A Proud Admission
Around 1 year before the release of The Force Awakens, I had made a pessimistic prediction regarding this movie. I was suspicious that the Disney machine would transform my beloved Original Trilogy Triumvirate of Han, Luke, and Leia, into mere eye candy to boost ticket sales.
- I predicted we'd see 15 total minutes of Han Solo and Chewbacca in one of those "Hey guys...remember me?" kinds of scenes
- I predicted Leia would be a walk on cameo
- I predicted Luke was going to be the beloved mentor who dies in the first movie.
I am proud to say that I was completely wrong about the whole thing. The Force Awakens pleased me very much.
...I did get one detail correct, and in watching this new entry into the Star Wars saga I immediately confirmed it. In the other two series there is a formula in each of the first movies. Adventure-minded youth dreams of a bigger life among the stars, but is held back in a mediocre existence for some reason. In The Phantom Menace this was Anakin. In A New Hope it was Luke, and in this movie it was Rey. Also in each movie there is the master/mentor who takes upon the pupil. In Phantom Menace the pupil role was divided by Obi Wan and Anakin. Of course the other two pupils are Luke and Rey again.
However, in the Force Awakens they slip a very subtle plot twist. There the other two movies had a Jedi Master in that role, in this movie they took a different route.
The Subtle Plot Twist No One is Talking About
Rather than a Jedi Master, the role of mentor was filled by none other than Han Solo, smuggler and disgraced father of the new dark enemy. Where once he was the quintessential "Force-atheist"...
...now he's a complete believer. In the Force. In the Jedi. All of it.
While Finn and Rey are a team, it's clear Han develops a connection to Rey. While many people postulate that he's her father, I reject this theory. Rather I see their connection as master and pupil, like Qui-Gon and Obi Wan, and later Obi Wan and Luke. It perfectly follows the "First Film Formula".
Being formulaic the student, just awakened to the Force, now witnesses the murder of the beloved mentor.
This passing-of-the-torch scene is where Rey must now carry on the mission of peace. So rather than Luke being the "Obi Wan" character for her, he will in turn actually be the Yoda character, where she receives the lion share of her Force training.