Since The Force Awakens opened on December 18th 2015 fans and critics showered praise on this mega event of a movie. It blew past many box office records including biggest domestic debut at $238 million, and most presales every at over $100 million (Variety). Some called it “unimaginative” and “a complete rip-off”. A few even created lists of plot holes. Now available on DVD/ Blu-Ray, The Force Awakens is much more than meets the eye. If you notice when J.J. Abrams answered the critics, he does not give a firm rebuttal to their arguments. J.J. cannot do this without giving away main parts of the story for episode eight and nine. He keeps a silent eye on the meta-story, taking a deep perspective on the series, and hopes Star Wars fans will do the same.
Perception is everything. View this movie again and imagine, The Force itself as a mighty cosmic phenomenon. A lifetime event occurring much like Category Five Hurricanes and Great Blizzards.
Hidden within this gem of a movie is George Lucas’s secret character The Force itself. The Force is the One Ring of this Sci-Fi soap opera universe, semi-sentient and moving events on its own.
Looking at the canonical timeline HERE. You can see 32 years before and 34 years after Star Wars Episode 4 A New Hope a major event or “awakening” happens. Anakin just turned ten years old in the first prequel, joins the Jedi order and defeats the droid army blockading Naboo. Luke became 17 during Episode Four, A New Hope, and defeats the Death Star. Rey struggled to 19 as a scavenger in this new episode, and destroys Starkiller Base. Once can safely say with this information the Force itself “wakes up”, shakes things around in a cycle of 32-34 years. Just think of it as intergalactic storm season and you will have an idea of how The Force operates. Each side, light and dark, seeks to take advantage of this universal situation once it arises. Currently in the seventh movie installment we see The Force moving to create a situation of immense proportions.
In the beginning of the film Lor San Tekka, an explorer and member of the Church of the Force, speaks to our hero Poe Dameron. The old disciple hands an electronic artifact to Poe, saying “This will begin to make things right.” The fragment drives the plot all the way through the movie to the eventual location of Luke Skywalker. The Force, acting through this device like the One Ring moves characters around. The fragment is not The Force itself manifested, but just a concentrated portion of it.
Watching FN-2187 or Finn “awaken” shows another way the force working its will through the movie. In the beginning you notice this trooper’s first battle shocked him. The blood from his friend gave him pause, erasing years of brainwashing. If you will pay attention at the beginning, right after Poe gets captured, Kylo Ren takes a long moment to pause and stare at Finn. Kylo feels The Force stirring within someone else. Later on as Finn wields a lightsaber, fighting Kylo Ren on Starkiller Base we can see the full effects of the Force moving this trooper along.
Our dark villains, Kylo Ren and Supreme Leader Snoke feel The Force awakening. The second commercial released by Disney emphasizes this fact with the Snoke quote above. The Dark Lord of mysterious origin watches The Force and its movement. The Supreme Leader sees it directly impacting his pupil. In the subsequent dialog, Snoke tells Ren “Even you, master of the Knights of Ren have never faced such a test.” Later on at the climax things come full circle with The Force coming into play, uniting Father and Son. Kylo Ren feels this is the test he must pass. “Han Solo. I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time.” Within the antagonist’s grasp, during this meeting, is a chance, for Ben Solo to plunge further into the dark side or turn to the light. The galactic maelstrom grips and shakes everyone.
Rey, our main protagonist “awakens” fully into her powers with The Force. Some have called this move a ‘Mary Sue” character creation. But in the film’s defense, she is The Force made manifest, much like Anakin Skywalker. She emulates Anakin in many ways, such as the intuitive grasp of piloting, fixing machinery and fighting. If you watch after her character introduction, she encounters the Force through an indirect agent, BB8. BB8 carries the fragment given to Poe in the beginning. Once again the Force steps in to lead its creation made manifest to a different life. Kylo Ren serves as the one who “awakens” her power by reading her mind. She turned the tables later on, learning quickly and even using her powers on another trooper. One can imagine Rey starting her own family by episode ten. She might create a dynasty, just like the Skywalkers.
The One Ring, forged by the dark lord Sauron, manipulated events to make its way back to its master. As Frodo made his way to Mt. Doom the object tried its best to corrupt him. The Force is not malevolent as the One Ring, but it too manipulates events. The Force seeks creations of its own, other force users, to experience the universe as a whole. When you watch a Star Wars movie, you move into this universe, filled with a mystical power, both light and dark, seeking its own mysterious ends. Unlike the One Ring, The Force seeks to find a balance. A lofty yet elusive goal which will entertain us for many years to come.