Star Wars Episode VII
The Force Awakens
Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens is first installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy and the seventh episode in the Star Wars Saga.
Star Wars creator George Lucas discussed ideas for a sequel trilogy several times after the conclusion of the original trilogy, but denied any intent to make it. In October 2012, he sold his production company Lucasfilm, and with it the Star Wars franchise, to The Walt Disney Company. Speaking alongside Lucasfilm's new president, Kathleen Kennedy, Lucas said: "I always said I wasn't going to do any more and that's true, because I'm not going to do any more, but that doesn't mean I'm unwilling to turn it over to Kathy to do more."
The Force Awakens is set 30 years after Return of the Jedi, it follows Rey, Finn and Poe Dameron's search for Luke Skywalker and their fight alongside the Resistance, led by veterans of the Rebel Alliance, against Kylo Ren and the First Order, a successor organization to the Galactic Empire.
Abrams stated that he purposely withheld some plot elements from Episode VII, such as Finn and Rey's last names and their backgrounds. Kennedy admitted that "we haven't mapped out every single detail [of the sequel trilogy] yet", but said that Abrams is collaborating with Episode VIII director Rian Johnson, and that Johnson would work with Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow, to ensure a smooth transition and that "everybody's got a say in how we move forward with this".
Approximately 30 years after the destruction of the second Death Star, the last remaining Jedi, Luke Skywalker, has disappeared. The First Order has risen from the fallen Galactic Empire and seeks to eliminate the New Republic. The Resistance, backed by the Republic and led by Luke's twin sister, General Leia Organa, opposes them while searching for Luke to enlist his aid.
Resistance pilot Poe Dameron meets village elder Lor San Tekka on the planet Jakku to obtain a map to Luke's location. Stormtroopers commanded by Kylo Ren destroy the village and capture Poe, while Ren kills Tekka. Poe's droid BB-8 escapes with the map and encounters a scavenger named Rey near a junkyard settlement. Stormtrooper FN-2187, unable to bring himself to kill for the First Order, frees Poe, and they escape in a stolen TIE fighter; Poe renames FN-2187 "Finn". They crash on Jakku, and Finn survives, but is unable to determine if Poe did as well. He encounters Rey and BB-8, but the First Order tracks them and launches an airstrike. They board the Millennium Falcon and use it to flee the planet after the ship they were boarding blows up.
After breaking down, the Falcon is caught in a tractor beam and captured by a larger ship piloted by Han Solo and Chewbacca, looking to reclaim their former vessel. Two rival gangs, seeking to settle debts with Han, board and attack. However, "Rathtars" that Han is harboring on his ship escape, killing many people in the gangs and allowing Solo, Chewbacca, Rey, Finn and BB-8 to escape. The remaining gang members inform the First Order of the events. At the First Order's Starkiller Base – a planet converted into a superweapon that harnesses energy from stars – Supreme Leader Snoke orders General Hux to use the weapon for the first time. Snoke questions Ren's ability to deal with emotions relating to his father, Han Solo; Ren says Solo means nothing to him.
The Falcon crew views BB-8's map and determines it is incomplete. Han explains that Luke attempted to rebuild the Jedi Order, but exiled himself when an apprentice turned to the dark side and slaughtered the rising Order. The crew travels to the planet Takodana and meets with cantina owner Maz Kanata, who offers assistance in getting BB-8 to the Resistance. Rey is drawn to a vault on the lower level and finds the lightsaber that once belonged to Luke and his father, Anakin Skywalker. She experiences disturbing visions and flees into the woods. Maz gives Finn the lightsaber for safekeeping.
Starkiller Base fires and destroys the Republic capital and a portion of its fleet. The First Order attacks Takodana in search of BB-8. Han, Chewbacca, and Finn are saved by Resistance X-wing fighters led by Poe, who survived the earlier crash. Leia arrives at Takodana with C-3PO and reunites with Han and Chewbacca. Meanwhile, Ren kidnaps Rey and takes her to Starkiller Base. However, when he interrogates her about the map, she is able to resist his mind-reading attempts. Discovering she can use the Force, she escapes using a Jedi mind trick on a nearby guard.
At the Resistance base on D'Qar, BB-8 finds R2-D2, who has been inactive since Luke's disappearance. As Starkiller Base prepares to fire on D'Qar, the Resistance devises a plan to destroy the superweapon by attacking a critical facility. Leia urges Han to return their son alive. Using the Falcon, Han, Chewbacca, and Finn infiltrate the facility, find Rey, and plant explosives. Han confronts Ren, calling him by his birth name, Ben, and implores him to abandon the dark side, but Ren refuses and kills his father. An enraged Chewbacca fires on Ren, hitting him, then sets off the explosives, allowing the Resistance to attack and destroy Starkiller Base.
The injured Ren pursues Finn and Rey to the surface. Ren defeats Finn in a lightsaber battle and leaves him badly wounded. Rey then takes the lightsaber and uses the Force to defeat Ren, before they are separated by a fissure as the planet begins to disintegrate and implode. Snoke orders Hux to evacuate and bring Ren to him. Rey and Chewbacca escape with Finn in the Falcon. On D'Qar, the Resistance celebrates while Leia, Chewbacca, and Rey mourn Han's death. R2-D2 awakens and reveals the rest of the map, which Rey follows to an oceanic planet. She finds Luke and presents him with the lightsaber.