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Monday, January 4, 2016

Star Wars Databank Reveals Important 'The Force Awakens' Details

The StarWars.com databank is one of the Internet's greatest sources of documented Star Wars information about various characters, technology, locations, and more throughout the saga. Most of its recent entries for The Force Awakens provide some kind of deeper knowledge of the film, but a few contain significant details that weren't divulged in the mere 136 minutes (which is fairly short for a movie of such magnitude). 

The Finalizer 

It was never mentioned, but this is the name of the First Order's Star Destroyer, featured most prominently during Finn and Poe's escape, during which they take out its lasers before being shot down by the ventral cannons. 
The powerful flagship shared by General Hux and Kylo Ren, the dagger-shaped Finalizer is nearly twice the length of an Imperial-era Star Destroyer. The first of the new Resurgent class constructed in violation of treaties with the New Republic, the Finalizer’s heavy weapons are augmented by two starfighter wings, a hundred assault craft and a full legion of stormtroopers. Her turbolasers are more powerful and faster to recharge than Imperial-era weapons, a product of kyber crystals harvested in the Unknown Regions.
Notable takeaways: 
  • This seems to confirm that this is the First Order's one and only Star Destroyer (I guess they blew all their budget on the Starkiller). 
  • Kyber crystals are a rare, vital ingredient in the creation of lightsabers. Not only are they responsible for the lightsabers' coloring, the crystals themselves are Force-attuned, meaning they develop a connection with their owner. The First Order must have gone to extreme lengths to find the larger, even rarer crystals, traditionally used by the Sith in their superweapons. 

Snoke 

From his few scenes in the film, we all understood that Snoke communicates with his underlings (Kylo and Hux) via giant hologram, preferring to stay away from the action. The databank reveals a little more about his location: 
The Supreme Leader of the First Order, the mysterious Snoke has no permanent base of operations, preferring to contact his underlings from a mobile command post.
No, we still don't know where he is (or who he is), but this is still a pretty interesting detail. If Luke and Rey plan on eventually killing Snoke, it won't be easy to track him down first. 

Captain Phasma 

Further proof that this chrome-clad stormtrooper was underused: her two-paragraph description gives her more characterization than the entire film. 
A tough veteran commander, she has no use for fancy titles or complex war rooms, preferring to lead her troops in battle against the First Order’s enemies...Phasma served as one of the First Order’s commanding triumvirate, though she sometimes clashed with both the technocratic General Hux and the mysterious Kylo Ren. She worked tirelessly to make the First Order’s stormtroopers the galaxy’s finest soldiers, searching for any sign of weakness or disobedience in the ranks.
Notable takeaways:
  • How exactly is she a "veteran"? She's too young to have fought in the Galactic Civil War or the Clone Wars, and it seems like the First Order had kept a fairly low profile before using the Starkiller to wipe out the New Republic in a single strike. 
  • This says that Phasma is a more hands-on type of commander, but we only saw her on the battlefield once, during the Jakku village attack. And for someone who "has no use for fancy titles", she seems fine wearing a big, impractical cape. (Not that I'm complaining, the cape looks great.) 
  • The term "triumvirate" is ancient Roman, and it basically means that she has just as much power and authority as Kylo and Hux. I'm officially labelling Snoke a sexist for not inviting her to their regular chats. 
  • This suggests that Kylo and Hux's power-vying rivalry extended to Phasma as well. Could there have been some deleted scenes that showed this?  

Lor San Tekka

As it turns out, this ill-fated village elder isn't supposed to be someone familiar from the past Star Wars canon. 

A legendary traveler and explorer, Lor San Tekka is a longtime ally of the New Republic and the Resistance. After the Battle of Endor, San Tekka helped Luke Skywalker recover secret Jedi lore that the Empire had tried to erase, and Leia Organa hopes the old scout can now help find her brother. Following decades of adventure, San Tekka retired to live simply on Jakku, where he follows the dictates of the once-forbidden Church of the Force. But his retirement is fated to be anything but peaceful.
Notable takeaways:
  • It's fitting that Max von Sydow can play a character as legendary as himself.
  • So now we get a better idea of how San Tekka got ahold of that map to the first Jedi temple where Luke is at the end of the movie, but this still doesn't explain why he held onto it for so long. 
  • Church of the Force? A whole religion of Force-insensitive people who worship it? This sounds like a really interesting concept that will probably get 0 minutes of screen time. 
Riot Control Stormtrooper (TR-8R) 

I wonder if the filmmakers ever suspected that this uniquely competent stormtrooper would gain Internet fame, and even be renamed "TR-8R" for his now-iconic line "Traitor!" that he shouts at Finn before dueling him. 

Stormtrooper units assigned to keep order on worlds within First Order territory are trained in riot-control tactics and given non-lethal equipment – though all carry standard weapons in case situations spiral out of control. Riot control stormtroopers use betaplast shields and Z6 batons to keep crowds at bay or to shock or pummel an opponent.
Still doesn't explain where he learned those sick spins. 

For more information on the characters, creatures, and technology of The Force Awakens, as well as the rest of the Star Wars universe, visit the StarWars.com databank. May the Force be with you all. 

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