After a strong opening week, Episode VII has generated a resurgence of enthusiasm for the Star Wars Franchise. One might say the force has awakened! I’d like to take a couple of minutes to point to a couple of things you might have missed. HEADS UP: TOTAL SPOILER ALERT FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN’T HAD A CHANCE TO SEE THE FILM YET.
The final battle of the film, during which the Resistance attempts to destroy yet another giant planet sized weapon controlled by evil forces plays out with the following beats:
- The First Order begins to drain the power of a nearby Sun to charge their weapon.
- In the fading light, Poe Dameron and the other pilots attack the station to try and destroy the weapon, during which he says this line: "As long as we got light we have a chance."
- While the aerial battle is going on, Han confronts his son, Ben Solo, Kylo Ren on a narrow catwalk inside the station.
- When the light of the Sun extinguishes, Kylo Ren strikes Han down.
- There is some fighting while the Sun is drained and the weapon prepares to fire.
- Kylo Ren and Rey have a duel, during which she channels her raw, untrained force powers, summoning the light “that will guide” her as Maz Kanada told her. In doing so, summoning power of the light side of the force.
- Poe is able to destroy the station, which collapses into a new Sun, front he energy of the old one.
Think About That:
The fight brings about a new light. This entire end sequence is a metaphor for the new trilogy, and for all of Star Wars. There is an evil oppressor, who seeks to extinguish good, extinguish light from the galaxy, and there is a resistance to that evil, who will bring back the light.
Set that aside for a second to think about this:
The first trilogy, episodes 1, 2, and 3, is about the fall of Anakin into darkness.
The middle trilogy 4, 5, 6 is about Luke, the struggle and conflict between the dark side and the light, and how he struggles against the forces of darkness.
Could it be possible that the the third trilogy in the Star Wars Saga is a mirror of the prequel trilogy? Is about Ben Solo’s redemption and journey back to the light side of the force?
The beats of this final sequence might suggest just that. In the beginning, there is light, there is darkness.The darkness will inevitably consume the light, and all hope will be lost. In the end, the conflict between the Forces of good and evil will bring about a new light.
We have heard Kylo Ren talk about his pull towards the light, but he is doing everything in his power to remain under the influences of the dark side. When he kills Han, he is giving into that darkness and the darkness is consuming the light. But perhaps before the trilogy is done we will see his inner conflict bring about a new light, a good that General Organa is sure is in him, just as Luke was sure there was good in Vader.
Let’s look at this in one scene:
Consider the scene in which Han Solo is killed. Our set piece is a narrow catwalk. At Ren’s darkest moment, there is no light coming from the Sun. However, he is above a bright chasm, and is walking a narrow path of darkness. The only light is far below, buried within the planet, but we know about his pull toward the light. If he steps to either side of this narrow catwalk, he may fall towards the light. To me, this is a visual metaphor that Abrams gives us, a cue that perhaps Ren just needs the right push to come back to the light.