The Technology Behind The Force Awakens – Starkiller Base and the Cross Guard Saber

tfa_poster_wide_header_adb92fa0Shrouded in mystery, the lightsaber used by Kylo Ren still remains a hot topic for debate. Starkiller base is home to the largest, most destructive weapon of the galaxy. But what are they, and how do they work?

 

Planetary Weaponry

 

Starkiller base is the name given to the ice planet by the First Order after converting the planet into a weapon capable of destroying an entire star system. The base itself is commanded by General Hux. As seen on the official Force Awakens poster, the large red eye like opening leads the planets core. The planet itself appears to be protected by an energy shield.

“It is very much—and it’s acknowledged as such in the movie—apparently another Death Star. But what it’s capable of, how it works, and what the threat is, is far greater than what the Death Star could have done. Starkiller Base is another step forward, technologically speaking, in terms of power.”

―J.J. Abrams, on the similarities and differences between the Death Stars and Starkiller Base

It is yet to be determined whether or not the planet can be positioned mechanically, or if it has to wait for a full planetary rotation before it is position to fire. The energy required to fire the weapon most likely uses the heat generated by the planet core. Even though the planet surface is cold, the internal temperature of the planet is most likely composed of molten hot metals, much like our very own Earth. The surface of the planet would provide training grounds for troops stationed, as well as large hanger which undoubtedly houses thousands if not millions of spacecrafts.

 

The very name Starkiller Base is most likely derived from what the weapon is actually capable of doing. Firing an energy beam directly into a sun, causing the sun to go supernova.

 

According to Wikipedia – A supernova is a stellar explosion that briefly outshines an entire galaxy, radiating as much energy as the Sun or any ordinary star is expected to emit over its entire life span, before fading from view over several weeks or months.

 

With the power to destroy a sun, all other life in the star system would be destroyed along with it.

 

For more details about Starkiller Base provided by Entertainment Weekly click here.

 

 

Kylo Ren’s Cross Guard Lightsaber

Watch Out, It's Kylo Ren!

The Lightsaber used by Kylo Ren in The Force Awakens has been a topic of debate ever since we first saw it at Celebration. Today we take a look an in depth look at where the design came from, and how it works.
When fans first saw the cross guard lightsaber in the trailer at Celebration, they began to debate the practicality of the weapon. YouTuber’s began making videos either opposing the new design, or defending it. After careful review however, it has been decided that it is indeed a force to be reckoned with. In the capable hands of a trained swordsman, the cross guard saber is safe. But how does it work, and where did the design come from?

 

 

It has been widely accepted that the design came from Heir to the Jedi. In the book Luke comes across a lightsaber much like the one used in the new film. While attempting to repair the weapon, he discovers that the saber had not one, but three kyber crystals so precisely placed that he feared removing them may damage the weapon further.

Update: According to one of our readers, Luke did not find a cross guard saber as previously stated. He did find a saber that used three crystals in perfect alignment. If they were not so perfectly aligned the saber would be unstable, thus requiring the vents. This could mean that Kylo Ren does not poses the skills necessary to accomplish the task of creating a lightsaber using three crystals.

 

At the newly opened exhibit in Disneyland California the lightsaber hilt is on display and has a placard that tells us the saber is of an ancient design, and the cross guard action is actually a vent that displaces the energy required to power the blade.

Kylo ren saber

The style of the sword used in the film comes from a Scottish two handed long-sword called a claymore. The design was invented during the medieval era. They were particularly broad and heavy, thus giving the wielder an image of strength and prowess. It was used from 1400-1700 during border skirmishes with England, and clan warfare.

 

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116 thoughts on “The Technology Behind The Force Awakens – Starkiller Base and the Cross Guard Saber

  • November 23, 2015 at 5:20 pm
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    A supernova would kill the star system, not the entire galaxy.

  • November 23, 2015 at 5:23 pm
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    Claymores, castles, Knights, really like the direction J.J. is taking us on.

    • November 23, 2015 at 5:39 pm
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      More Lord of the Rings and less Star Wars?

      • November 23, 2015 at 5:45 pm
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        From what I’ve seen, TFA has very much the look and feel of a Star Wars movie. Same as the OT, but with a slightly different spin. I’m totally psyched for its release.

        • November 23, 2015 at 7:24 pm
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          Knights of ren= nazgul
          Max kanata= gollum

          And I assume Andy serkis is the only man capable of pulling off mo cap(?)

          • November 23, 2015 at 7:39 pm
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            What about Boris the Spider from LOTR 3? Which TFA character is my eight legged friend?

          • November 23, 2015 at 9:43 pm
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            The spider in Lord of the Rings is SHALOB.

            (“Boris the Spider” is a song by The WHO)

          • November 23, 2015 at 9:55 pm
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            He’ll always be Boris to me.

          • November 24, 2015 at 2:16 am
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            Tony Kebbel was good as the bad ape in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

  • November 23, 2015 at 5:27 pm
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    So, according to the exhibit, Colbert was completely 100% correct in his rant. It’s one blade with three exit points. IOW, you can’t chop off the side blades by chopping the metal pieces. It’s just there for looks.

  • November 23, 2015 at 5:35 pm
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    “I felt a great disturbance in the Force… as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.”
    Probably all those fans that had hoped there was still some hope for some scientific credibility regarding the new superweapon.
    Now, “fracking” may have just gotten a new connotation but how it should be possible to utilize molten lava from a planet’s core (nuclear fusion reactors come in camping gear size according to ESB, you know) to destroy an entire star is now really something I look forward to being thoroughly explained. Is any of that really official or still just conjectural speculation?

    • November 23, 2015 at 5:39 pm
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      Since when has Star Wars been scientifically grounded? It’s not scifi. It’s space fantasy.

      • November 23, 2015 at 6:04 pm
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        Then why did George Lucas go for a used and real looking universe in the first place? He wanted it to feel real and believable and that’s usually an element of science fiction, not space fantasy.

        • November 23, 2015 at 6:16 pm
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          It wasn’t an element of scifi until Star Wars. Most scifi was and is overly clean and “futuristic”. Star Wars was much more grounded in theology, mythology, etc. It’s not sanitized like much of scifi. It’s much more like fantasy than it is scifi. It’s fantasy with spaceships and lasers. Why else would there be knights and swords and wizards and ancient religions and damsels in distress and evil fortresses etc. It’s fantasy with a scifi skin.

          • November 23, 2015 at 7:05 pm
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            I’m very well of the mythology and spirituality in Star Wars. But still Star Wars isn’t a fantasy like Superman where the main protagonist can fly through air and space. Average fantasy characters need to be able to swim if they don’t want to drown in water. Simply put: Should this new superweapon spit molten chunks of lava into space to destroy entire stars then it’s neither going to be science fiction or fantasy but plain nonsense.

          • November 23, 2015 at 7:26 pm
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            And laser swords and spaceships that behave like WWII fighters and lasers that travel at the speed of slow bullets and sound in space are not plain nonsense? It’s not supposed to be scientifically grounded. Star Wars was NEVER scientifically grounded. It’s mythologically grounded.

          • November 23, 2015 at 8:04 pm
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            When they say they go to lightspeed you really thought it’s c? The movies made it rather clear that “going to lightspeed” is an (erroneous) synonym for the actual “jump into hyperspace”. And laserblasts do not contain L.A.S.E.R. – already during ANH production phase they used “lazer”, i.e. the people that created Star Wars were aware they used colloquialisms (and that their Cokes didn’t contain cocaine).

          • November 23, 2015 at 8:09 pm
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            That’s all retconning, bro. Almost all of the “futuristic” stuff in Star Wars is not based in science at all. That’s why all the hardcore scifi fans are more into Star Trek than Star Wars. Star Wars is more similar to Lord of the Rings than Star Trek. And that’s a good thing, IMO.

          • November 24, 2015 at 11:32 am
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            It’s not retconning when in the very films themselves they say “jump to hyperspace” (= science fiction), i.e. they used the correct term to illustrate that “jump to lightspeed” is colloquial SW lingo. And since when is mythology an exclusive property of fantasy? As a follower of Joe Campbell a defining characteristic of mythology is the monomyth, the hero’s journey and the archetypes and you can find this mythology both in fantasy and science fiction. I agree that Star Trek is more scifi than Star Wars. The Lord of the Rings comparison is a good one, too, because it’s also anchored in REALITY, i.e. trolls have to push the gates of Mordor open and the Orcs need catapults to fire their rocks at Minas Tirith. They don’t use some kind of magic. Along the same lines firing molten lava at a star and/or use that as an energy source has less to do to with reality but with magic. And that was my original point, i.e. that even Star Wars adheres to some basic physical laws just as Lord of the Rings did. Star Wars is space opera but it’s home is still closer to science fiction than fantasy where magic often explains a variety of otherwise unexplainable things.

          • November 23, 2015 at 9:01 pm
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            I’d say SW sits some where in-between sci-fi and fantasy. It doesn’t seem to have the detailed explanation sci-fi usually offers and gives enough ‘realism’ for us to suspend disbelief.

            As a sound enthusiast, I’ve forgiven SW noise in a vacuum. Most audio cues in film sound design are not intended to be realistic – for some reason it doesn’t work very well in the medium in general. (see also Psycho Acoustics) Just listen to the sound effects overdubbing footage in nature documentary’s if you want a spoiler!

            P.S. Genuinely loving these figures of speech like “grounded in mythology/theology” 🙂

          • November 23, 2015 at 10:02 pm
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            I say “grounded in mythology/theology” because mythology and theology get to the root of what makes us uniquely human. It’s why Star Wars resonates with more people than, say, Battlestar Galactica or even Star Trek. Even if you don’t believe in God or gods or spirituality it still hits you in a familiar place in your psyche.

          • November 23, 2015 at 7:06 pm
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            And most of all fantasy because of the “Force”… this unseen “Godlike” power that “binds” us, “flows” through us… wait, that’s Chinese Qigong…

        • November 23, 2015 at 7:03 pm
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          So you’ve never read/watched The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and/or A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones, I take it.

          Each of these tales happen in worlds that look and feel realistic and lived-on. In fact, this is a must in fantasy world-building: the author must make his world as deep and believable as possible so that the audience can relate better to a story that will otherwise be filled with unrealistic, magical stuff. This is why Lucas made the GFFA look like this.

          If SW was sci-fi, there would be no blasts and no sound in space. The lack of oxygen makes it as impossible for sound or fire to carry as the birdmen in Flash Gordon that you mentioned, carrying humans for long interplanetary distances.

        • November 23, 2015 at 7:14 pm
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          GL wanted the universe to feel “lived in”…that’s not the same as “realistic”.

          • November 23, 2015 at 7:39 pm
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            Which is a must in fantasy world-building, but not so much in Sci-Fi.

        • November 23, 2015 at 7:21 pm
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          Actually he used a spaceship.

        • November 23, 2015 at 8:58 pm
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          I’d say SW sits some where in-between sci-fi and fantasy. It doesn’t seem to have the detailed explanation sci-fi usually offers and gives enough ‘realism’ for us to suspend disbelief.

          As a sound enthusiast, I’ve forgiven SW noise in a vacuum. Most audio cues in film sound design are not intended to be realistic – for some reason it doesn’t work very well in the medium in general. (see also Psycho Acoustics) Just listen to the sound effects overdubbing footage in nature documentary’s if you want a spoiler!

          P.S. Loving these figures of speech like “grounded in mythology/theology” 🙂

      • November 23, 2015 at 8:54 pm
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        I’d say SW sits some where in-between sci-fi and fantasy. It doesn’t seem to have the detailed explanation sci-fi usually offers and gives enough ‘realism’ for us to suspend disbelief.

        As a sound enthusiast, I’ve forgiven SW noise in a vacuum. Most audio cues in film sound design are not intended to be realistic – for some reason it doesn’t work very well in the medium in general. (see also Psycho Acoustics) Just listen to the sound effects overdubbing footage in nature documentary’s if you want a spoiler!

        P.S. Loving these figures of speech like “grounded in mythology/theology” 🙂

  • November 23, 2015 at 6:05 pm
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    Does this planet perhaps hop from place to place using some sort of Black Hole transport device ( a bit like JJ has already used in Star Trek ?? ) That way it can position itself then where it needs to, then get out of the place so it’s not consumed in the damage ) It might not mechanically be able to move but maybe the base has a black hole device built in. Just a thought!

    • November 23, 2015 at 7:02 pm
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      I read a theory that had the weapon being able to fire ACROSS hyperspace… this would then limit it’s capability to it’s rotational aspect, avoiding any “fallout”

      • November 23, 2015 at 8:24 pm
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        I think this is the case, too. Others have pondered whether the planet is just a shell and the entire thing has been terraformed into a spaceship. A better question is, how old is this thing? It took the Empire decades to build the first Death Star. This thing looks to be much larger. I’m guessing the First Order stumbled upon it at some point and it was something the Emperor or Tarkin were working on for a long time.

    • November 24, 2015 at 12:14 am
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      I hope not.

  • November 23, 2015 at 6:06 pm
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    My only worry with this movie is that they go back to much to OT.

    Old Death star is now Star Killer

    Old wise Yoda is now Maz Katana
    Young Luke learning about force is now Rey
    Han finds redemption and join rebellion and now Finn does
    I can go on for a long time

    Please, no trench run in climax

    • November 23, 2015 at 6:49 pm
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      Word

    • November 23, 2015 at 6:52 pm
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      see your point. I do think that it’s wise that they’re sticking to basics with this first outing. But for the next films, 8, R1, 9, I’m expecting A LOT more originality. But for TFA, I don’t fault them for being overly OT-clingy/paranoid.
      I’m treating it as a toe-dip before diving the deep end.

      But yeah, the similarities are over the line.

      • November 23, 2015 at 7:16 pm
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        I really hope the Starkiller base isnt a new death star tho, imho the 2nd one was already a stupid idea. They just simply cant do that. I mean if the plot’s gonna be about how the new rebels will destory the new death star, than im done with these series for sure.

      • November 23, 2015 at 7:19 pm
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        I’d be in agreement with you, if Abrams & co. were sticking to basics. But making a rehash of ANH (as TFA seems to be, based on the information known about the film so far) is not sticking to basics. That’s an unoriginal, cheap copy of an already existing film.

        It’s also an insult to the intelligence of moviegoers. People aren’t stupid. They know that “recapturing the SW feel” is not the same as using ANH’s main plot as TFA’s backbone, much less would this feel like the natural continuation to RotJ.

        Moreover, wasting an entire third (and the opening act, at that, which is supposed to set the tone of the entire sequel trilogy) on rehashing ANH could break the entire ST if this is perceived to be a cheap ripoff of the film that started it all. I don’t think this is wise at all.

        • November 24, 2015 at 4:44 am
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          Bear in mind, the transformer movies make millions of dollars, so I don’t blame their lack of faith in the audience’s intelligence. That aside, I think it’s on the fence, what I’m finding is that the more we find out about this movie, the LESS it sounds like ANH – which is a good sign. What it means is that on paper, the movie looks like a clone, but [hopefully] once we actually sit in the theater, TFA will take the reins another direction.
          Correct me if I’m wrong, but we never saw Mark Hamill running out of the bushes to see the Rebel base demolished at any point in OT. This flick’s got some stuff up its sleeve is what I’m saying….

          • November 24, 2015 at 5:42 pm
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            Oh, so this is what SW has become, Transformers? Yikes! Now you’ve got me worried for REAL, lol.

            In all seriousness, I know film franchises keep milking the cow till it runs dry. See Bond, for instance. But there’s a risk of going to the well too many times. And nobody can deny that Starkiller is already the perfect example of going to the well too many times.

            To answer your question, no, I never saw Mark running out of the woods to see the Rebel base demolished in ANH, but I did see him run and jump into his landspeeder to see the Lars’ farmstead demolished. Same cat, different fur. And so far, that’s TFA in a nutshell to me.

            I can only hope you’re right and that TFA will spin in a different direction at some point.

          • November 24, 2015 at 5:59 pm
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            i like cats…

    • November 23, 2015 at 6:52 pm
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      The vehicles looking similar is not a stretch. Military vehicles today look pretty similar to those from the 80s.

      The Starkiller base weapon is supposedly going to be destroyed by setting charges as opposed to an aerial trench run.

      Maz is a pirate who is there as your Joseph Campbell wise sage figure, certainly not just limited to Star Wars. She’s not a jedi master.

      Rey and Luke are the Campbellesque heroes on the journey that every fantasy film sticks with. You can argue that such construction is overdone, but you shouldn’t expect an Abrams Star Wars movie to be any different.

      http://unleadedwriting.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/heros-journey.jpg

      • November 23, 2015 at 6:55 pm
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        That accounted for, there is still too much that has been done before, and I’m just speaking from a theatre-goer redundancy stand-point. There’s a degree where TFA needs to be TFA, and let ANH be ANH.

        • November 23, 2015 at 8:15 pm
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          Let’s watch the dang movie, and then we can talk. I think JJ’s taking the cinematography in a completely new direction. And it sounds like he’s trying to develop the villains more. The story seems familiar to ANH, but I bet he has plenty of misdirections to throw the audience off its guard come showtime.

          • November 24, 2015 at 2:25 am
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            The characters so far seem amazing, so it will be bearable. Ridley, Boyega and BB8 have already impressed. Maz will be key, if she’s cool and appears to have an interesting backstory, then that’s a nice wrinkle thrown in there.

            And we still don’t know much about Kylo and the Rens.

        • November 24, 2015 at 11:50 pm
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          “let ANH BE ANH”

          Tell George Lucas that

      • November 23, 2015 at 8:13 pm
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        If by similar, you mean just upgraded versions of the vehicles from the 70’s/80’s (F-16, F-18, F-15, etc.), you’d be correct. We still use the B-52 (designed in the 50’s) for crying out loud. This new trilogy seems much more aware how technology develops than the prequel trilogy.

        • November 23, 2015 at 10:35 pm
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          That is the Hero’s journey wheel you linked. There are other story types. Not every story is the hero’s journey. Additionally, there are many variations. You can replace the farm boy with a wild child that needs to learn something like JJ did in his 1st star trek movie.

          Also, being that this is 7 of 9, you have a lot of story you can do. 5 & 6 were not Hero’s journies either so they sdid not follow your wheel.

          I think Episode 7 is ok for a new hero’s journey, but there needs to be a lot of distinction between the stories.

          I am very hopeful JJ knows this.

          • November 24, 2015 at 2:23 am
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            5 and 6 were parts of the hero’s journey.

            New mentor character and dealing with a paternal legacy (Vader is Cronos/Zeus), eventually reclaiming a divine or royal birthright (Jedi).

    • November 23, 2015 at 6:59 pm
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      Dude, brace yourself…

    • November 23, 2015 at 6:59 pm
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      I agree with you. How much can they go back on the OT before the OT becomes invalidated or REDONE. The OT should have its own place in history where we build progress from there. If this new movie is sort of replacement then we are just starting over again. I think Luke needs to return and set up a legit Jedi academy to unsure that the OT was not just vein.

      Luke needs to take command and re teach the importance of the Jedi doctrine he learned form Yoda or perhaps after ROTJ. Luke needs to reestablish the Jedi to be the protectors and knights of the people. Or at the very least lay down the stepping stones before he goes force ghost on us.

      • November 23, 2015 at 7:12 pm
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        Yes, to his children… or at the very least to some people who are not his children… but not the Jedi doctrine, for that is what got us all into this mess in the first place. He needs to teach his hard earned “Balance”…

        • November 23, 2015 at 7:21 pm
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          Do yourself a favor: go learn about the history of the many monastic orders in real life that have followed a code similar to that of the Jedi, and then maybe you’ll be able to understand what lead to the whole mess in truth.

          • November 23, 2015 at 7:25 pm
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            Sure, which do you personally recommend?

          • November 23, 2015 at 7:32 pm
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            Google is your friend. And since the Force has already told me what you think was the big problem with the Jedi Code, I suggest using the term “Law of Attachment” to start doing your research 😉

          • November 23, 2015 at 7:39 pm
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            Oh, I was thinking more along the lines of “attack vs defence” that created so much conflict… Luke seemed quite comfortable pulling out a Force choke on those poor Gamorreans without any guilt… Mace beheaded Jango for the good of “mankind”, but hesitated at the crucial moment when he should have despatched Sidious instantly…

          • November 23, 2015 at 7:59 pm
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            Yeah, well, that’s what you get out of those 3 scenes in particular. I see them under a completely different light. And we’ll obviously never agree. All I can say is that your explanation makes no sense to me at all. I’ll just leave it at that…smh.

          • November 23, 2015 at 8:04 pm
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            Oh, so you don’t want to share your viewpoint? That’s OK.

          • November 23, 2015 at 9:27 pm
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            Sidious was unarmed at that point whereas Jango was shooting at Mace..it’s not the Jedi way to kill an unarmed opponent

          • November 24, 2015 at 12:10 am
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            On the contrary, he was in possession of two arms… but seriously, thanks for underlining my point. “Not the Jedi Way” is why Luke starts the whole Knights of Ren (google Chinese meaning of Ren) in the first place. He (Luke) realised the “Jedi Way” was what allowed the Sith to hide in the shadows for a thousand years…

        • November 23, 2015 at 8:58 pm
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          Not to mention Luke is a hero because he didn’t follow the advice of his mentors.

          • November 24, 2015 at 1:19 am
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            And he lost a hand because he did not listen to them.

          • November 24, 2015 at 1:34 am
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            Furthermore. Luke eventually did listen to and carryout what his mentors told him he had to do. He confronted Vader and as a result Darth Vader was defeated and Anikin was redeemed. The main problem that lead to the Jedi purge was because the Jedi made error of integrating themselves into the old republic government. The Jedi found themselves answering to the republic when they should have only been answering to the will of the force.

            Luke needs to make sure a New Jedi order is established and not connected to any sort government only the light side of the force.

            This is what was concluded to be the best solution towards the end of the old EU story line. Fate of the Jedi vol 9.

            Not establishing a new Jedi order would be irresponsible on Luke’s part I feel.

          • November 24, 2015 at 2:30 am
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            Kasdan’s preferred ending was having Luke ride off into the sunset, into solitude like a Clint Eastwood character.

            Hard to see that being too different from what Kasdan and JJ have cooked up.

    • November 24, 2015 at 3:20 am
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      that last juxtaposition is really striking

      • November 24, 2015 at 4:27 am
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        And also…not from ANH.

    • November 24, 2015 at 3:49 pm
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      There IS a trench and X-Wings/TIE’s flying around it as confirmed by the pics. :/

  • November 23, 2015 at 6:57 pm
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    Wesa give yousa una Bongo, the fastest way to the planet core… Saddle up Jar Jar, you’re on!

    • November 23, 2015 at 7:01 pm
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      Lol what if Jar Jar turns out to the mastermind behind star killer base

  • November 23, 2015 at 7:06 pm
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    The lightsaber Luke finds in Heir to the Jedi was NOT a cross guard saber. That is completely incorrect. It was a normal single-blade lightsaber, like that of any other Jedi. Its connection to Kylo Ren’s cross guard saber is that when Luke dismantles it to see how a lightsaber works, he knocks the crystals out of alignment, and he realizes that if they are not in the kind of perfect alignment that can only be done using the Force, the saber will be very unstable. This hints that Kylo’s saber has those cross guards not on purpose, but because the crystals aren’t properly aligned. It’s basically venting plasma out the sides.

    • November 23, 2015 at 8:42 pm
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      I agree. I read HTTJ and never saw the crossguard design implication that others did. I think the “cross-shaped” hilt design would have been mentioned if that was the case. When I read about the Rodian Jedi’s weapon, I just assumed that he had applied three separate crystals to achieve the color that he wanted as well as some other attributes to the blade. After all the hoop-la over it, I went back and re-read that part and I still stand by my initial reaction. It was a typical hilt (though oddly shaped and uncomfortable in human hands) with a single blade made from using the force to fine-tune the three crystals within.

      • November 23, 2015 at 10:04 pm
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        In the Jedi Academy series Gantoris builds a lightsaber with Exar Kun’s help that has three crystals. It has a different color and can extend to three times it’s length. I’m kind of wondering if JJ read some of these EU books, seeing a fair amount of ties to the popular ones.

        • November 23, 2015 at 10:17 pm
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          Even if Abrams is unfamiliar with the EU stories, you can rest assured the LFL Storygroup are and that they bounced a lot of those ideas around with Abrams and Arndt before him. The biggest similarity I have seen so far is the Starkiller base. Of course the name calls back to Deak Starkiller, Luke’s original name, but the probable capabilities of the weapon is right out of Anderson’s Jedi Academy trilogy that featured the Suncrusher, a virtually indestructible ship that could destroy entire solar systems by wiping out the system’s star. In the book, the Carida system was destroyed in this manner. I wonder which star system will be the new Alderaan of the ST? I think it would be cool if a significant system from the OT or PT was wiped out in the film. Imagine if Coruscant or something was completely wiped out.

    • November 24, 2015 at 12:10 am
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      very good point. thank you for that information. although I will say this, if the vents are required due to the unstable amount of energy powering the blade, then it is no accident that they are there. Thus the vents were added on purpose. its not as if they appeared by accident.

      • December 1, 2015 at 6:14 pm
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        True, but I meant it wasn’t his initial intention. I think he set out to make a normal, single-blade saber, but when he was unable to properly align the crystals, he settles on using the defect to his advantage, adding the cylindrical vents to create the crossguard. This is all speculation, but it makes perfect sense if correct.

  • November 23, 2015 at 7:11 pm
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    FREEDOM!!!

  • November 23, 2015 at 7:37 pm
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    Of course. I’d just like to clarify that it wasn’t you I was talking about when I mentioned intelligent moviegoers. I’m sure you’re more like the kind of people that Disney’s hoping to please IF TFA ends up being just a cheap, unoriginal ANH ripoff.

    • November 24, 2015 at 2:27 am
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      Cuts both ways though.

      Newer moviegoers won’t be as familiar as we are with ANH, not to mention all the underpinnings of the saga. They won’t make those connections until we write about them obsessively until Rogue One. And they might like it even more considering how long ago ANH was. JJ’s visuals look so amazing that everybody will appreciate it.

      • November 24, 2015 at 2:46 am
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        So what? There were new moviegoers back in ’99 too, who had never watched the OT when the PT came out. Say what you want about those films, but Lucas did succeed in introducing a whole new generation to SW with a story that had a different look & feel to it.

        New moviegoers (kids, to be precise, because let’s face it, grownups that aren’t into SW by now will never get into it) could become as familiar with SW and come to love it just the same, if TFA wasn’t as similar to ANH as it seems to be.

        • November 24, 2015 at 4:25 am
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          You’re claiming the following:

          “New kids will not become familiar with SW and learn to love it because of the similarities between ANH and TFA.”

          Um…ok. You can run with that.

          And yes, TPM is not different from ANH other than Jar-Jar and a younger kid.

          • November 24, 2015 at 5:22 pm
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            Yeah, the parallels between ANH and TPM are there. I never said otherwise. I said that Lucas presented us with a story that had a different look & feel to it. In contrast, TFA looks like the same story yet again, with the OT’s same look & feel to boot.

            Give me the same story with a different look & feel, or a different story with the same look & feel of the OT. Otherwise, this may just be a blatant ripoff of ANH. And I for one am definitely not interested in that. I’ve been here since ’77 and what concerns me is what I want, not what new moviegoers want.

  • November 23, 2015 at 8:05 pm
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    Now got da giant boom boom Ani !…Ani..?

    • November 23, 2015 at 8:28 pm
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      Oh General Jar Jar, dousa something!!!

  • November 23, 2015 at 8:25 pm
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    I really don’t get the complaints: The prequel trilogy “ripped off” the OT way more than what we’ve seen so far with TFA from ANH – and, apparently, this is (almost) never mentioned even in the harshest critiques about the PT.

    TPM is ANH with small elements from TESB and RotJ;
    AotC is TESB with some ANH here and there;
    RotS is the most “original” and still has several elements from the OT;

    Now, that is true for plot points as much as for imagery – and, personally, I feel this is one of the few choices that actually works about the PT: not because “oh, look, it’s from the OT so it’s good”, but because it actually gives a (much needed) cohesive feelings to those movies.

    So, again, I don’t see the problem with the ST going the same way – also given the fact that, in this case, most of the similarities we’ve seen so far actually make sense.

    • November 23, 2015 at 8:26 pm
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      It’s like poetry, each stanza rhymes with the last…

      • November 23, 2015 at 10:05 pm
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        People make fun of Lucas for that, but it’s actually a fantastic idea. His execution was just poor.

      • November 24, 2015 at 3:48 pm
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        Most poetry doesn’t really rhyme though so….

    • November 23, 2015 at 8:54 pm
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      Yep. Although I give credit to ROTS for being a bit more original. None of our heroes get captured and have to escape or be rescued.

    • November 23, 2015 at 10:05 pm
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      Yep. I wish the PT would have been more visually similar to the OT as well. It would have helped.

      • November 24, 2015 at 10:27 pm
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        That didn’t bother me so much.

        The PT art style changed over time, going from the flashy elegance of the Republic to the clunky industrial appearance of the Empire. It fit thematically.

        Granted, overall I consider the PT lackluster (at best), but I do try to look on the bright side as much as possible.

    • November 23, 2015 at 10:13 pm
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      How on earth is TPM just like ANH… in TPM its taxating routes in ANH its death star… even the journey is different in TPM, it’s naboo-tatooine-coruscant-naboo while ANH is Tatooine-death star and alderaan-yavin 4 if not considering the whole plot. What I heard so far from TFA is way closer to ANH

      • November 24, 2015 at 12:14 am
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        TPM is the story of a young Skywalker from Tattooine, who meets an old and wise Jedi Master, his padawan, an astromech droid and a weirdo and goes on a journey with them, learns of the Force and ends up defeating the bad guys destroyng a ball-shaped space station. In the process, the group also manages to “rescue” a girl, who happens to be of royal descent, and who is also more than capable to save her own ass.

        ANH is the story of a young Skywalker from Tattooine, who meets an old and wise Jedi Master, an astromech and a protocol droid and goes on a journey with them, learns of the Force and ends up defeating the bad guys destroyng a ball-shaped space station. In the process, the group also manages to “rescue” a girl, who happens to be of royal descent, and who is also more than capable to save her own ass.

        • November 24, 2015 at 2:37 pm
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          You goddamn misspelled tatooine! I mean its been written since 1977 with one t!
          plu no, TPM is the story about two jedi who, while trying to solve a dispute, and learn that their ancient enemies, the sith are still existing. But mostly it’s about two jedi trying to solve a dispute regarding taxations of routes on a small planet.

          • November 24, 2015 at 4:03 pm
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            Oh, gosh, I misspelled Tatooine: sue me 🙂
            Also: no, actually TPM really doesn’t have a focus on anything in particular (it doesn’t even have a clear leading character), but there’s a ton of stuff – from several of the main plot points, to the desing of the Trade Federation ships, to a number of individual shots (not to mention the whole final sequence) – that is lifted directly from the OT (mostly from ANH, but with something of the other two as well).

            By the way, I don’t care for another OT vs. PT argument – the point was that having numerous “rhymes” (both visually and narratively) is part of the whole “Star Wars Saga concept” – so, if it’s okay for the prequels, I don’t see how it should be considered a problem for the ST.

      • November 24, 2015 at 4:27 am
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        If Anakin is 20 years old, then TPM is exactly like ANH.

        • November 24, 2015 at 2:34 pm
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          again, how? anakin in TPM is a secondary character, qui-gon’s more the main character. Plus He comes up later in the film, while star wars starts with luke, more or less. Plus there’s no politics in ANH. There’s no superweapon they board and destroy in TPM.

          • November 24, 2015 at 3:46 pm
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            No farting CG animals either or characters stepping in shit.

          • November 24, 2015 at 11:42 pm
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            lmao

          • November 25, 2015 at 1:38 am
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            Some magazine predicted years in avance that it would have that and back then I thought it would be as unlikely as having Rastafarian aliens, How little did I really know.

          • November 24, 2015 at 8:29 pm
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            Luke takes about 25 minutes to show up, until then, its Leia and the droids.

            There is only one weapon to destroy – the spherical ship that determines whether the robots win or lose.

            The fact that Anakin is a secondary character is a tragedy, especially since he is our tragic hero of the entire saga and the alleged main character’s entire quest is really centered around training Anakin.

          • November 24, 2015 at 10:04 pm
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            Technically the trade federation command ship is a little different than a sphere… Plus it’s not a PLANET CRUSHING SUPERWEAPON. My point is that TFA so far seems to share much more plot points with ANH than TPM did, and it will expecially if there’s gonna be a trench run.

          • November 25, 2015 at 3:09 pm
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            A trench run is not a plot point – it’s an aesthetic choice that visually “ties” the movies togheter: just like Palpatine sitting on a “throne” at the beginning of RotS, or the close-up of the fighters pilots, or the way “Anakin vs. Dooku” is remindful of “Luke vs. Vader” from ESB, or how several shots of the battle of Geonosis are similar (in framing and composition) to the battle of Hoth and so on (and on, and on, and on).

            “Having to destroy a single ‘thing’ (device/space station/ship/whatever) in order to win a battle/a war” is a plot point. And, yeah: the trade federation command ship is not a sphere: it’s a sphere inside a partially eaten doughnut. The same way the Starkiller base is not a space station, it’s a weapon inside a planet.
            Now, we can go on with this argument forever, and I could make a list of all the shots, the images and the plot points shared by the PT and the OT but, again, that wasn’t the point of my comment. I merely meant to point out that Star Wars has never been about “originality”: it’s about iconic characters in coming of age stories with universal themese and the repetition of certain visuals and narrative ideas has always been used to reinforce a cohesive feeling.

    • November 23, 2015 at 11:21 pm
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      Yeah, I’m not really seeing it. love them or hate them the prequels were pretty far removed from the OT. The only main similarity I see is that both Anakin and Luke were raised from humble beginnings on tatooine. I am fine if TFA borrows story points from ANH, so im not complaining, but there is little doubt that for better or for worse there is lot more borrowed for this film, which I think was intentional since they are trying to bring star wars back to its roots.

    • November 24, 2015 at 8:55 am
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      TPM – ROTJ
      AOTC – ESB

      ROTS – ANH

      Is there mirrored order that George Lucas used – it was written like a poem. Theres a really great video somewhere comparing specific shots. One that came to mind immediately was the start of the battle above naboo – with the droid fighters coming in being the same shot from ROTJ with the ties.

      http://nofilmschool.com/2015/09/star-wars-poetry-shots-scenes-prequels-original-films

  • November 23, 2015 at 9:15 pm
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    The crossguard saber was not first seen in the Celebration trailer. It was seen first in the teaser that came out on black friday November 2014.

    • November 24, 2015 at 12:00 am
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      you are correct. my mistake.

  • November 23, 2015 at 10:47 pm
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    “The very name Starkiller Base is most likely derived from what the weapon is actually capable of doing.”

    Come on dood, you know it comes from Lucas’ original draft wherein Luke Skywalker was called Luke Starkiller, which was in turn used for The Force Unleashed protagonist. What we have pointing the name towards the functionality are a red light sweeping over trees and something shining in a window while Kylo looks out.

    • November 23, 2015 at 11:53 pm
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      Sure, Ill buy that. but we have a lot of evidence pointing to the fact that the weapon is capable of destroying a star system. as quoted above by JJ Abrams…. so technically we both are correct. 😀

    • November 24, 2015 at 2:05 am
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      Wasn’t true of Star Destroyers.

      • November 25, 2015 at 4:01 am
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        True that. That said, it probably does kill stars! It was just a nerdy detail I wanted to point out: Adventures of the Starkiller, Episode I: The Star Wars – the whole reason they named the base thus was a tribute!

  • November 24, 2015 at 12:10 am
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    Hrm anyone else remember the “Suncrusher” and Kyp Durron from the EU?

    • November 24, 2015 at 2:16 am
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      Loved Kyp Durron!

      • November 24, 2015 at 10:20 pm
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        I’d imagine that the current Powers That Be would mine the EU for good ideas, but such things would never be direct adaptions. Some things already seem to have been brought over (like Nar Shadda in the SW comic), and I expect more as time goes by.

        The old EU had some good parts, some bad parts and some straight-up ridiculous parts. As someone who owns nearly all of the EU novels, I’m glad the slate was wiped clean of all that baggage; too much of it was mediocre. But taking the good ideas, modifying them to fit this new timeline and making the overall story more cohesive is a good idea.

        It’s a good time to be a fan, that’s for sure.

        • November 25, 2015 at 10:34 am
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          oh yeah im a fan of the wipe. Seriously a cloned named Luuke? That is the least creative thing ever lmao

    • November 24, 2015 at 3:44 pm
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      Not to mention Center Point Station.

  • November 24, 2015 at 1:37 am
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    Luke got his hand cut off because he did not listen to his mentors. Think about it.

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