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  • Writer's pictureAaron Fonseca

Star Wars: The 5 Most Important Plot Twists in The Force Awakens (& Why They Matter)

The light and dark sides clashed once again in Episode VII, and a new generation of Jedi was born in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

The Star Wars franchise continued the legendary Skywalker saga in Episode VII, The Force Awakens. Thirty years had passed since Return of the Jedi, and during that time, Luke Skywalker founded his own Jedi academy, but fell into despair when his student, Ben Solo, turned on him. With Luke in hiding, the New Republic was left vulnerable to attack.

Sure enough, the First Order muscled in from the Unknown Regions, led by the terrifying Supreme Leader Snoke and his deadly apprentice, the hooded Kylo Ren. The light and dark sides were at odds once again, and a new generation of Jedi would rise to face this threat. Here are five plot developments, twists and moments that most defined The Force Awakens and its role in the ongoing saga.

When Finn Fled The First Order With Poe Dameron's Help

A certain stormtrooper, codenamed FN-2187, couldn't bring himself to open fire on helpless villagers on Jakku, something that didn't escape Kylo Ren's attention. FN-2187 had had enough, and he turned to the captured Resistance pilot, the ace fighter Poe Dameron, for help. They fled Ren's ship aboard a stolen TIE fighter, and crash-landed on the dunes of Jakku.

For the time being, FN-2187 (now called Finn) was separated from Poe and thought him dead. But that didn't stop him from reaching the local village, running into the scavenger Rey and then fleeing the First Order's forces with her. From that point on, Finn fought hard to free the galaxy from the First Order's tyranny, and offer unique insights into how the First Order operates. In fact, it was his assistance that enabled Han to land the Millennium Falcon on Starkiller Base without detection.

When Han Solo & Chewbacca Returned To The Millennium Falcon

For years, Han Solo and Chewbacca had been separated from their beloved Corellian freighter, but now Finn and Rey had it, cruising the space lanes where anyone could find them. Han, who was smuggling Rathtar specimens at the time, captured the Millennium Falcon and boarded it with a wave of relief and nostalgia. Then he met Rey, Finn and BB-8.

Han planned to drop off his new acquaintances elsewhere and reclaim the Falcon, but he changed his mind when he and his new allies escaped some bounty hunters and retreated to Takodana, where Maz Kanata lived. Han later proves to be instrumental in Rey's rescue and he couldn't have done it without the Falcon. And without Rey, the dark side could never be defeated.

When Rey Was Offered Luke's Lightsaber On Takodana

Rey was totally unfamiliar with the Force or the Jedi Order by the time she arrived at Maz Kanata's palace with Han, but she got her first taste of that world when she heard something calling to her from the palace's lower levels. Rey wandered off alone, and found a wooden box that contained the source of that strange call. Once Rey opened it and touched the lightsaber inside, she experienced sudden and shocking visions.

Through the Force, Rey saw Luke Skywalker and R2-D2 as something burned nearby, Kylo Ren and the Knights of Ren, her younger self crying out as her parents fled Jakku aboard a ship, and more. Maz urged Rey to take the lightsaber, which had once been Luke's, and accept her destiny. Initially, Rey refused, but she later accepted that lightsaber and its legacy, and began her journey to becoming a Jedi Knight. The Force has indeed awakened.

When Kylo Ren Killed His Father, Han, To Escape His Pain

Kylo Ren was a conflicted Sith Lord, to say the least, since he felt the distinct tug of the light side and his mother's and father's love for him. Kylo Ren was in pain from this inner turmoil, and once he faced his estranged father on Starkiller Base, he allowed Han to come well within lightsaber range.

Han trusted his son to return to him, and abandon the dark side. However, Kylo Ren impulsively activated his lightsaber and struck down his father, vainly attempting to end his torment by choosing the dark side over the light side and his parents' love. Han fell to his death only seconds later, and Kylo Ren only became more confused and tormented by this act, not less. This planted the seeds of his redemption, though it took time for those seeds to take root. For now, Kylo Ren was the biggest threat to the light side and the New Republic.

When Rey Finished The Map To Luke And Flew To Ahch-To

By the time Rey picked up Luke's lightsaber and defeated Kylo Ren with it, she had made up her mind to start her Jedi training and learn the ways of the Force. The map to Luke was completed, and Rey boarded the Millennium Falcon with Chewbacca to visit the long-lost Luke on the remote world of Ahch-To.

This was no ordinary planet: the Jedi Order was born there. In the end, Luke turned around and took notice as Rey approached him atop a hill. The newest Jedi trainee was finally face-to-face with the last of the Jedi, and this led directly into Rey's training in The Last Jedi. Luke had given up on the Jedi, but Rey was ready to pick up where he left off, and stubbornly face the dark side and all its horrors. The Jedi Order was about to be reborn once again, and led by Palpatine's granddaughter, no less.

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