Star Wars

Striking back

Photo (above): David James

As the new Star Wars movie hits cinemas, here’s the low-down on this year’s biggest release

So, there’s a new Star Wars instalment…

Sure is. The Force Awakens is the sci-fi saga’s official ‘Episode VII’ and the first Star Wars movie since original creator George Lucas sold his production company, Lucasfilm, to Disney in 2012.

What’s it all about, then?

It’s the start of a brand new trilogy, following original heroes Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia (Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher) as they help a new band of rebels fight the First Order – a military power risen from the ashes of the Galactic Empire.

„Episode VII“ of the sci-fi-saga with the new baddie Kylo Ren: two parts Darth Vader, one part Slipknot

© Star Wars // YouTube

Who are the series’ newbies?

Our new heroes are rookie Jedi Finn (John Boyega), headstrong ‘scavenger’ Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), the “best freaking pilot in the galaxy”. On the dark side, there’s the Darth Vader-like Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), the sinister General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) and super-trooper Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie).

R2-D2 and C-3PO

R2-D2 and C-3PO take offence to the BB-8 comment

© David James

That’s a lot of new fancy-dress potential…

Oh, and don’t forget BB-8. The Force Awakens’ spherical sidekick will become everyone’s new favourite space droid.

With George Lucas gone, who’s in charge?

Director JJ Abrams – the man who revived Star Trek. “To get to play in this playground is an absolute honour,” he says. “We’re working hard to make a movie that feels as emotional and authentic and exciting as possible.”

Old friends

Three Star Wars staples we’ll be welcoming back

Han Solo’s fuzzy Wookiee companion – dubbed a “walking carpet” by Leia.

And there’s a new look: Kylo Ren’s crossguard blade has already caused a stir online.

The odd-couple droids are the only characters to appear in all seven Star Wars films.

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