On this episode Michael is Joined by content creator Chris Pirillo.
We discuss his unboxing for Lucasfilm on Force Friday, what he thinks of Rogue One, Star Wars collecting, his daughter Jedi, and over all living a Star Wars lifestyle.
Chewie is the same old lovable Wookiee in The Force Awakens, with his grumpy reactions to Finn’s attempts at first aid, his complaints about the cold on Starkiller, and his childish assertions to the Resistance doctor that he acted very bravely. He also remains a loyal and fierce ally.
When Han returned to his old life as a smuggler after the fall of his son, Ben, Chewie left his family on Kashyyyk to rejoin his old friend. Chewie’s wife, Malla, who was first established in the much maligned Holiday Special, has been made canon in the young reader book A New Hope: The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy. According to the Visual Dictionary, his long absences from home are not unreasonable due to the long-lived nature of Wookiees.
In a deleted scene that made it into the novelization, Chewie makes good on an old warning of Han’s. Unkar Plutt, having followed Rey to Maz’s castle, threatens her for taking the Falcon. Rey pulls the blaster Han gave her, but Unkar takes it from her, pointing out that the safety is on (which is the reason she remembers it later in the film). Chewie takes the gun from Unkar, who pokes Chewie in his injured arm saying, “Half a Wookiee ain’t much to worry about.” Chewie then proceeds to rip Unkar’s arm off and throw it across the room. Continue reading
The portrayal of Han in The Force Awakens was one of the few things I was worried about leading up to the premiere. There were many fans I encountered who believed Han was the type of character who would never settle down and have a family, but that, to me, ignores his entire character arc throughout the original trilogy. Happily, the filmmakers were able to maintain Han’s arc from selfish smuggler to selfless hero while still maintaining the roguish qualities that so many fans desired to see again.
According to the Visual Dictionary, Han and Leia did in fact marry and start a family, with Han satisfying his wild side by becoming a successful racing pilot. However, this new life didn’t last. His son, Ben Solo, turned to the dark side and became Kylo Ren, betraying Luke and killing his fellow Jedi apprentices, something confirmed by the Visual Dictionary. After this disaster, Han fell back into his old smuggler lifestyle, where we find him at the beginning of the film.
One of the most interesting things about Han in The Force Awakens is his unflinching belief in the Force. He is no longer an unbeliever, but has witnessed the power of the Force first hand. He has ironically taken the position of mentor that once belonged to Obi-Wan. Continue reading
While Rey is in many ways an obvious reflection of Luke and Anakin, she also has a unique twist to her starting point. Unlike Luke, and even Anakin, Rey has no family to support her in her struggle to survive in the harsh environment of Jakku. There is no wasting time with friends or picking up power converters in her future. Rey also seems more self-sufficient and capable at survival than Luke. I doubt Rey would lose in a fight against a single Tusken Raider. Her skills at using her staff for self-defense are also a necessary setup to explain her ability to fight against Kylo Ren in single combat, something Luke never had to face in his first adventure.
While Rey is very capable and self-reliant, she is also lonely and longs for adventure, as seen in the adorable and poignant moment where she wears an old Rebel pilot helmet, and in her excited reaction to Finn’s claim to be a Resistance fighter. However, she is also trapped on Jakku by the fear that her family won’t be able to find her when they return. While she tries to maintain an unshakable belief that her family will come back, Rey also has moments of realization that she may be stuck on Jakku her entire life, beautifully shown through her melancholy gaze at the old woman at the cleaning stations of Niima Outpost.
Though she is isolated and without family, Rey still shows compassion, as seen in her immediate reaction to BB-8’s distress. Rey treats BB-8 as if he is a person, telling him that his would-be captor “has no respect for anyone.” This connection to droids is another link to Anakin and Luke, who treated their droid companions with similar respect. Continue reading
Carrie Fisher’s portrayal of General Leia was a wonderful surprise. The lack of her presence in the trailers beyond a few brief shots made me worry that we would either see very little of her in the film, or that Carrie’s acting wouldn’t be on par with the other actors. But her scenes with Ford immediately recaptured their chemistry, and helped start the process of filling in the gaps of Han and Leia’s relationship between Episodes 6 and 7.
Han and Leia love each other, but could not face their grief. Han believed Leia saw him as a failure who reminded her of her lost son, and Leia immersed herself in politics and the building of the Resistance, finding herself labeled a warmonger and alarmist by the majority of the Republic.
We learn in the novelization that Leia kept Han in the dark about Snoke’s involvement with their son, believing Han’s reaction would drive Ben further towards the dark side. In The Force Awakens, she has come to believe that by sending her son away to Luke, she actually lost her hold on him, and that Han, as his father, is now the only one who can save Ben. It remains to be seen what real effect Han had on his son, though the novelization suggests that Kylo did not find what he was seeking from killing his father. Continue reading