Note: This is article was written not having seen the film so it’s SPOILER FREE UNLESS EXPLICITLY STATED.
Well, it’s finally… almost here.
Star Wars Episode VII – The Force Awakens premiered this week and will be widely released on Thursday in the UK and Friday in the U.S. Although there aren’t many early indications, the ones we’ve seen are positive. A host of prominent celebrities filed out of the premiere on Monday evening, and though they were generally wonderful about avoiding spoilers, the overall tone was hard to miss: they loved it. From Patton Oswalt to Rob Lowe, the lucky few who caught the early screening were positively gushing in vague tweets.
But enough about expectations and early impressions. Pretty much everyone who’s interested in Star Wars is hoping for (and in many cases expecting) a genuine triumph from J.J. Abrams. What many of us are more curious about isn’t whether or not this will be a good film, but rather who and what we’re about to see on screen. Who’s the main protagonist? Where is Luke Skywalker hiding in all the posters and trailers? Is there a new Sith lord? Will any older characters make surprise reappearances?
These are the questions that have been been keeping Star Wars fans up at night throughout most of 2015. And just for fun before the film finally reaches the cinema, here’s one last round of predictions to ponder.
Chewbacca Will Not Die
Naturally there’s been a great deal of ridiculously detailed analysis of the trailers for The Force Awakens, and one of the most popular theories to come out of it all is that we’ve been shown hints that Chewbacca will die in the new film. The case is certainly compelling when you’re looking at things clip-by-clip with the theory in front of you… but then again, J.J. Abrams has gone out of his way to express that the trailers are hardly showing us anything of consequence. And rest assured, this is a director with enough attention to detail to know exactly what dedicated fans will make of footage. Thus, any rumour coming entirely out of trailer footage is hard to take too seriously. Plus, while Abrams likely wouldn’t be too shy to kill an old hero or two, offing Chewbacca just seems cruel.
Rey Will Be The Jedi Hero
Be warned: there’s a very slight spoiler included in this theory, and it’s related to how much each of the main characters actually has to do with the film. More specifically, LA Times writer Steven Zeitchik saw fit to tweet out his own “list of cast prominence.” In that list (again, spoiler alert), Zeitchik listed Daisy Ridley (who plays Rey) as the most prominent cast member, which suggests she’s the main character we’re looking for. We do see Finn (John Boyega) wielding a lightsaber in the trailers, but there’s always a chance Rey takes the lead as the “main” Jedi, so to speak.
Yoda, Obi-Wan, & Anakin Will Appear
A while back, before the cast of The Force Awakens was announced and we learned for sure that Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher would be reprising their roles, odds were posted as to which characters would appear in Episode VII. The main focus was on Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and Princess Leia, but at the time, odds were also offered for the likes of Yoda, Obi-Wan, and Anakin Skywalker. And now, on the eve of the film’s release, all three of them seem almost suspiciously forgotten. Abrams is considered something of a master of misdirection. With all the focus on the three main characters of the original trilogy returning, as well as all the exciting new elements, these three vital characters have been dismissed. Don’t be shocked if they show up in some sort of vision similar to what Luke witnessed at the end of Return Of The Jedi.
Han Will Kill Captain Phasma
With all the focus on mysterious new villain Kylo Ren, the bizarre super-Stormtrooper Captain Phasma (portrayed by Gwendoline Christie, who famously plays Brienne of Tarth on Game Of Thrones) is flying under the radar. The character has been described as “Boba Fett-like,” however, which indicates she could become a fan favourite. She could also become a disposable sub-villain, though. We all know Han Solo had serious beef with Boba Fett, and frankly it’s more realistic for Han to take on someone like this than, say, a Sith warrior. Fans will be hoping for some kind of great Han triumph, and offing the character who’s expected to be similar to his old nemesis seems fitting.
Snoke Will Be A Sensation
There are a ton of rumours floating around regarding Supreme Leader Snoke, a behind-the-scenes Sith lord who’s been lurking around the Star Wars saga from the beginning. One incredibly fun theory even suggests that Jar Jar Binks was Snoke all along, and frankly it’s so convincing that there’s the tiniest chance this is really the case. But it’s still extraordinarily unlikely. What we do know is that Andy Serkis (who jokingly confirmed the rumour) is depicting Supreme Leader Snoke through motion capture. And when Serkis jumps into a motion capture suit, majestic things tend to happen. This is the same guy who brought the likes of Smeagol (Lord of the Rings and Caesar (the newer Planet Of The Apes films) to life. Simply put, he doesn’t mess around. Even if he has only a minimal role in Episode VII, expect Snoke to steal any scene he’s in.
That about does it for a final round of theories. Oh, and Luke hasn’t gone to the dark side—it’s just too hard to believe. Right? Right!?