“Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens” is a hybrid of parts of episodes four, five and six with new characters, vehicles and droids as well.
Trying to keep up with all of the new elements may be a little difficult until you have seen the movie five, six or 56 times. To help you out, the following is a guide to the new film.
It’s not complete and some of the information has been culled from various sources because details of the movie have been kept hidden. But it will be enough to help you deal with the “Force” the first time around.
Capt. Phasma: Commander of the First Order’s army.
Played by: Gwendoline Christie
What you know her for: Plays Brienne of Tarth on “Game of Thrones.”
What she says about early fan reaction to her character: “I was very surprised and heartened at the overwhelming response to the character of Capt. Phasma. J.J.’s (Abrams) been open about the fact that he wanted to respect the origins of the film and celebrate them, but to bring them into the modern day. And confirmation of that seemed to be, to me, in this amazing character of Capt. Phasma, who is Star Wars’ first on-screen female villain.”
Finn: A Stormtrooper who becomes part of those fighting the First Order.
Played by: John Boyega
What you know him from: “24: Live Another Day” and “Becoming Human.”
What he says about the reaction to his being the first black Stormtrooper: “I’m going to be honest. I really don’t care about the black Stormtrooper stuff. I couldn’t care less. This is a movie about human beings, about Wookiees, spaceships and TIE fighters, and it has an undertone and a message of courage, and a message of friendship and loyalty. And I think that’s something that is ultimately important. I really relate to Rey more than any of the characters. And to be in a circumstance where you have to find something bigger than who you are within yourself is something that’s an inspiration to me.”
Gen. Leia: Leader of the Resistance and sister of Luke Skywalker.
Played by: Carrie Fisher
What you know her from: “Star Wars: A New Hope,” “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back,” “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.”
What she says about the scariest part of doing the original film: “Bad memory. Not remembering my lines. I’m the custodian of Princess Leia, so I never got out of character, and I wondered if that would be noticed. I was very nervous. Just it’s been, you know, 40 years for other people. I don’t like looking at myself at this age in a large way, so that was scary, and remains so.”
Han Solo: Smuggler from the planet Corellia who has been a chief ally for Luke Skywalker.
Played by: Harrison Ford
What you know him for: “Star Wars: A New Hope,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “42.”
What he says about reprising his role as Han Solo: “It seemed easy to come back to the character. Clothes make the man. I had walked more than a mile in those boots. I was interested in the described path of the character. I thought there was an interesting bit of business for the character to do. I’d been having a real good time with J.J. Abrams, talking about it and getting ready for the adventure of filming. So I was – it was easy.”
Kylo Ren: Chief bad guy for the First Order.
Played by: Adam Driver
What you know him from: “Girls,” “This Is Where I Leave You,” “While We’re Young.”
What he says about playing villains: “I remember early on not thinking of him being bad or evil or a villain and trying to make something that was more three-dimensional because that, to me, when we were talking originally, seemed more dangerous and more unpredictable. Someone who feels morally justified in doing whatever they need to publicly (to) kind of state that what they’re doing is right seems kind of something more active to play than just being evil for the sake of it. That’s not really fun to play.”
Luke Skywalker: Son of Darth Vader and brother of Gen. Leia.
Played by: Mark Hamill
What you know him from: “Star Wars: A New Hope,” “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back,” “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.”
What he says about returning to the role of Luke Skywalker: Not much. After a few initial appearances, Hamill stopped doing interviews. His lack of accessibility has fanned speculation that his character goes through the biggest transformation in the film.
Maz Kanata: Female pirate whose path has crossed with Yoda.
Played by: Lupita Nyong’o
What you know her from: She won an Oscar for her work in “12 Years a Slave.”
What she says about playing a computer-generated character: “This was something completely new to me. Walking into a room, I had to do this thing where they had to take my picture from all directions at one time, and I had to stand in the middle and there were 360 cameras all around me, and that freaked me out.”
Poe Dameron: Pilot in the Resistance.
Played by: Oscar Isaac
What you know him from: “Inside Llewyn Davis,” “The Bourne Legacy,” “Ex Machina.”
What he says about developing his character: “I think this has been one of the coolest things about working on this with J.J. and with Lucasfilm is that there’s been a real sense of collaboration with that kind of thing. We could talk about those things, and there was an evolution of the characters from the first meeting to what ended up on screen.”
Rey: A scavenger who lives on Jakku.
Played by: Daisy Ridley
What you know her from: Not much as this is her first big movie.
What she says about her first big role being a “Star Wars” film: “My whole first day was pretty terrifying. I couldn’t find a moment that was any less or more than the other. As everyone knows, I’ve not really done much before, so other people saw something in me that perhaps I didn’t see myself and I’m still not quite sure if it’s there. So the fear of not fulfilling that potential was terrifying.”
Other characters: Chewbacca, Wookiee co-pilot of the Millennium Falcon and good friend to Han Solo, played by Peter Mayhew; Supreme Leader Snoke, leader of the new campaign, played by Andy Serkis; and Gen. Hux, First Order officer, played by Domhnall Gleeson.
Assault Walker: This one-person vehicle allows the driver to move quickly during attacks and do more damage.
Command Shuttle: The bad guys tend to get great ships and that’s the case with this one for Kylo Ren. It is one of the most menacing-looking vehicles in the universe.
First Order Special Forces speeder bike: Speeder bikes have been a source of some of the best “Star Wars” action scenes. The sleek design makes them great for moving quickly, and the laser cannons make them deadly.
First Order TIE fighters: An updated version of the ship of choice for Darth Vader. Flawed design, though, as the big vertical panels make them easier targets.
Luggabeast: The semi-mechanical beast looks like a miniature Imperial Walker. Its massive side makes the vehicle a good pick for transporting a lot of goods.
Millennium Falcon: The most iconic vehicle in the movie is this one piloted by Han Solo and Chewbacca. Despite its large design, the ship can easily maneuver through the tightest of places.
Rey’s speeder: What appears to be a landspeeder turned on its side is the amped-up motorcycle that Rey rides. It hovers over the vast stretches of land that cover the planet Jakku.
Star Destroyer: This is the vehicle the Empire uses to intimidate. It’s the largest vehicle in the galaxy since the Death Star no longer exists. It carries a massive amount of troops and supplies.
X-wing Starfighter: This is the ship of choice for the fighter pilots in Resistance. Its sleek shape makes it easy to handle in aerial dogfights.
BB-8: This round droid rolls along as the companion to Rey. He accompanies Resistance pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) in his X-wing fighter.
C-3PO: The protocol droid was built by a young Anakin Skywalker. He is the close companion of R2-D2.
R2-D2: The droid has had many uses. He delivered the holographic message to Obi-Wan, was in the X-wing with Luke Skywalker and is a buddy to C-3PO.