Early reviews of the new Star Wars movie are in and so far they’ve been very positive. Even if that wasn’t the case, the fact remains that Star Wars: The Force Awakens has already broken all ticket preorder records already, and it’s expected to become the highest grossing movie of the year.
Naturally, since critics are saying that J.J. Abrams managed to restore greatness to the franchise, the new Star Wars film is going to be an even bigger hit that it would have been otherwise.
Regardless of whether you’re a hardcore Star Wars fan or a newbie who’s aware of Star Wars but doesn’t really know the story, here’s what you should know about the new movie before you watch it. And don’t worry, the following details all come from the trailers, TV commercials and backstory that Disney was willing to provide, so there aren’t any spoilers in this one.
Using information from the sources above, CNET put together a quick cheat sheet about what you should expect from the movie.
First of all, the old Star Wars gang will be back. You can expect Carrie Fisher to return as General Leia, Harrison Ford will play Han Solo, and Mark Hamill will appear as Luke Skywalker though it’s not clear what his destiny is. Peter Mayhew is Chewbacca, Anthony Daniels plays C-3PO, and Kenny Baker plays R2-D2.
In addition to them, there’s a new generation of actors balancing the Force. We have Daisy Ridley and John Boyega playing Ray and Finn, respectively.
On the other team, we’ll find Kylo Ren, played by Adam Driver, who seems to be the apparent successor to Darth Vader. Captain Phasma, played by Gwendoline Christie, is also an important new character in the Star Wars universe.
So what happens in the movie? The action takes place 30 years after the Rebel Alliance took down the Empire in Return of the Jedi.
The Empire is replaced by the First Order, an organization that somehow manages to gain control over impressive resources including a Death Star, Stormtrooper armies and ships. The Empire did not die after Vader was beaten.
“What would have happened if the Nazis all went to Argentina but then started working together again? What could be born of that?” Abrams asked in an interview with Empire, explaining how the First Order was born.
The Rebel Alliance is now known as the Resistance – though it’s not clear who they’re resisting if the Empire is still down. Regardless, Princess Leia, now a General, is an important leader of the new organization that fights the First Order.
Speaking of the young generation, and considering the importance of the Skywalker family in the universe, the chances are that either Rey, Finn, Poe Dameron, or even Kylo Ren is either Luke or Leia’s child. What’s clear is that everyone is looking for Luke in the first movie, including the Resistance and the First Order.
There’s also a Yoda-like character in the film in the form of Maz Kanata, who is played by Lupita Nyong’o and who has impressive Force abilities. And yes, we can’t forget BB-8, the new droid who will be joining the well-established R2-D2 and C-3P0.
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