As we draw closer to that all important [Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens](tag:711158) release date, more and more tidbits of information are being revealed. We've had an influx of trailers and TV ads lately, and Entertainment Weekly's special Star Wars 7 issue has granted us plenty of new Force Awakens hints!
Along with intriguing interviews with the cast, we've also got some new clues on the biggest mysteries of Star Wars 7. Of course, the most enigmatic characters have the fans speculating wildly, but did EW just reveal the connection between Rey and Kylo Ren?
Alone On Jakku
When Rey's character was first revealed, we knew she was a solitary figure, scavenging scraps from the wrecks of Star Destroyers on Jakku. In the past months we've slowly discovered more about her backstory, as Rey is positioned to be the main protagonist of Force Awakens, mirroring Luke Skywalker in her role. The Japanese trailer was especially illuminating, as it confirmed that Rey's solitary status isn't necessarily by choice...
In perhaps the most telling line we've heard yet, Rey opens up to BB-8 about why she's on Jakku in the first place.
"I know all about waiting. For my family."
It's just a tiny tidbit, but this one revelation has a lot of implications for the plot of Star Wars Episode 7. The familial connection between the new characters and the original trilogy's heroes is probably the biggest mystery of The Force Awakens (aside from the location of Luke Skywalker). Naturally, we're all desperate to know why Rey is waiting for her family (whoever they may be), but now it seems they're not returning for her any time soon.
EW confirms that Rey was "abandoned by her family," and again, though this doesn't seem like much at first glance, their use of the word "abandoned" has huge implications. It eliminates any possibility that Rey was orphaned, or that her family was captured by The First Order. She was left on Jakku alone, deliberately.
Why her family would do this remains to be seen, but many fans are theorizing that if Rey really is the daughter of Han Solo and General Leia, whatever happened between Return Of The Jedi and Force Awakens caused them to abandon Rey, and it must have been something bad. Thanks to Carrie Fisher, we know that the Leia we see in Star Wars 7 is a war-weary one, who carries the heavy weight of her past decisions...
"She's solitary. Under a lot of pressure. Committed as ever to her cause, but I would imagine feeling somewhat defeated, tired, and pissed."
There have also been some rumors that Han and Leia have actually parted ways (Abrams, don't you dare), and if they were really forced to abandon their daughter, the sadness of this would no doubt put pressure on their relationship. For the time being, all we have are cagey hints and speculation, but if her connection to the Organa-Solos hasn't been confirmed yet, Rey's link to Kylo Ren just became a little bit clearer...
The Final Battle
In what will surely be the climax of the film, we have Kylo Ren confronting Finn in an atmospherically moonlit forest. This scene has been one of the most exciting to discover; first revealing the now iconic crossguard lightsaber, we later saw Finn ignite the legendary Skywalker saber to fight Kylo Ren. The battle between the two of them had many fans excited, but now we know Finn isn't alone in this fight...
It seems both Rey and Finn will battle Kylo Ren in The Force Awakens! As frikkin' awesome as this is, there's another pretty crucial piece of information from this photo: Kylo Ren is unmasked. This could mean many things, but most important of all it means that Kylo Ren isn't trying to hide his identity from the young heroes. Maybe this is because they already know who he is? Maybe because he's related to one of them?
Alright, let's backtrack for a second. We've actually had some hints previously that seem to establish a connection between Kylo Ren and Rey specifically. A few months ago, some dialogue was released from the film, including this line that Kylo Ren presumably speaks to Rey...
"Is it true? You're just a scavenger?"
The tone in his voice seems to be one of disappointment. Is this because he senses that Rey is Force sensitive? Or could it be because he expects someone related to him to be more than a simple scavenger? Either way, Kylo Ren being unmasked in the battle scene definitely means he doesn't care if Rey (and Finn) know who he is... and maybe he wants to reveal his identity to them.
But as revelatory as The Force Awakens might be, Abrams himself has admitted he's keeping quite a few big twists back for future installments of the franchise.
Speaking about the "I am your father" plot twist, J.J. Abrams stressed how this revelation only had the impact it had because it came after A New Hope.
"It was an instantly classic moment in movie history, but it was only possible because it stood on the shoulders of the film that came before it. There had been a couple of years to allow the idea of Darth Vader to sink in, to let him emerge as one of the greatest movie villains ever. Time built up everyone’s expectations about the impending conflict between Luke and Vader. If “I am your father” had been in the first film, I don’t know if it would have had the resonance."
So what does that mean for Force Awakens? To me it seems that whatever secrets the characters are hiding, we might have to wait a while to find out. By mirroring Darth Vader, Kylo Ren's identity (and potential familial connection to other characters) may not be divulged until Episode 8.
Of course, that's not to say there won't be big revelations in Episode 7, and personally, I'm expecting a lot from that lightsaber battle... But for now the evidence we have is very intriguing, and very exciting!
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