The Force Awakens (review)

Released: 2015
Grade: A-

Before I get into my review, I just have two words to say about this film. Excellent movie. Now, with that said, don’t read this review if you are trying to avoid spoilers. Yeah, I realize the movie came out 5 months ago, but believe it or not, I actually know some people who haven’t seen this yet. So stop reading now if you don’t want to be spoiled.

OK, now that those few people are gone, I can tell you what I really think about this movie.

Unanswered Questions
Just like I had anticipated, The Force Awakens actually raised a lot of really interesting questions. Why did Ren turn to the Dark Side? From the film, all we know is that Ben Solo turned to the Dark Side and started to destroy everything that Luke Skywalker had started to build. We’ll definitely find out more in episodes 8 and 9. But if I had to guess, I’d say that he was tempted by the Dark Side just like his grandfather was. I think he prefers the Dark Side powers over the Light Side powers. Maybe the more he learned about Darth Vader, the more he wanted to be like him.

How did Han Solo lose the Milennium Falcon? As soon as I saw the trailer with Han Solo telling Chewie, “we’re home”, I predicted that somehow Han would have recaptured the Falcon. But now I’d like to know how he lost it in the first place. Unfortunately, we never really find out.

Just exactly who are Rey’s parents? And adding to that, if we can assume that Rey witnessed her parents leaving her Jakku, just why exactly did that happen?

Let me start out by saying that I really can’t believe anyone would just abandon their toddler on a planet in the hands of some junk dealer. OK, giving them the benefit of the doubt – maybe this was the only way they could keep Rey safe, and maybe they had complete confidence and trust that he would never do anything wrong to their daughter, but still I can’t believe it. I mean there are some pretty messed up families in this movie series.

OK, so with that said, I’m going on the record. I believe Rey is Luke’s daughter. There are several reasons why I believe this.

  1. This one is perhaps the most important reason. Remember when Ren is trying to read Rey’s mind and find out where Luke is? He mentions an ocean and he sees the island. Then at the end of the movie, Rey finds Luke living on an island in the middle of an ocean. Coincidence? I think not. In fact, I believe that vision was in Rey’s head because she has been there before. What I think happened is that Luke, Rey, and her mother were all three on this planet when Rey was a young girl. Then, Rey’s mother left Luke on the planet in some kind of exile while she left with her daughter.
  2. Notice also how Chewie looks at her when they’re on their way to Luke’s Island Retreat. Without saying a word, it’s obvious that Chewie notices that Rey knows exactly where to go to find Luke. Could that be a coincidence? I really don’t think so. I believe she was being led by the Force to find her own father.
  3. Luke’s lightsaber obviously called to Rey. This is also the same lightsaber that Anakin used before he turned to the Dark Side. When she touched it for the first time, she had her first experience in the Force, and it was powerful enough to reveal many details of her life. At the end of the movie, Rey is able to snatch the lightsaber out of the hands of Kylo Ren. If she were anyone else’s daughter, then why would there be such a powerful connection to Luke’s weapon?
  4. Here’s something else about the lightsaber. We know Kylo Ren is Anakin’s grandson. He believe’s Anakin’s lightsaber should belong to him because he sees himself as the next in the line of Skywalkers. However, he is not able to retrieve the weapon because it goes to Rey. Now I suppose this could mean she is Han and Leia’s daughter, but there’s no reason to believe that Anakin’s lightsaber would seek out a descendant of Ben Kenobi.
  5. Luke throws two different looks at Rey when she shows up and offers his lightsaber back to him. He first seems confused at who this person is, but as soon as he notices the lightsaber and recognizes it as his own, he then also knows she’s his daughter. Then his look seems to say, “I never wanted you to get involved in this.” If Luke were not his daughter, he wouldn’t have given her this look. Instead, he would have given her a look like “why do you have my lightsaber?”
  6. Rey calls the Falcon “garbage,” as kind of a nod to when Luke called the same ship a “piece of junk.” J.J. Abrams is as big a fan of Star Wars as anyone else is. He is certainly familiar with what Luke thought of the Falcon. I believe he put this line into the film deliberately so we would at least sub-consciously make the connection between Rey and Luke.
  7. Maz Kanata tells Rey that whoever she’s waiting for on Jakku, “they’re never coming back. But there’s someone who still could. Luke.” That makes it sound to me like Rey already knows Luke is her father.
  8. In ANH, Han offers a job to Luke right before he leaves on the mission to blow up the Death Star. Obviously, Luke turns it down because he chooses to join the Rebel Alliance. In TFA, he offers a job to Rey, who also turns it down. Coincidentally, the reason she gives is because she has to get back home to Jakku. This is also a nod to Luke when he tells Obi-Wan that he can’t join him to rescue Leia since he’s late and in trouble already.
  9. Just like nobody believed Luke that he was a good pilot, nobody in TFA believes Rey is a good pilot. Perhaps this is coincidental, but again, if we weren’t supposed to think that Rey is Luke’s daughter, then why would Abrams deliberately include these references?

That’s a lot of coincidences, and there may even be a few more that I’ve missed. I’ll add them to my list as I think of them. Perhaps none of these are proof – except maybe the fact that Rey had already seen Luke’s Island home before she knew what planet he lived on. Here’s the thing. Either she’s actually Luke’s daughter, or Abrams has gone to some great lengths to throw us off the course. I’m not sure why he would do that, but I will say it’s not impossible.

I’ve heard a few other theories. Perhaps the most ridiculous is that she’s Obi-Wan’s granddaughter. I’m not buying this. Yes, she has a similar accent to Alec Guinness, but that doesn’t mean anything. In the real world, accents are not genetic, so why would they be in Star Wars? Some people point to Rey’s vision and say that she heard Obi-Wan talk to her about having taken her first steps. I don’t see this as evidence of her heritage, but as something quite different. Obi-Wan trained Anakin and Luke, and now he’s trying to make up for his failures with her grandfather and her father.

We’ll see who Rey’s father is. But as I said, unless Abrams tried to throw us off the scent, I think there’s far too much evidence pointing to Luke.