So it finally happened: I saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Christmas and I managed to see it without reading any spoilers beforehand despite the fact that my colleagues have written tons of spoiler-filled features about the movie. I really liked the movie, although it did leave me with four burning questions that I hope to see answered in future installments. Let’s talk about them below, and yes, there will be lots and lots and lots of spoilers.
Question No. 1: Just how powerful is Rey? We saw in the movie that Rey was capable of resisting Kylo Ren’s mind-reading powers and even bested him in a light saber duel, despite the fact that she had never received any formal training with the Force.
This suggests she’s not just Force-sensitive but that she is already significantly more powerful than most Force users in the galaxy, meaning that when she gets some actual training… watch out.
It’s also possible that Rey did receive some training as a young child but that she was so powerful that she frightened her tutor, who then wiped her memory of everything she learned. This would explain the apprehensive expression on Luke Skywalker’s face at the end of the film when he sees Rey for the first time. And speaking of Luke…
Question No. 2: Is there any chance Rey isn’t Luke’s daughter? I’m personally very tired of every powerful Star Wars character being related in some way to the Skywalker family, but it seems there’s very little doubt that Rey is Luke’s daughter. Remember the way that she had a psychic connection with his lightsaber when she first encountered it? Or what about that voiceover of Luke in the early trailers that said, “The Force is strong in my family. My father has it. I have it. My sister has it. You have that power, too.”
Basically, it seems like Luke and Rey are related in some way, although I personally would prefer that the movies avoid this very obvious choice. Instead, I’d like it if Rey were, say, the sister of a young Jedi that Luke was training before being slaughtered by Kylo Ren. This way, Luke would feel constant guilt about failing her brother and wouldn’t want to take on responsibility for training her in the ways of the Force, which would open the door for her to be tempted by the Dark Side.
And speaking of the Dark Side…
Question No. 3: Is the First Order really this incompetent? So let me get this straight: The First Order was able to build a ridiculous planet-sized weapon capable of devouring the energy of an entire sun but it wasn’t smart enough to have more than one person guard two high-value prisoners?
The case of leaving Rey guarded by just one storm trooper was particularly egregious since Kylo Ren had just seen for himself how capable she was using the Force. So instead of sedating her and locking her away in a supermax-style prison, he leaves her held by mere shackles under the care of one simple-minded storm trooper who was easy prey for her Jedi mind tricks.
Also: I’m sorry, but the idea of a planet sucking up an entire sun and then spitting it back out is absurd even by Star Wars standards. I don’t expect Star Wars movies to have realistic physics but come on.
Question No. 4: Why did R2D2 wake up when he did? When we first see R2D2, C-3PO informs us that he’s been in low-power mode ever since Luke disappeared all those years ago. Then after the Resistance blows up the First Order’s ridiculous sun-eating weapon, he wakes up and conveniently provides the missing piece of the map that shows Luke’s location.
It seems obvious that Luke programmed R2D2 to wake up at a certain time but when was it? Was it when Rey showed up and demonstrated her considerable powers? Was it after it became clear that the Dark Side had regrouped and once again posed a threat to the galaxy? We just don’t know at this point and I’ll expect the next movie to tell us.
At any rate, despite my gripes with the First Order’s remarkable ineptitude, I thought The Force Awakens was a terrific movie that’s left me hungry for more. Here’s hoping J.J. Abrams can keep this up because it’s been a very fun ride so far.