BySean Erickson, writer at
Exploring the area between movie geek and film nerd.
Sean Erickson

Star Wars Episode 7 has revealed more about our central trio of heroes that it has about the central trio of villains. After describing what we know about the character that Domnhall Gleeson is playing, let's try to sort out what we know about the characters that are rumored to make up real bad guys in Star Wars 7.

Kylo Ren This Rumor By You?

Let's start with the one confirmed bad guy of the bunch, Kylo Ren. What do we know for sure aside from the fact that he has a nifty, three crystal lightsaber? Very little exists in the land of fact but there is no shortage of Star Wars Episode 7 rumors about this guy.

The now famous shot of Kylo Ren in Star Wars 7.
The now famous shot of Kylo Ren in Star Wars 7.

The early rumors that still stand up as being some of the more reliable ones have Kylo Ren as someone who is drawn to the dark side and is having his strings pulled by the Sith Lord that is expected to be played by Andy Serkis (more on him later). After paparazzi spotted the actor Adam Driver in a X-Wing pilot outfit - there was some legitimacy to the plot leaks that had Kylo's path take him from the Republic to the Empire over the course of the movie. This would indeed make the story of Kylo Ren similar to that of Revan's.

This path to the dark side has reduced dramatically over time and the more recent (and less coherent, imho) Star Wars Episode 7 rumors have Kylo Ren being a high ranking member of the Imperial forces right from the start of the movie. But he continues to be viewed as being an apprentice of whomever this grand Sith Lord may turn out to be.

Sith Lord Darth Plagueis

The best rumor surrounding who it is that menacing voice in the trailer belongs to continues to be Darth Plagueis. We know it is Andy Serkis and one of the tricky things about this amazing actor is that the motion capture master can be just about anyone. But there are a number of interesting clues that lead to Darth Plagueis being the evil Sith overlord of Star Wars Episode 7.

First of all, there's a lot of business to take care of in this first episode of a new trilogy and in attempting to tie in six previous movies it has a fair share of work cut out for it. One relatively easy way to do this is to bring the character of Darth Plagueis into the story. There isn't another established character in the movies that has the kind of "ancient evil" that this guy carries with him.

Star Wars Episode 7's Andy Serkis.
Star Wars Episode 7's Andy Serkis.

Emperor Plagueis was indeed supposed to be dead - but he is also a character that has been established as spending his life in search of a way to beat death. Is he the Sith power that has been rumored in some circles to be contained in a tomb that Luke Skywalker is trying to keep shut? Or has he been waiting in the background for his chance to assume control after his would-be murderer Emperor Palpatine failed?

Not only would the master of Emperor Palpatine make sense in laying out a cohesive story for Episode 7, it would give the more casual fans an immediate sense of how big a threat this guy can be. And since Palpatine is a bit of an oddly shaped dude - having Andy Serkis handling the mo-cap duties also adds to the credibility of this rumor.

Captain Phasma, For Real?

My least favorite rumor has to do with the badass "Chrome Trooper" or Storm Trooper boss that Gwendoline Christie is expected to be playing. She was long rumored to be in charge of the lightsaber wielding Inquisitors faction of the Imperial forces and generally someone you do not want to mess with.

Concept art for the Star Wars 7 Chrome Trooper.
Concept art for the Star Wars 7 Chrome Trooper.

And then there came some more recent rumors that have tagged her with the name Captain Phasma and I have all but lost respect for this character. Or maybe I've just lost respect for the state of the current batch of Star Wars Episode 7 rumors that want me to believe that JJ Abrams and legendary original Star Wars trilogy writer Lawrence Kasdan would allow there to be a character by the name of Captain Phasma in Episode 7. Even if it is just a code name for her character, it is a plain old goofy one at that.

Star Wars 7 Gwendoline Christie in Game of Thrones.
Star Wars 7 Gwendoline Christie in Game of Thrones.

It's generally believed that she will be the character that is deploying the Storm Troopers that our hero Finn defects from and is one of the major villains in Star Wars Episode 7 that is trying to hunt down the force sensitive of the galaxy - perhaps using a device that the Republic is seeking to destroy at all costs.

We'll see if any of these rumors get a bit of confirmation or an outright refuting from the second trailer that will accompany The Avengers: Age of Ultron in a month's time. There's also the possibility that we'll be able to catch a glimpse mid-way through this month if The Star Wars Celebration event decides to treat us a couple weeks early. Live theater events are being planned all over the world if you're lucky enough to be able to attend. If not, hey, how many shaky cell-phone copies will end up on YouTube that day?

What do you think? Do you have another take on the villains of [Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens](movie:711158)? Let us know in the comments section below!


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