Star Wars: Episode VII – The Darkness Awakens

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Star Wars: The Darkness Awakens (also known as Star Wars: Episode VII – The Darkness Awakens) is a 2015 American epic space opera film produced, co-written, and directed by Rian Johnson. The sequel to Return of the Jedi (1983), it is the seventh film in the Star Wars main chronology. The ensemble cast includes Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Max von Sydow.

The Darkness Awakens premiered in Los Angeles on December 14, 2015, and was released in the United States on December 18. The Last Skywalker and The Duel of Fates (2019) followed The Darkness Awakens rounding out the Star Wars sequel trilogy.

Plot[edit | edit source]

In 28 ABY, the New Republic has risen from the fallen Galactic Empire and with it, the New Jedi Order has been founded. The opening crawl explains that the New Republic originally began stable, democratic, and prosperous, but has degenerated into infighting between rival factions and subject to brutal insurgencies by Imperial remnants, neo-separatists, and those disillusioned with the seemingly theocratic rule of the New Jedi Order.

The film opens with Captain Poe Dameron, acting under the orders of General of the Republic Hux, attacking an Imperial remnant stationed on the salt-mining planet of Crait. There, Poe finds Finn, a former child soldier who was forced into war crimes by the remnant, and secretly refuses an order by Hux to have him executed, instead bringing him along his ship as a stowaway to the Republic capitol of D'Qar.

On D'Qar, Finn and Poe bond over their shared experiences as misfits within their organizations, After Hux realizes Poe has defied his orders, Hux attempts to place the two under military arrest, causing Finn and Poe to steal the Razor Crest (described as being owned by an unnamed Mandalorian) from a local merchant and frantically escape via hyperspace drive to a remote planet of the Outer Rim. Furious, Hux notifies his superior Grand Admiral of the Republic Thrawn of two seditious elements within the Navy, who unexpectedly responds with great interest.

Finn and Poe crash-land on the oceanic "junk planet" of Jakku, where they meet a self-proclaimed scavenger named Rey searching for supplies and resources. After Rey uses the Force to [COOL FORCE THINGS], the trio are approached by the Millennium Falcon piloted by Luke Skywalker, who appears and angrily chides Rey for straying off the course of her mission, revealing that Rey is an apprentice of the New Jedi Order on a mission to her home planet to search for artifacts of her parentage. Sensing Finn's potential in the force, Luke allows Finn and Poe to join them on their way to Yavin 4, the foundational site of the New Jedi Order.


Luke Skywalker, married to former Imperial assassin Mara Jade, is introduced as the teacher and mentor of his nephew Ben Solo, the son of Han Solo and Leia Organa. Despite his incredible gift in the Force, Ben finds himself isolated from the rest of the Jedi academy, confiding with his only friend- Rey. He struggles with the unique gift of frequently hearing the past voices of Jedi and Sith alike, despising those from Ashoka Tano and Ezra Bridger which he believes are judging him.

Ben realizes that he is able to replicate the effect of being controlled by the Yuuzhan Vong, and starts to hear voices from previous lords of the Sith- including that of his grandfather Darth Vader.


Recalling a story Luke once told him about his grandfather's master, Ben uses his lightsaber to murder Mara Jade in her sleep. Before he can bring himself to kill his uncle, Luke awakens and briefly duels Ben, before Ben severs Luke's cybernetic hand and defenstrates him with Force lightning. As Ben begins to massacre the rest of the Jedi Order, Han realizes that Ben is feigning being controlled and confronts him imploring him to abandon the dark side. Ben seems to consider this, but hearing a voice from Darth Maul, ultimately kills his father instead. Devastated, Chewbacca shoots Ben in the chest. Mon Mothma orders Grand Admiral Thrawn to mobilize a ship above the Galactic Senate but demands him to hold his fire.

The injured Ben pursues Rey and Leia Organa into the Galactic Senate. Finn fights Ben with Anakin's lightsaber to protect Rey before Ben knocks both of them unconscious. Leia takes the lightsaber and channels the Force to defeat Ben in a duel by severing all of his limbs. Meanwhile, Thrawn mutinies against Mothma to stop the massacre and bombs the capital. Before Leia can try and save Ben, the two are separated by a fissure from the bombing.

Following the bombing, Luke and Leia are recovered from the wreckage by C3-P0 and R2-D2, being transported away to the planet of Thython to heal and recover, while Rey, Poe, and Finn stay behind to look after the survivors of the attack on the Senate. As Ben awakens in the ruins of the Galactic Senate, Thrawn arrives and offers to use Jar Jar to train Ben in the Dark Side of the Force. Although Ben initially appears to reject this offer, he changes his mind when he hears Darth Maul whisper in his mind, "Every choice you have made... has led you to this moment." Christening him the name "Kylo Ren," he fits him a cybernetic body reminiscent to that of his grandfather, the film ending with Kylo helming himself with a highly modified mask of Darth Vader.