The journey to [Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens](tag:711158) has been an exciting one, full of leaks and trailers, costume reveals and plot hints. And we've just had some exciting new revelations that get us one step closer to knowing what's going on in Star Wars Episode 7!
The latest buzz is all about Kylo Ren, wielder of that awesome cross guard lightsaber, and major thorn in the side of our new heroes. Until now the character has been shrouded in mystery, but we've had fascinating new information from none other than J.J. Abrams himself! So buckle up, we're about to drop some plot spoilers: read on at your own risk!
Villain or Hero: Kylo Ren Revealed
There are two sides to every story... and it seems that's even true of Star Wars' dark and light side. Though slated as the villain of the tale, Abrams' revelations paint the picture of a lonely child who latched on to the wrong kind of idol. Many people have pointed out the similarities between Kylo Ren's outfit of choice and Darth Vader's costume, and as it turns out this is entirely deliberate.
"The movie explains the origins of the mask and where it’s from, but the design was meant to be a nod to the Vader mask. [Ren] is well aware of what’s come before, and that’s very much a part of the story of the film."
Though Abrams won't reveal much about Ren's backstory, he did have some surprising news about just who Kylo Ren is. Fans have long thought that this villain may have a secret origin story, and might even be the descendent of the Skywalker/Solo/Organa clan. And it turns out that our theories might actually be true because get this - Kylo Ren is not his real name!
It seems as though there's a new cult to replace that of the Sith: Abrams revealed that Kylo Ren's name was given to him when he joined the Knights of Ren, a group previously unheard of in the Star Wars universe. Considering Kylo Ren's obsession with Darth Vader, it's likely that this group seek to emulate the teachings of the Sith. But are they followers of the old doctrines, or do they want to come into their own kind of power?
The Knights do seem to be affiliated with the First Order though: Kylo Ren is working with them after all. What could this alliance mean? Are the Knights of Ren replacing the Sith as the masters of the First Order troopers? Or is this merely a marriage of convenience, brought together by common enemies? We'll have to wait until the film is released to find out, but there's plenty of new info to be mined about the First Order itself...
This is a screenshot from a slightly longer Star Wars Episode 7 trailer that was recently released, showing us the expanse of the First Order's army. So you don't have to squint, here's a breakdown of what this picture means.
- AT-ATs or AT-TEs: see those machines on the right? They're some kind of headlesss AT-AT, the likes of which we saw in The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi. They're compact and more maneuverable, and therefore much more difficult to take down. Good luck rebels!
- Captain Phasma: check out the shiny chrome helmet - that's Captain Phasma for sure, addressing her troops. She's clearly very high up in the First Order hierarchy.
- Grand Moffs: as revealed in the comic series Shattered Empire, the Moffs took control of individual systems in the power vacuum after the Battle of Endor. Those black clad figures could be the remnants of the Grand Moff population, meaning they still have some power over the troops.
- The General: otherwise known as that guy at the front there. He's the major power in the First Order, and we also got our first glimpse of him in a close up pic...
Looks a bit young, doesn't he? Maybe he also has a sob story like Kylo Ren. Whatever his tale is, he's set to make all kinds of problems for our heroes.
A Nefarious Foe
It won't be easy for Finn, Rey, and Poe Dameron to defeat this new power in the galaxy. With Kylo Ren ready to fill Darth Vader's shoes, and the might of the First Order behind him, nothing is set in stone. Get ready for a rollercoaster ride and until then, stay tuned for more Star Wars Episode 7 news!