breaking up in the atmosphere sounds really cool.
At this moment, Queen Leia feels all is lost and calls for a total retreat of the Rebel forces.
Thankfully Poe Dameron survives the attack from the array because he was low enough to evade the attack, it seems. Moments later, Poe from the sky discovers Han Solo on the planet’s surface. Han was thought missing even though Leia knew the Falcon survived the crash it experienced (note: we thought the Falcon was shot down but it wasn’t; more on that in the near future).
This is when Han and Chewie go their way and Finn and Rey steal their speeder bike and fight a snowtrooper.
While the Rebels look like they’re in a bad situation, you should never fear. Han Solo has a plan.
So there we have it. There is a space battle in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It was previously believed the battle was entirely on the snow planet but it takes place in the stars and in the sky. The opening of the film really seems to be organized like A New Hope and the final act really does have a Return of the Jedi final battle sort of organization to it. It is almost as if the Original Trilogy is compacted into one film. I like it.
*Leia is just referred to as The Queen making us believe she is probably a Queen in this era of the story. Recent Marvel Comic stories have also had her reluctant to take the title, preferring “Princess” which makes us think she embraces her true role some time after Return of the Jedi, perhaps when she learns the history of her biological mother, Queen Amidala.