A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away… Well, actually it was December, and it was our galaxy… Anyway, I wrote up a list of my favorite Star Wars characters the week that The Force Awakens came out in theaters. Now that it’s out on Blu-Ray, and most, if not all Star Wars fans have no doubt seen the film, I wanted to revise my favorites list to include characters from The Force Awakens, and to include a character that was a glaring and accidental omission from my original list. So, here we go.
HK-47 was in my original list, and is still there, because he’s just an awesome droid. I love him to death. Like I said before, though, there’s not a whole lot to say about him, as a lot of what makes him great is optional and dependent on player choice and dialog trees. His scathing wit and hatred of organic lifeforms makes him my favorite droid ever.
I can’t really say more about Darth Vader than what I did in my original post. I could copy/paste, or I could just tell you to go read the old list. I think I’ll do the latter. Go read my old post.
Other than the melted mask, Darth Vader plays no real role in The Force Awakens, other than being the object of Kylo Ren’s obsession. I’ll talk more on that a little later.
C-3PO has a minor role in The Force Awakens. I kind of wish he had a larger role, but The Force Awakens was more about passing the torch to the new generation, and that includes the new droid. No explanation of where his red arm came from, or why it’s red to begin with, which is disappointing. It bugs me that something that significant would be explained in the Expanded Universe and/or supplementary materials. Still, it was great seeing this old droid again.
R2-D2 spends most of The Force Awakens sleeping. Seriously. But he at least plays a more vital role than his golden counterpart. And he even gets to tag along on the quest to find Luke. Again, kind of wish he would have had a more important role, but hey, gotta make way for the next generation. But it seems like R2 isn’t done with the spotlight yet, given that the new droid wasn’t with Rey at the end of the movie, and R2 was.
The old Emperor doesn’t appear at all in The Force Awakens. Which stands to reason, because he’s dead, and there’s not supposed to be any remains of him to be had. Still, I like him because I’m drawn to the bad guys more often than not. Villains tend to be more interesting than heroes to me. And Star Wars is no exception. There’s a reason his rise to power was the secondary focus of the Prequels. The fall of Anakin and the rise of Palpatine is a far more interesting story, to me, than whiny farm boy saves the galaxy.
I’m not saying I like the Prequels better than the Original Trilogy. Far from it. The Prequels suffered from many issues that I won’t really go into here. There is good in the story, but there is bad in how it was executed.
If you’re noticing that this list is the same as the previous one, you’d be right. I’m going down the old list, keeping those who are still favorites, and leaving out those I added just to pad the list a bit. I’m definitely going over ten characters for this list. Anyway, Darth Maul is still one of my favorite Sith lords. I think I can still call him my third-favorite Sith, because the Sith died with Palpatine. Note that no one associated with The First Order were called Sith, and that was by design.
Anyway, Darth Maul apparently did survive being sliced in half in The Phantom Menace. He appeared in the Clone Wars cartoon, and is apparently appearing in the Star Wars Rebels cartoon. I haven’t seen any cartoon appearances, but I know they’re all canon. Which is great, because I thought he was killed off far too early.
Chewbacca, the Wookiee. He’s back in The Force Awakens, and he’s just as good as he always was. There’s some comedic relief, which Star Wars has always had, but he also has some emotional moments, as well. I’m going to spoil The Force Awakens at this point. Chewbacca had a really emotional moment when Han Solo was killed. It was done perfectly. His anger, his rage, was captured so well. They missed a special moment when Leia should have hugged him when they saw each other next, and even J.J. Abrams admits he screwed up. Chewie really needed a shoulder to cry on, and no one was there for the poor Wookiee. I feel really sad for him.
If you’re still reading, then you know that, yes, Han Solo is dead. Well, he is at the end of The Force Awakens. It was a shock, to say the least, but I could tell it was coming as soon as Kylo Ren started talking about knowing what he had to do, but not knowing if he had the strength to do it. Han was in fine form throughout the movie. Harrison Ford did an amazing job returning to the character. If he did it just to get one last Indiana Jones movie out of LucasFilm and Disney, that’s perfectly fine with me. Thanks Harrison for giving us closure to Han’s story.
Okay, here’s my glaring omission I mentioned in the opening paragraph. Yoda could be my favorite Star Wars character of all time. Though he has a hard fight with Darth Vader for that position. Yoda has a brief voice cameo in The Force Awakens, when Rey touches the Skywalker Lightsaber. If you listen very closely, you can hear his voice. It’s kind of difficult to hear, or at least it was in our theater, even when you know it’s there.
Anyway, Yoda in the Original Trilogy was silly and goofy, and also wise and sagely. He taught you that size matters not. And in the Prequel Trilogy, he got to show off some of his abilities with the Force and with lightsabers. If you’ve seen any Star Wars movie, except the original (he didn’t appear in that) and The Force Awakens, you know why I love Yoda. He’s the best.
Now onto the new The Force Awakens characters. It’s hard to not like BB-8. It’s just so cute. It helps that the droid is, for the most part, a physical prop. I’m sure one or two scenes with it were CG, but it was mostly a physical prop. Several different BB-8s were made, in fact, each one with its own purpose.
Anyway, BB-8 is just cute. Like how R2-D2 was in the first six movies. Only cuter. It shows so much emotion, it does a thumbs-up with a lighter at the end of a metal “arm,” it’s almost like they found a way to make the cutest droid ever. I just love BB-8.
Finn is kind of a bumbling fool at the start. Scared out of his mind by what he knows the First Order is capable of doing, and knowing that they’ll do it to him after he helps Poe Dameron hijack a TIE Fighter and flees. But he eventually grows some courage when Rey, the girl who helped him on Jakku, and who he’s kind of fallen for, gets taken away by Kylo Ren.
Finn is kind of a sweet talker. Almost like a con artist, really. He talks BB-8 into giving up the location of the Resistance Base, with the intention of taking the droid there, and maybe getting help in staying far away from the First Order. He tries to talk his way off of Takodana in another attempt to flee the First Order, only to be sidetracked by Rey’s kidnapping. Then he bullshits his way onto the rescue mission on Starkiller Base by acting like he knows how to disable the shields. That last one could have gotten so many people killed, all for his own selfish reasons, but he managed to find a way to get the shields down, thanks to a chance run-in with Captain Phasma.
Really, though, he’s got like, a ton of charisma, and he’s just relatable. He acts like a normal person would in his situation. He wants to run away from the monstrous military force, and only decides to fight when his potential love interest is in danger. And when he doesn’t know stuff, he tries to fake it, only he does it better than most. He doesn’t seem like he’s Force Sensitive, but he might be revealed as such in a future movie. Who knows?
Rey is another character that’s pretty relatable. She’s more or less the main character of the whole movie, going from a scavenger on the desert planet of Jakku to suddenly learning how to use the Force. For the first half of the movie, her sole focus is returning to Jakku. That is, until Maz Kanata helps her realize what she’s known all along, and that is that her family isn’t coming back for her. She still rejects her destiny, until she meets Kylo Ren and he tries to probe her mind. That’s when she starts to play around with the Force, and starts to embrace her true calling.
There’s rumors as to her true identity, which will no doubt play a major role in Episode VIII. I won’t delve into that here, but you’ll no doubt find these theories on Big D’s Geekdom101 YouTube channel.
Kylo Ren is an interesting character. He’s the first Star Wars villain to be established to have good in him from the very start. He’s being pulled from the light and the dark sides. He desperately wants to be like his grandfather, Darth Vader. But he knows he can’t as long as the light keeps calling to him. He’s told he has to kill his father, Han Solo, in order to silence the call of the light, and he does just that in the end.
He’s kind of a bad-ass, despite his temper tantrums. He takes a shot from Chewbacca’s crossbow, which was established earlier in the movie as a devastating weapon, and he walks it off. He’s bleeding, and he does his best to fight through the pain. He’s weakened, but he still fights, only to fall at the end. He wasn’t killed, though, and it’s expected that he made it off of Starkiller Base before it exploded.
I’d like to point you all to my review of The Force Awakens from January for more on why I like Kylo, and some of the other characters.
That will do it for me this week. As always, you can contact me at email@example.com. See you all next time.