Mirror Images: Reflections from the Saga in The Force Awakens Trailer

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NOTE: Possible spoilers for The Force Awakens based on speculation and deduction from the trailers and other official sources. Spoilers at the end for the junior novel The Weapon of a Jedi: A Luke Skywalker Adventure.

In my previous article, Exposing the Hidden Clues in The Force Awakens Trailer, I compared some shots in the new trailer to moments from the original trilogy. There are, in fact, many comparisons to be made between much of the official information released for The Force Awakens and the entire Star Wars saga. I have left some similarities I have noticed out of this article for length considerations, and I’m sure I have missed some. The article will include virtually identical shots, shots reminiscent in theme, and inversions of themes. Some of these are rather clear and some are subjective and simply struck a chord in my imagination. Please feel free to add to the list.

In the new trailer, we see that Rey, like Luke and Anakin before her, has a desire to leave her desert home in search of a better, more adventurous life. Note that Anakin is the most optimistic of the three.

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As seen in the Entertainment Weekly article, at some point in the film, BB-8, the droid belonging to Poe Dameron, gets caught in the net of a Jakku scavenger named Teedo. Rey frees the droid who then accompanies her on the adventure. This reflects the journey R2 and 3PO took with Luke, and also brings to mind young Anakin helping the stranded heroes in The Phantom Menace (not pictured). Will BB-8 be the key to Rey’s off-world adventure as the droids and Qui-Gon were to Luke and Anakin?

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Poe Dameron is tortured by Kylo Ren using the Force. Darth Vader used technological torture devices on both Leia and Han. Interestingly, in Star Wars: Rebels both methods are used against Kanan.

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Is Finn disturbed by something he has done under orders as a stormtrooper? Note the blood on his helmet. Could he be facing a similar moral crisis as Anakin did after he killed the Tusken villagers, and Luke when he realized he was using the Dark Side and taking the dark path of his father?

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A new two-seater Special Forces TIE fighter spins out of control and crash lands on Jakku, much like a certain escape pod carrying two droids came to land on Tatooine.

[Shout-out to Mike Klimo, author of Star Wars Ring Theory, who also noted these shots on Twitter.]

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In the behind the scenes video released at Celebration 2015, we see what looks to be Finn in his stormtrooper armor hurriedly escorting Poe Dameron through the halls of a Star Destroyer.

Coupling this with shots of the two-seater TIE fighter shooting up a First Order hanger, Finn initially wearing his armor on Jakku and later sporting Poe’s jacket, and we get a possible picture of Finn helping Poe to escape before being separated on Jakku.

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This information also makes me wonder if Finn and Poe are going to have a bickering relationship like R2 and 3PO. A line from a talking Finn figure seems to confirm this, if it is indeed said to Poe: “I never should have rescued you!”

Here we have a shot of Finn observing a settlement of some kind on Jakku that obviously recalls the shot of Ben showing Luke Mos Eisley Spaceport. Will this be another hive of scum and villainy? Finn needs to be cautious, but as we see in the picture above, he finds a helping hand (sorry, couldn’t help myself).

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Finn and Rey escape First Order troops on Jakku by way of the Millennium Falcon, just as Luke and Ben escaped Tatooine in the same ship.

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The Falcon maneuvering around, and inside, a dangerous Jakku landscape of Star Destroyers and other downed ships, similar to how it maneuvered through the asteroid field in The Empire Strikes Back and the second Death Star in Return of the Jedi. It is also reminiscent of Anakin’s podracing skills [not pictured].

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Han the skeptic becomes Han the believer. Ironically, Han has taken on Ben’s role.

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Woo hoo! Poe, Han, and Anakin expressing joy during a shift in battle.

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The Falcon escapes through fire.

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“Hold me.” My favorite moment in the new trailer and a beautiful callback.

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Surveying a new technological terror?

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“Nothing will stand in our way. I will finish what you started.” “He will join us or die.” “At last we will have revenge.”

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“I have to save you!” A creepy reflection? [I do not believe Kylo is Luke, by the way. That has been disproved by the final shot in the trailer where Kylo is unmasked]

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Kylo Ren is a visual mix of pre and post armored Vader. [Shout-out to Hector Navarro on Twitter @Inquis_ector who noted the similarities of the first two images]

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A shot of what many assume is Kylo Ren and the Knights of Ren standing among numerous bodies. This brings to mind Anakin’s slaughter of the Tuskens in Episode 2 and the younglings in Episode 3.

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Is Starkiller Base a variation on the Death Star, or are the visual similarities there to throw us off?

According to the official Databack entry for Starkiller Base, it is “an ice planet converted into a stronghold of the First Order and armed with a fiercely destructive new weapon capable of destroying entire star systems.” Note the “trench” in the snow battle pic.

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Will Rey handle loss like Luke, or Anakin?

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Rey and Luke firing angrily. Note that this shot of Rey isn’t in the snowy forest environment like the pic of her crying over someone above. I don’t believe this is her response. Who is she angry at and why?

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Kylo and Anakin both massacring a desert village?

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“You are not a Jedi yet.” Finn does not look ready to take on Kylo Ren, just as Luke was not prepared for Vader in The Empire Strikes Back.

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And finally, we see similarities to another George Lucas creation with a script written by Lawrence Kasdan…

Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Rey, a scavenger (treasure hunter?), rappelling into an old, half buried Star Destroyer, and Indy descending into the map room and the Well of Souls.

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We have even seen relics of a forgotten past in The Force Awakens: Vader’s mask and the Skywalker lightsaber.

There is also the character Sarco Plank. He is described in the official Databack as “a scavenger and trader who scours frontier worlds for riches.” Sarco even had a run-in with Luke between episodes 4 and 5 in the junior novel The Weapon of a Jedi: A Luke Skywalker Adventure. Sarco used Luke in order to gain entrance into a Jedi temple on the planet Devaron in order to plunder it.

Sarco has his own action figure, and he was seen in a Vanity Fair article image along with Rey on Jakku. Could Sarco be Rey’s version of Indy’s nemesis, René Belloq?

Just as the Prequel Trilogy reflected and reshaped our understanding of the Original Trilogy, this new era of Star Wars will undoubtedly continue the tradition and give us more rich material to sift through for a long, long time.

May the Force be with you. Always.

Chris “Darth Hound” Miller

 

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