5for5: Meta Theories About The Force Awakens

 

At the suggestion of a brilliant writer and business owner we are lucky enough to know, this week we take a break from exploring the Whoniverse and turn our 5for5 detectors on a much loved genre comrade…Star Wars. We’ve touched on the connections between Doctor Who and the galaxy far, far away before, and on how Who may have influenced George Lucas, but this time it’s strictly Star Wars, without even a hint of Time Lord.

Like Who fandom, the Star Wars community is big on theorizing…re-interperting, deciphering and predicting info. about our favourite genre piece is hardwired into the Geek’s DNA. And when a universe shattering event like the first new Star Wars film in a decade is upon us, that theorizing quickly evolves from a fun hobby to a full on career. 

We’ve read dozens of guesswork posts about what the plot of the 7th film in the saga will be, but Star Wars is such a cultural touchstone that the film itself is almost secondary in significance… the movie’s relationship with the audience will be just as vital to it’s success. We imagine that JJ Abrams and company are fully aware of this vital connection, and are lining the movie with subtle psychological mechanisms to relate to fandom on a subconscious level.

Here’s 5 Meta theories/interpretations of The Force Awakens….

5) KYLO REN = FAN BOYS EVERYWHERE

While there is a scant little known about any character in Episode VII beyond what we have gleaned from trailers and a few website updates, we do know for certain that Kylo Ren is a Sith warrior, and that he is on a self-appointed mission to collect artifacts that provide a connection to the menacing past of the Dark Side.

So, basically Ren is a young man, obsessed with Darth Vader and The Force, going anywhere and collecting items of significance….sounds alot like me. Or, in all probability like many of you reading this. Fan boys and girls have been amassing Star Wars merchandise since before the first movie even hit theatres in the 1977. Might Kylo represent each of us, hoarding collectables in our rooms, attics and basements until our parents evict us? we move on to other pursuits? Let’s take it a step further…does Kylo represent JJ Abrams himself? A fanboy who grew up idolising a revered figure from the past (Lucas) who becomes so powerful through his own making (film career) that he takes over the cause? 

 

4) HAN IS THE AMBASSADOR TO NEW FANS

In the latest trailer, we listen to Han Solo explain to Finn and Rey (the new faces of the series) that the “stories” they heard of the Rebellion, the Jedi and the civil war with The Empire are all true.

Within the context of the story, Han obviously represents a link to the past for the new crew (and audience) but there is another way to interpret this…Harrison Ford is the most famous of the original trilogy actors. He’s virtually Hollywood royalty; by giving him a central role in the new film, is Abrams (through Ford) asking a new generation to trust him? To remind new fans that have grown up through the prequels and animated series that there was an incredible, exciting franchise that existed before the CGI and endless toy tie-ins watered it down and almost killed it? These new fans are likely too young to remember the excitement that accompanied the first 3 films… but Ford and the first wave of fans are. Han is back, so the original fan base can rejoice. And Ford is well known enough to endear trust from the newcomer fans.

 

3) LUKE IS GEORGE LUCAS…AND HAS GONE TO THE DARK SIDE

Now, this one is a bit of a stretch since it’s based entirely on a premise that might not even come to pass, but it’s intriguing. Noticeably absent from the marketing for the new film is the most important character from the original trilogy…Mark Hamill’s iconic Luke Skywalker.

We know he is in the film, and heard his voice describing Luke’s familial connection to the Force in an earlier trailer. But we have no idea who he was talking to, nor what his role is in the movie. JJ Abrams has declared that the lack of Luke is intentional, prompting many to believe that The Force Awakens will pick up on the idea that Skywalker actually fell to the dark side during Return of The Jedi. This notion has been out there for a while, fuelled by great theories like this one, and via anecdotal evidence from producers who admit the initial plot of Jedi left Luke’s allegiances ambiguous. This grittier finale was overruled by George Lucas, who demanded a happily ever after conclusion to ensure toy sales were maximized.

So, if Luke has fallen to the Sith…does his choice to abandon his initial path represent George Lucas abandoning his original plans for a more tonal storyline throughout the films in favour of the dark trappings of materialism? It would be a critical indictment of the creator, but it’s not a uncommon sentiment…swaths of fans have declared their hatred of Lucas for his increasing commercialization of the films, and many of those fans are working on the new movie.

2) DROIDS REPRESENT EVOLVING MEDIA/SPOILERS

Droids are everywhere in the Star Wars universe…even in the original trilogy. There are clear divisions among them as well; Jabba has droids that are slimy and scummy, Imperials have drab droids and interrogator robots, and the rebels have colourful, flamboyant units fighting alongside their operators. In some ways, they are representative of the media at the time…everywhere that news is happening but slotted into specific channels; Public Relations, Marketing, News services and so on. They distribute information but only limited 

BB-8 is a upgrade on those earlier models; he is more mobile (literally) and is equipped with a camera like “face” and antennae to transmit everything he is seeing. There are multiple scenes of him in the trailers, and it strikes as that BB-8 might be the Star Wars equivalent of the evolved media; citizen journalists who break stories with their cell phones and declare spoilers in hopes of going viral. There is a scene of BB-8 peering from behind a wall; as if he were spying… 

 

1) STARKILLER BASE IS DISNEY.

Thanks to the official Star Wars site, we know that Starkiller base is the name given to the planet where The First Order hangs out, and houses a device capable of wiping out entire star systems.

That sounds a bit like what happened with the Star Wars franchise itself, which was swallowed up by a bigger entity (Disney) who then proceeded to wipe out an entire galaxy, by negating the entire Star Wars expanded universe.

What do you think of our theories? Are we reaching? Let us know in the comments below!   

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