Star Wars 7: who might be killed in The Force Awakens?
After more than two billion people died in the original trilogy, fans are expecting more fatalities
With just one month to go until the release of Star Wars VII, theories about who is related to who and which characters might be "force sensitive" have dominated the fan forums – but there is also speculation about which of the star characters might die.
The number of on-screen deaths in the original trilogy, which includes the destruction of planet Alderaan, is estimated to be 2,005,645,868, according to news aggregator Digg – and that includes some of the best-loved characters. So who might face death at the hands of JJ Abrams in the next trilogy?
It has long been rumoured that Harrison Ford's character might be killed off. One film insider apparently told the Mail on Sunday's diary editor Charlotte Griffiths earlier this year that the "Space Cowboy will sadly be no more come the end of Star Wars: The Force Awakens". According to George Lucas, Ford was desperate to be killed off in The Empire Strikes Back, but he was never granted his wish.
The young, ruthless officer in the First Order will be played by About Time actor Domhnall Gleeson. But critics have little confidence that he will make it into Episode VIII alive. "Is there any job in film history with a life expectancy shorter than 'Imperial Officer'?" asks entertainment site Looper. "Like General Grievous before him, we expect Hux to be a one-film wonder."
The absence of Mark Hamill in Star Wars trailers and posters has not gone unnoticed. One theory is that he is dead, says Wired. "One doesn't wield lightsabers, race scout ships, and go head to head with evil Sith lords without upping the risk to his or her life," it adds. "But killing off Luke? Unless there was a mind-blowing death scene or Luke does the Obi-Wan Force ghost thing, explaining away his absence as easily as 'RIP' would be more disappointing than a surprise cameo from Jar Jar Binks."
In one of the Star Wars VII trailers, Daisy Ridley's Rey crouches over a hairy-looking body while crying, leading some to believe that Chewbacca might die. Movie Pilot points to another scene in the trailers in which Chewie appears to detonate a bomb. "The resulting explosion is powerful enough to blast several people from their feet, so as mighty as the wookie is could he really survive such a blast?" asks the site.
If Kylo Ren is to follow in the footsteps of his idol Darth Vader, he too might not survive the next Star Wars trilogy. Rumour has it that he might be the one to kill off Hans Solo, which would make him a number one enemy for most of the original trilogy cast.
Footage showing Finn brandishing a lightsaber in a dark forest with Kylo Ren provides insight into what could be one of the film's key battles. Ren has a mighty red lightsabre, with a cross guard projected out of its sides. Will both characters emerge from the battle alive, or could it be a fatal confrontation for Finn?
Actor Oscar Isaac, who plays Poe Dameron, has described his character as a pretty reckless pilot who grew up on Yavin IV. The trailers have also revealed a shot of Kylo Ren torturing Poe and making him scream in pain. However, Isaac has suggested that he will appear in Episode VIII. "This likely means that Isaac's character Poe Dameron will survive the events of The Force Awakens," says IGN. "That is unless he's a Force Ghost in Episode VIII, or in flashbacks."
Star Wars 7: new trailer sees shy meeting between Rey and Finn
A new trailer for Star Wars 7: The Force Awakens released yesterday sees the film's young leads Rey and Finn introducing themselves to one another slightly nervously.
In the action-packed trailer, the duo is also seen holding hands as they run from a TIE fighter attack on the desert planet of Jakku. The hexagonal-winged aircraft fires on the fleeing pair who are thrown face down into the dirt by the explosion.
Later in the one-minute trailer, Rey, played by Daisy Ridley, talks to Finn, John Boyega's character, on what appears to be the deck of the Millennium Falcon telling him: "I don't know your name."
"Finn," he replies in an American accent, "what's yours?"
"I'm Rey," she says, sounding decidedly English.
The clip also offers a few more small delights for mega-fans, including a scene where Finn attacks a Storm Trooper with the same blue lightsaber he has been seen with in previous clips.
In another sequence Han Solo, hands Rey a blaster telling her: "You might need this."
Towards the end of the trailer, Princess Leia can be seen convening a Resistance meeting alongside Han Solo and C-3PO.
The tag line "every generation has a story" offers further evidence that one or more of the young leads might be related to heroes from the previous trilogy of movies. Many fans have suggested that Rey could be the daughter of Han Solo and Princess Leia. More recently, some have begun to speculate that in fact she might be Luke Skywalker's child.
In a further twist, speculation is mounting that one of the film's young leads might also be related to villain Kylo Ren. Read on for more.
Star Wars 7: major Force Awakens villain and hero are related, claims fan site
One of the great moments of the original trilogy of Star Wars films was when Darth Vader revealed that he was *spoilers: stop reading now if you have been living under a rock on Jakku* Luke Skywalker's father.
The revelation served not only to make the battle for control of that galaxy far, far away rather more personal, but also led to some genuinely interesting and difficult choices for the film's central characters. Should you kill your own father if he is an evil tyrant? Should you save your son if he is being tortured by an evil maniac?
The answer to both of these questions was, of course *spoilers* yes.
Now, according to one Star Wars fan site, we are in for more intra-familial difficulty because two of the main characters of the forthcoming film Star Wars 7: The Force Awakens might be siblings.
According to StarWarsNewsNet.com, new villain Kylo Ren and the film's young heroine Rey are related "in some capacity".
So what has led the site's editors to this conclusion? A number of 'clues' that have appeared in the film's many months of marketing, hype and promotion.
The biggest was the moment when Star Wars creator George Lucas asked the new film's director JJ Abrams about Anakin's grandchildren.
"In that recent video from JJ Abrams, George Lucas – who was involved with the early development of The Force Awakens as a creative consultant and not much else – asked the director tasked with carrying on his legacy about what happened to Anakin's grandchildren. True to form, JJ laughed nervously and respectfully dismissed the question… [But] note the plurality of the statement – grandchildren, not grandchild."
Other clues include Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy saying that the new trilogy of films will follow the Skywalker family "as a whole" and the fact that Adam Driver, who plays Kylo Ren, bears a resemblance to Hayden Christensen, who played Anakin Skywalker. In addition, Daisy Ridley, who stars as Rey in Star Wars 7, looks a lot like a young Mark Hamill who played Luke Skywalker in the first trilogy of films.
"I don’t believe that JJ Abrams picked these two up-and-coming stars just because they are talented in acting," StarWarsNewsNet.com says. "I think that he had a specific look in mind when he was casting these characters."
Only time will tell if the site's prediction turns out to be correct.
Star Wars 7: did the new TV spot deliver an important clue?
Star Wars fans have been treated to a new sneak preview of Episode 7: The Force Awakens – which may have delivered a tantalising clue about a relationship between two main characters.
The 30-second preview features never-before-seen shots and a voiceover from Lupita Nyong'o, who plays space pirate Maz Kanata in the hotly anticipated new film.
"I have lived long enough to see the same eyes in different people," she says as the camera pans from Rey (Daisy Ridley) to Han Solo (Harrison Ford). "I see your eyes. I know your eyes."
This immediately led fans to speculate that Rey could be the daughter of Han Solo and Princess Leia.
"I have lived long enough to see the same eyes in different people" THE FRAME WENT FROM REY TO HAN I SEE YOU STAR WARS
— keely (@donkeefer) November 8, 2015
There is no doubt in my mind now that Rey is Han and Leia's daughter. And she can fly the Falcon like her Dad and Chewie. #TheForceAwakens
— Mark (@markw2112) November 8, 2015
I am getting the feeling that Rey is Han and Leia's daughter. I have the feeling Han hands the Falcon off to her. #StarWarsTheForceAwakens
— Darth Voder (@crosis101) November 8, 2015
Commentators seemed to agree, with The Guardian's Ben Child arguing that fans should take the "cryptic clues about familial links between characters new and old pretty seriously."
"They might well be sleight-of-hand, mere marketing curveballs to help save us from spoiler hell. But on the face of it … probably not," he says.
Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) was once again conspicuous by his absence, says the Daily Mail. But director J.J. Abrams has already said it is "no accident" that fans hadn't yet caught a glimpse of Luke.
"These are good questions to be asking," he teased. "I can't wait for you to find out the answer."
Other commentators have wondered how much the filmmakers will be able to hold back from fans before the film opens next month.
"Especially since this is Disney, who loves to show off as much of the movie as possible in their ads," says Collider's Matt Goldberg.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in UK cinemas on 17 December