I did not know what to expect with this movie. Disney was making a gamble on this. The prequels were hated by so many. (not by me) It's not like Star Wars fans will love anything labeled Star Wars.
To me I have read 40+ EU novels so now the future of those become uncertain. Jaina, Jacen, Mara Jade... what will happen to these beloved Old EU characters? (I'll call it OEU for short)
I know this review comes late. I saw TFA when it was still in theaters but now I have watched it a number of times and have noticed a number of details I missed at first. Looking at it through the eyes of an OEU fan...
In TFA the New Republic apparently didn't rise like it did in the OEU. In the OEU Coruscant once again becomes the Capital of the Republic. Mon Mothma it's leader and eventually Leia takes her place. The fall of the New Republic comes with the Yuuzhan Vong. This would take place before TFA so I guess you could use that to explain why Coruscant is no where to be seen in TFA but what I got from the movie was the New Republic never took hold and this First Order is what rises from the fall of the Empire.
As in the OEU Luke Skywalker starts a Jedi school where he does teach his niece and two nephews. Jacen and Jaina (twins) and Anakin. In TFA so far we know he has a nephew named Ben not Jacen but clearly the actor was cast to look a bit like Jacen who also ends up falling to the Dark Side. There is a Ben in the OEU but it's Luke's son whom he has with Mara Jade who is one of the most beloved character's in the OEU.
That brings us to Rey. A girl left on a planet that is quite reminiscent of Tatooine but it is not. So what happened to Tatooine? Anyway... I love when they show she lives in an AT- AT walker and made a doll that looks like a rebel solder! So who is Rey? We know she is force sensitive and is waiting for someone to come for her. Later Leia tells her they won't come but she should seek out Luke... well, that crosses Luke off the list of who was coming back for her. Also at one point she states "Thought Luke Skywalker was a myth" this is puzzling if she had been in his Jedi school and doesn't know he is even real. So I cross Luke off the list. Is she Han and Leia's daughter? Ben's sister like with Jacen and Jaina? This is puzzling too cause wouldn't Leia and Han have known this was their daughter and told her? Leia just simply says that Rey knows who was coming back for her wasn't coming back... which makes me wonder... who can not come back? Yeah, Han. So is this their daughter? Leia nor Han seem as emotionally connected with her then with Ben. I really believe she is either a Skywalker or a Solo but not sure which.
Just a personal tidbit: Rey looks so much like my mother at that age it is CREEPY! Since I look a bit like my mom I guess I found my Star Wars look a like :-) Rey costume in the works!
Sticking with Luke Skywalker it seems in TFA his school failed and he split. This is very typical for Luke in the OEU as well. He constantly battled the idea of what if one of his students fell. He also ran off for this reason in the OEU. He does so in one of my favorite trilogy The Dark Fleet Crisis. He also has students fall, one being his nephew Jacen Solo. But is Luke running here or more looking for something? Could he be searching for information about the Jedi? In the OEU he had little to go on but his short time with Yoda and Obwan. In one series there was a holocron with the secrets of the Jedi. Could he be searching for something like that?
OK, here's the thing... I've been into Star Wars for years and have read many books (I've even played KOTOR)... who on earth are The Knights of Ryn!?! I missed this somewhere... I see people talk about them like they are old news and I've never heard of them nor heard of any knights in Star Wars other then Jedi Knights, so you got me on that one....
Snoke. I've heard this and that on who Snoke could be. First I cross Darth Vader off the list. "Why?" Well, think about it. In Return of the Jedi we she Anakin as a force ghost showing he was indeed saved. As may times as the first trilogy was messed with I don't think they are going to mess with that. I will admit I've heard some interesting theory but I just don't think they are going to go in that direction. Let's look at the OEU. Who does come back? Emperor Palpatine. In the comic series Dark Empire Emperor Palpatine returns using cloned bodies to live in. His gole is to take over the body of Leia's unborn child Anakin. Also Luke gets pulled under by the dark side and is really never the same in the future because of it. But my point is, I would lean to this being Emperor Palpatine. In the Rogue One movie coming in Dec. Someone pointed out the Emperor kneeling at a bakta tank in one of the clips... interesting... could this be his old master... or maybe a body he has cloned to move into like with the OEU Dark Empire. Mara Jade later on doubts the Emperor ever returned being she would have felt him if was alive but that may have been just to cover up and inconsistency.
Speaking of inconsistencies. In the OEU Jedi could not read your thoughts. Only feel your emotions. Vader was able to discover Leia was Luke's sister not by reading his mind but reading how he felt about her. So Kylo Ryn seeing the map in Rey's head would not be possible.
Another thing is with the release of TFA they started using the term "the light side" in fact that was not a real term before. There was only the "Dark side"
Random notes. Starkiller sound a lot like Star Crusher which destroyed stars. In the OEU a student of Luke's, Kyp Durron turns to the Darkside and runs off with this weapon.
Anyone ever wonder if Finn was related to Lando? And come on, Fin likes Rey. Fin is not gay. I think they threw that out there just to get people talking knowing people would.
Who is Poe anyway? I don't know what part he really plays in all this...
Captian Phazma... no. Why? Just trying to get another female in the cast? Yeah, everyone was just dieing to see a female storm trouper finally, weren't you? They can lose her if you ask me. I don't see the point. She's just annoying.
One thing had me puzzled, why did Kylo Ryn keep hitting his blaster woud? Was there a meaning to that? Coolist effect in the movie... the frozen blaster bolt! I'm not kidding, I though that was really cool!
( I came across this on Wookiepedia. I wondered why they only gave Luke a minute of screen time in TFA. I liked the fact it made Han more of the Star and Luke gets the next film but here is what they say...
'"Luke's minimal screentime in The Force Awakens was decided by screenwriter Michael Arndt, who felt whenever the character entered his draft of the script, he would upstage Rey and the audience would cease caring about her. Ultimately, he, J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan agreed Luke would have to withdraw from the story and become a plot device instead. Hamill still attended the cast's script reading, thereby concealing Luke's role, and was assigned to read the stage directions. "It was a way of having [him] be part of every scene, every moment, not just spiritually or thematically or narratively, but actually," Abrams said. "Having his voice in it made the read through a better experience for everyone.")