Star Wars Round Table: DMC Discusses 13 Burning Questions About The Force Awakens

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Now that we’ve all seen The Force Awakens (And if you didn’t, shame on you), the DMC crew sit down to discuss their burning questions about The Force Awakens. (Spoilers ahead!)

1.Who are Rey’s parents?

@CrimsenOverlord: “There are already theories on the internet about her being Luke’s daughter, but that’s too convenient. Unless they decide to pull the whole “your father was watching over you the whole time” trick with Lor San Tekka, we’ll probably never learn of her heritage. It seems entirely likely, and reasonable, that we never know who her parents are simply because they aren’t remarkable or important in any way. She *was* abandoned in the desert.”

 @Emeralddragun: “So many people are talking about Rey being Luke’s daughter. The film kind of sets this up, but it’s also too easy. I offer two alternatives. The first, and I think more likely, is that she is a relative of Obi-Wan. Luke discovers her as a child and knows she is strong with the Force, so when Ben (Kylo) goes crazy and kills everyone at the temple, Luke has her hidden away before he leaves so that no one will discover her for what she is. The second idea is that Rey is the reincarnation of Anakin Skywalker. I’ll go into why this could be in a longer post, but it does make sense considering all the talk of Darth Vader and her power. This could be Anakin’s way of making up for what he did under Palpatine.”
@JPraise_DMC: “It’s easy to point to Luke or Han & Leia here, because Star Wars is all about family and those ties that bind. If it is Han & Leia, however, it’s a huge stretch that will take a ton of explanation that could potentially bog down the rest of the series. Her being Luke’s child is far more likely. That said, I hope it’s neither, because it would be refreshing to think that she is just a former trainee in Luke’s fledgling Jedi Academy.”
@ManCalledStump: “Knowing Star Wars it will be someone important but I wish they weren’t.”
@JPaulRoe: “I’d hate to bring down the dark cloud so soon, but I blame the question. My answer is ‘I don’t care.’ The whole ‘mysterious parentage’ thing is so played out — especially in Star Wars properties — that I honestly don’t give a crap who is related to whom any more. If they can’t come up with anything more creative, then just blow shit up and have corridor blaster fights.”

2. How are the First Order Stormtroopers “programmed”?

@CrimsenOverlord: “I doubt they’ll explain it in the trilogy itself, but the new EU will probably tell more about the First Order Trooper programming. They Order likely began kidnapping children from various systems and submitting them to a combination of verbal and Force indoctrinations to make them obedient little soldiers. This explains why they only know themselves as numbers, though it does imply that the Order began this project around the fall of the last Empire.”
@Emeralddragun: “This was briefly addressed by Finn in the film, but it was so quick that I don’t think you really catch it until repeat viewings. It seems that The First Order takes kids at an early age and indoctrinates them and trains them, giving them only numbers instead of names, probably to keep individual personalities at bay. This points to them not being clones, but kidnapped children. There was also very distinctly a female voice for one of them, so they are no longer exclusively male either.”
@JPraise_DMC: “This might end up being a great question, but in all likelihood it’s just something that we won’t ever know. To me, it’s not that big of a deal if it is never explained, because *shrugSTARWARSshrug*.”
@ManCalledStump: “That tank used on Blanka from the Street Fighter Movie.”
@JPaulRoe: “Seems pretty obvious to me. It’s just indoctrination, like Kurt Russel in Soldier. That’s how Fin* explained it, so I doubt it’s going to be pivotal to the plot. And of course there are female stormtroopers. The movie is bending over backwards to be as politically-correct as possible. Did you notice the scene where two female X-Wing pilots are running across the tarmac during a slow pan…and if you were to continue following them, they would have
been running off into the woods? But female X-Wing pilots with ponytails! That’s all that matters.”
* I deliberately spelled his name that way because that’s how it should be spelled, based on how he got it. His serial number was FN-2187. Not FNN-2187. Spelling it “Finn” is just proving that they wanted to give him one of the trendiest baby names in the US. Lame! /endprotest

3. Why did Captain Phasma get a 24″ toy, or a name for that matter?

@CrimsenOverlord: ” I can only imagine she’s going to be a recurring character that gets more important in a future film. Perhaps she is meant to be a large threat in Episode 8 and they were just introducing her now so as not to run into another “Count Dooku” fiasco.”
 @Emeralddragun: “I do think that this was just her introduction and that we will get more of her next time. She may be the General Grievous of this trilogy, the big bad that doesn’t have Force powers. It’s Brienne of Tarth, you don’t cast her and give her nothing to do for three films.”
@JPraise_DMC: “Shiny Stormtrooper in a cape. Next question.”
@ManCalledStump: “Every Star Wars needs a character to look cool and not do much in the movies; General Grievous, Darth Maul, Mace Windu, and the master of them all Boba Fett. I personaly believe that characters like this make the universe feel alive, so this character has his or her own adventures that only brush up against the story we see in the movies. Also she looks cool at the front of a line of normal stormtroopers.”
@JPaulRoe: “She’s the character that had to exist, because the rest of the costume design was too good. I don’t know who green-lighted ‘chrome-dipped stormtrooper’ as a good concept, but they should be punched in the area. BTW: Asking why a female character got a 24″ toy is pretty risque. And I missed that part of the movie, apparently.”

4. Who is Snoke? Who trained him?

@CrimsenOverlord: “One can only guess. There isn’t enough concrete evidence to point in any one direction. However, something can be said for the decision to name the First Order base after Darth Vader’s (now non-canonical) secret apprentice. Obviously, it could just be a nod to the fact that Luke’s last name was supposed to be Starkiller in the original script for A New Hope (and Vader’s apprentice’s name was just that), but with all of the “Legends” EU easter eggs I noticed, I can’t see it as anything but a reference to the secret apprentice. And that, combined with some other “Legends” lore, leads me to my theory that Palpatine also had a secret apprentice. It only makes sense. The “rule of two” has never actually been in force throughout the entire franchise. On the surface it always looks like two, but underneath there are loads of apprentices who don’t seem to know about one another. Snoke was likely a backup plan for when Vader, like Maul, failed to live up to expectations. Or perhaps he was the true successor all along, and Vader was the “trophy apprentice”, meant to show the universe just how powerful the Dark Side really is. Snoke does seem to know a lot more about the force than Vader ever did.”

@Emeralddragun: “This guy is going to turn out to be more than we think. I see it like the Wizard of Oz, this is the facade he is putting on, but what he actually looks like is far different. I see him a short character who may not actually be as adept in the Force as Kylo Ren is. But he is a master manipulator and that will get him a long way. Much like Palpatine was before, but without the dark side power. I think he will end up taking Kylo Ren to whole new level of evil, now that Ren is dead set on that path.”
@JPraise_DMC: “I’m guessing he is someone Luke royally pissed off, and, if his scars are any indication, got the business end of Skywalker’s lightsaber. I’ve read ideas that he’s really Darth Plagueis, the master of Darth Sidious, but that seems way too much a stretch. In all likelihood he is just a brand new, Force-sensitive character that turned to the Dark Side a long time ago.”
@ManCalledStump: “Your Mamma.  Seriously though, an evil older than the republic itself who went into hiding. This will be explained in the next movie, remember the Emperor isn’t called Palpatine in the original trilogy till Return of the Jedi.”
@JPaulRoe: “My honest guess? He’s Luke Skywalker pulling a Wizard of Oz. I refuse to devote too much mental capacity to deconstructing a plot that once again falls back on ‘parent issues,’ but my theory is that Luke went crazy and is trying to pull some puppet strings on both sides of the fence. After all, Star Wars is all about patricide, so what better ending then to have Rey forced into killing Luke? Look at the thematic pieces: Luke looking all butt-hurt when his pupils were killed, and Luke as a crazy hermit standing on an island. Both classic cinematic signs of ‘crazy-by-trauma.’ I can already hear the line playing out in a future movie: ‘Rey, you weren’t being called to Luke to train with him…the Force was sending you to stop him.'”

5. How did Lor San Tekka get the last piece of Luke’s map?

@CrimsenOverlord: “I’m told his identity is hinted at in the novelization for The Force Awakens. That makes me think that he’ll get some play in the new EU. He seems like someone who knows a lot of Jedi lore, but who was never a Jedi himself. Perhaps he was helping Luke to rebuild the Jedi Order before Kylo Ren ruined things. That would explain why Luke would trust him with a piece of the map to, what I can only assume is, the location of a new Jedi Training facility.”
 @Emeralddragun: “Who is this guy? He is supposed to be an old friend and Kylo Ren obviously knows him, but we don’t. How does he fit in to Luke’s disappearance and why does he have the piece of the map? Needs to be addressed in Episode 8.”
@JPraise_DMC: “This is the part that seems to tie in to Rey being Luke’s child to me. The one thing that bothered me about Rey being a Skywalker is that she was basically abandoned on Jakku. When Luke and Leia were split up, they wound up in the care of people. Rey is all alone…unless Lor San Tekka was entrusted to make sure she was okay from a distance. Still kinda shitty parenting, but at least she’s not alone. If this is the case, and Luke trusted him enough to watch over his daughter, then it’s not a stretch to believe that he would be entrusted with Luke’s map.”
@ManCalledStump: “Why not a record keeper from the old Jedi temple or maybe just a rebel soldier who Luke trusted with this secret.”
@JPaulRoe: “How did who get what? Oh, the guy from Minority Report. My guess is that he had to kill his father to get it, because Star Wars. Did he still have both of his hands?”

6. On the same note, how did both The First Order and the Rebellion both obtain the other 99% of the map, but have to fight over this one piece?

@CrimsenOverlord: “I’m chalking this up to plot convenience. I have no doubt that this thought didn’t even register on the minds of the writers. Oops.”

@Emeralddragun: “This could be because Luke put it out there. He knew that The First Order would hunt him down, and that his sister would look for him. It’s no coincidence that Lor San Tekka, Rey, and the Millennium Falcon were all on the same planet. Self-imposed exile or not, there was a reason for it that hopefully will get answered next episode.”

@JPraise_DMC: “Because we needed a plot for the movie. Duh.”
@ManCalledStump: “Shut up is why.”
@JPaulRoe: “Never gave it any thought. Doesn’t strike me as needing explanation.”

7. Will we see two Jedi apprentices in the next movie?

@CrimsenOverlord: “I actually fear that Finn was just a misdirect, and his amazing skills against Kylo Ren was just bad writing/directing. But I hold out hope that it was intentional. I think in Episode 8 we’ll see Rey as a Padawan directly beneath Luke, but Finn will fill more of a Youngling/Initiate role. Given that he kind of needs to learn about the universe as a whole, his Force training will be much slower than Rey’s.”
@Emeralddragun: “I don’t think both Finn and Rey are Force sensitive. That would be too much and too easy. His ability to hold his own for a moment against Kylo Ren at the end was a combination of previous trooper training against blades/lightsabers, and Kylo Ren being injured and reckless. We need a non-Jedi, like we had with Han in the original trilogy, to be our ‘in’ for this trilogy. Someone that we normals can get behind. This is obviously Rey’s story, but we can experience it through Finn. I have no doubt that he is important somehow, but as long as it isn’t due to a blood tie with Lando or something as dumb, then I’ll buy it.”
@JPraise_DMC: “I really believe that Finn is just an Everyman character. In a lot of ways, I expect he will continue the role of our “eyes”…in other words, the awe of a regular person watching someone else grow powerful in the Force. His competence with the lightsaber could be written off as training with hand-to-hand fighting and melee weaponry during his time as a Stormtrooper, which would be a stretch but one worth just accepting in order to just keep moving on and watching. That said, if he is Force sensitive, it wouldn’t be terrible.”
@ManCalledStump: “Finn was just for a cool scene for the trailer because Star Wars needs lightsabers clashing. I also think both he and Rey only looked good because Kylo Ren was injured (he was bleeding before the fight began).”
@JPaulRoe: “I stand by my statement that Finn and Rey are Luke Skywalker’s character split in half to allow for more effective politically-correctness. They needed a strong lead, but they also needed someone bumbling and naive. Couldn’t make that a single character (like Luke) because then they would have a bumbling female. Can’t have that! I don’t think Finn is Force adept in the slightest. They only had him participate in a lightsaber duel so that he could fail miserably and set up the ‘BOOM GIRL POWER’ moment. Predictable? Very. But I can live with it, because they actually set Rey up as someone who is skilled in melee combat instead of just spraying deus ex machina all over the last 20 minutes of the movie.”

8. Why isn’t Leia a Jedi?

 @CrimsenOverlord: “I think this was something Disney demanded to firmly seperate this timeline from “Legends”. It draws a clear line in the sand. Yes there are easter eggs nodding toward the old EU, and more than a few similarities between the timelines, but they aren’t the same, and Disney wants you to know it. This does bring up another question though: If Leia wasn’t the “other” that Yoda was referring to when he spoke to Obi-Wan’s ghost, then who was?”
@Emeralddragun: “She does obviously exhibit Force sensitivity. We see her feel through the Force when Han dies and is clearly affected by it. Why she doesn’t go down the Jedi path like her brother is unclear, but I suspect it has to do with who she was when we last saw her. She was a leader of men and a symbol of the rebellion. Leaving all that to become a Jedi wasn’t who she was. She needed to be that person, it was who she was and what she was raised to be. It was where she was needed. Luke was the Jedi. Plus, after what happened with her son, why would she want to go down that path?”
@JPraise_DMC: “This was something that truly bothered me. Are we to believe that Luke ignored Yoda in this matter?  Or that Leia would deny her brother? My guess – and it’s a reach – is that Luke worried about Leia and thought he would protect her somehow. It’s kind of dumb – Leia showed her resourcefulness time and again during the Original Trilogy – but it’s also an easy throwaway answer. Of course, it’s also entirely possible that she IS trained…which would be a great reveal in the next film. I’m hoping this is explained, because otherwise, it creates a continuity problem with many things mentioned in “Return of the Jedi”.”
@ManCalledStump: “She doesn’t need it or maybe she didn’t want it. She also had a senate to build, son to birth and an army to raise. She had a lot on her plate.”
@JPaulRoe: “Because they ran out of lightsabers.”

9. Who are the Knights of Ren?

 @CrimsenOverlord: “I don’t even remember them being mentioned in the film. As far as I can tell, they’re just Kylo Ren’s retinue, and they only have a fancy name because J. J. wanted to misdirect his audience as he is known for. (Another point toward the idea that Finn won’t be a Jedi, sadly.)”
@Emeralddragun: “They are mentioned, ever so briefly, in the film, but without any clear explanation. We see them in a vision Rey had when she touched the lightsaber in Maz’s place, standing over lots of bodies in the rain. Whatever happened at Luke’s temple was bad, and the Knights of Ren were instrumental in that. We also know that they seem to be disbanded or at least Kylo has broken away from them, so it will be interesting to see what happened to them after that moment.”
@JPraise_DMC: “The sister organization to the Dragoons of Stimpy.  😀
I am guessing they are Kylo Ren’s sworn brothers, perhaps Force sensitive. But as we learn about Snoke, we should also learn of them.”
@ManCalledStump:“Sith Padawans, but maybe not under Snoke. Next question.”
@JPaulRoe: “If I remember correctly, in the ‘Luke is butt-hurt’ flashback scene, there were other Padawan standing beside Kylo Ren. I assume that he turned a few of his fellow students to the Dark Side before going all slaughter on the rest. These would be the Knights of Ren. But they’re nothing compared to the Caballeros of Stimpy.”

10. Does Finn have to be Force sensitive or related to Lando for us to love him or accept him?

@CrimsenOverlord: “Nope. I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t already love him, and nobody seems to believe he’s Force Sensitive (other than me) or related to Lando in any way. He’s just a cool character.”
@Emeralddragun: “I hope that he isn’t. I love the way Boyega is playing him right now and I want to see that continue. Turning him into another Jedi in training would ruin that character, and the dynamic between him and Rey.”
@JPraise_DMC: “God, no. He made the leap into the Star Wars universe infinitely easier for newbies. That was his role in this film, and he should continue in that – as well as a romantic interest for Rey, which would lead her to the temptation of the Dark Side – and it will be just fine.”
@ManCalledStump: “We lost one lovable scoundrel and gained a new one. Maybe he is force sensitive but not enough to be a Jedi, people like that have to exist right? Rey will have important parents so Finn gets Steve and Martha nobody.”
@JPaulRoe: “I like him because he’s funny. That’s all that matters. As soon as they give him some stupid-ass parentage, I’m out. You can’t expect us to believe that there are 800 trillion people in this galaxy, and yet everyone we meet is related. Are only six people in Star Wars getting laid, or what?”

11. Who is Maz Kanata and why does she know so much?

 @CrimsenOverlord: “More plot convenience I would guess. But it is hinted that Han might have known her before his days in the Rebellion. Perhaps she was a driving influence in Han’s life at some point. Her vast knowledge can be attributed to her trade. She knows things because she’s some sort of middle-man or arbiter. She needs to know about those seeking her help, and those they are running from.”
@Emeralddragun: “It was said in the film that her bar has been around for a thousand years, so it makes sense that a character like Han would have dealings with her at some point. She would have also been witness a lot of what the Jedi had done, including the fall of the Jedi and the rise of the Empire. She would also want to know as much about her friends and clients as possible before doing business with them. I also buy that Han or Luke would think her a great hiding place for the lightsaber, assuming that one of them took it to her and she didn’t get it through some other means. There is a scene in one of the trailers that shows Maz and a female human exchanging the lightsaber, but that scene was not in the film. So this could have been how she acquired it. I do love her character and the way she is played, so I look forward to seeing more of her.”
@JPraise_DMC: “I am hoping she used to work in the duct system at Cloud City. Otherwise, her possession of Luke’s lightsaber makes no goddamn sense. She strikes me as possibly being Force sensitive, but also being someone totally new that they ran across during the empty space of the last 30 years. She will definitely have to be explained.”
@ManCalledStump: “Look to the extended universe young one.”
@JPaulRoe: “She’s there to fill in holes in the backstory, clearly. Her bar has been around for thousands of years to serve as a plot contrivance. All I know is that every time she was on screen, I started thinking about The Incredibles. No capes!”

12. What happened after Return of the Jedi to get us to this point?

@CrimsenOverlord: “I don’t really want to know. There’s too much ground to cover to really explain most of it well. Sure, I’d love to know what happened during Kylo Ren’s training, or how exactly someone was able to steal the Falcon, but they’d have a strict set of events to end with. And we all saw how what happened with the prequels; let’s just leave the past a mystery and be done with it.”
@Emeralddragun: “This is a great question, but maybe better explored in the EU. The book “Aftermath” began showing us this, and is going to continue that story in the second and third books in that series. I like the Aftermath trilogy bridging that gap, and let the rest of it come in dialogue or flashbacks in the films. When A New Hope started, there had been a lot happening that we weren’t aware of on screen. It later was fleshed out in comics and books, but you were given just enough in the films to understand what was going on in front of you.”
@JPraise_DMC: “I’m pretty sure that’s what all these new books and comics are supposed to explain, so spend your money accordingly.”
@ManCalledStump: “A lot of shit Disney is going to mine apparently. Maybe another animated series?”
@JPaulRoe: “pew pew spacebattle good vs. evil, natch.”

13. What is Luke’s role in all this?

 @CrimsenOverlord: “He was doing something on that remote planet. Maybe he was conversing with his mentors on how best to go about his new role as teacher. Maybe he was actually training more Jedi in the hopes of combatting Snoke and Kylo Ren in the future. One thing’s for sure: His role from a storytelling standpoint will be as the wise old teacher (as Obi-Wan and Yoda were for him). I do not expect to see Luke even fight anyone, unless it’s to protect Rey in the next film. (Disney has mentioned how they want to distance themselves from the old characters as much as possible. Will we see Luke die to protect Rey, just like Obi-Wan did for him?)”
@Emeralddragun: “He put himself in timeout so that he didn’t hurt anyone or have another apprentice turn on him like Ben did. But Ben’s turn was more about his heritage and parentage, than anything else. The poor kid was the son of Han Solo and Princess Leia Organa, the nephew of Luke Skywalker, and the grandson of Darth Vader. There’s no living up to that. Luke blames himself, but he was doomed from the start. Now that Rey is there and begging him for help, he will have to step up and help figure out this crisis. He will be Rey’s Yoda, teaching her to hone her abilities and sending her on her quest to take down Kylo Ren and Snoke. I like the idea of this being the story of Rey, being an offspring of Obi-Wan and not Luke. It’s a nice reversal from the original trilogy.”
@JPraise_DMC: “He’s going to be the Ben Kenobi character at the very least. That said, it’s always been his destiny to bring balance to the Force, so maybe, after botching the job, Rey’s emergence will help in him achieving this.”
@ManCalledStump: “Luke is the Yoda of this story, a master who didn’t see the evil right in front of his face and failed his Padawans. Which is why he ran to find his own balance. I think a bigger question is will he take an active role in the fight against the first order. The real question here is will he make Rey carry him on her back for her training?”
@JPaulRoe: “I’m sticking with my guess. He’s going to be evil. He’s going to be the Anakin Skywalker that we were all denied in those shitty prequel movies. Think about how much everything else in The Force Awakens mirrors episodes 4-6 and you’ll see the clear possibility. Add the fact that J.J. Abrams has to have some sort of secret twist –and so far, everything in this movie was terribly predictable — and you’ve got a lock. Just watch.”
Did we hit the nail on the head or are we way off base? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

All opinions are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Deck Ape...or anyone else. Arrr!

R.A. Miller

R. A. Miller, the pen name of Robert Miller, spends his days working for the Suncoast Media Group and his nights writing for Deck Ape, as well as his own fiction. A graduate of Full Sail University with a BFA in Creative Writing for Entertainment, Robert uses his knowledge and his skills to create spectacular, page turning fiction.

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