The last few weeks has seen a lot of leaked and official news about the new Star Wars movie. From an official title finally, “The Force Awakens”, to leaked concept art, to more casting rumors, we seem to be learning more and more about episode VII every day. But all we are seeing are little snippets from the film. The actual plot and details are a closely guarded secret . On a movie this big it’s to be expected. But we have been lucky enough to have seen a bunch on concept art hit the web with interesting depictions of shots we may see in the final film. Concept art is always a bit sketchy to put a lot of stock in because it’s often just visual daydreaming used by the director and producers to try and imagine what certain parts and scenes of the movie could look like. Sometimes the concept art may be spot on to what makes it in the finished film and at others times it could be off in a galaxy far far away. But if you look beneath the surface and dive deep into the details you can notice a lot of themes and subtitles that reveal the bigger picture. I think if we look at these pictures critically we can learn a lot about episode VII. There are clues in the concept art waiting to be found.
So let’s take a look at what’s been revealed so far and see what we can deduce about Star Wars episode VII: A New Dawn. Even if you’ve seen these pictures before, you haven’t seen them like this.
(Further analysis of more recent concept art can be here in Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4)
And it of course goes without saying, POTENTIALLY MASSIVE spoiler alerts to come.
1. Evil Sith cloaked figure
This is one of the most important and talked about pieces of art that’s been leaked so far for one simple reason. Who is this guy? Some have speculated this could be Anakin, Darth Vader himself, longing for the good ol’ days. The clue being the robotic right hand that Luke cut off during their final battle on the Death Star. But that would mean Vader somehow managed to survive being burned to death on a funeral pyre on Endor. (He has survived been burned to death before afterall.) But this can’t be Anakin. We saw his force ghost at the end of Jedi which means he’s as dead as Uncle Lars and Aunt Beru. If this isn’t Vader I think it’s clear then who it must be. None other than the Emperor himself.
To verify my claim I submit the following evidence. We know Palpatine has a closet full of black hooded cloaks, his favorite attire. Check. This person seems to be on the bridge of a Star Destroyer which is where he belongs now that he’s run out of Death Stars. Check. He’s obviously mourning the loss of his star pupil as Palpatine would. That softy. Check. It’s possible Palpatine could have survived the destruction of the second Death Star but not without injury which explains his robotic prosthetics. Check. I think it’s also kind of interesting that Palpatine himself may be more machine than man now as at least his hand and eye have been replaced. (And as we’ll see, cybernetics seem to be all the rage in the new film) What is clear from his expression and pose is that Vader is gone and he is missed. Ruling the galaxy was easy with Vader by his side. Now it’s harder and he longs for Vader’s return. A major goal of Palpatine through both trilogies was to find and groom new apprentices, Anakin in the prequels and turning Luke to the dark side in the original. Why would we expect him to have any other mission in the new films? What’s to say he still doesn’t have his eyes on Luke, even 30 years later? We know this guy is comfortable playing the long game so I’d bet on it.
We also know the Empire is still alive and kicking in these new movies which surprised many at first. Most people expected the Empire would have at least fractured or been totally defeated in the new films because that’s usually what happens when your supreme leader is killed. How does it make sense that the could have Empire have survived 30 years after Return of the Jedi? Simple. Palpatine never died. Obviously he got messed up, but it takes more than a small fall down a reactor core to kill a Sith lord.
Darth Maul not withstanding.