Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Thirty years have passed since the events of Return of the Jedi, and the galaxy is under threat once again. Legendary Jedi Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) has disappeared, and a power called the First Order has risen from the ashes of the fallen Galactic Empire. The Resistance, led by General Leia (Carrie Fisher), is attempting to fight back, sending out ace pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) on Luke’s trail.

Captured and tortured by First Order commander Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) Poe finds an unexpected ally in Finn (John Boyega), a reluctant Stormtrooper. But their escape goes awry, and Finn finds himself alone on the desert planet Jakku, where he meets Rey (Daisy Ridley), a tough scavenger in possession of a droid which might hold the key to Luke’s whereabouts.

When they steal a run-down spaceship to outrun their pursuers, Finn and Rey are tracked down by the ship’s original owner: Han Solo (Harrison Ford), who has a painful personal connection to the villainous Kylo Ren.

Dsicussion Starters

  • What relationship do you have with the Star Wars series? Have you seen the original trilogy, and what memories do you have of these films? What about the prequels?
  • What were your expectations of The Force Awakens going in? Did you feel affected, positively or negatively, by all the buildup? How did the audience react to the film in the screening you attended?
  • How did the filmmakers approach balancing the old and the new in The Force Awakens? In your view, did they get the balance right? How important is originality in a film like this?
  • How have the main characters from the original trilogy – Luke, Leia and Han – changed since we last saw them? What drives their actions now? What factors are likely to change our values and identity as we get older?
  • What motivates our new trio of heroes – Rey, Finn and Poe? Why does Finn desert the First Order, and why does Rey save BB-8? According to The Force Awakens, what are the essential qualities of a hero?
  • Why do we enjoy feeling nostalgic, and in what ways does our culture play on our nostalgia? Is there a point at which nostalgia becomes unhealthy or unhelpful?
  • How does The Force Awakens explore the idea of legacy? How do we see the torch (or rather, the lightsaber) being handed on to a new generation? Why might it be important in our own society for ideas, skills and stories to be passed from one generation to the next?
  • Why do you think Star Wars is so beloved by so many people? What is it about these stories that appeals to us at a fundamental level, and what might this say about us as people? What are some of the most basic storytelling patterns, and basic moral or emotional themes, which Star Wars taps into?
  • Why do you think Star Wars is so beloved by so many people? What is it about these stories that appeals to us at a fundamental level, and what might this say about us as people? What are some of the most basic storytelling patterns, and basic moral or emotional themes, which Star Wars taps into?
  • Why do you think Star Wars is so beloved by so many people? What is it about these stories that appeals to us at a fundamental level, and what might this say about us as people? What are some of the most basic storytelling patterns, and basic moral or emotional themes, which Star Wars taps into?
  • Why do you think Star Wars is so beloved by so many people? What is it about these stories that appeals to us at a fundamental level, and what might this say about us as people? What are some of the most basic storytelling patterns, and basic moral or emotional themes, which Star Wars taps into?
  • Why do you think Star Wars is so beloved by so many people? What is it about these stories that appeals to us at a fundamental level, and what might this say about us as people? What are some of the most basic storytelling patterns, and basic moral or emotional themes, which Star Wars taps into?
  • Why do you think Star Wars is so beloved by so many people? What is it about these stories that appeals to us at a fundamental level, and what might this say about us as people? What are some of the most basic storytelling patterns, and basic moral or emotional themes, which Star Wars taps into?

 

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Adrian Drayton

Adrian Drayton is the Director of Reel Dialogue. A film critic and commentator on culture for 20 years, he believes in the power of cinema and the power of God to start conversations about faith and culture. He is also a massive Star Wars nerd.