Just days ahead of the D23 convention EW has unleashed a whole buncha new Star Wars: The Force Awakens images. It's fun to look at these pictures and think back on my own spotty history of scoops about this movie. I got some of the broad strokes right - the lightsaber as inciting incident (although it seems like I was wrong with how the lightsaber shows up in the movie), Gwendoline Christie as the Chrome Trooper, the continued existence of the Empire - while getting a lot of details wrong. It's the nature of trying to get info about a secretive movie like this. Think of the story about the six blind men trying to describe an elephant by only touching one part of it each.
Anyway, we're in the final stretch and that means we're weeks away from this shit going into hyperdrive, and these EW stills are the first taste of it. The stills are interesting, but it's new info about Kylo Ren that is really newsworthy, so I saved that for the end.
Our heroes Finn and Rey run from First Order Storm Troopers! This image seems indicative of the images in general - I am betting almost everything we see here is from the first half of the movie.
Finn stumbles away from the wreckage of his Tie Fighter, which brings him into Rey's life.
Rey rescuing bae BB-8. I love that beast with its weird-ass helmet - so very, very Star Wars.
C-3P0 has... a red arm? I wonder what's been happening to him over the previous 30 years. Good thing we will soon have a deluge of books and comics and games to tell us.
The Chrome Trooper, aka Captain Phasma.
It's our other bae, Dameron Poe.
The general public's first look at General Hux or, as his friends call him, The Huxter. I'm not really sure why Domnhall Gleeson's role was kept so very, very secret for so long, but that's JJ Abrams for you.
Kylo Ren leads First Order troopers through a destroyed Jakku village. Now we're getting to the stuff that's interesting...
This shot, a continuation of Ren turning on his saber in the trailer, might be one of the only things from the back half of the movie. Unless I'm wrong this snowy environment is where the climax takes place (and boy have I been wrong on this movie in the past!). But one thing I am wrong about: calling him Ren, just as Obi-Wan was wrong to call Vader "Darth" in the first Star Wars.
Much like "Darth," "Ren" is not a name but an honorific. In this case it marks Kylo as a member of the Knights of Ren, archenemies of the League of Stimpy.
As for his mask, it's meant to recall Vader's. Says Abrams:
“The movie explains the origins of the mask and where it’s from, but the design was meant to be a nod to the Vader mask. Ren is well aware of what’s come before, and that’s very much a part of the story of the film.”
And yes, his saber is a crudely made one:
“The lightsaber is something that he built himself, and is as dangerous and as fierce and as ragged as the character."
For Lawrence Kasdan Kylo Ren is something new to Star Wars, and since he's written four of them, he would be an expert on that. What sets Kylo Ren apart in the Saga?
"He’s full of emotion.”