We can barely contain our excitement for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. For those of us who couldn’t attend Monday’s premiere in Los Angeles, anxious fans will get a chance to check out the movie beginning Thursday evening (assuming a theater near you is participating in early screenings), otherwise the movie will be more widely available on Friday, Dec. 18. It’s been a long time coming, but the big day is finally here.
If you have no interest in Star Wars, or simply didn’t caught up in the hype, consider watching our primer on the franchise (above); it might pique your interest enough to want to check the film out this weekend.
Rather than bringing you a summary of the first six movies, we decided to spice things up by coming up with ten big facts you should know going into the upcoming film. We already helped summarize what The Force Awakens is all about, including information about the new characters being added to the Star Wars universe. But these facts will help shed light on what has happened, and what’s to come.
We hope you enjoy the video—and don’t forget to catch our review of the film soon. Early reactions are in, and people absolutely love what JJ Abrams and the crew has created. Below are the top 10 Star Wars facts you need to know before you head out to see The Force Awakens on Friday.
Star Wars facts
- R2-D2 & C-3P0 are essentially the narrators of the entire series. And while it appears they aren’t in The Force Awakens for long, their presence is essential. Pay attention to them.
- The Millennium Falcon had a cameo in the prequels, meaning the ship is well over 60 years old, so think of its history as you watch.
- Luke Skywalker was the last known living Jedi at the end of Return of the Jedi, but they once numbered over 10,000.
- The Sith are essentially evil Jedi as they specialize in the Dark Side of the Force. Their numbers, however, have been more limited for years as they tend to power struggle with one another. As Yoda said in the Prequels, “Always two there are. A master and an apprentice.” Which is Kylo Ren?
- While there is a lot of familiar tech in The Force Awakens, it’s obvious that advancements haven’t completely stopped. The X-Wings in the original trilogy were Incom T-65s, but the ones in the new film are T-70s and feature a heavily re-designed wing configuration. So, just enough to be familiar, but definitely an upgrade.
- While the Stormtroopers in the original trilogy were all clones of Jango Fett, it has been confirmed that the First Order troops are individuals who were born and raised under the new group’s rule. Hence they were raised believing that the Empire was in the right as opposed to being cloned to think that.
- Apple fans will find it interesting that Jony Ive influenced the design of Kylo Ren’s lightsaber. J.J. Abrams has confirmed in interviews that while at a dinner with Ive he expressed that he always thought Lightsabers should be more “spitty,” meaning not such a clean beam of energy, hence Kylo’s saber being more jagged.
- If you’ve never seen the original trilogy, the history of the lightsaber Finn is shown using in the trailers may puzzle you. Originally built by Anakin Skywalker while he was a Padawan learner, it was handed down to his son Luke in Episode IV. He went on to lose it in Episode V when his father, now Darth Vader, cut off his hand during a saber battle. The blade was last seen falling down a long mine shaft of the floating mining facility known as Cloud City on Bespin. Who retrieved it and where has it been for over 30 years?
- In one trailer we see Han Solo saying, “Chewie, we’re home” while standing inside the Falcon. The ship, a Corellian freighter, has had many owners over its history. Han actually took possession of the ship from Lando Calrissian when it was used as a bet in a hand of the card game Sabacc. It appears Han lost it in the intervening years since Return of the Jedi, but it is unknown under what circumstances.
- At the end of Return of the Jedi we saw the death of Emperor Palpatine, also known as Darth Sidious, at the hands of Darth Vader. Celebrations then break out across the galaxy leading us to believe the Empire crumbled. But now we know it morphed into a group called the First Order, and the Rebel Alliance has become known as the Resistance.
Sean Aune contributed to this article