How ‘The Force Awakens’ Mirrors ‘Star Wars A New Hope’
General Hux is Grand Moff Tarkin
General Hux and Grand Moff Tarkin hold roles of leadership while Kylo Ren and Darth Vader hold more of a role of commanding enforcer. It’s interesting in both cases how Hux and Tarkin can order around these two dark lords but their roles of leadership somehow supersede the power of the dark side.
The shared role of leadership and courage to order around dark lords are what make these two so similar. The Empire isn’t what it was in “A New Hope” but General Hux is definitely taking on the role of Grand Moff Tarkin from the first film. He’s in charge of their weapon (Planet Starkiller), in charge of the dark lord Kylo Ren, and shares the formidable stature that Tarkin carried with him as well.
Poe Dameron is Han Solo
The comparison between Han Solo and Poe Dameron is debatable based on character traits but their roles do share the similarities that make them alike. The difference lies in Dameron’s strong allegiance to the resistance whereas Solo held true to his name remaining an undisputed loner for the most part.
That’s not to say that Poe isn’t a loner himself. He takes risks and is an outlier among other resistance members when it comes to his more brash approach to getting things done. He solely took on the mission to acquire the map to Luke and seems to be taking it upon himself to get things done.
The moments that make him comparable to Han Solo are his sarcastic, fearless attitude when interacting with people, even when he’s in danger. Even when he’s brutally interrogated by Kylo Ren himself, he’s still cracking jokes and refusing to give in.
His interaction with Finn is much like Han’s responses to Luke when flying the TIE Fighter and Finn’s shooting. Think to when Luke is manning the guns on the Millennium Falcon and Han is being short with Luke in his responses. Not because he’s necessarily trying to be rude, but he’s a character that likes to cut the small talk and focus.
Ultimately this trilogy is going to need its suave, rebellious, and charismatic hero and that is going to be Poe.
Finn is a Little Bit of Everyone
Out of everyone, Finn is probably the most unique character in “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.” There isn’t one particular character that Finn relates to but he does embody a blend of characters from “A New Hope.” The surprise rescue of Finn by him as a Stormtrooper slightly resembles Luke. Another aspect that relates him to Luke is his excitement when manning the guns and taking out enemies. It very much resembles the Han Solo and Luke interaction when Luke and Han are shooting down TIE fighters on the Millenium Falcon.
His reluctance to join the resistance due to selfish preservation is also an aspect of Han Solo from “A New Hope.” His sole reason for joining them is due to a developing love interest (Rey) much like Han Solo with Princess Leia. The fact that he is the only other non force user (as far as we know) hero to hold a lightsaber is also a minor shared trait with Solo.
Finn was presented as a mystery in the trailers and assumptions that he was a Jedi were wrong. His story of being taken from his family and guilt of being a Stormtrooper is one of the most intriguing mysteries of the film that will most likely carry on into the future sequels.
Blending the Plot of “Force Awakens” and “A New Hope” together
The characters of “The Force Awakens” share their similarities but the plot that ties them together is really what mirrors “A New Hope.” Starting from the beginning we find the resistance (Poe) acquiring data vital to their cause. Just like in “A New Hope” the Empire (the First Order) sweeps in to steal the data. The data is then entrusted to a droid BB-8 (R2-D2 in “A New Hope”) that travels across a desert planet. The droid finds a person seeking something more in their life (Luke/Rey) who turns out to be a force-strong hero.
Once the droid’s mission is discovered the group seeks out a ship to get off the planet. In both “A New Hope” and “The Force Awakens” this ship turns out to be the Millennium Falcon. As they venture forth to give this data to the resistance, an older hero (Obi-Wan/Han Solo) guides them on their journey.
The First Order (Empire) is seeking this data and also have developed a weapon (Starkiller/Death Star) that is capable of destroying planets/systems. They demonstrate the capabilities of this weapon by destroying a planet and express their intentions to use this weapon to destroy the base of the resistance (rebel alliance). The dark lord (Kylo Ren/Darth Vader) confers with a higher power (Snoke/Palpatine) and there is a mention of someone from their past (Obi-Wan/Han Solo).
The resistance discovers this powerful weapon and devises a plan to destroy it. On a side mission, an older hero (Han Solo/Obi-Wan) must encounter this dark lord (Kylo Ren/Darth Vader). When they face, the older hero (Han Solo/Obi-Wan) is killed at the hands of the dark lord (Kylo Ren/Darth Vader) in an isolated setting aboard the weapon (Starkiller/Death Star). As the hero is struck down, the film’s new hero (Rey/Luke) cries out as their mentor is lost at the hands of evil.
The final run to destroy the weapon (Starkiller/Death Star) comes at the hands of one individual (Poe/Luke) who is flying an X-Wing. This pilot is able to destroy the entire weapon (Starkiller/Death Star) in their single-manned fighter and the resistance/rebellion narrowly escape as a massive explosion occurs.
The plot of these two films may share a fair amount of similarities but that in no way defines either as a copy. “The Force Awakens” was a film for modern day fans in “Star Wars” fashion and it delivered on many levels. It gave die hard “Star Wars” fans that sense of nostalgia they longed for and introduced new fans to how a “Star Wars” film should be made.