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What follows below is an edited synopsis DarthLightlyBruise did based on rumors from this site. I think it is a fun read and worth sharing. I did a slight edit on a few things to best reflect the scenes which were shot last summer at Pinewood Studios. This lays out the entire film and I suggest not reading it if you find “spoilers” ruin movies for you. Please be cool and do not ruin the movie for anyone out there that doesn’t want to know these things. That means being responsible on social media and taking into account who might be reading your posts or what a retweet might mean in certain instances. If you’re on MakingStarWars.net you probably feel that spoilers enhance the movie experience. However, not everyone agrees with that so we should respect their right to be blissfully ignorant of the events of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
A Compiled Synopsis of Star Wars: The Force Awakens
A lightsaber tumbles out of space. It enters the atmosphere of a desert planet and plunges to the ground. This is the planet of Jakku. The lightsaber is retrieved by a mysterious hand. It finds its way to a village elder, codenamed the Vicar, played by Max Von Sydow. The Vicar contacts the Resistance (the good guys). An X-wing pilot, Poe Dameron–played by Oscar Isaac–arrives with his droid, BB-8, to collect the lightsaber from the Vicar. The exchange happens in his hut. Suddenly, the sound of ships are heard in the night. The First Order (the bad guys) are onto them! Poe Dameron places the lightsaber inside BB-8 and orders him to flee. Run, BB-8! Run!
The perspective now shifts to a stormtrooper on a transport ship, headed for the planet Jakku at night. This stormtrooper is Finn, played by John Boyega. He is shorter than the others. They land, the hatch opens, and they immediately start taking fire from the villagers. The stormtroopers proceed to burn the village to the ground. They also torch Poe Dameron’s X-wing. They are ordered to round up the remaining villagers and massacre them. The short stormtrooper Finn lets some villagers go out of compassion. Finn’s stormtrooper friend is killed in the assault, and he leaves a bloody handprint on Finn’s helmet.
A huge shuttle lands, and out of it emerges a evil dark lord in hooded robes and a helmet, wielding a red, cross-guarded lightsaber. This is Kylo Ren, played by Adam Driver. Kylo Ren proceeds to make mincemeat of some of the villagers who dare attack him. He confronts the Vicar about the lightsaber. Kylo essentially asks “WHAT have you DONE with that lightsaber?” Kylo Ren is unsatisfied with the conversation. He kills the Vicar in cold blood.
Poe Dameron (the X-wing pilot who is now without an X-wing) is captured by Kylo Ren’s stormtroopers. He is taken aboard a transport and flown back to a First Order Star Destroyer. Finn, the short stormtrooper, also flies back to the Star Destroyer. But he is disturbed by his experience on the ground. Upon arrival, Finn feels ill. He takes off his helmet, and vomits. A superior arrives and tells him that another superior wishes to see him. They are displeased with his conduct in the village. His sentimental weakness. This likely means death (or worse) for Finn.
The perspective now shifts to a young woman on the desert planet of Jakku. This is Rey (who may also be called Kira) played by Daisy Ridley. She flies her speeder across the desert, and approaches a great ruin in the desert: a crashed Star Destroyer from a titanic battle between the Empire and the Rebellion, 30 years earlier. Rey enters the Destroyer, and proceeds to explore it, expertly hopping over huge chasms–some of which house the remains of old TIE fighters. She is a scavenger, on a planet that was once uninhabited, but is now populated by opportunists scavenging the wreckage of war. She also seems to be something of a skilled gymnast, as she hops from precipice to precipice in the Star Destroyer’s great husk. She scavenges a bit, and then decides to return home. In a rather evocative shot, she flies her speeder into a ONE SUN sunset.
We now cut back to the First Order Star Destroyer, hovering above the planet. The villain Kylo Ren is torturing Poe Dameron. Ren is confident he will get the information he needs. He emerges from the interrogation knowing that the lightsaber is now carried by a droid, BB-8. Kylo Ren delivers this information to his superior, codenamed “The General,” who is played by Domhnall Gleeson.
The stormtrooper Finn decides to flee. But he can’t fly. He needs a pilot. He sees Poe Dameron being escorted to the brig, and decides to act. He breaks Poe free. They steal a TIE fighter from the hangar bay, and stormtroopers try to stop them. The TIE lifts away from its moorings, firing at troopers as it makes its way out and into space. TIE fighters follow, screaming behind them. After a short chase, Finn and Poe are shot down. Poe is unconscious at the controls. But before they crash, Finn manages to eject himself from craft. He wakes up in the sand, back on Jakku. He looks around in a panic, and sees the crashed TIE fighter not so far away. He tries to get into it, but can’t. Finn sheds his stormtrooper armor and puts on a jacket that seemingly belongs to Poe Dameron. It’s not clear what happened to Poe. Finn, now disguised as a Resistance pilot, heads away from the wreckage. A speeder zooms by him, blasting sand into his face. Finn follows it, in the hope that it will lead him to the nearest settlement on this barren planet.
Kylo Ren and the General watch Finn’s hologram aboard the Star Destroyer. The General suggests to a Chrome Stormtrooper named Captain Phasma (played by Gwendoline Christie) that she focus on hunting down the droid and retrieving the lightsaber. Forget Finn, who is useless anyway. The lightsaber is the important objective.
The perspective shifts again to the female scavenger, Rey. She eats alone, in a makeshift dwelling in the belly of an old AT-AT walker, living among the bones of the old Empire. She hears a commotion outside, and finds that a droid is in some trouble. She helps the droid, who turns out to be BB-8. After doing so, she decides to sell BB-8 at the nearest salvage station, along with the rest of her loot. After some haggling, she is not able to part with the droid. She decides to keep it.
Later on the street, Rey is confronted by ruffians. Finn, emerging from his trek through the desert, enters the settlement. He quickly sees that Rey is trouble. Being the compassionate type, he intervenes to help her. She doesn’t need his help, of course, and doesn’t trust Finn’s intentions. She also doesn’t believe that he is a Resistance pilot. Rey and Finn make a run for it, with BB-8 in tow. They are pursued by ruffians again, who are perhaps fulfilling a bounty for the First Order. TIE fighters scream overhead, and begin firing laser blasts at them. They frantically look for a ship, and ultimately choose one that’s sitting there with its door open. It’s the Millennium Falcon.
Finn and Rey board the Falcon, and get it off the ground. Rey flies expertly, while Finn settles in at the guns. A few TIEs are in pursuit. Rey shouts at Finn to fire back at them! Rey flies the Falcon back towards a crashed Super Star Destroyer. In order to throw the TIEs off her back, she flies INTO the Destroyer from its rear rocket boosters, into the belly of a beast. She and the TIEs slalom through the crashed Destroyer. But Rey knows these ruins, and she leaves the TIEs behind. The Falcon jets off into space, and loses its pursuers, probably by jumping to hyperspace.
We now cut to Kylo Ren, alone in his “padded room” aboard the orbiting Star Destroyer. He has received the news of the failed retrieval of the lightsaber. He speaks to himself. Rather, he speaks to the burned and twisted husk of a helmet: the helmet of Darth Vader.
We return to Rey and Finn on the Millennium Falcon. Either via tractor beam or their own choice, they are swallowed up by a Giant Freighter in space. Into the belly of another beast. The ship lands in a cavernous hangar bay. They open the door, and there at the bottom of the ramp is Han Solo and Chewbacca! Han orders the kids off his ship. They refuse. Han and Chewie enter the ship and confront Finn and Rey. BB-8 hides in the back. Suddenly, an alert pops up in hologram form. Two competing gangs of ruffians approach the Falcon and they are temporarily united! Han asks the kids to hide in the storage bay. The gangs confront Han and Chewie, and they seem to be in trouble. Rey tries to help by releasing the ship’s cargo (which appears to be livestock, potentially giant space pigs). This provides a distraction. But the released creatures grab Finn and Rey is forced to chase them down and free Finn from the beasts’ clutches. A fight ensues between the heroes and the gangs. Rey almost single-handedly takes on the gangs using her skills with a staff. Han fires back, but Chewie is wounded in the fight. Finn helps Chewie, and wins some respect from Han Solo in the process. They all rush back into the Falcon. Han gets behind the controls, with Rey in the copilot seat. When the Falcon won’t start, Rey manages to tinker with it and the fix the ship, earning the stowaways more respect from Captain Solo. As Chewie recovers in the back, they jet out of the freighter, crashing into some of the livestock on the way out but still managing to escape from the gangs.
Han asks Rey and Finn what the devil they are up to. BB-8 determines that the time is right, and reveals what he is carrying: a lightsaber. Han Solo recognizes it as belonging to Luke Skywalker! It’s the one Luke lost on Bespin, in his battle against his father. Han suggests they go to see “her.” “Who’s that?” Maz Kanata–she’s a pirate. At a secret location on Yavin IV, a jungle planet that was once the home of the Rebel Alliance, and is now the main headquarters of the Resistance. She’ll know what to do. They fly there, and Rey is awed by the lush jungle, after so many years on a barren planet. They arrive at Maz Kanata’s castle. It is a pirate hideout. A range of strange and unsavory characters, alien and human, lounge about inside. Han asks for Maz Kanata. An alien escorts them into a catacomb below the pirate castle. There they meet the diminutive and wise pirate alien, Maz Kanata, played as a mo-cap character by Lupita Nyong’o.
They show Maz the lightsaber, and she recognizes it immediately. She offers to show them a vision. Maz seemingly has Force powers of some kind, and may have once been a Jedi (or a Jedi apprentice). They all hold hands, and a vision washes over them.
VISION: There is what looks to be a Jedi Academy, and the dead bodies of padawans are on the ground. Luke Skywalker shows up, too late. He sits by a funeral pyre with R2-D2. The droid is saddened by his master’s departure. Cut to the hand that takes the lightsaber at the start of the film. It is now revealed to be the hand of “Naka.” Naka accidentally starts a grass fire after igniting the saber. Cut to a local trader making a sale to a wealthy man. Cut to a fierce battle! The lightsaber is being used by the CLAN against THE SEVEN. The last man is down and Kylo Ren approaches Rey. THE SEVEN are looting and we see Maz Kanata in the foreground taking an object. END OF VISION.
Then, Maz Kanata says something very heavy to Han, Rey, and Finn. It is possible, though unconfirmed, that Rey may learn that she is the lost daughter of Han Solo. Maz Kanata presents the blue lightsaber to them again. Rey is revolted by it, while Finn is attracted to it. He takes it in his hands. Maz Kanata knows why the saber came to her. Rey is deeply troubled, rejecting both the lightsaber and the information Maz has given them. She flees the pirate castle, and runs into the nearby jungle.
We then cut to what seems to be a spy in the pirate castle. This is an emissary, Kor Sella (played by Maisie Richardson-Sellers) that has been sent by Queen Leia, the leader of the Resistance, to track down the lightsaber. The mission is secret, and she is in clandestine garb.
Cut to BB-8, who finds Rey in the jungle. But suddenly, First Order ships are overhead! They have been tracked.
The perspective shifts to the villain, Kylo Ren. But this time, he is in communication with a mysterious superior codenamed “Uber” (played as a mo-cap character by Andy Serkis). Uber orders that a superweapon, codenamed “The Catapult,” be used against the castle. Uber suggests to Kylo Ren that he “not get sentimental,” as Kylo hesitates to fire. This suggests that Kylo Ren may have some relationship with Han Solo, Rey, or both. Perhaps Kylo Ren is Han Solo’s lost son, and Rey is his sister…
Kylo Ren orders the pirate castle destroyed, but the heroes, including Maz Kanata, get out in time. The pirate castle blows up, and Leia’s emissary Kor Sella is killed. Leia, Admiral Ackbar, and her staff fear the worst. This alerts the Resistance that something is wrong.
Enemy fighters are flying overhead and landing. Captain Phasma, on Kylo Ren’s orders, seizes Rey and takes her captive. BB-8 flees. Rey is escorted away from the planet on a First Order shuttle. A Resistance fighter arrives, piloted by Poe Dameron. He is now flying either a black, commandeered Special Ops TIE, or a black X-wing. He “makes all the difference” in driving the First Order villains away! A shuttle lands, and it is Queen Leia with C-3PO in tow. She meets with Han, and the meeting is awkward. It seems they haven’t seen each other in a long while.
Han, Chewie, Finn, Poe, and BB-8 go with Leia to the Resistance Base, which seems to be on the other side of the jungle planet of Yavin IV. There, Leia plies Finn for information about the First Order, likely probing for weaknesses. She may learn something very valuable from Finn, including the location of their base and superweapon. This puts Resistance plans into motion to assault the First Order planet and “The Catapult” superweapon it has housed there. Leia expresses pride in a new Resistance superweapon, codenamed “The Sledgehammer.” She seems to be quite militant. Leia also meets with Maz Kanata and receives Luke’s blue lightsaber. She suggests that for the time being, the lightsaber go to Finn and Leia complies. Maz knows if it is in Finn’s hands, it will find its way back to Rey when she is ready to accept her destiny. Han meets with Leia, and they seem to have an intimate scene. Before leaving, presumably to go after Rey, Han tells Leia that he will “hurry back.”
We cut to Rey, who is being interrogated by Kylo Ren in a First Order “Evil Castle” on their snowy, forested base planet (with a name still unknown). Kylo uses his Force powers during the interrogation. Rey seems to reverse the probe, and learns something about Kylo and/or his plans. Rey informs Kylo he will never be as powerful as Darth Vader. This infuriates Kylo, and he leaves the chamber to report his findings. Was this a sibling duel? But the interrogation was not fruitless for Kylo Ren. He learns that he no longer needs the lightsaber to fulfill his purpose. His purpose remains mysterious, but it may have something to do with finding Luke Skywalker. Kylo Ren reports to Uber with this new information. Rey then somehow uses her Force powers (likely mind tricks) to distract the snowtroopers guarding her cell. She escapes through a ventilation shaft, and emerges out in the open. It’s snowing.
Han, Chewie, and Finn leave for the snowy, forested First Order planet on the Falcon, while Leia and Poe (with BB-8) prepare to assault the planet from space. Han crashes the Falcon on the planet by taking the ship into the atmosphere of the snow planet at very high speeds to jump past the First Order defenses. The crew of the Falcon comes out of hyperspace screaming as the ship cuts through trees before setting down. Han Solo hasn’t had a good day and Finn learns about Kylo Ren’s past from Maz. Finn consoles Han Solo about the past. On their way to the First Order castle, Finn talks about his past to Han Solo and reveals a lot about himself from before he was stormtrooper and why he became one. In the distance they spot a figure and it is Rey. Rey is moved. As an orphan, to have friends come back for her means a lot. Han, Finn, and Chewie came to rescue her, and this makes her reconsider her angry feelings at Maz Kanata’s castle.
During her interrogation, Rey may have retrieved vital information from Kylo Ren, which she may share with Han and the gang at this point. Armed with this information, the company then heads to the First Order Castle. Han has a plan! They will destroy “The Catapult” superweapon (or the shield that protects it), which is controlled from within the Castle.
We then cut to Kylo Ren, who walks into the cockpit of the crashed Falcon. He sits in the pilot’s seat, and has a moment. Is this his father’s ship? Does he remember it? Are those memories fond?
We then cut to the beginning of a great, climactic space battle above the snowy, forested First Order planet. The Resistance is throwing everything it has at the home base of the enemy. X-wings and TIE fighters face off in space and in the atmosphere of the planet, where the First Order superweapon is located. Queen Leia uses the Resistance superweapon, “the Sledgehammer,” to crush through Star Destroyers as if they were tinker toys. She wields an awesome power against the First Order! Down on the planet, the General of the First Order orders the firing of “The Array,” a defensive superweapon that will take out all fighters in space around the planet. The General’s subordinates refuse to carry out his order, because the weapon would also destroy their own fleet. And so, the General fires the superweapon himself. In that moment, projectiles are fired and all the ships in space are destroyed. Every single one. The General is practical and coldhearted. He obliterates his own men in their TIE fighters to take out the Resistance ships, and secure the safety of their Catapult superweapon.
Queen Leia’s own superweapon, the Sledgehammer, is destroyed. It falls into the atmosphere of the planet and it breaks apart. At this moment, Queen Leia feels all is lost and calls for a total retreat of Resistance forces. Han Solo and the others are presumed dead. Meanwhile on the ground, Han and his crew witness the Sledgehammer’s destruction and know they have to take matters into their own hands.
Thankfully Poe Dameron, BB-8, and his X-wing squadron survive the attack from the defensive Array weapon because they were low enough in the planet’s atmosphere to evade it. Moments later, Poe from the sky discovers Han Solo and the gang on the planet’s surface. They’re alive!
Han, Finn, Rey, and Chewie enter the First Order Castle. The security codes have changed. Finn feels defeated. Han Solo encourages Finn to take the lightsaber and use it to destroy a generator of some kind (likely a shield) for the Catapult superweapon. Finn runs off to do so. Han and the gang place charges around the Castle.
Kylo Ren arrives. The gang is on the ramparts of the Castle, and they are cornered. There’s no way out. Han Solo decides to personally confront Kylo Ren, as a means of protecting the others. Finn, Rey, and Chewbacca stop in their tracks. They watch as Han Solo speaks to Kylo Ren, who is most likely his son. Han may try to reason with him. Talk him off the ledge. Suddenly, Kylo Ren silences the conversation with Han Solo forever. He murders Han, his likely father, in cold blood. Leia senses his death through the Force. Chewbacca lets out a barrage of angry roars and laser blasts. At that point, things start to collapse and explode around them, presumably as the charges set earlier do their job. There is an explosion, and the rest of the gang is forced to flee, leaving Han’s body behind as it is immolated in the blasts.
It seems that the explosions take out whatever shield may have been protecting the Catapult superweapon. This allows Poe Dameron and his X-wing squadron to swoop in and destroy the superweapon. The General watches in horror as it all collapses. He checks in one last time with his mysterious superior Uber to tell him the mission has failed and all is lost.
Kylo Ren flees into the forest. It is nighttime, and snowing. Finn and Rey follow him, while Chewbacca runs back to the Falcon. Finn confronts Kylo Ren and holds his own in a lightsaber fight; however, over time he is bested by Kylo’s experience with a lightsaber. Finn is on the ground, preparing to die. Rey arrives, and Finn tosses her the Skywalker lightsaber, which she has been reluctant to accept up until this point. To save her friend and avenge Han Solo’s death, she takes the weapon and attacks Kylo. But on a cliff edge, the ground falls away behind Rey and Finn as all the charges they set on the castle have made the area unstable. The heroes find themselves hanging from a precipice. Kylo Ren exits the scene. Just as their doom seems imminent, Chewbacca arrives on a repaired Millennium Falcon! He collects Rey and Finn, and jets off into space.
The First Order has been defeated, but Kylo Ren and Uber retreat to lick their wounds, and plot their next move.
Finn, Rey, Chewie, Poe, and BB-8 all return to the Resistance base on Yavin IV as heroes, but the tragic loss of Han Solo makes the celebration bittersweet. Leia tells Poe Dameron his squadron is all that survived the assault. We follow Rey, as she says goodbye to the important players. Rey makes a special stop to say goodbye to Finn in the medical bay. Meanwhile BB-8, R2-D2, and C-3PO decode a puzzle of some kind, seemingly revealing Luke Skywalker’s location: a watery planet of rocky islands. Leia is elated that her long-lost brother is found, and suggests that Rey be the first to meet him. Leia and Rey have a special goodbye in which she bids Rey “a fond farewell.” Rey, Chewbacca, and BB-8 get into the Falcon and take off. Chewbacca playfully messes up Rey’s hair in an endearing gesture. They fly away to find Luke.
The Falcon lands on a rocky island in the middle of the sea. Rey walks up a set of old stone steps carved into the mountain. She comes up to a hooded figure in a stone hut, and puts the lightsaber in his hand.
It’s Luke Skywalker.