There are many fans out there who argue that the most powerful factor in the Star Wars universe is the Force. Others will say lightsabers are the most powerful. Some may even argue that the ships and stations like the Death Star are the most powerful weapons in the [Star Wars](tag:2395282) universe. Though all of these may be very powerful, they are not the most powerful factor. There is one other key factor that is apparent in the entire Star Wars saga that plays a larger role than even the Force itself....
What is this factor??
...Love is by far the most powerful, yet dangerous, factor in the Star Wars universe. It drives the plot of the entire series and moves the characters in unexpected ways.
After having a strong presence in both the original Star Wars trilogy (Episodes IV-VI) and the prequel trilogy (Episodes I-III), it is safe to say that it will also have a strong presence in the upcoming sequel trilogy (Episodes VII-IX).
But what affect will love have on the plot? To answer this question, first we must look at the effects it has had during the previous movies...
Love in the Prequel Trilogy (The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith)
Love plays a very prominent role in all three episodes of the prequel trilogy. These three movies follow young Anakin Skywalker as he slows begins to turn evil and is eventually consumed by Darth Vader. But why did he turn evil in the first place? It all starts with his love.
In The Phantom Menace, we meet young Anakin Skywalker who has an undying love for his mother. It is a very powerful, singular love that drives Anakin's actions. When he meets the Jedi Council, they sense the love inside of young Anakin, and also sense his fear of losing his mother. This is followed by Yoda's famous warning to Anakin:
“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
Now this isn't just a bunch of mumbo-jumbo. It is actually foreshadowing the events of the subsequent films.
In Attack of the Clones, we see Anakin's worst fear come true with the death of his mother. Anakin's love for her turned to fear. Once his fears came true, he became angry. His anger led him to slaughter the Sand People who killed his mother, and in a later scene, he admitted to Padmé his hatred for the killers.
We also see Anakin's love start to blind him again when he falls in love with Padmé even though the other Jedi warned him against it.
In Revenge of the Sith, we see the fear return again, this time as a result of his love for Padmé. We see Anakin's love for Padmé and the fear of losing her drive him insane. He is so blinded by this love and fear that he turns against everything he ever stood for to try to protect the one he loved.
We see love's true dangers as it completely blinds Anakin of the real world and leads to him being completely consumed by his fear.
The actions of the entire first trilogy were all driven by Anakin's undying love for those close to him.
The role of love in the Original Trilogy (A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi)
The true effects of love's power is not fully realized until the end of this trilogy, but it is still apparent throughout and drives the actions that 'end' the Empire. We still see cases of it blinding people as well, which appears to be love's recurring theme throughout the saga.
In A New Hope, love for life is what drives most of the main characters. After losing his family, Luke ventures away from his sandy home to discover the truth about the world and to make sure that no one else loses the ones they love. Love is not as apparent in this film as it is the others, but just hang tight. It gets better.
In The Empire Strikes Back, we see Luke's love start to blind him, much like it did to his father. I am referring to the scene where Luke is training under Yoda, but after having a vision of his friends in danger, he drops everything to go rescue them. Even though Yoda warns him against it, saying it will only lead to suffering (much like he warned Anakin of in The Phantom Menace), Luke still risks everything to save his beloved friends.
In Return of the Jedi, we see the powers of love more apparent than ever. After discovering the truth about his father, we see a more 'optimistic' side to Luke regarding Darth Vader. Before, Vader had seemed like a force that needed to be stopped. But when Luke learned the truth, he realized that Darth Vader was not always evil; there was once good and love inside of him.
Luke, much like Anakin in the prequel trilogy, develops an undying love for his parent and decides to do everything he can to save him from the evil inside of him. Luke risks everything and even surrenders himself to Darth Vader, knowing there was a strong chance he might die, in order to try to bring his father back.
In conclusion, love is apparent throughout all of the films. It causes the characters to take risks, and it blinds them but also inspires them. Love, much like the Force, is very difficult to handle and can be very dangerous.
But my question is, how will love be handled in the next Star Wars trilogy? To figure this one out, we need to answer three questions...
1. Who will the main character be?
It has not yet been determined who the main character will be in Star Wars 7: The Force Awakens, but many of us predict that it will be Rey (played by Daisy Ridley), who is assumed to be the daughter of Princess Leia and Han Solo. It is unknown if Luke has any kids, but given the fact that he is a Jedi Knight, he is most likely staying abstinent much like the rest of the Jedi.
If Rey is the daughter of Leia, that means she is technically a Skywalker. The new Star Wars trilogy has been confirmed to be following the next generation of the Skywalker family, in this case that is Rey. So whatever factor love plays in the series, it will most likely be a love held by Rey.
2. Why will the love be there and who / what will it be for?
This one is tricky as very little of the plot has been given. What we do know, however, is that we have three main characters: Rey (played by Daisy Ridley), Poe (played by Oscar Isaac), and Finn (played by John Boyega). The love that Rey has could be for either of the other two main characters, for her parents, for her Uncle Luke, or it could even be for her life of solitude.
Daisy Ridley spoke about her role as Rey back in August and said that she begins as a solitary scavenger, but then starts an adventure after meeting another character. This character was assumed to be Poe, who was sent by "a certain princess" on a special mission, most likely to find her missing daughter. However, in the trailers, we do not see Poe 'saving' Rey from the desert planet she currently lives on. Instead, we see Finn going to save her. It looks as though Rey will be spending more time with Finn than Poe, possibly starting a relationship.
My guess, however, is not that Rey will fall in love with Poe or Finn (maybe she will, but that won't be the love that defines Rey's story). I believe that Rey's love will be of her old solitary life of scavenging, much like her father, Han, felt during the original trilogy.
3. What affect will the love have?
Previously, we have seen love influence a Skywalker to turn evil to protect his loved ones, and also influence a different Skywalker to risk everything to combat that evil and bring back his father. These are both quite different, but love does the same thing in both situations: it blinds the character. I believe that somehow, love will blind Rey. Daisy Ridley described Rey as both solitary and self-sufficient. She grew up independent (somehow being separated from her parents) and most likely wants to keep it that way. When the adventure truly begins, I am betting that Daisy will resist going further (much like Han) and will be too blinded by her love of her old life to see the true picture of what is going on in the Galaxy.
This love and urge to go back to her old life will possibly trap Rey from moving further in the world. Though she is now (supposedly) the most powerful Force-wielder in the Galaxy alongside Luke, Rey will do all she can to resist it because she is too blinded by her love of her old 'perfect' life to pursue this new one.
In other words, The new Star Wars trilogy will be about Rey's love for her solitary life, how it blinds her and how she overcomes this love for the greater good of the Galaxy.
This theory not only connects to the theme of love blinding people that has persisted throughout the entire saga, but it also fits with Rey being the daughter of Han. Han Solo always wanted to go, well, solo. He loved his solitary life. Will it really be a surprise if Rey has this same issue?
Rey's love for her old life will be a key factor and obstacle during the next Star Wars trilogy. It will try to stop her from helping the universe, but perhaps this love can be put to good use once Rey learns that the only way to get back the life she loves is by fighting the evil of this new trilogy just so she can go back to living alone...
What is your opinion? Let me know in the comments. And thanks for reading!