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Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Force Awakens Drew Struzen Poster Revealed at D23 Expo

In the past, Disney's biennial D23 Expo (the D is for Disney, the 23 is for 1923, when the company was founded) has been mainly focused on kid-oriented family films. But thanks to Disney's ownership of Lucasfilm, this year's convention took a trip to a galaxy far, far away. We didn't get any new footage from The Force Awakens (the next trailer won't be until the fall), but we did get the inevitable Drew Struzan poster. 

Struzan has made posters for every Star Wars movie, so it was only a matter of time before he made one for The Force Awakens. The poster has all the usual Struzan trademarks: the villain lurking in the background, the heroes standing defiantly, starfighters flying on the sidelines, et cetera. If you examine the poster, there's at least one surprise you'll notice immediately, and another one that's more subtle. 

It should be noted that this isn't just a random artist's poster, it's an official poster for the film, which means that Struzan was given footage from the film to work with, and everything on the poster is accurate and intentional.

The obvious feature is that ex-stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega) is holding a lightsaber, and not just any lightsaber, it's clearly Luke Skywalker's (and previously Anakin Skywalker's) that was lost during his duel with Darth Vader in Cloud City in The Empire Strikes Back. The fact that Finn is wielding any lightsaber, and presumably has the force powers to match it, is a huge revelation by itself. But how did he find Luke's?

It should be noted that in the first trailer, we see someone, presumably Princess Leia, being handed Luke's lightsaber. Perhaps it was found by someone else, and Leia will just hand it on to Finn. 

JJ Abrams said that it's "completely intentional" that Finn's last name is unknown to us, which means he must be the relative of a well-known character. The most common theory has been that Lando Calrissian is his father, and maybe that's true, and maybe Finn is the first in his family to have force powers. But perhaps he's actually a descendant of Mace Windu, one of the most skilled and powerful Jedi masters of the prequel trilogy (and the only black Jedi we know of). 

The other feature is that the desert-y background has 2 suns. The desert planet shown repeatedly in the first trailer and teaser was revealed to be Jakku, rather than Tatooine, in which both previous Star Wars trilogies began. But since many Original Trilogy things have new names now (the Rebellion is now the Resistance, the Empire is now the First Order), fans developed a theory that Jakku is simply a new name for Tatooine. Unless they made up an entirely new sandy planet with twin suns, this poster seems to confirm that theory. 

What do you think of the poster? What are your theories on how Finn found Luke's lightsaber? Tell me in the comments, and may the force be with you.  

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