Note: This Blog features speculation and possible spoilers.
About a year ago I came across a video on YouTube that fascinated me. It was a presentation that J.J. Abrams gave at the TED Talks in 2008. In the speech, Mr. Abrams discusses the relevance of mystery in great storytelling, using an old, unopened box of magic tricks his grandfather gave him as a metaphor for his style of filmmaking. If you have never seen this seminar, click the link below right away. You can thank me later.
It is no mystery (see what I did there) that J.J. Abrams loves to indulge in tantalizing fans by keeping secrets about his projects, whether it is a giant Kaiju leveling New York City (Cloverfield), a giant alien leveling some small town in Ohio (Super 8), or a giant smoke monster leveling some castaways on a semi-deserted island (Lost). Quite often he will peel back a layer of his puzzle and give a peek at the solution, but more often than not that results in just more questions.
Has he done this with the teaser for STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS? Are there subtle hints at the plot in this 88-second trailer?
Here’s the trailer, in case you’ve been vacationing in Dagobah and haven’t seen it, or, like me, you can’t resist watching the darned thing over and over again.
The first thing to note is the voiceover at the beginning. The voice is deep and gravelly, which is always an indicator that the person behind it is a nefarious ne’er do-well. A bad guy. This probably isn’t the keenest of observations, for it’s highly likely that everyone else has reached the same conclusion. The audio cues are meant to trigger that reaction. Villains are voiced with different vocal resonances than the heroes; their voices tend to be more guttural and throaty, with a lot of bass. Think Emperor Palpatine. Why is this the case, when most real-life evil doers sound like everyone else? I’m not sure, but if I had to wager I guess I would say that there is a deep-seated psychological impulse that equates those sounds to danger. That would make for an interesting scientific study.
Now concentrate on what the voice is saying. “There has been an awakening. Have you felt it?” If the above paragraph is true, and this is a villain speaking, then it is likely that he is talking to another villain, most likely a partner in crime. In the Star Wars universe the top rung on the bad guys ladder is reserved for Sith Lords, so logic dictates that the speaker is one trained in the arts of the dark side of the Force. Always two, there are. So was this the Master, or the Apprentice? I think the nature of the question provides the answer. “Have you felt it?” indicates that the person speaking has a stronger connection to the Force than the person receiving the message. Therefore, I must conclude that the person talking is the Master.
Here is where things get interesting.
Right after those words are uttered, John Boyega literally pops onto the screen. But he doesn’t enter from left or right, he comes from below, and he looks downright terrified (In fact, every person whose face is shown looks scared sh*tless–even the Bend-It-Like-Beckham-droid keeps looking around like something is about to kill him– they could have named this movie Star Wars: The Force PANICS!!!) and disoriented, like he has no idea where he is or how he got there. In film, when a character comes up from the bottom center, it usually indicates that they have just recovered from unconsciousness. In other words, John Boyega has just AWAKENED, and I think it is both a physical and spiritual arousal. I believe that the whole story revolves around him. There is something very special about him; the bad guys are searching for him, and if Daisy Ridley is the child of Han and Leia like I suspect, then it indicates that the good guys are searching for him too. Why else would the daughter of royalty be scampering about on a deserted wasteland like Tattooine? Searching for family heirlooms?
Also note that there is an almost inaudible sound right at the end of the shot of Boyega. It is a robot saying, Wee widdle twee twill. Fans of the classic trilogy know that sound; it’s an imperial probe droid. I don’t think it was just a random noise placed in the trailer to elicit feelings of nostalgia. It further supports my theory that John Boyega is a hunted man.
The three-bladed light saber has caused the most controversy over the internet. Some have taken to calling it a futuristic claymore sword, with the two side blades serving as a hilt to protect the bearer’s hands from an opponent’s attempt to slice off his hand. It’s the most likely purpose, though it seems a bit impractical when those beams of light can also do the very thing that they were designed to prevent.
Another theory is that the light saber is an older model, and the two side beams are not blades at all but excess energy getting ventilated. I like this theory, for it implies that the figure holding the sword is a Sith Lord from ancient times. Perhaps he was one of the first Force sensitives ever, and he has been in rest for several millennia but now he is alive and well. Perhaps he is the one that the Force has awakened.
Food for thought: We already know of a Sith Lord that has learned how to stop people from dying. Could this mysterious figure be none other than Darth Plagueis? Perhaps Sidious did not kill him in his sleep after all?
So those are my insane fan theories. Do you agree with them? Am I nuts? Share your thoughts in the comment section below, or shoot me an email at email@example.com. May the Force be Awakened in you, always.
p.s. How awesome was that shot of the Millennium Falcon flying over Tattooine? Every time I see it I get goosebumps.