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Could This Be the Entire Plot of Star Wars Episode 8?

Earlier today, our Bothan spies alerted us to a trending topic on the Holonet…. someone has supposedly obtained the script and leaked the entire plot of Star Wars Episode VIII.

This alleged leak not only has the title of Episode VIII, it also features massive plot twists bigger than a Star Destroyer.

If you really want to spoil yourself, read on.

WARNING: Once you cross this line, it will be like the dark side. There will be no going back.

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Ready?

Okay, you asked for it.


Star Wars Episode VIII:

Echoes of the Dark Side

 

  • The camera pans down on a green-brown planet, pockmarked and mottled with toxic pollution. It is eclipsed by a looming shadow, either a massive ship or an orbiting base of some kind. A lone shuttle is seen making its way to this immense construct.
  • The ship lands. General Hux disembarks, followed by a pair of stormtroopers supporting a wounded Kylo Ren. They are taken to a cavernous room bathed in shadows to see Supreme Leader Snoke. While Snoke grills Hux over the fiasco on Starkiller Base, he has only one line for Kylo, “It is time you complete your training.”
  • The camera then turns out the window. Outside, we see a massive battle fleet assembling. Scores of Star Destroyers and other capital ships are converging from all points of First Order territory to strike the final blow against the weakened Republic.
  • We pick up on the last scene in The Force Awakens. Luke takes the lightsaber, then hands it back to Rey. It is a symbolic passing of the torch, where Rey becomes the latest force wielder and Luke is the Jedi Master.
  • In a flashback, Luke reveals that Snoke was able to seduce Kylo Ren and some of the other students to the dark side. Snoke then ordered them to massacre the entire Jedi academy. Only Luke and a few others survived, including a young Rey who was subsequently dumped on Jakku to hide her from the growing First Order.
  • Rey is angry at Luke, not just for abandoning her but because she guesses that he is her father. Luke turns to her and says, “No, you are my father”.
  • It turns out that Rey is the reincarnation of Anakin Skywalker, or more specifically “the Chosen One”. Luke found that the spirit of the chosen one is reincarnated by the Force every time the universe is thrown out of balance, which apparently happens on a regular basis.
  • Luke learned all these after isolating himself from the galaxy. He searched for the first Jedi temple to understand how it works, and in the process discovered the cyclic history of the Jedi throughout the millenia. The first Jedi temple itself has the same layout as the one on Coruscant, based on these leaked photos of the set being constructed.
  • There’s another reason for Luke walking away from the galaxy: seeing the brutal death of his students nearly made him succumb to the dark side, which may have been one of Snoke’s aims. After all, if you want to get rid of the galaxy’s last Jedi, there are other ways to achieve it besides killing them.
  • The reported “space casino” scene is actually a flashback from when Luke was running from the First Order and searching for hints of the Jedi homeworld.
  • Rey was the product of a virgin birth — Luke says “you are a child of the Force”. This explains how she was able to mind-control the stormtrooper, wield a lightsaber and almost kill Kylo Ren without Jedi training.
  • Luke faces an internal struggle whether to train Rey or not. Based on what he learned of the Jedi’s history, the chosen one always struggles between the light and dark side of the Force. He is afraid that Rey could become another Darth Vader and do more damage to the galaxy than Kylo or even Snoke could ever hope to accomplish.
  • The ghosts of Yoda, Obi-wan and Anakin appear (hence why Hayden and Frank Oz were spotted filming). This makes Luke change his mind and decide to train Rey.
  • In one scene, Rey has a vision of Anakin telling her she is him, in a new life. Then we see a vision of hundreds of other Force ghosts who are heavily implied to be the past chosen ones. Rey also encounters Maz Kanata, although it is unclear if they are actually communicating by telepathy or if this is dream sequence. Maz repeats “The lightsaber chose you.”
  • On the other side of the galaxy, Finn is revived from his coma… to wailing sirens and mayhem. He wakes up just in time to witness the First Order strike back on D’Qar. Following the destruction of Starkiller Base, Snoke dispatched a considerable fleet to wreak vengeance on the Resistance base. As he is hustled off one of the last transports from the planet, an exasperated Finn asks, “Why is it that we’re always running from something?” Poe quips “To stay alive, buddy!”
  • Onboard a cruiser, Finn and Poe receive their new orders: Accompany General Leia Organa to the Republic’s new seat of government and bolster their plea for war against the First Order. We are then introduced to Laura Dern’s character, a Resistance officer who is distrustful of Finn. Poe staunchly defends his friend, and we see the friction between Poe the intrepid pilot and Laura the straight-rule officer.
  • The Republic’s temporary government has relocated to an old city (which is why the crew filmed in Dubrovnik, Croatia). The elegant but sinister city echoes Bespin’s Cloud City in The Empire Strikes Back.
  • The Republic is in turmoil, and Lord Vikram (played by Benicio Del Toro) is the interim leader. It is implied that he isn’t the best choice as leader, and only got promoted because he happened to be offworld during the capital’s destruction. There is a memorial service of sorts for all of the victims (which includes much of the Republic leadership) who were killed in the Hosnian system.

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  • During the ceremony, we also see an honor guard taken from Ralph McQuarrie’s Royal Guards concept from the OT:

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  • Leia pushes for war while Vikram argues they need more time. The Hosnian system’s annihilation disrupted galactic communications, and they aren’t able to contact the majority of the Republic. Ships have already been dispatched to the rest of the galaxy, and they anxiously await the response of the member worlds.
  • Vikram wants to wait for communications to be restored and for an army to be assembled, which will take time. Leia disagrees and wants to take the war to the First Order now while they are still reeling from the destruction of Starkiller Base. Both argue their case before the Senate, or what remains of it.
  • Vikram effectively shuts Leia down by telling her she’s letting her personal emotions over Han’s death rule her need for revenge. The Senate is swayed by his argument.
  • After the stormy scene, Finn and Poe are tasked by Leia to poke around the city. One of Leia’s contacts says the First Order have spies embedded in the upper reaches of the Republic, and Leia strongly suspects it to be Vikram.
  • Leia’s contact turns out to be Chala (played by Kelly Marie Tran). She tags along with the Finn/Poe bro-ship, and Finn quickly warms on to her.
  • One of the subplots has Finn and Chala having a flirty adventure in the underbelly of the urban planet. This develops the relationship between the two, and it’s probably where the that alien horse in the Dubrovnik filming fits in.

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  • Afterwards, Poe, Finn and Chala corner an aide of Vikram, who has evidence of contact between Vikram and the First Order.
  • Leia and the Resistance confront Vikram. Vikram denies everything, and Leia orders him jailed for treason. The Republic leadership is stunned — Leia has effectively carried out a coup. She orders the system to prepare for war.
  • Poe suits up for battle, while Finn is put in charge of planetary defense due to his knowledge of First Order offensive doctrine. He is also entrusted with the shield codes.
  • Before the impending battle, Finn and Chala have a tender moment alone. Finn wonders why Vikram didn’t just lower the shields for the First Order, since he was the Republic’s temporary leader. They walk into a room and suddenly we see Captain Phasma! Chala then pulls a gun on Finn, subdues him and takes the shield codes.
  • It was Chala who was the First Order spy all along. She planted the evidence incriminating Vikram, and used Finn to get the codes. To add insult to injury, Chala tells him what she really think of Finn: that’s he’s a sickening traitor. And if that wasn’t bad enough, Captain Phasma steps in to ruin Finn’s day even more. She returns Finn’s favor from TFA and makes him lower the shields.
  • The shield is deactivated just as a massive First Order fleet jumps out of hyperspace. Laura takes the opportunity to swipe at Finn’s distrustful character, while Poe says Finn wouldn’t have done it unless he was under duress. Their exchange is cut short as the orbital bombardment begins. Poe runs with the other pilots to their ships.
  • The entire planet is thrown into chaos — it is a full-scale invasion. The Republic only has a token fleet to defend the planet, since most of the armada was wiped out on Hosnian Prime. Meanwhile, the First Order brought along its entire weight. While the capital ships slug it out, a motley assortment of starfighters led by Poe defend the planet and the ensuing evacuation. This is where the X-wing and the modified A-wing from Pinewood studios come in.
  • In a montage of brutal battles in space, over the city and on the ground, the Republic defenders struggle against the full might of the First Order. Kylo Ren lands on the city and goes to Vikram’s holding cell. Kylo asks him for Leia’s location, and Vikram replies saying that while he hates Leia, he respects her and cannot believe she sired a monster like Kylo Ren. Kylo decapitates him in response.
  • While all hell breaks loose, Finn tries to escape from Captain Phasma and Chala. In the ensuing chase scene, Phasma taunts Finn, calling FN-2187 a traitor to the First Order and a disgrace to the Resistance. He replies “My name is FINN!” and lunges at Phasma. However, he is no match for her. Phasma knocks him out just as First Order troopers arrive, and Finn is taken into custody.
  • What is left of the Republic and the Resistance crumble under the assault and flee the planet. Leia is able to escape, however she ends up gravely wounded. Command of the Resistance then falls to Laura Dern. The remainder of the fleet, a ragtag group of battle-worn cruisers, scorched corvettes and snubfighters, retreat from the battle and jump to hyperspace.
  • In the aftermath, Laura tells the assembled fighters that they are effectively the last of the Resistance. She then butts heads with Poe on their course of action, which leads to a tense standoff. Laura wants to hunker down and consolidate forces for the long term. Poe wishes to rescue Finn and take the fight to the First Order, as Leia had intended.
  • Having failed to capture Leia and draw Luke out of hiding, Snoke falls on a backup plan. Finn is taken before Kylo Ren, who starts to torture him knowing that it will be felt by Rey.
  • Across the galaxy, Rey feels Finn’s distress. Just like ESB, she says she needs to go and rescue her friend. Luke had also felt Leia’s peril through the Force. He tells Rey she isn’t ready yet, and how he abandoned his training with Yoda and rushed into a trap to save his own friends.
  • Luke then says he isn’t Yoda, and he has his own way of doing things. Instead of remaining behind, he goes along with Rey to help.

Spoilers end

Holy nerf herder! We’re still reeling from the (possible) revelation that Rey is Anakin reincarnate! And even if all these isn’t true, that (possible) ending is enough to make us excited for Episode IX!

What do you think of this (supposed) leak? Does it really “echo with the Force”, or is it as hollow as a Gamorrean’s brain? I guess we won’t find out until December 2017!

If you can’t wait until then for more Star Wars action, then read this short story why FN-2187, Finn, has a conscience.

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Rogue One Trailer: The Frame-by-Frame Lowdown

There was a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of geeks cried out in awe, and were suddenly silenced.

The Rogue One trailer must have happened.

This is it. After months of endless speculation, the salivating masses of Star Wars fans finally got their first fill of Rogue One. And it’s beyond everything we ever hoped, and more.

Let’s take a look.

The opening shot shows Felicity Jones’ character Jyn Erson being led down a familiar ancient temple / hangar.

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As her list of crimes are read out, everything from forging Imperial documents to aggravated assault and resisting arrest, we see the group grilling her:

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Yes, that’s THE 1977 Mon Mothma, in the operations rooms of  Yavin IV!

Mon Mothma says Jyn is aggressive, reckless, and undisciplined, to which she replies, “This is a rebellion isn’t it? I rebel.” And the next shots show exactly that.

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After a montage of rebelling and kicking hapless stormtrooper ass, the sirens blare. We get our first look at Ben Mendelsohn’s villain.

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Is he a Grand Admiral? An ISB bigwig? The white opposite of Lando Calrissian? Who cares, that immaculate cape, chilling stare and mindblowing background  all combine to say “I have manners, impeccable taste, and a penchant for blowing up entire planets.”

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Next we see the height of the Empire, with stormtroopers strutting, citizens cowering and a new Hasbro toy lumbering down the streets.

But not everyone bows down. Here we see Jyn and a fellow saboteur running from something, along with the stripped down droid from earlier in the trailer:

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Why are they running? Because stormtroopers. And tan troopers.

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And don’t forget the famous Shadow Trooper, finally seen in action. (Side note: maybe black armor isn’t the best when fighting in jungle terrain).

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Our heroes fight back, blowing up a landing barge that looks closer to Kylo Ren’s shuttle than a Sentinel-class craft:

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In the aftermath, we see Mr. Immaculate Cloak striding down the body-strewn battlefield. While Tarkin and his ilk lead from the polished floors of the Death Star, this is one admiral who isn’t afraid to go down in the trenches and get dirty.

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But the carnage wasn’t limited to stormtroopers. As Jyn and her misfits rush through the tropics, they come face to face with the Empire’s towering monstrosities. We finally get to see the famous walking artillery in a landscape other than Hoth! (And with a shitty tan camouflage at that. Did the Empire really think they will blend in with those trees?)

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As Forest Whitaker asks, “If you continue to fight, what will you become?”, we see a final shot of Jyn disguised as either a TIE pilot, Death Star gunner, technician, or random guy who cleaned the detention-level toilets.

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A lot is riding on Rogue One. A billion dollars worth, to be exact. As the first Star Wars film to venture outside the main story arcs and John Williams, it will be the benchmark to see if further Star Wars stories can be spun independent of the trilogies.

But judging by this trailer alone, it looks like the dark lords of Disney already have a winner on their hands. This film is even more Star Wars than the The Force Awakens. Take a look at the many homages and incredible attention to detail packed in that one and a half-minute trailer.

For instance, that famous shadowtrooper mug has its roots in the EU’s dark trooper and Ralph McQuarrie’s original concepts:

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They even got the Star Destroyer right. The Imperator Mk 1-class in the opening scene of A New Hope was slightly different from its later sister ships in ESB and Return of the Jedi:

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And finally, take a look at the Yavin scene. Not even 20 seconds into the trailer, we’re already treated to several cameos: the bushy bearded General Dodonna, complete with the iconic Rebel roulette table that doubles as a countdown timer! Seeing this scene alone, approximately 500 geeks fainted.

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Despite being billed as a different, grittier version of Star Wars outside of the main stories, Rogue One may end up as being the most Star War-sy film outside of A New Hope. 

And that’s a good thing.

The Saddest Thing about The Force Awakens

Back in the olden days of Return of the Jedi, we were treated to a happy ending.

The second Death Star was destroyed, along with Vader and old man Palpatine. All over the galaxy, repressed citizens crowded the streets in jubilation. The last shot of the original trilogy had the heroes of the Rebellion celebrating while the force ghosts of Ben, Yoda and Hayden Christensen looked on.

Against all odds, the ragtag alliance won the war and ushered in the fall of the Galactic Empire.

returnofthejedix05The last time they will ever be happy together

After all they’ve been through, our heroes earned a well-deserved break, right? The old Expanded Universe thought so.

Luke started a new Jedi Academy, while Han and Leia settled down and pumped out Jedi babies. They had 3 kids, and Luke and his wife Mara Jade had one. Leia later became the New Republic head of state, and Han settled down to a comfortable life while occasionally going on adventures with Chewie and Lando.

With the release of The Force Awakens, the overlords of Disney wiped away all of that.

Instead, thirty years after the fall of the Empire, our heroes were actually worse off than before. Let’s take a look:

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Luke – Tried to start a new Jedi school, but ended up with a wholesale slaughter of his entire student body.

He failed so massively that he fled from the rest of the galaxy. He abandoned even his own sister, best friend, and his loyal droid. And as the opening crawl says, it was in Luke’s absence that the First Order grew stronger and spread tyranny across more worlds.

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Leia – Once a distinguished Senator, respected warrior, and royalty, she faded into political obscurity. In fact, she was considered a liability by the new government. According to the novelization,

Leia bit down on her lower lip. “So much time has passed. There was a time when they were at least willing to listen. And of course, the Senate’s makeup has changed. Some of those who were always willing to pay attention to me have retired. Some of those who have replaced them have their own agendas.” She smiled ruefully.

There’s even a scene where Leia straight up tells her envoy that if she went personally, something bad might happen to her:

“But why don’t you go yourself, General? An appeal of this nature is always more effective when delivered firsthand.” Leia’s smile thinned. “I might make it to the Senate, yes. I might even be able to deliver my speech. But I would never, never get out of the Hosnian system alive. I would have a terrible ‘accident,’ or become the victim of some ‘deranged’ radical. Or I would eat something that didn’t agree with me. Or encounter someone who didn’t agree with me.”

In short, Leia was coldbloodedly telling someone else to take the risks for her, and being frank about it. Now we know where Kylo Ren got his evil from.

In the end, we have Leia carrying on her lonely fight for freedom, after being abandoned by her husband, son, brother and the galaxy at large.

And what about poor Han Solo? He won the princess, saved the galaxy, and got his precious ship back from a suicide mission.

Thirty years later, he was estranged from his wife, disavowed by his son, lost the Falcon, and went back to his old conman-smuggler routine.

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And after managing to survive a hand-to-mouth existence, he gets stabbed in the heart with a ragged lightsaber by his own offspring.

Then there’s our beloved droids: C3PO and R2-D2. As usual, nobody listens to Threepio, and nobody even gives a fuck to paint his replacement arm. Meanwhile, Artoo becomes a hermit just like his master — shoved under a dusty tarp in a forgotten corner, he is absent for most of the movie in favor of BB-8.

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And in case you’re wondering about Lando, there’s no mention of him at all. It’s like the Hero of Tanaab and the Guy who Blew Up Death Star II didn’t exist. Maybe he died during a stimspice-and-hooker collision with a star cruiser. Or he got shanked in a dingy casino in Nar Shadaa. That would be the best outcome, so he wouldn’t see how low his friends have sunk.

And you know what? This may actually be better. It means that there is no fairy tale ending, and not everything has to end happily ever after. That is the cold, hard reality not just in the Star Wars universe, but our own. 

Quite a lesson for kids, right?

You might argue that even the old EU had its tragic moments. One of the Solo brats goes dark, the galaxy gets invaded, and Chewie dies. And yet, at the very least our heroes never got sidelined. Luke was still Jedi Master, Leia stayed in the political limelight, and Han was a respected General. And most importantly, they never abandoned each other.

With The Force Awakens, we have a virtual Shakespeare tragedy: an emo recluse who gave up on the galaxy, a faded princess abandoned by her whole family, and an aging con-man back to his old tricks. Each one of them going on their own separate path.

I really hope Lando wasn’t around to see any of that.

starwarsep6_ending“Look at them clueless fools. They have no idea what’s going to happen them.”


Hungry for more Star Wars stuff? Check out the story of stormtrooper FU-1287, and his experience in the raid on Jakku!