Film / The Force Awakens
aka: Star Wars 7

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/star_wars_force_awakens_official_poster.jpg
Han Solo: The Force, the Jedi, all of it. It's all true.

Luke Skywalker has vanished.
In his absence, the sinister
FIRST ORDER has risen from
the ashes of the Empire
and will not rest until
Skywalker, the last Jedi,
has been destroyed.

With the support of the
REPUBLIC, General Leia Organa
leads a brave RESISTANCE.
She is desperate to find her
brother Luke and gain his
help in restoring peace
and justice to the galaxy.

Leia has sent her most daring
pilot on a secret mission
to Jakku, where an old ally
has discovered a clue to
Luke's whereabouts....

The Force Awakensnote  is the first film in the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy, directed by J. J. Abrams. Writing credits are shared by Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan (writer of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi), and Michael Arndt. The film's score is by John Williams. George Lucas served as a creative consultant in the very early stages of pre-production, but was otherwise not involved with the film.

Its story takes place 30 years after Return of the Jedi, and revolves around an Imperial deserter, a scavenger, an X-wing pilot, and a number of other Unlikely Heroes becoming involved in the conflict between an Imperial remnant known as the First Order and an offshoot of the former Rebel Alliance called the Resistance. Along the way, they cross paths with numerous characters from the Original Trilogy, including Han Solo, Leia Organa, Chewbacca, C-3PO, and R2-D2.

The film stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Max von Sydow, Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyong'o, Gwendoline Christie, Domhnall Gleeson, Adam Driver, Ken Leung and Greg Grunberg. Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels, Tim Rose, Erik Bauersfield, Mike Quinn, Kipsang Rotich and Warwick Davis from the Original Trilogy also appear.

The Force Awakens was the first Star Wars movie since The Phantom Menace to be filmed on a non-digital format (35mm film, with IMAX 65mm stock used for the Millennium Falcon sequence). It also emphasizes digitally edited Practical Effects, such as city models, Muppets, and animatronics, over wholesale Computer-Generated Images, to recapture the style of the Original Trilogy. Filming locations include Scotland, Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull and Mývatn, the Abu Dhabi, England's Gloucestershire, Puzzlewood Forest, and Greenham Common, Ireland's Skellig Michael, New Mexico, and Vietnam's Hang En Cave.

The movie also has numerous tie-ins, including: The Journey to the Force Awakens tie-in books, that fill in the 32 year gap between Return Of The Jedi and the film. A comic book mini-series, Star Wars: Shattered Empire, set directly after Jedi. DICE's Star Wars Battlefront (2015), which has a downloadable distant prologue. And an official novelization by Alan Dean Foster, ghostwriter of the novelization for the original Star Wars film.

The Force Awakens is also the final Star Wars film to feature Kenny Baker as R2-D2 and Erik Bauersfield as the voice of Admiral Ackbar before they passed away note  in 2016.

Very few entries will have spoiler tags. Read at your own risk.


The Force Awakens provides examples of:

    open/close all folders 

    Tropes A to C 
  • The 47 Society: The thermal oscillator is located in Precinct 47 of Starkiller Base.
  • Ace Pilot:
    • Poe Dameron is the best pilot in the Resistance. His page in the Star Wars Character Encyclopedia has the header "Best Pilot in the Galaxy".
    • Rey. She gets into the pilot's seat of the Millennium Falcon, a vessel which needs a co-pilot at the best of times and manages to fly it well enough not only to escape two TIE Fighters, but to enable Finn, with a broken gun, to shoot the last one out of the sky. And this is when, by her own admission, she's never flown a ship offworld.
  • Achilles in His Tent: Han Solo turned his back on Leia and the Resistance to go back to smuggling sometime before the film's events due to his son Ben facilitating the massacre at Luke's new Jedi Temple and becoming Kylo Ren. His story arc is about him finally returning to action, reuniting with Leia, and confronting Ben to try and talk him out from under Snoke's dark influence.
  • Action Dad: Han Solo.
  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene:
    • Han and Leia's reunion, then his departure for the Starkiller Base, then his confrontation with Kylo Ren.
    • Finn and Rey, too. For example, their reunion on the Starkiller Base.
    • Rey approaching Luke Skywalker at the end of the film, holding out his old lightsaber.
  • Adult Fear:
  • Aerith and Bob: Continues the proud Star Wars tradition of mixing real-sounding names with Space Opera ones. On one side are Finn, Rey, Poe Dameron, and Ben. On the other end are Maz Kanata, Kylo Ren, Phasma, Hux, and Snoke.
  • After the End: Jakku's landscape is littered with remnants from an apocalyptic battle between the New Republic and the Galactic Empire 32 years prior to The Force Awakens. After the battle, the planet became a Scavenger World.
  • Airstrike Impossible: The past two Death Stars were destroyed by flying through a trench and inside of the weapon itself, respectively. Poe does both to finish off Starkiller Base.
  • Alas, Poor Yorick: Kylo Ren keeps the helmet of Darth Vader, his idol and grandfather, with him.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • The Visual Dictionary gives a lot of background information not presented in the movie, like how Rey knows how to pilot the Millennium Falcon despite never being off-world, what the connection between the New Republic and the Resistance is, and how the First Order came to be.
    • The novelization adds further details that were not able to make it into the movie and expands several scenes, such as more insight and backstory on the characters, the reasons why the First Order was able to grow despite the restoration of the Republic, how Poe got off of Jakku, that Rey was such a good pilot despite never going off world because she was secretly studying the Millennium Falcon at night, the implication that Kylo Ren knows who Rey is and that his Force Probing of her mind unwittingly broke down a barrier in her mind that had cut her off from her Force Sensitivity. One of the most notable differences is that in her Force vision, Rey sees an unidentified boy nearby while inside the halls of Cloud City...
  • Always Save the Girl: Finn convinces the Resistance that he knows how to destroy Starkiller Base in order to rescue Rey. In reality, his knowledge about the base was just from his work assignment in sanitation, and he wasn't privy to more sensitive information about the weapon. Lampshaded by the fact that he and Rey do manage to save the day, at a price.
  • Ambiguous Syntax: From Kylo Ren, leaving you wondering if he may be good after all — until he kills his father.
    Kylo Ren: I'm being torn apart. I want to be free of this pain. I know what I have to do, but I don't know if I have the strength to do it. Will you help me?
  • An Arm and a Leg: In the novelisation, Chewbacca saves Rey from Unkar Plutt in Maz's castle by ripping off Plutt's arm.
  • And Man Grew Proud: The Force, the Dark Side, the Jedi, and the Sith are the stuff of legend due to an extended absence from the presence of Galactic affairs — it's been over fifty years in-universe since the end of the Clone Wars, after all — which makes the "awakening" all the more stunning.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: Kylo Ren is the son of Han Solo and Princess/General Leia. Snoke says that Ren's greatest challenge will be to kill Han.
  • Artificial Limbs: Luke still has his cybernetic hand, but one clearly more bionic than the flesh-covered prosthetic he sported before.
  • Apocalypse How:
  • Arc Words: "To complete..." and "Run as far as you can."
  • Artistic License – Physics: From Takodana, light years away, the characters are able to see the destruction of the Hosnian System happen in real time. Word of God handwaved it by saying that what they saw was a hyperspace disturbance created by Starkiller Base's projectile being fired through hyperspace.
  • Attack Backfire: Kylo tries to Mind Probe Rey for the map to Luke Skywalker, but all he does is give her insight into his mind when she turns it back on him.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: The climax of the movie has the Resistance pilots trying to bomb the thermal oscillator conduit on Starkiller Base to destroy it. Complicating matters, the conduit is protected by a heavily armored building and a LOT of fighter cover.
  • As Long as There Is Evil: More specifically, as long as there is the Dark Side. The Original Trilogy ended on a high note, with Darth Vader redeemed, the Empire defeated and the galaxy at peace. How long did that last? Not very, with the First Order rising from the ashes of the Empire, Luke's efforts to revive the Jedi Order tragically being cut-short and Kylo Ren, Vader's grandson, declaring that he will finish what the Sith Lord started, all in a span of thirty years.
    Maz Kanata: The only fight: against the Dark Side. Through the ages, I've seen evil take many forms. The Sith. The Empire. Today, it is the First Order.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Finn and Poe in the TIE Fighter.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: While only depicted externally, Rey's struggle and eventual push back against Kylo Ren's Force interrogation can be seen as this.
  • BFG: Chewbacca's "bowcaster" (a maglev crossbow that coats its darts in plasma), which can blow a Stormtrooper (or gangster) across the room with a direct hit. Han gives it a try, and loves it.
  • Big Badass Battle Sequence: The attack on Starkiller Base.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Kylo Ren really wants to be Darth Vader, but he is far more emotionally unstable and conflicted.
  • Big "NO!":
    • Of course, Finn lets out a cluster of them when Kylo Ren kidnaps Rey.
    • Also, Rey has one and Chewie gives a roar that's clearly meant to be one when Han is killed.
    • Kylo Ren has one of his own after finding Rey had escaped her cell and then goes into another equipment-slashing temper tantrum.
    • During Rey's Force vision, she sees her younger self wailing "No!" at whomever dumped her on Jakku. We also faintly hear Luke's famous Big "NO!" from The Empire Strikes Back.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Chewbacca showing up in the Millenium Falcon just in the nick of time to get Rey and Finn off Starkiller Base before it blows up.
  • Big Screwed-Up Family: The Skywalker family line, so it seems, cannot exist without suffering some kind of tragedy. This time Han and Leia's son Ben has fallen to the Dark Side, and is going by the name of Kylo Ren. He destroyed his uncle's temple in some manner, and seeks to emulate his maternal grandfather.
  • Bilingual Dialogue:
    • Both Poe and Rey can understand BB-8's droidspeak.
    • As before, Han understands Chewie's shyriiwook language and Chewie understands Galactic Basic.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The good news is that Starkiller Base is destroyed, earning the Resistance a major victory, Luke has finally been located, and Rey is going to train with him. The bad news is that Han Solo was killed in the process, the New Republic has been dealt a major blow with the destruction of its capital at the time, the Hosnian system, along with its entire main fleet, Ren's Redemption Rejection firmly places him in dark side territory, and Finn is in a coma after nearly getting killed by Ren.
  • Black Knight: All the Knights of Ren, but most notably Kylo Ren, whose design is heavily inspired by this theme. He even wields a crossbar lightsaber.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Averted by the dying Stormtrooper in the beginning of the film, and by Kylo Ren after Chewbacca shoots him. While the other movies fell back on this trope in the past (with the odd exception of Pondo Baba's arm getting lopped off by Obi Wan in A New Hope and Darth Maul getting sliced in half by Obi Wan in The Phantom Menace) this film notably presents the villains getting quite bloody and wounded in combat.
  • Bloody Hand Print: Finn gets one on his helmet when tending to a dying Stormtrooper. It helps to identify him among the other faceless mooks. For more, see Uniformity Exception, below.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: After Kylo Ren captures Rey, he leaves her in a room with one guard, despite the fact that he just learned she can use the Force and her powers are rapidly increasing. Bonus points for the Stormtrooper being played by an uncredited Daniel Craig!
  • Bookends: The first time we see Rey, she's sliding downhill having removed something valuable from its place. The last time we see her, she's trudging uphill to return something valuable to its owner.
  • Bootstrapped Leitmotif: The Rebellion fanfare from the original trilogy is tied to scenes involving the Millennium Falcon.
  • Break Them by Talking: Rey's interrogation by Kylo Ren. Only after Ren taunts Rey, makes suggestive remarks and insults her newfound friend and father-figure does he really try to get the information he needs.
  • Brick Joke:
    • When Han first inspects the Millennium Falcon, he notes a compressor on the fuel switch, saying it puts too much stress on the hyperdrive. When he's trying to leave and can't get the Falcon to start, Rey points to the compressor. After that, when they're having trouble with the hyperdrive, Rey rips the compressor out to fix the problem.
    • When a First Order officer reports that BB-8 escaped, Kylo Ren takes out his frustration on the computer terminal with his lightsaber. After Ren discovers Rey has broken out of her cell, there's a discretion shot to the corridor outside, where a pair of Stormtroopers nervously start backing away after hearing Ren ignite his lightsaber and start trashing the room.
  • Bridal Carry: A non-romantic version of this trope: after Kylo Ren corners Rey in the forest on Takodana and learns that she already saw the map that BB-8 has, he uses the Force to render her unconscious before carrying her back to his ship this way.
  • Bromance: Finn and Poe became really close after escaping the First Order.
  • Call Back: The lightsaber used by Anakin Skywalker in Revenge of the Sith and by Luke Skywalker in A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back is found in an old chest. It ends up in Finn's hands, but he does not fare well. However Rey then uses the saber and the Force to defeat Ren.
  • The Cameo:
    • Daniel Craig plays the Stormtrooper who succumbs to a Jedi Mind Trick.
    • Yayan Ruhian, Cecep Arif Rahman, and Iko Uwais from The Raid and The Raid 2: Berandal cameo as the Kanjiklub pirates that Han stole a loan from.
    • Ewan McGregor, Frank Oz, and Alec Guinness reprise their roles of Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi during the lightsaber Force vision. note 
    • Warwick Davis, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, and Harriet Walter also made cameos.
    • Hideo Kojima voices the "Red-Eyed Sand Alien" watching BB-8 roll away after the opening First Order attack on Jakku.
    • Kevin Smith voices the stormtrooper who announces the incoming X-Wing squadron during the First Order attack on Maz Kanata's castle.
    • J.J. Abrams' usual composer Michael Giacchino and Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich play Stormtroopers (the latter is the guy who screams "Hey!" before Chewie punches him).
    • The credits for voiceovers reveal plenty of famous voice actors as well.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: Rey and Finn are both technically adults, but were stunted developmentally in childhood, and thus experience the Coming of Age motions throughout the film.
    • Very much in the vein of previous franchise installments, Rey is introduced as a lonely youth living day-to-day on a desolate desert planet. She is terrified to leave, maintaining hope that her family will return for her. By the end of the film, however, she has accepted that they are never coming back, embraced her Force-sensitivity and sought out Luke Skywalker.
    • Like all Stormtroopers in the movie, Finn was stolen from his family and submitted to rigorous training and conditioning by the First Order. He didn't even have a name before turning his back on them. In the film, he adopts a name and is confronted with the task of overcoming his fears in order to save Rey.
  • Canon Immigrant:
    • The term "Light Side" and the implied dichotomy of equal opposing aspects were never used in the previous movies, though the dichotomy was addressed in Star Wars: The Clone Wars.note 
    • Similarly, the Star Wars: Battlefront tie-in to the game first introduced the term "New Republic" for canon material (after long usage in the Legends continuity), which is used in this film. As no canon work after Return Of The Jedi was released before this movie was in post-production, this is the first time that the term is pulled over from the Legends setting.
    • Kylo Ren combines elements of Star Wars Legends characters Jacen Solo, a son of Leia and Han who eventually fell to the dark side, and Luke's son, Ben Skywalker.
  • Captive Push: Poe Dameron is brought on board of the Star Destroyer with his arms bound. He really doesn't like being pushed around by the Stormtroopers and voices his annoyance a few times.
  • Changing of the Guard: Progressively. According to J. J. Abrams's rewrite of Michael Arndt's script, the cast of the Original Trilogy has a greater presence in the script, although the focus is still primarily on the newcomers.
  • Character Aged with the Actor: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford are reprising their original trilogy roles, and since it's been over thirty years since their last film appearance, a 30+ year Time Skip was inevitable.
  • Character Death: Han Solo is ultimately killed by Kylo Ren (his own son). Made even worse by the fact that Han only wanted to redeem him, and for a brief moment, it appeared that he was almost successful.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • During their escape from Jakku, Finn warns Rey to keep low, as it confuses the targeting sensors of the First Order's TIE Fighters. Later in the film, the First Order attacks them on Takodana. When the Resistance arrives as relief, their X-wings are skimming the lake near Maz's castle only a few feet above the surface. This obscures their approach until they are almost right on top of the First Order troops, taking them by surprise. It comes around again after the Millennium Falcon needs to land on Starkiller Base undetected and the only way is to exit from hyperspace close to the surface and fly through a forest - key word being through, smashing hundreds of trees.
    • While giving directions to BB-8, Rey warns him about the large, sandy sinkholes that are located towards the north. Finn and Poe later crash into one, which swallows their TIE fighter whole. This leads to Poe's apparent death and forces Finn to finish his mission.
    • Chewbacca's bowcaster is shown to be more powerful than seen in the previous movies, even impressing Han. A blast can send a Stormtrooper back several feet. Later, after Kylo Ren kills Han, Chewie shoots him in the flank which only causes him to double over.
    • Rey is an entire Chekhov's Armory all to herself:
      • She is shown at the beginning to have spent years scavenging derelict starships, including Imperial Star Destroyers, and would need a working knowledge of what's what in order to find valuable equipment, especially after all the easy stuff had already been taken away. Thus, her knowledge of how to work such equipment later makes sense.
      • One of her Establishing Character Moments occurs while looting a wrecked Star Destroyer; she's free climbing around the machinery inside the superstructure, hundreds of feet from the ground. This later comes in handy when she goes spelunking inside the chasm of Starkiller Base to evade recapture.
      • Finn first meets Rey when he comes across her being assaulted by a couple other junkers on Jakku. Despite being caught by surprise, outnumbered, and surrounded, she makes short work of them. This scene is a big part of how she was able to hold her own against Kylo Ren at the end of the film.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Rey gushes over how Han Solo still holds the record for the Kessel Run. In order for Solo to have completed the run in 12 parsecs, he had to travel through the Maw, dangerously close to multiple black holes and Imperial patrols while in hyperspace, breaking the previous distance and speed record by a significant margin. This skill as a navigator comes in handy when the Millennium Falcon has to travel dangerously close to a planet's gravity field while in hyperspace.
  • Comet of Doom: Starkiller Base's beam looks like one from the view of the people on Takodana when the weapon is fired on Hosnian Prime. Per the trope, it's a harbinger for the dark times to come, and a stark demonstration of the threat that the First Order poses.
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: Chuck Wendig is writing a five-issue one for Marvel.
  • Composite Character: Rey has features of Luke, Leia, and Han. From Luke she gets her poor, desert-dweller upbringing and her special destiny and Force powers. And his lightsaber. From Leia, she gets a somewhat forceful, standoffish personality and her identity as an assured, self-reliant woman - and is the woman of the trio. From Han, she gets her Ace Pilot skills (although Luke is no slouch in that department either, her piloting is specifically contrasted to Han's), some snark, mechanical skills, and the Millennium Falcon.
  • Contemplate Our Navels: Rey has a moment on Jakku while cleaning a scavenged part where she pauses and looks at a much older woman doing the same thing.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • In the first teaser, the camera focuses on a Stormtrooper that stands a few inches shorter than the rest of the squad. That's right, he's a little short for a Stormtrooper.
    • The distinctive "chattering" of the Imperial probe droid from The Empire Strikes Back can be clearly heard in the teaser, just as Finn is seen looking off into the distance. Curiously, probe droids are not present at all in the final film.
    • When BB-8 is escaping in the opening, a little alien pokes its head out of the sand to look at him passing by, which is modelled after the first alien that popped up in the Mos Eisley Cantina in A New Hope (an Arcona named Hem Dazon).
    • The Millennium Falcon, while otherwise unchanged in appearance, has a new, rectangular-shaped radar dish. It lost the old one, remember?
    • When first catching sight of the Falcon, Rey dismisses it as "garbage". Quite similar to how Luke Skywalker described it as "a piece of junk".
    • When Finn is using the Falcon's quad guns to shoot at the TIE fighters chasing him and Rey, the targeting computer is presented in the exact same way as it was in A New Hope, complete with long-outdated computer vector graphics. The First Order's TIE Fighters reuse the same aesthetic as the TIE Fighter targeting computers from A New Hope, but are more advanced looking in technology.
    • After being completely absent from the prequels, we get to see a ship (specifically, the Millennium Falcon) traveling through a hyperspace tunnel again, as opposed to just jumping into it.
    • Once again, Chewie threatens to throttle someone who is trying to help him.
    • In an easy-to-miss moment, the Lightsaber training remote is found by Finn on the Millennium Falcon, which he just tosses aside.
    • The Falcon's Dejarik board makes a brief appearance when Finn accidentally turns it on.
    • A character runs into a pair of Stormtroopers chatting about a new speeder model on a planet-destroyer station.
    • Kylo Ren's mask shares similarities in design with Stormtrooper helmets, Darth Vader's mask, and Jedi Master Plo Koon's mask, as well as Darth Revan's.
    • Along similar lines, Starkiller Base's primary weapon is something of a mix between the Death Star of Episode IV and the Star Forge of Knights of the Old Republic, mixed with the Galaxy Gun in its ability to shoot planet-destroying, hyperspace projectiles.
    • Darth Vader's mask is half-melted, as Luke gave his father a Viking Funeral at the end of Return of the Jedi.
    • Luke is wearing the same outfit he wore in Return of the Jedi, but in shades of white rather than black.
    • A part of Rey's staff resembles Darth Maul's lightsaber as well as Darth Plagueis' staff.
    • Maz Kanata's castle features numerous flags at the entrance, including those of Pod Racers, the Mandalorian skull symbol, the Broken Horn, the Ohnaka Gang and Ziro the Hutt's tattoo, as well as the real-life fan/charity organization the 501st Stormtrooper Legion.
    • While checking the supplies she raided from a downed Star Destroyer, Rey pulls out an old-school Rebel Alliance pilot's helmet.
    • While discussing Finn's defection, Kylo mentions that clones might make better Stormtroopers than conscripts raised from infancy.
    • Rey experiences a Force vision when touching Anakin/Luke's lightsaber, a la Quinlan Vos' ability to see images from an object's past by touching it in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. One of Yoda's lines from The Empire Strikes Back is briefly heard, and the first thing seen in that vision is a hallway in Cloud City, the same one where Vader ambushed Luke in the final stage of their duel. Luke's Big "NO!" can be heard in the distance.
    • Meilooruns, a fruit introduced in Star Wars Rebels, are served in Kanata's castle.
    • During an argument, Leia sarcastically asks when Han trying to be helpful has ever actually helped — then cuts off his objection to that with, "And don't say the Death Star."
    • During the cantina scene and early attack on it, SCORPIO appears to have survived as long as she'd like.
    • Finn mentions that Stormtrooper helmets are designed to filter out smoke, but not poisonous gas. This hearkens back to the boarding scene at the beginning of A New Hope where Stormtroopers use smoke grenades to provide cover during their entrance.
    • Kylo Ren and Rey butt heads and grapple with each other's lightsabers, much like Anakin and Obi-Wan in their duel on Mustafar.
    • The Millennium Falcon was originally described as a piece of junk; she's first encountered here as the property of a junk dealer.
    • Captain Phasma's distinctive chrome armor calls to mind the flashy starships of the Naboo. This is no coincidence; as the Visual Dictionary reveals, it was made from the hull of Palpatine's ship from his time as senator.
    • C-3PO seems to have caught on that you can expect nothing but trouble from "princesses."
    • When Poe is brought to the Star Destroyer, a Mouse Droid can be briefly seen and heard.
    • While Kylo Ren is interrogating Poe in the Star Destroyer, the whirling/whirring soud of the floating interrogation sphere that Vader used on Leia in A New Hope is heard.
    • In the very beginning of the film when Poe talks to Lor San Tekka about getting the intel to General Leia, the man recalls that he knew her as "royalty".
    • The assault on Starkiller Base's thermal oscillator conduit is a clear homage to the Death Star Trench run from A New Hope. Poe closes the s-foils on his X-Wing to get through a narrow crack that leads to Starkiller Base's thermal oscillator conduit, similar to how Wedge Antilles got through a narrow passage inside Death Star II to get to the main reactor in Return of the Jedi.
    • At one point, Finn calls Chewie a "thing." The First Order may include more women, PoC, and non-humans than the Empire but it still retains a little Fantastic Racism.
    • The destruction of the Finalizer's hanger control room is very similar to the destruction of the Executor's bridge.
    • Droids are now pulled up into X-Wings from below, instead of lowered from above, just like the old Naboo Starfighters.
  • Continuity Reboot: For the franchise's entire Expanded Universe. Most of the Star Wars Expanded Universe has been rebranded as Star Wars Legends.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist:
    • Like Darth Vader, Kylo Ren is a fallen Jedi pupil who turned his back on his master and betrays the people he loves for the sake of the Dark Side, but still harbors doubt and self-loathing. But whereas Vader was a heavily scarred, commanding, and self-assured middle-aged man, Kylo is a relatively attractive (the mask he wears is purely for intimidation and to emulate Vader), conflicted, and tempestuous youth.
    • Supreme Leader Snoke shares superficial similarities with his predecessor, Emperor Palpatine. Both are totalitarian leaders and the real villains of their respective trilogies. However, Palpatine was a sadist who responded to failures by killing his underlings or allies. In contrast, Snoke is a more stoic figure who genuinely cares about the well-being of his underlings while lacking the late Emperor's arrogance and more overtly evil qualities.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: The new Power Trio (Finn, Rey, and Poe) seem to be set up to contrast Luke, Leia, and Han from the original trilogy in varying ways.
    • Like Luke, Rey is an orphan who lived a quiet life on a desert fringe planet, and through the Force she finds she has a greater destiny. But unlike brash, hotheaded young Luke, Rey initially wants to remain in her sheltered, hard-scrabble life, waiting for someone to come back for her, and runs away from the idea that she's meant for greater things.
    • Like Han, Finn has a dark past, is on the run from vengeful bad guys, and initially is more interested in saving his own hide than helping the greater good. But unlike Han, who was always a self-serving loner, Finn spent his life in zealous devotion to a cause (also, he has moral compunctions about shooting first...).
    • Like Leia, Poe is a critical rebel agent whose capture is the inciting incident of the story, and whose rescue brings Finn into the conflict. But whereas Leia was a double agent, posing as an Imperial politician, Poe is already famous even among the bad guys as a daring Resistance hero.
    • Like Yoda, Maz Kanata is an incredibly ancient, incredibly wise, quite diminutive alien sage who hides out on a remote planet and has great insights about the Force and the battle against the Dark Side. But while Yoda was a slightly cantankerous religious ascetic and a Jedi Master, Maz is a pirate who runs a bar, hits on Wookiees, hangs around with thieves and smugglers, and is merely Force-sensitive, not a Jedi.
  • Contrived Coincidence: True to Star Wars tradition, there are a few plot-convenient alignment of events.
    • Rey happens to be living on the same planet as Lor San Tekka, the guy who has a section of map which leads to Luke Skywalker which the First Order desperately wants, and near enough to his village that she can happen across BB-8.
    • The TIE Fighter Poe and Finn steal crashes near enough to Rey's settlement that Finn can reach it without dying of thirst or exposure in the process.
    • Rey happens to be living near the same derelict junkyard where the Millennium Falcon has been parked for the last few years.
    • After Rey and Finn take the Millennium Falcon and fly away, within minutes they just happen to come across Han Solo, the ship's previous owner. This somewhat justified in-story when Han mentions that he was tracking the Falcon's unique engine signature, but the timing is still undeniably convenient.
    • Maz Kanata has Anakin's/Luke's old lightsaber sitting in her castle's basement, ready for Finn and Rey to use. Han lampshades this by asking her where she got it.
    • Han, Chewie and Finn happen to find Captain Phasma after they realize Finn doesn't actually know how to deactivate Starkiller Base's shields, and need to force somebody to do it for them.
    • Han, Chewie and Finn also happen to see Rey climbing up the middle of Starkiller Base — just as they were formulating a plan to find her.
    • When the surface of Starkiller Base is splitting apart at the end and a chasm opens up between Kylo Ren and Rey, Rey happens to be on the side with Finn and the Millennium Falcon.
  • Conveniently Close Planet:
    • Maz's planet is close enough to the Hosnian system for Hosnian Prime's destruction to be visible shortly after the event. The bar also happens to conveniently be on the side of the planet facing the Hosnian system at the time.
    • The Millennium Falcon is captured within a few minutes of popping out of hyperspace. Then that freighter itself is docked simultaneously by two other ships (though those two ships had admittedly already been tracking the big freighter).
  • Cool Helmet:
    • Kylo Ren, whose helmet is an evil-looking combination of a Stormtrooper's and Darth Vader's, heavy enough to make a dramatic clank when dropped.
    • In addition, the new Stormtrooper helmets look better than ever, with a sleeker design representing the First Order. Captain Phasma has a chrome-plated version.
  • Cool Starship: There's the return of the Millennium Falcon and a new generation X-wing closer to the original concept art. On the First Order side of things, it looks like they're still using TIE Fighters, but sharing the Stormtrooper color scheme of white & black. The second teaser also gave us a glimpse of a new class of Star Destroyer with a ram-like bow that looks to be even bigger than the old Imperial-class ships of the OT. That particular ship is called the Finalizer. Also, when Rey is running for a spaceship she shows a bias for "Cool" ones instead of "Garbage" ones.
  • Cool Sword:
  • Crazy-Prepared: Despite the fact that there have been almost no Jedi in the last few decades (to the point that most people believe them to be just a myth), First Order Riot Stormtroopers are equipped with electric batons in order to fight lightsaber-wielding enemies (given that Kylo Ren is with them, it makes sense).
  • Creator Thumbprint:
    • Rey mentions a place on Jakku called "Kelvin Ridge", named for JJ Abrams' grandfather. The name has appeared in each of Abrams' works, from Lost to Star Trek.
    • According to the credits, one of the Resistance pilots is named Niv Lek.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: As Finn lampshades, he was trained from birth to do exactly one thing: be a Stormtrooper, which means point and shoot a blaster. He doesn't know how to pilot any vehicles (not even his own faction's TIE Fighters), he has no mechanical skill (he doesn't even know how to identify proper tools), and he has little if any melee combat training. When he is stuck with a melee weapon, he does bravely try to defend himself with it, but is always over-matched, and always searches for a blaster to switch to at the first opportunity. Once he manages to take a blaster rifle from a dead Stormtrooper, he's a very effective marksman with it (being the first major case of a Stormtrooper actually averting the Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy). In addition, being raised from birth as a child soldier, he has only the vaguest of knowledge about the overall galactic political situation. This is underscored by his teamwork with Rey, as marksmanship is one of the few things she isn't highly skilled at, otherwise being a jane-of-all-trades. She's been a scavenger for her whole life so she knows machine parts and how to repair them, she's a naturally skilled pilot (Finn doesn't even know which control panel does what), and from holding her own against street toughs on Jakku she's a good melee fighter. She doesn't have much experience with guns, though.
  • Crossing the Desert: Finn does this after crash-landing on Jakku, though it's not clear how long he actually walks for.
  • Curb Stomp Cushion:
    • One of the thugs attacking Rey on Jakku manages to get a good left hook in on her; emphasis on a.
    • Finn is able to wound Kylo Ren's right shoulder during their lightsaber duel before Kylo proceeds to beat him badly.
  • Cypher Language: The Aurebesh alphabet makes an appearance.

    Tropes D to G 
  • Damsel in Distress: Parodied. Finn first sees Rey when some thugs accost her to steal BB-8 and rushes over to help her, only for her to successfully fight them off before he's halfway there. When the First Order attacks Niima Outpost, he still treats her like a helpless damsel, no matter how clear it is or how much she protests that she's perfectly capable on her own. This culminates in a scene where they both get thrown off their feet by an explosion. Rey is up and alert almost immediately, while Finn is knocked out... and when she wakes him up, he asks her if she's okay. Rey is left dumbstruck.
  • Damsel out of Distress: Rey is able to break herself out of her cell in Starkiller Base thanks to a successful Jedi Mind Trick.
  • The Dark Side: Literally. This is Star Wars, after all. This time, the First Order has risen in the aftermath of the Empire. Kylo Ren and Supreme Leader Snoke are both Dark Side affiliated Force-sensitives.
  • Darker and Edgier: The Force Awakens is the second Star Wars movie to take on a PG-13 rating in the United States, and it shows. The movie has more intense violence (with some blood) and less kid-oriented whimsical humor than either of the previous trilogies; it opens on a village being invaded by the First Order at nighttime as its inhabitants are slaughtered, and BB-8 is the only new Kid-Appeal Character. Additionally, the First Order is a fanatical military junta in contrast to the Empire's oppressive totalitarian regime.
  • David vs. Goliath: Finn knows he's in way over his head when facing down Kylo Ren for a lightsaber duel, but he does it anyway.
  • Deadly Deferred Conversation:
    • While fleeing the castle, Han asks Maz the justified question of where the hell she got Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber from, as Luke lost it into the depths of Bespin. She replies that it's a good question for another time. Sadly, there won't be another time.
    • In the novelization, Han says there's something he's been wanting to say to Leia for a long time, but Leia tells him to save it for when he gets back from Starkiller Base.
  • Deadpan Snarker: On both sides.
    • Finn has some lines pointing out the sheer absurdity of what's going on around him.
    • Han is... in the movie. Age has only made him snarkier.
    • Kylo Ren, surprisingly, manages to snark a few times as well. He must get it from his dad.
      Officer: We were... unable to obtain the droid. It escaped capture aboard a stolen Corellian YT model freighter.
      Kylo: The droid... stole a freighter?
  • Dead Guy Junior: Kylo Ren's real name is Ben Solo, after Obi-Wan (Ben) Kenobi, his uncle and ex-master's dead mentor.
  • Decomposite Character: The three new main characters are all embodying different aspects of Luke from the original trilogy: Finn is the good-hearted everyman, Rey is a hopeful youth with a special destiny ahead of her and Poe is an Ace Pilot who saves the day by destroying the First Order's super-weapon.
  • Decoy Protagonist: While all three members of our Power Trio are important, Rey is clearly the focus of the story, yet they are introduced to us in reverse order of their relevance to the overall story — first Poe (who's also the only one alluded to in the opening crawl), then Finn, then Rey. Even after all three of them are properly established, the focus doesn't shift fully to Rey until after Finn tries to hitch a ride off of Takodana and Rey finds Luke's lightsaber right where Finn left it. The trailers also lead one to believe Finn to be the main character, even giving him a lightsaber on the poster and certain parts of the trailers. It isn't until Finn loses his fight with Kylo Ren that Rey picks up the lightsaber.
  • Defiant to the End: Poe, when he is captured and tortured by the First Order. The first thing he does when brought face-to-face with Kylo Ren is snark at him. After Poe has been tortured for information, Kylo admits that he is impressed that Poe has withstood such punishment. It finally takes Kylo using the Force to literally rip the information from Poe's mind, and Poe fights him every step of the way.
    Poe: The Resistance... will not be intimidated by you...
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Although a huge chunk of the plot focuses on finding his location (and he is mentioned several times throughout the film), Luke Skywalker only appears in two brief scenes: Rey's vision and the final scene.
    • R2-D2 is only shown in the latter half and spends nearly all of his screen time in "low-power mode", but holds the key to finding Luke: the rest of the map.
    • C-3PO spends most of the movie at the Resistance base.
  • Dead Star Walking: Max von Sydow appears briefly at the beginning of the film before his character is murdered by Kylo Ren.
  • Derelict Graveyard: The entire planet of Jakku is filled with destroyed spaceships from a massive battle between the Empire and New Republic decades ago. Of particular note is a capsized Super Star Destroyer.
  • Deuteragonist: Both Finn and Rey are equally important to the overall narrative, meaning that they can both be classified as "main character".
  • Do a Barrel Roll: The Millennium Falcon doesn't actually do a barrel roll — the camera does.note 
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • Much of the movie takes place in and around the scrapyards of Jakku, where characters are constantly surrounded by the massive, rusted-out wreckage of the iconic spaceships from the Original Trilogy, which stand as lasting relics of a massive battle that took place decades ago. This is pretty obviously symbolic of the massive legacy of the Original Trilogy itself, which still casts a massive shadow over the entire film industry, despite ending three decades ago; even the scavengers, who eke out a living combing the wreckage for fresh parts, are clearly representative of the fans who kept coming back to the movies, and could always spin new stories from their tiniest background details. When one of those rusted-out relics—the Millennium Falcon—finally takes off for a new destination, it's symbolic of the saga's resurrection.
    • Han Solo goes deep into enemy territory with the goal of redeeming a prodigal son, and dies by a cross of sorts. Furthermore, the last thing he does in this life is make a gesture of forgiveness.
    • In contrast to the well-armed, well-disciplined Galactic Empire, the First Order is a relatively small band of fanatics who hide out in a secluded zone of space and disrupt their enemies with surprise attacks on civilians. Their first scene in the movie involves them massacring a remote desert village, and they eventually surprise everyone by launching an attack on the distant Republic capital and killing millions. Considering the context of the film, the conflict with the First Order seems designed to evoke the War On Terror, with the destruction of Hosnian Prime evoking the 9/11 attacks.
  • Doom Doors: The classic sound makes an auditory cameo when Rey's speeder engine cools down.
  • Double Meaning: An exchange between Rey and BB-8 on Jakku, after the droid expresses that he is on a top-secret mission. The dialogue is used for comedic effect, but also serves as a reference to the mystery behind Rey's origins.
    Rey: Classified, really? Me too. Big secret.
  • Downtime Downgrade: For Han and Leia are quite obviously as much in love as ever, if not even more so, but grief over their son's turn to the Dark Side has separated them, as they both return to "the only thing[s they were] ever any good at."
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: Before the climactic fight scene between Kylo Ren and Finn and Rey, Ren takes a bowcaster bolt to the abdomen and is shown to be bleeding from the wound, so that it's more realistic someone with zero formal training with a lightsaber or the Force could stand a chance against him.
  • Dramatic Unmask: Three unmasking scenes serve as initial facial introductions for Finn, Rey and Kylo Ren.
    • First, when Finn removes his Stormtrooper helmet.
    • Again, when Rey takes off her scavenger goggles and hood.
    • Lastly, when Kylo Ren finally unmasks himself during his interrogation of Rey.
  • Driving Question: With the very first line of the opening text everyone, in-universe or out, is wondering: "Where is Luke Skywalker?"
  • Dude, She's Like, in a Coma!: Gender-flipped in the end between Rey and Finn. She kisses him on the forehead.
  • Dungeon-Based Economy: Jakku is a scavenger economy living off the remains of old battles. People travel the desert looking for derelict machine parts they can salvage and sell or trade for food.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Prior to the movie, Poe was first mentioned in Star Wars: Shattered Empire and Moving Target, while Jessika Pava first appeared in the Framing Story of Weapon of a Jedi.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Important ones for Finn, Rey, Kylo Ren and Poe.
    • Finn's reaction to his fallen Stormtrooper comrade leaving a bloody handprint on his helmet. He directly disobeys Kylo Ren's orders to gun down innocent villagers. This is the first time we see a Stormtrooper express genuine inner-conflict — Finn is just a terrified young man who sees that what he is being asked to do is wrong. It comes as no surprise when he betrays the First Order and frees Poe.
    Finn: Because it's the right thing to do.
    • Rey's introductory sequence shows us that she is a lonely scavenger whose survival depends on selling whatever she can get her hands on for rations. This makes the scene in which she refuses to hand over BB-8, despite being offered a staggering amount of rations in exchange, all the more noble.
    Rey: Actually, the droid's not for sale.
    • Kylo Ren's doesn't truly come until halfway through the feature, when he is shown confessing his anxiety over Snoke sensing his lingering desire to embrace the Light Side from which he was born. What is he confessing to? The melted helmet of his dead grandfather, Darth Vader. This scene firmly places Kylo Ren in the realm of Tragic Villain.
    Kylo Ren: I feel it again... the pull to the light...
    • Poe is immediately characterized as a well-respected and brave pilot with an undying commitment to General Organa and the Resistance. In his first scene, when faced with the daunting reality that he will be captured by the First Order, he sends BB-8 away and distracts Kylo Ren, buying time for the droid to escape. His reaction to Kylo Ren is undeniably cheeky as well.
    Poe Dameron: So, who talks first? Do you talk first?
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: The destruction of every planet in the Hosnian System, the current capital of the New Republic, by the First Order using Starkiller Base. It's repeated with the destruction of Starkiller Base itself and the planet it's located on.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: The First Order has seemingly shed the Fantastic Racism philosophies of the old Empire, and in fact their leader is an alien called Snoke. There's also Captain Phasma, who is the first female Stormtrooper to appear in a Star Wars film. However, the new canon has shown that women were a part of the Empire's military since its inception. There's even a random female-voiced Stormtrooper who reports to Kylo Ren late in the film. It may also be Pragmatic Villainy, since in their reduced state they can't afford to turn away supporters, regardless of their species or gender.
  • Enemy Civil War: The remains of the Empire underwent this after the Battle of Jakku, with the First Order rising from the ensuing ashes.
  • Everything Is an iPod in the Future: The new Stormtrooper design is much more sleek and streamlined than in the original trilogy. BB-8, the ball droid, is also more streamlined compared to older astromechs like R2-D2.
  • Evil Brit: There is a decent representation of characters with UK accents, and all are evil or antagonistic except for Rey and a random X-Wing pilot, including some sort of mercenary with a grudge against Han, who has the first ever Scottish accent to be heard in Star Wars.
  • Evil Is Bigger: Snoke, Kylo Ren, and Captain Phasma all tower over the protagonists; Snoke, in particular, is over seven feet tall. Even General Hux, while not quite as tall as his peers, is still fairly tall at 6'1".
  • Evil Nephew: Kylo Ren is Luke Skywalker's.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Starkiller Base is an ice planet converted into a stronghold for the First Order and armed with a fiercely destructive new beam cannon which kills suns by draining them of their energy and converting it into a weapon.
  • Failed a Spot Check: The Stormtroopers sent to search Poe's X-Wing for signs of the MacGuffin completely fail to notice BB-8's massive track in the sand leading away from the ship, and report that nothing of importance was found.
  • Falling into the Cockpit: Although Poe Dameron has never flown a TIE Fighter before, he's not only able to expertly pilot a stolen one within seconds of climbing aboard, he can also give Finn instructions on operating the weapon systems. Likewise, Rey does amazingly well flying the Millennium Falcon for the first time.
  • Famed In-Story: Rey and Finn are surprised to learn that the ship they escaped Jakku in is the Millennium Falcon. They've also heard of the heroes of the Rebellion like Han Solo. As the last of the Jedi, Luke Skywalker has reached Living Legend status.
  • Fantastic Fragility: Preemptively lampshaded by Han Solo reacting to Starkiller Base, leading directly to attacking the oscillator.
    Han Solo: OK, so it's big. How do you blow it up? There's always a way to blow it up.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: How Finn bonds with both Poe and Rey, separately.
  • First Name Ultimatum: Han gets his son Kylo Ren's attention when he calls him by his true name, Ben.
  • Flat "What.": Rey is captured and held prisoner, and being watched over by a Stormtrooper. She tells him "You will remove these restraints and leave the cell with the door open". Unaware that she's trying to perform a Jedi Mind Trick, he replies "What did you just say?" as in "You are a helpless prisoner, with no authority or power whatsoever; and you're ordering me to release you?"
  • Foil: Kylo Ren is this to Rey and Finn.
    • Rey was abandoned by her parents and waited, possibly in vain, for them to return, while Ren willingly betrayed his. Both are Force-sensitive, but embrace opposing sides. Ren double-crossed his uncle and former master, Luke Skywalker, and destroyed his uncle's temple, and it is heavily implied that Rey will take on the role of Luke's new apprentice. She even inherits the lightsaber Kylo Ren's grandfather constructed decades earlier.
    • Finn was taken away from his parents and subjected to conditioning by the First Order. Similarly, Snoke targeted Ren when he was just a child, manipulated him, lured him away from his family and moulded him into the perfect warrior. Ironically, Finn managed to break free of the First Order, while Ren, despite being very insecure and failing to suppress the call to the Light, was unable to do so.
  • Food Pills: Powdered bread: just add water.
  • For the Evulz: Kylo Ren establishing his villainy in the village early on by ordering Phasma to "kill them all" (as if his costume weren't a big enough clue). Confirmed later when Kylo explicitly prays for more darkness.
  • Forced Sleep: When the First Order comes looking for the map, Kylo Ren determines Rey has seen it when he finds her and waves his hand in her face, causing her to fall unconscious so he can take her prisoner.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • A variation with Chewie's iconic bowcaster — the film goes out of its way to point out its sheer hitting force. Everything it hits is blown back and knocked out in a single shot. Except for Kylo Ren, who is badly wounded by it, but essentially walks it off.
    • Han says early on that he'll talk his way out of a situation; he does it every time and gets upset when Chewie calls him on that. Han tries to talk down Kylo Ren into a Heel–Face Turn, but Kylo refuses and kills Han.
    • Snoke outright tells Kylo Ren that facing his father will be his greatest test. As noted, with some effort, he passes. Or fails, if one takes the novelization at its word that the exercise weakened Ren's resolve
    • Upon entering Starkiller Base, Han grimly remarks that the longer they stay there, the more quickly their luck will run out. After finding Rey, they choose to stay and help Poe's squadron by blowing a breach into the base's weak point so it can be attacked in full, this decision leads to Han's death as well as Finn nearly dying and barely coming out alive after a lightsaber slashes his back and Rey nearly forced back off of a cliff and nearly has her spine broken after being thrown into a tree. Talk about luck running out.
    • Ren sees an image of an island in an ocean in Rey's thoughts. At first it seems like a callback to Rey dreaming of a better place than Jakku, but it foreshadows where Luke is hiding.
    • In her vision, Rey hears the voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi, foreshadowing the reveal of Kylo Ren's true name, "Ben", which was Obi-Wan's alias while living on Tatooine.
    • When describing the Force to Rey, Maz Kanata tells her to "Close her eyes. Feel it". Later during the climactic final battle on Starkiller Base Kylo Ren chases Rey to the edge of a cliff, the world falling apart all around them. He offers to teach her the ways of the Force, giving Rey the incentive to tap into it. She closes her eyes and feels it before overcoming Kylo in combat.
    • In the opening of the film's second act, Finn tries to help Rey fix a leak on the Millennium Falcon, but is more a hindrance as he cannot tell the tools apart. It's a subtle sign that he has limited-to-no-knowledge regarding engineering; he knows what Starkiller Base can do, but he has no knowledge on how to shut the shields down on his own as he did not help build it.
    • Han tells Finn and Rey about the Force, saying "The Dark Side, the Light?... the crazy thing is it's true." You think he's just recounting the events of the original trilogy, but eventually, we find out his son Ben got seduced by the Dark Side of the Force and became Kylo Ren.
    • Finn's brief fight with the stun-baton-wielding Stormtrooper establishes that all First Order troops have some melee training, explaining why he lasts as long as he does against Kylo Ren.
  • Four-Star Badass:
    • Admiral Ackbar on the Resistance's side, as well as Admiral Statura.
    • Princess Leia is General Leia.
    • General Hux is an aversion, as the Visual Dictionary reveals he's never actually fought in a battle before, despite his rank.
  • Friendless Background: Rey was alone on Jakku for over a decade, and appeared to spend most of her time scavenging the wrecks old ships. Based on her initial reaction to having her hand grabbed by Finn, she was not used to being touched either.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • Poe Dameron has lettering on his vest. When translated, it says "Pull to Inflate".
    • Boba Fett's Mandalorian symbol can briefly be seen among the flags at Maz's castle.
    • As Rey and Finn flee the TIE fighter attack, the Millennium Falcon can be very briefly seen in the background as they sprint past.
    • When Finn shoots down the first TIE fighter over Jakku, the wreckage has barely hit the ground when scavengers come running in to strip it.
  • Functional Genre Savvy:
    • Han Solo presupposing that "There's always a way to blow it up".
    • Ditto Leia for her "He's right".
  • Game-Breaking Injury: Kylo Ren gets shot by Chewie's bowcaster before his climactic fight with Finn and Rey. This is a weapon that has been shown to blow people across the room. Now, Ren doesn't die, but he doesn't shrug it off, either. It takes him several minutes to recover, and is clearly bleeding and heavily affected by it. He's still a massive badass, but it slows him down enough that Finn is able to hold his own, and Rey eventually beats him.
  • Gender-Blender Name: "Rey" is a male's name. Or at least, it was.
  • Genre Throwback: The film mixes the boxy, worn looking '70s' sci fi aesthetic of the original trilogy (complete with being filmed on 35mm film instead of digital film, on-location shooting and having a fair amount of practical effects) with digital special effects, elements of the sleeker new age design sense of the prequel trilogy, and cinematography techniques of contemporary films.
  • Giving the Sword to a Noob: After Rey rejects it, Finn, who has no melee training and unclear levels of Force ability, receives the lightsaber of Anakin Skywalker. He has mixed results, killing one stormtrooper by surprise but being soundly defeated by another wielding an electrostaff. He does manage to put up a fight against a heavily injured Kylo Ren, but is still trounced after Kylo loses his patience.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: Keeping in line with previous films, Kylo Ren's lightsaber is red, while Rey ends up with Anakin Skywalker's old blue model.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Downplayed with General Hux after Starkiller Base's laser beam is fired. Hux's eyes reflect the beam's light after his Rousing Speech to simulate this effect. His mesmerized facial expression enhances the effect.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: When one of the loosed rathtars devours one of the space pirates on Han's freighter, Rey looks on in horror and covers her mouth.
  • Gunship Rescue: Things seem pretty grim for the heroes in the rubble of Maz Kanata's castle — until the panicked First Order troops see the awe-inspiring sight of Resistance X-Wings streaking at high-speed over the surface of the lake coming right towards them, followed by Ace Pilot Poe Dameron delivering a Curb-Stomp Battle on the far more numerous TIE Fighters.
  • Guy in Back: During their escape from Kylo Ren's flagship over Jakku, Finn takes the tailgunner seat for Ace Pilot Poe Dameron in a two-man TIE variant. Unusually for the trope, it's Dameron who doesn't make it. Except they Never Found the Body, and he turns up later leading a squadron of X-Wings in a Gunship Rescue.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Zig-zagged. For the most part, Rey uses a Simple Staff, and and Finn uses a blaster. However they don't use those weapons exclusively, since Rey does use a blaster later on and they both, at different points, use Anakin's lightsaber, which Rey ends up with.

    Tropes H to L 
  • Happy Ending Override:
  • Head-in-the-Sand Management: The more things change, the more things stay the same. The New Republic clearly doesn't have its head in the game regarding the First Order. Despite being the dominant power in the galaxy, Leia is politically marginalized by senators who see her as a Windmill Crusader, and supply the Resistance so sparingly that they operate out of a barebones military base in a middle-of-nowhere planet, and their fleets are doing absolutely nothing. They pay for it dearly when the First Order attacks and destroys its current capital, Hosnian Prime, along with a sizable portion of its fleet. By the time acting against the First Order is absolutely essential, the Republic is too crippled from this gut punch to be of any use.
  • Heartbroken Badass: The power trio from the original trilogy all turned into this.
    • Han and Leia had a family in the 30 years that have passed, but they suffered a great loss that utterly broke them. This turns out to be Kylo Ren, actually Ben Solo, turning to the Dark Side of the Force. Thus, their relationship (already rocky, judging by their conversation before Han leaves for the Starkiller Base) completely imploded.
    • Luke Skywalker became one of these when his new Jedi Order was betrayed from within and destroyed by the Knights of Ren. Led by his nephew and failed student, no less.
  • Heavenly Blue: The blue lightsaber wielded by both Rey and Finn, which was once under the ownership of Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker.
  • The Heavy: Snoke might be the Big Bad, but it's Kylo Ren who drives the plot and whose defeat resolves the conflict (of this film, at least), similar to the relationship between Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine in the original trilogy.
  • Heel Realization: The actions of the film start when the Stormtrooper FN-2187 realizes that what they are doing is wrong.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather:
    • Han Solo has apparently taken to wearing a black leather jacket in place of his iconic black vest from the original trilogy.
    • Finn takes to wearing a brown leather jacket (which belonged to Poe) after his defection from the First Order.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic:
    • First Order troopers are evidently forbidden to remove their helmets without permission. So when Finn takes his off, it's immediately clear that he's going to be a hero.
    • Rey starts out wearing protective headgear that, given the desert environment, is probably pretty useful. She takes it off about a minute after her introduction and never wears it again.
    • It's inverted by Kylo Ren, who doffs his helmet before performing his most evil acts.
  • The Hero's Journey: Rey's part in the film follows the Departure phase note-for-note:
    • Call to Adventure: BB-8 and Finn provide this, drawing Rey away from Jakku and into the greater conflict.
    • Refusal of the Call: She tells everyone throughout the film she just wants to go home again to wait for her family. Even though she really knows they're never coming back for her. She refuses Anakin's lightsaber when Maz gives it to her as part of her rejection of the Call.
    • Supernatural Aid: Arrives in the form of Maz telling her about her connection to the Force and persuading her to confront the truth about her family, and the vision she gets from Anakin's lightsaber. Kylo Ren provides a darker twist, due to the fact she only begins to actively use the Force after his attempted Mind Probe.
    • Crossing the Threshold: She begins the process while in Kylo Ren's custody, and finally lets go of her past and accepts her destiny when she claims Anakin's lightsaber for her own. Kylo Ren is her Threshold Guardian, and confronting him is her first step across the Threshold.
    • Belly of the Whale: Rey has let go of her past and accepted that her family is never coming for her, and seeks out Luke to further her training.
  • Heroic Second Wind: After running away desperately from a rampaging Kylo Ren and finally getting cornered in a saber-lock with a chasm behind her, Rey finally channels the Force and gets the upper hand on Ren. Her first hit nicks him in the leg and shears off part of his trenchcoat. Her second successful blow is a hard thrust into his left shoulder. After winning a grapple, she busts his lightsaber and then rakes his face for the third and final blow before he goes down for the count.
  • Hero Stole My Bike: While fleeing a strafing run from the First Order, Rey and Finn hop aboard an unattended "garbage" freighter of Unkar Plutt's and fly off. It turns out to be the Millennium Falcon.
    Unkar Plutt: THAT'S MIIIIINE!
  • Hero-Worshipper: Inverted. Kylo Ren villain worships Darth Vader. It's a literal example as there's a scene where he prays to Vader's helmet. His entire motivation seems to be that he's a Darth Vader fanboy who doesn't realize just how much it actually sucked to be Darth Vader. (See Misaimed Fandom below.)
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Finn (then FN-2187) is first introduced as a run-of-the-mill Stormtrooper, but is quickly revealed to be a good person who wants nothing to do with serving as the First Order's tool.
    • Kylo Ren as well. At first, he seems to be a merciless Dark-side affiliated villain, but it doesn't take the film long to reveal that Ren not only still feels a connection to the Light, but struggles — and fails — constantly to shun it. He is terrified of Snoke sensing his inner-conflict, feels great unease that he'll never live up to Darth Vader, and is only capable of sharing his true sentiments with the helmet of his dead grandfather. Not to mention the fact that he's the fallen son of Han Solo and Leia, and is physically quite the opposite of the crippled, scarred (but also massive and looming) Vader.
  • History Repeats: Once again, a rag-tag group of rebels must face down an oppressive and evil empire, are pursued by a fallen Jedi in black armor, and menaced by a powerful weapon capable of destroying planets. One of this rebellion's key actors is a youth from a backwater planet far removed from the conflict, who is unwillingly drawn into the battle and must learn the ways of the Force.
  • Hypocrite: Kylo Ren refers Finn as a traitor to the First Order, despite that he betrayed his own family by killing his father, and betraying Luke by destroying the new Jedi order. Finn never made any choices in his life but to leave the First Order, had no true loyalty to the First Order, and so therefore is hardly a traitor and was just acting in his own best interests.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • Kylo Ren is set on capturing Rey and has her dead to rights near the end of their climactic duel on Starkiller Base. His critical error? He chooses the worst possible moment to volunteer himself as her teacher, offering to show her the ways of the Force. Rey is somehow reminded that she is also capable of using it, and suddenly gains the upper-hand, allowing her to overcome a severely wounded Ren.
    • In addition, Kylo Ren also seeks to become more powerful and gain mastery over himself by killing his father, Han Solo. But when he manages to do so the crime actually weakens him, making him more mentally and emotionally unstable. A bolt from Chewbacca's crossbow in the side doesn't help.
    • His Mind Probe of Rey not only truly awakened her to her own Force potential, but unsettled Ren enough to leave her almost completely unguarded, and gave Rey the knowledge and confidence she needed to (eventually) successfully pull a Jedi Mind Trick on her lone guard, allowing her to escape. Kylo Ren pretty much lives this trope.
  • Holograms Are Always Beta: Averted. Holoprojectors have come quite a ways in 30 years, and are much crisper. They also lack the blue monochrome/aura and scan lines they used to have. We get to see old-school holos at the end in side-by-side comparison with the new ones when R2 reactivates and shows his portion of the map, and BB shows the portion contained in the MacGuffin.
  • Hope Spot: It seems for a moment like Kylo Ren might accept his father's offer to reconcile. Then the moment ends.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Maz Kanata offhandedly refers to Chewbacca, who's at least a meter taller than her, as her "boyfriend".
  • I Can Still Fight: Kylo Ren takes this to a level not seen since Anakin Skywalker attempted to claw his way to Obi-Wan after having three of his four limbs lopped off on Mustafar. In a very short span of time, he betrays and impales his father, takes a powerful bowcaster bolt to the abdomen and races to intercept Rey and Finn before they can escape Starkiller Base. When he engages them in battle, Finn manages to stab him in the shoulder before inevitably being overpowered. Ren does not fare as well against Rey, who, after finally channelling the Force, leaves him with a nasty gash to the thigh, a deep puncture wound in the shoulder and a lightsaber slash across his face. After all that, he still tries to push himself up off the ground to continue fighting before the earth cracks, separating him from Rey.
  • I'm Dying, Please Take My MacGuffin: The movie begins with Lor San Tekka handing a data thing to Poe and saying "This will start to make things right." A minute later, as landing craft attack, he's telling Poe to run and seems resigned to his fate. While Luke is arguably the true MacGuffin of the film, the much sought-after map is his proxy throughout.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:
    • Finn runs a stormtrooper through a lightsaber; he seems to have misjudged how easy to stab it is with one and it stops to the hilt.
    • The fate of Han Solo, at the hands of Kylo Ren (his own son) no less.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Averted Trope. The Stormtroopers actually have a somewhat reasonable accuracy rating in this film, and Finn is an exceptionally good shot when he manages to get his hands on a blaster. On the other hand, Rey, who is unused to firing a blaster, takes several shots to hit a single Stormtrooper who isn't moving around.
  • Individuality Is Illegal: The First Order brainwashes its Stormtroopers into slaves to its ideologies from birth. Captain Phasma even implies that Stormtroopers are forbidden from so much as removing their helmets without permission, at least while on assignment or patrol.
  • Indy Ploy: Finn lies about knowing how to disable Starkiller Base's defenses so he can get the opportunity to rescue Rey. When Han Solo finds out and calls him out on it, Finn responds that they'll figure something out (which they do).
    Finn: We'll figure it out. We'll use the Force!
    Han: That's not how the Force works!
  • Infant Immortality: Averted. At least one child can be glimpsed among the frightened villagers just before Kylo Ren orders them all killed. Plus, there's the fact that the heavily populated Hosnian system was annihilated without survivors.
  • Instant Mass, Just Add Water: The "polystarch" Rey gets for her scavenged parts. Rey pours the powder in hot water, stirs it, and after a few seconds there's a loaf-thing. This was a practical effect, though not a tasty or nutritious one. The pack also comes with a side of "Veg-Meat".
  • Intelligible Unintelligible: Both Poe and Rey are able to understand BB-8's chirps and whistles, and Han of course can still understand Chewie's roars and grunts.
  • Internal Homage:
    • FN-2187 echoes Princess Leia's cell number 2187 in the original Star Wars film, which itself is an homage to a 1963 Sci-Fi short entitled 21-87.
    • A side shot of the Millennium Falcon as it escapes the pursuing TIE Fighters into the Star Destroyer graveyard is nearly identical shot-for-shot to the famous scene where it did the same thing while flying into the asteroid field in The Empire Strikes Back. It also directly references the infrastructure chase of the Death Star II in Return of the Jedi.
    • The shot of Kylo Ren trying to Force-pull Anakin/Luke's lightsaber in the snow only for it to be taken by Rey resembles the shot of Luke trying to grab the lightsaber in the Wampa's cave in The Empire Strikes Back.
    • Han's death partly resembles Emperor Palpatine's death in Return of the Jedi, falling down a shaft after being betrayed. It also resembles the fate of two duelists in the final battle of The Phantom Menace, with Han getting impaled by a lightsaber like Qui-Gon Jinn, before falling into the shaft like Darth Maul. Also, the scene is a dramatic family encounter on a bridge suspended over a shaft.
  • Interstellar Weapon: Starkiller Base houses a Death Star-sized cannon which can fire a Wave Motion Gun through hyperspace, exiting in another star system and destroying every planet therein.
  • Invincible Classic Car: The Millennium Falcon gets smacked around quite a bit throughout the film. During the take-off from Jakku, Rey can barely maintain lift and scrapes the ship along the ground for several seconds. When they're escaping from the transport ship, a rathtar tries in vain to rip off the cockpit canopy. During the infiltration of Starkiller Base, Han smashes the ship through a forest before a very rough crash landing. None of these things causes any meaningful damage. Corellians build their ships to last, for sure.
  • Invisible Means Undodgeable: Kylo Ren likes to take advantage of this when dealing with targets that are outside of his physical reach. He telekinetically grabs both Poe and Rey at different points in the film, holding them motionless so that he does not have to bother chasing down agile, blaster-toting adversaries.
  • Jabba Table Manners: Rey eats her food the same way you'd expect any person who spends most of their time eating alone to — chewing with her mouth open, eating with her hands.
  • Jedi Mind Trick: Double subverted. Rey is held prisoner, and she has just discovered that she's strong in the Force. She orders a Stormtrooper: "You will remove these restraints and leave the cell with the door open". The stormtrooper reacts with a Flat "What.". She says it again, but he replies instead that he'll tighten the restraints, you scavenger scum. She repeats it a third time, and now it does the trick. The Stormtrooper releases her, leaves, and drops his weapon in the ground, as ordered.
  • Jump Scare:
    • In the first teaser, Finn pops up in a ball of sweat after a brief shot of Jakku.
    • In the movie, when the riffle blast Kylo Ren has frozen restarts again, this gives Finn a jump.
    • The crashed TIE Fighter suddenly explodes after it sinks into the sand on Jakku, also scaring Finn.
    • When Rey touches Luke Skywalker's lightsaber at Maz Kanata's hideout, she is thrust into a crazy vision kick-started by Vader's mechanical breathing.
  • Keystone Army: Subverted. Despite the Empire losing the Battle of Endor due to the Emperor's death in Return of the Jedi, their remnants are still around in the galaxy decades later.
  • Kill the Ones You Love: Amongst Kylo Ren's tests by the Dark Side is having to kill his father, Han Solo. Initially he didn't have the will to do it on his own, but when Han comes to try and talk him into leaving the First Order, he finally does it.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: When the Resistance shows up on Takodana, turning the tide against the First Order, Kylo Ren orders a tactical retreat. Since he has Rey, who has seen the map he needs, obtaining BB-8 is no longer necessary.
  • Large Ham:
    • General Hux devours the scenery with a speech loaded with fire and brimstone, before literally unleashing it upon the Hosnian System.
    • Poe Dameron isn't restrained in anything he does, but especially his attitude towards flying.
  • Legendary in the Sequel:
    • Han Solo is said by Finn to be a war hero for his actions in the Original Trilogy, Luke Skywalker is regarded as a myth (though this is implied to be just for Jakku due to it being a backwater planet), and it's implied that Leia has a comparable level of fame.
    • The Millennium Falcon still has a legendary reputation for the Kessel Run and now with her storied involvement in the Rebellion on top of that; however, she still looks like an old Corellian jalopy so neither Finn nor Rey know what she really is until Han spells it out.
  • Lens Flare: While this is a staple of J. J. Abrams's films, this one downplays it to levels comparable to the Original Trilogy.
  • Liar Revealed: Averted. Finn lies to Rey about being in the resistance, and later admits the lie to her, during a very tense scene no less, with no negative reaction from Rey whatsoever.
  • Living MacGuffin: The search for Luke Skywalker drives the story.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: You have the six major players from the original movies (Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca, R2-D2, and C-3PO), characters aligned with the Resistance (Finn, Rey, Poe, BB-8, and Maz Kanata), and characters aligned with the First Order (Kylo Ren, Captain Phasma, General Hux, and Supreme Leader Snoke). That's already 15, and that's before even getting to several cast members with minor roles, including Max Von Sydow, Warwick Davis, Miltos Yerolemou, Greg Grunberg, Crystal Clarke, Pip Andersen, Christina Chong, Jessica Henwick, Billie Lourd, and Maisie Richardson-Sellers, which brings the total up to 25.
  • The Lost Woods: Maz Kanata's castle is located by a lake in the middle of a vast forest on the planet Takodana. Rey is awe-struck.
    Rey: I never knew there was so much green in the galaxy.

    Tropes M to O 
  • Magic A Is Magic A: When they get in a difficult situation (and with no Jedi present), Finn says "We'll use the Force!" An exasperated Han Solo replies, "That's not how the Force works!"
  • The Magic Comes Back: The Force is indeed awakening in the galaxy after years of dormancy.
  • Mascot Villain: Like his spiritual predecessor before him, Kylo Ren is the face of the movie.
  • Match Cut: The first shot of Rey follows a close-up of Finn, their faces matching up exactly.
  • Meaningful Echo: An estranged father and his son reunite on a catwalk. Any connection the scene may have had to its Empire counterpart proceeds to go spectacularly Off the Rails beyond that.
  • Meaningful Name: Starkiller Base. Not only does it contain a weapon capable of destroying entire planetary systems, but it powers itself by siphoning off all of the material within a burning star.
  • Meditation Powerup: Rey briefly meditates during her duel with Kylo Ren, which allows her to turn the tide of the battle and win.
  • Mega-Maw Maneuver: As Rey and Finn are escaping from Jakku in the Millennium Falcon, the ship is suddenly overridden and a large transport engulfs it. They're certain they've been caught by the First Order, but it's actually Han Solo and Chewbacca.
  • Mind Rape: Kylo Ren forces his way into Poe's mind, an experience that is worse than all the torture Poe had endured up to that point. He does a cursory scan of Rey when he first captures her, learning that she's seen the map. It's subverted when Kylo tries to do a deeper probe back at Starkiller Base. She blocks him and reads his mind to discover his fear of not being as evil as Darth Vader.
  • Minor Living Alone: Rey is around nineteen, and survived alone on Jakku since she was a child.
  • Misaimed Fandom: In-universe. Kylo Ren is obsessed with his grandfather Darth Vader to the point of murdering his own father to wipe out the light in himself. Vader, however, did the opposite: he rejected the darkness in order to save his son. One gets the sense that if Vader had lived to this day, he'd be disgusted by Kylo Ren's actions.
  • Mohs Scale of Violence Hardness: It rates a 4, with a few lightsaber impalings. Blood also makes several appearances.
  • Moment Killer:
    • Finn's first attempt to tell Rey where he really came from is interrupted by a leaky pipe suddenly venting steam.
    • An emotional reunion between Han and Leia is interrupted by, predictably, C-3PO.
  • Mood Whiplash: The first teaser starts with Finn popping into frame in a desert, visibly stressed and sweating. This is followed up by the adorable BB-8 rolling by, even as the super-serious music continues to play. This levity is then followed up by sinister-looking Stormtroopers.
  • Mooks: Stormtroopers return, with all-new armor. In fact, one of the main characters, played by John Boyega, starts off as one. Turns out he's a better shot than his comrades, although they leveled up as well.
  • More Dakka: The Resurgent-class Star Destroyer isn't just twice as big as the old Imperial-class Star Destroyers, it's also massively better armed: while the Imperial's mounted some 150 weapon systems, the Resurgent has over three thousand. This seems to be in keeping with the First Order's overall design philosophy, which is "The Galactic Empire, squared."
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: The rathtars that Han and Chewie are transporting. They're basically multi-tentacled killing machines with meat grinders for mouths.
  • Muppet: Many of the non-Human Aliens are puppets made by the Henson Workshop. These include a strange-looking merchant that carries several caged bird-creatures upon his back, and a giant creature (operated by five people) that resembles both a boar and a rhinoceros.
  • Mushroom Samba: Without the mushrooms. When Rey touches Luke's, and Anakin's, former lightsaber, she experiences a confusing Force vision showing her a mishmash of both her past and her future.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Towards the end of the film, Finn and Rey are attempting to escape Starkiller Base when they're confronted by Kylo Ren in the forest. Rey is knocked out, and Finn takes her lightsaber to duel Ren. He's quickly defeated, but then Rey wakes up and finishes the fight, copying Splinter of the Mind's Eye, the first expanded universe novel, where a similar scene happens with Leia standing in for Finn, Luke for Rey, and Darth Vader for Kylo Ren.
    • Poe and Finn escaping a Star Destroyer by stealing a special two-man TIE Fighter is just like the computer game Rebel Assault II: The Hidden Empire. But unlike the game, Poe and Finn don't make it far.
    • Also from Rebel Assault II: The Hidden Empire, this isn't the first time a hero pilots a starship inside a Super Star Destroyer, albeit in this movie it's a crashed one rather than a functional one.
    • The sequence of Poe destroying Starkiller Base's thermal oscillator from the inside greatly resembles a stage from the first Rebel Assault game, where during the attack of the Death Star the player destroys a gigantic cannon from the inside.
    • Finn is a disillusioned Stormtrooper who deserts when his superiors discover that he has disobeyed an order to gun down a group of peaceful villagers. The same thing happened to Daric LaRone, the protagonist of the Timothy Zahn EU novel Allegiance.
    • The T-70 X-wing is based much more closely on artist Ralph McQuarrie's pre-episode IV design for the starfighter.
    • BB-8 was inspired by one of Ralph's early designs for R2-D2.
    • The scene of the X-wings flying over a lake borrows visual elements from the pod racing scene in The Phantom Menace.
    • The First Order Base in the movie is named Starkiller Base. Starkiller was intended Luke's original last name during the production of A New Hope, which was changed to "Skywalker" later. Additionally, this isn't the first time the term "Starkiller" appeared in Star Wars (or, for that matter, even the second).
    • Constable Zuvio appears to be based on early concept art of Leia's Boussh disguise and wears a hat that makes him look like Embo. Which makes sense, since Zuvio and Embo are part of the same species.
    • Finn's Stormtrooper callsign is "FN-2187" — 2187 was the number of Princess Leia's detention cell in A New Hope.
    • Maz Kanata's castle is based on an early concept for Jabba's palace.
    • There are a number of allusions to the Knights of the Old Republic series:
      • Kylo Ren borrows design elements from Darth Revan.
      • Starkiller Base sucks energy directly from the nearby star, just like the Star Forge did.
      • Supplementary materials state that Kylo's lightsaber is based off a design dating back to the Scourge of Malachor.
    • ME-8D9 looks quite similar to SCORPIO. In fact, her background allows her to be SCORPIO.
    • The Rebel pilot helmet Rey wears during the night on Jakku looks like the same helmet Tiree (Gold Two) wore in the Battle of Yavin in A New Hope.
    • Han offering Rey a permanent spot on the Falcon's crew mirrors the same offer he made to Luke in A New Hope.
    • A few concepts from the now-not-canon Legends continuity appear:
      • Kylo Ren is Han and Leia's son, who trained as a Jedi before turning to the Dark Side, much like Legends' Jacen Solo. Kylo's given name, Ben, was the name of Luke's Legends' son Ben Skywalker (who was Jacen's apprentice).
      • Rey is a Wrench Wench, a great pilot, and Force sensitive, much like Han and Leia's daughter Jaina Solo — and Ahsoka Tano, for that matter.
      • A student of Luke's turning to the Dark Side and rising up against him happened before, with Brakiss and the Shadow Academy.
    • An old female offering an untrained female Force user an old lightsaber. Yes, we had that.
    • Starkiller Base has an obvious parallel to the Death Star, but it also resembles the Star Wars Legends' Galaxy Gun mated to a entire planet'', and powered by a version of the Star Forge.
    • Luke as an old man resembles the character in the early script of The Star Wars, in which he was a 65-year-old general (who in later drafts morphed into Obi-Wan).
    • In the same or a related early script treatment, Starkiller was accompanied by a young woman. After Starkiller became Obi-Wan, many of his female companion's traits were used to create Luke Skywalker, while others were used as the foundation for Leia. Rey is also a young woman who shares many of Luke's characteristics.
    • Finn, an ex-Stormtrooper, can fight with a lightsaber without any Jedi training or Force-given abilities. Other Stormtroopers are wearing weapons that can stand up to lightsabers. In the early script drafts for The Star Wars, lazerswords (as lightsabers were originally called) were mundane weapons wielded by Rebel and Imperial soldiers alike (including Stormtroopers).
    • The attack on Starkiller Base is led by Blue Squadron, which was going to be Luke's squadron in the original drafts of A New Hope before Lucas realized that the blue highlights on the X-Wings would blend into the bluescreen.
    • Ello Asty's helmet has the same pattern as Biggs Darklighter's helmet in A New Hope.
    • During the attack on Maz's palace, Han and Chewie briefly assume the same pose as a famous promotional photo of them.
    • The dark-sided son of Han and Leia killing a beloved family member to cement their turn to the Dark Side is very similar to Jacen Solo murdering Mara Jade Skywalker in Legacy of the Force.
    • When someone is communicating with Snoke via hologram, Hologram Projection Imperfection is normally averted. However, as Starkiller Base crumbles during the final transmission, rocks infrequently fall in front of the projector, causing the hologram to briefly revert to the translucent-blue-with-scan-lines visual of the originals and prequels.
    • As Rey is sneaking around Starkiller base, she comes across two Stormtroopers, one asking the others if he's seen the new T-17s, the other reply that he hear they are an improvement. An almost identical conversation between Stormtroopers regarding BT-16s is overheard by Obi Wan in A New Hope when sneaking around the Death Star. Also another almost identical conversation featuring T-17s is overhead by Kyle Katarn in Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast. In a change from the way those discussions usually go, in The Force Awakens a third line is added where the first Stormtrooper tells his colleague that they don't actually hold up.
    • The name Kylo Ren is taken almost letter-for-letter from Kybo Ren, a villain in the old Droids cartoon. The guy even had TIE fighters painted in red and black, much like the First Order does.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast:
    • As if the new class of Star Destroyer the First Order uses wasn't scary enough, the particular ship is called the Finalizer.
    • "Starkiller Base" is certainly scary.
    • Messing with a group called the "Guavian Death Gang" seems rather inadvisable.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: The First Order has taken even more Nazi imagery than the Empire did. However, they also are more progressive than the Old Empire in terms of accepting aliens as well as women. They also have similarities to North Korea, Argentina's National Reorganization Process and fundamentalist terrorist groups.
  • Never Trust a Trailer:
    • The trailers and the poster contain multiple shots of Finn wielding a lightsaber, implying that he is the Force adept for this generation. In fact, both Finn and Rey show Force-sensitivity, although Finn shows it first, within his first scene, when he panics after sensing the villagers' deaths.
    • From the first trailer, many fans assumed the desert planet was Tatooine.
  • New Meat: When the Resistance's fighters charge into battle over Takodana, he gives his pilots an order that implies that many of them are about to see battle for the first time:
    Poe: Don't let these thugs scare you.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • The New Republic is shown and stated to be making a concerted effort to avoid the mistakes that enabled Palpatine's rise in the first place. This lead to policies such as rotational capitol worlds (instead of keeping power entirely in Coruscant) and cutting down its armies (compared to creating another Grand Army of the Republic). Unfortunately, these also make it harder for them to face the First Order once it becomes evident that it's much stronger than the Republic believed.
    • The entire Race Against the Clock battle at Starkiller Base is precipitated by the fact that the Resistance sent scouts to do recon on the base's infrastructure to figure out a way to take it down. The First Order notices and is able to track the scouts back to the Resistance base, enabling them to designate their weapon's next target.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain:
    • Kylo Ren's forced Mind Probe of Rey — to try and find her memories of the map leading to Luke Skywalker — seemingly gives her a harsh, but effective, lesson in how to control the Force, with the book adding that his attack breaks some kind of mental block that may have been repressing Rey's connection to the Force. Either explanation means he essentially gave her a power up and a means to escape.
    • In addition to that, Kylo bagged Rey instead of continuing the search for BB-8 and the map fragment he has because he discovered that Rey saw it when BB-8 showed a holoprojection of it. So on top of inducing Rey to exert her nascent Force powers to repulse Ren's attempt to extract that information, the First Order are right back at Square One on the hunt for Luke. Hux is quick to chide Ren for that in front of Snoke.
  • The Nicknamer:
    • Rey calls BB-8 "Classified" before he tells her his real designation, and Han calls Finn "Big Deal" when the latter gives an inflated reputation with the Resistance as his background. "Finn" is actually a nickname, too, given to him by Poe because "FN-2187" isn't much of a name.
    • Poe giving him the nickname Finn becomes that much more meaningful when you read the supplementary material. In the First Order almost no Stormtroopers go by their designation when around other Stormtroopers, instead having nicknames given to them by people in their squad. Finn goes by FN-2187 purely because he has no real friends no one likes him enough to give him one. Poe naming him like a friend would is showing him he could belong somewhere.
  • No Doubt The Years Have Changed Me: Parodied when C-3PO meets Han for the first time in many years, and Threepio thinks Han might not recognize him with his new red arm. Han just glares at him, leading him to shut up and walk away.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished:
    • Averted in the first scene. When Poe is defending the village from the Stormtrooper attack, he spares a dazed FN-2187 to grieve over a fallen comrade. This allows Finn to have his Heel–Face Turn, which directly leads to allowing both of them to escape from the First Order later on.
    • Han and Finn have gotten a hold of Rey, and managed to drop the Starkiller Base's shield just prior, their mission for all intents and purposes is done. When they see that Poe's squadron can't breach the weak point of the base thanks to its much heavier protection, Han decides to use the explosives they have on hand to help out. This decision ultimately leads to the destruction of the base at the cost of his death at the hands of Kylo Ren.
  • Non-Uniform Uniform: The Knights of Ren wear similar but unique outfits.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • How Anakin's lightsaber ended up in Maz Kanata's possession. She just says that it's a story for another time.
    • C-3PO draws attention to his new red arm (implying that he has lost his old golden one), but doesn't elaborate on the story behind this.
    • The Trillia Massacre, which involved Rathtars.
  • No OSHA Compliance:
    • The First Order may have improved in some ways, but worker safety isn't one of them. There's a confrontation on a long catwalk over a massive pit that is barely wide enough for one person and has no handrails.
    • Averted when locked doors open upon having vital components removed by Rey. This would be a basic safety procedure to allow workers to escape in an emergency.
  • Not Hyperbole: Starkiller Base actually does destroy stars - and that's just how it refuels!
  • Not-So-Omniscient Council of Bickering: The current capital of the New Republic gets obliterated by the First Order's Starkiller Base while one of Leia's representatives is there lobbying the Senate to take the threat of the First Order seriously. Leia herself was not there because by this point she was not held in high regard by most Senators due to her persistent warnings about the impending danger. Instead she was leading a small rag-tag Resistance with only covert backing from a minority of supporters in the government who believed her.
  • Not with the Safety on, You Won't: Rey, upon using a blaster for the first time, forgets to take off the safety. She fixes this problem quickly. The novelization expands on this with an earlier scene where she tries to use the blaster on Unkar Plutt and his thugs, but is foiled by the safety being engaged. That's why she's quick to figure it out when later confronted by Stormtroopers.
  • Obligatory War Crime Scene: Our introduction to the First Order has them massacre a peaceful village.
  • Offhand Backhand: Han casually plugs a Stormtrooper in the center mass with his DL-44 blaster without even looking when they come out guns blazing from Maz's wrecked cantina. Even Han looks surprised and impressed.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome:
    • The creative team behind Battlefront (2015) has confirmed that there was indeed a "Battle of Jakku" some time before the events of the film, but it isn't depicted in the film itself. It's very likely that the derelict spaceships are meant to be the wreckage of the battle. The battle itself is also featured in a number of the Journey to the Force Awakens tie-in stories.
    • In the film itself, Chewbacca goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge after Han dies. He's last seen setting off the explosives in Starkiller Base then charging into the base one-shotting Stormtroopers as the base goes up in flames around him. He's next seen in the Millennium Falcon no worse for wear. One tough Wookie.
    • It's never explained (in the film) how Poe got off of Jakku.
  • Offscreen Teleportation:
    • When Finn first spots Rey and is then forced to run when BB-8 spots him in turn, Rey somehow appears ahead of him to hit him with her staff.
    • Rey and Finn escape the exploding superweapon, leaving a wounded Kylo Ren behind as they run into the woods. Suddenly their way is blocked by Kylo Ren, his lightsaber ready for action. Though they would have had to climb back down the building they'd left Kylo in, as they were a few stories above him when he was wounded, which would have given him something of a head start.
    • Chewbacca is last seen charging into the exploding Starkiller Base in a Roaring Rampage of Revenge but somehow manages to get back to the Falcon to rescue Finn and Rey.
  • Offscreen Villain Dark Matter: Skeptics in the New Republic doubt that the First Order is threat because they are supposedly nothing but a bunch of poorly-funded fanatics, yet these fanatics have a fleet of new Star Destroyers, upgraded TIE fighters, and a superweapon so large that they had to build it into a planet.
  • Oh Crap!:
    • Finn has this reaction several times throughout the story, with the biggest instance being his reaction to Kylo Ren charging at him.
    • Rey's reaction to Kylo Ren bringing his unstable lightsaber right up close to her face. There might be a pattern here.
    • This is both of their reactions to a ship that Rey can pilot getting blown up — JUST as she points it out — as they're trying to escape the First Order's attack on Jakku.
    • The action on board the freighter Eravana becomes a never-ending sequence of these for all characters after the rathtars get loose.
    • Kylo Ren freaks out when Rey successfully resists his attempts to Mind Probe her and proceeds to read him instead.
    • Han's reaction when Finn admits that A) he was stationed at Starkiller Base in sanitation and B) he has no real plan for disabling the shields, he's just come to save Rey.
      Han: People are counting on us! The galaxy is counting on us!
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: When confronted by Han, Kylo Ren confesses that he feels "torn in two" (between the Dark and the Light) and that he knows what needs to be done but lacks the strength to do it, and asks Han's help, to which Han immediately agrees. Han thinks he's asking for help breaking away from Snoke and the Dark Side; Ren is talking about finding the strength to kill Han - his father - and fully embrace the Dark Side.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname:
    • "Kylo Ren" is not the character's real name, but merely an alias that he adopted after joining the Knights of Ren — an organization whose members all take "Ren" as a surname, similar to the Sith Order's title "Darth." His real name is Ben.
    • To the First Order, he's known as FN-2187, but to his friends, he's Finn.
  • Orange/Blue Contrast: The poster, lighted on one side by Kylo Ren's red lightsaber and orange explosions, and on the other side by Finn's blue lightsaber and cyan laser fire.
  • Our Graphics Will Suck in the Future: Despite 30 years passing in both the galaxy far, far away and the world where it was filmed, the HUD graphics seen still look as if they were programmed for displays available in the late 1970s. It's likely an Enforced Trope to retain the Original Trilogy vibes this movie leans so heavily on. The new ships do have improved graphics, although still stylistically similar to those of the originals. The Falcon however is still using its original, extremely basic HUD.

    Tropes P to R 
  • Palette Swap: The First Order's TIE Fighters' color scheme is an inversion of the Original Trilogy's TIE Fighters. The Empire's TIE Fighters had gray hulls with black wings, the First Order's TIE Fighters have black hulls with gray wings.
  • Pants-Positive Safety: Han Solo gives Rey a blaster pistol, but no holster; so she quite casually stuffs it through the back of her belt. Solo, the experienced gunman, has no problem with this. The blaster stays secure through a lot of running and fighting. It does have a safety, as seen when she tries firing it.
  • Partly Cloudy with a Chance of Death: When the ambient light goes dark red (because the nearby sun is drained) it's obvious something really bad is about to happen to Han Solo.
  • Passing the Torch: Part of the relationship between the new stars and original cast.
    • The second trailer re-purposed Luke's "the Force is strong in my family" speech to Leia from Return of the Jedi — which now ends, not begins, with "You have that power too". However, Luke doesn't have any lines in this movie, so the specifics of that line are still up in the air.
    • Han acts as the primary vehicle for the passing the torch from the old guard to the new. He acts as a mentor to both Rey (independent, hard-bitten pilot) and Finn (scrappy kid crushing on a girl out of his league). He gives them both weapons and advice and tries to guide them to a better future than what they imagine for themselves. And then he has an Obi-Wan style death.
    • The movie places a big focus on Rey inheriting Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber. She is called to it and receives a Force vision when she touches it, and she is able to summon in to her hand when the person confirmed to be Anakin Skywalker's grandson is unable to do so. Whether this is foreshadowing of her future as Luke's apprentice or a sign that Rey is Anakin Skywalker's granddaughter remains up in the air.
  • Parental Abandonment: Rey was abandoned by her parents on the desert planet Jakku, and waited for them to come back for over ten years. The reason behind her abandonment is currently unknown.
  • Patricide: Kylo Ren, born Ben Solo, murders his father Han after he attempts to get him to reject the Dark Side.
  • Planet Spaceship: Starkiller Base. We don't see it moving at all, but it presumably relocates to drain another star every time it needs to fire its weapon. When Resistance pilots are being briefed we see a 3-D representation of it compared to a Death Star and dwarfing the latter.
  • Please Select New City Name: The planet known as Starkiller Base used to be named something else before the First Order built a superweapon into it — although the movie doesn't clarify what that name was. This also counts as a Meaningful Rename.
  • Plot Armor: The rathtars Rey accidentally releases aboard the Eravana eat the criminal mooks within seconds of getting their tentacles on them, but drag Finn along the ship's hallways for just as long as it takes for Rey to get him back.
  • Possession Equals Mastery: Averted. Finn uses a lightsaber on multiple occasions, but since he knows absolutely nothing about swordsmanship, he ends up losing every time he faces somebody trained in a weapon that can block the blade.
  • Posthumous Character: Although Darth Vader is long dead, his image appears to be important to the First Order, and Kylo Ren in particular. This is because Darth Vader is Kylo Ren's grandfather.
  • Power Incontinence: Rey experiences involuntary Force visions the first time that she touches Luke's lightsaber.
  • Power Trio:
    • Luke, Han, and Leia return.
    • Finn, Rey, and Poe seem to form a new one.
    • A villainous one exists with Kylo Ren, Hux, and Phasma.
    • C-3PO, R2-D2, and BB-8 at the end.
  • Precision F-Strike: While the movie's language is mostly clean (like all Star Wars movies), Finn gets three minor swears. He lets out a subdued "dammit" after being struck during the escape from Jakku, and later calls Poe one "hell of a pilot" during the Resistance's Big Damn Heroes moment. He also says "Hell, no." when Han asks him if he's up to it.
  • Psychometry: Rey experiences this when she touches Luke's lightsaber for the first time, seeing visions of the past.
  • Putting on the Reich: Imperial uniforms in the OT were based on the Wehrmacht in terms of look. First Order uniforms are based on the SS. They also have big red banners with their black logo on.
  • Quicksand Sucks: One of the hazards on Jakku is quicksand pits which can swallow people whole. One of these snags the crashed TIE Fighter, which is what convinces Finn that Poe was killed in the crash. Although it seems to be Princess Bride-style dry quicksand, as there's no distinctive slurping, gurgling, or bubbles like the regular stuff.
  • Race Against the Clock: After Starkiller Base destroys the New Republic capital, our heroes have a very tiny window of time until the weapon recharges again (absorbing a nearby star, no less) to sabotage the shields and letting the Resistance attack it.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Finn and Poe get into a docked spaceship without checking to see if it's moored or still connected to a cable, leading to them bouncing around the hangar until Poe finds the release button.
    • The trope is later double subverted in a single scene. Rey's first two attempts to use the Jedi mind trick don't work at all, but it works just fine when she tries it a third time moments later.
    • Return of the Jedi left fans with the belief that the Empire immediately dissolved after the Emperor, Darth Vader, and the Death Star were destroyed. 32 years later, this movie does for the current continuity what Star Wars Legends did for the previous one, setting the record straight by showing that there are still remnants of the Empire who survived and are still very much a threat to the galaxy.
    • Finn getting to wield Anakin's lightsaber, while awesome, proves impractical for him in a real fight because it isn't the weapon he's trained to use (he doesn't even know the thing is a weapon until Maz tells him so), and gets his behind handed to him when he engages a Stormtrooper wielding a lightsaber-proof baton and Kylo Ren, both of them experts in close-quarter combat. Watch him closely, and you'll notice that he always has more confidence around blasters or gunning equipment and makes a point of seeking them out when he's unarmed. On the other hand, Rey is much more experienced in the subject, herself quite handy with the staff as shown on Jakku when she defended BB-8 from being stolen, and being Force-sensitive. However, even though Ren is heavily injured and apparently hasn't completed his own training, notice that Rey is actually running away from him for most of their final fight. Just because she's discovering her Force powers and is good at hand-to-hand combat doesn't make her a match for an experienced swordsman.
    • While everyone cheered for Han and Leia's pairing in Return of the Jedi, it seems this trope intervened — he's a smuggler and she's a general, and their relationship is more like reality than the fairy tale that was expected.
    • Rey tries to help Han at one point by pulling out a fuse and locking a door on the freighter they're on. This actually ends up releasing the dangerous beasts Han was transporting at the time since she just yanked a random fuse without really knowing what it was supposed to do (she didn't have much time).
    • Kylo Ren rescinds the order to capture BB-8 when he captured Rey, as she had seen the map BB-8 was carrying. He never anticipated that he couldn't extract the map from her, nor did he realize that the droid was still heading towards the Resistance. Hux "kindly" pointed this out to him in front of Snoke.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: A couple of reviewers mocked how Kylo Ren frequently twirls his lightsaber when fighting (ignoring the fact that the Prequel Trilogy had even more complex lightsaber moves). In a behind the scenes featurette, however, the fight trainer for the movie specifically explained that this is what you are supposed to do in real-life swordsmanship: constantly moving your blade, ready to fluidly transition from one position to the next. As he explained, the old trope of dramatic posturing from one static sword stance to another is pure Hollywood, and actually the exact opposite of how real life sword fights should work.
  • Recurring Element: Many old elements are given a modern version here. See also the Trivia page.
    • A new desert planet on the outer rim, Jakku to Tatooine.
    • A new Force sensitive outcast living on the desert planet who gets recruited by the heroes, Rey to Luke and Anakin.
    • A new small, cute, droid carrying secret information for the heroic faction, who discovers the desert outcast, BB-8 to R2-D2.
    • A new cocksure Ace Pilot, Poe to Han.
    • A new seedy bar in Maz's castle which combines elements of the Cantina and Jabba's Palace.
    • Maz herself as the new diminutive Force savvy mentor, echoing Yoda. A deleted scene confirms she's a very powerful force user.
    • A new spherical planet-destroying superweapon station, Starkiller to the Death Star.
    • A new Darth Vader Clone in Kylo Ren.
    • An old, reclusive Dark Side master in Snoke to Palpatine.
    • A new confident and zealous fascist leader, Hux to Tarkin.
    • A new perpetually masked soldier who serves the evil side, Phasma is a loose one to Boba Fett.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: The First Order's banners are painted in these colors, while Kylo Ren wears black armor and wields a red lightsaber.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Han spends the last several years of his life returning to his old piratical ways, making it unsurprising that his final attempt to redeem his son results in his shish kebabing.
  • Redemption Rejection: Han tries to convince Kylo Ren to join them against Snoke, Ren seems about to accept, even offering Han his lightsaber... and then kills him.
  • Refusal of the Call: By both Rey and Finn. Rey just wants to return to her home on Jakku, Finn hopes to get as far from the approaching conflict altogether.
  • The Remnant: Abrams directly compared the First Order to Nazis who fled to South America following the fall of Berlin, but unlike the real Nazis, they managed to reconstitute themselves sans a figurehead à la Hitler. In fact, the First Order uses their status as this to motivate their war against the Republic, as their rhetoric indicates they feel like they've been driven to ruin by them. The best way to describe the First Order is a military junta.
  • Renegade Splinter Faction: The Resistance is officially this; on paper it's General Leia's personal army waging a private war with the First Order. Unofficially they're backed by several Republic Senators. The attempt at deception is fooling nobody.
  • Repeating so the Audience Can Hear: Noticeably subverted between Han and Chewbacca, as well as between BB-8 and Rey, resulting in bilingual dialogue. In several instances we the audience are left wondering what Chewie (or BB-8) really did say.
    BB-8: <chirps and beeps>
    Rey: NO!
  • Retraux: Halfway. Although a number of old-fashioned techniques were used for the film, modern techniques (such as CGI and digital editing) were also utilized to avoid Special Effect Failure.
  • Reveal Shot: While fleeing from the TIE-fighters' bombardment on Jakku, Rey dismisses the off-screen spaceship Finn is suggesting as "garbage", but the other ship they were heading to gets blown up. This leads to the decision that "the garbage will do", with the camera panning to reveal to the audience that the aforementionned piece of junk happens to be the Millennium Falcon.
  • Revisiting the Roots: The film brings back Lawrence Kasdan to write the screenplay, the original cast, and the Millennium Falcon, as well as a boatload of miniatures, animatronics, and practical effects. Not to forget John Williams, once again composing the music.
  • Revival: The Force Awakens picks up three decades after where Return of the Jedi left off, Passing the Torch from the Original Trilogy's heroes to a new generation of adventurers caught up in the continuing war between The Empire and La Résistance.
  • Rewatch Bonus: By the time Rey finds Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber stored in a chest, it's easy to have forgotten that she was originally attracted to Maz's basement by the sound of a crying child. On rewatching it becomes clear that it's Rey crying as she's left behind on Jakku, paralleling her abandonment by Finn.
  • Right Behind Me:
    • Han is arguing with Bala-Tik about his debts, who insists that he also owes money to Kanjiklub.
      Han: I never made a deal with Kanjiklub!
      Bala-Tik: Tell that to Kanjiklub.
      [Kanjiklub appears behind Han]
    • Finn is trying to come up with a plan to locate Rey inside the huge and complex base, while Han repeatedly gestures for him to turn around.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Chewbacca, Rey, and Finn enter one when Kylo Ren/Ben Solo murders his father, Han. Chewbacca, in particular, seems outraged, as he proceeds to shoot Kylo Ren in the guts, one-shot the remaining Stormtroopers around him and blow up the entire First Order installation.
  • Robot Buddy: While R2-D2 and C-3PO are back, BB-8, a new droid companion of Poe Dameron that rolls around on a spherical body, is introduced.
  • Rousing Speech: General Hux delivers one to a large crowd of soldiers about how they will crush their enemies "THIS DAY WILL BE REMEMBERED AS THE LAST DAY OF THE REPUBLIC!". He caps this speech with a demonstration of Starkiller's power.
  • Rule of Cool: No reason is given why a random Stormtrooper would just happen to be carrying around a lightsaber-resistant electric staff, but it makes for a cool fight scene.
  • Rule of Symbolism:
    • The Starkiller weapon eats stars to power itself. So when the X-wings are trying to destroy it before it fires, they note that as long as there's still light, there's hope.
    • Light from the dying star shines through a window when Han and Kylo Ren meet and as a nod to Return of the Jedi half of Ren's face is in it while the other half is drenched in the building's red utility lighting. The star's light fades right before Kylo kills Han to symbolize his complete descent to the Dark Side.
    • When Rey despairs over Finn's apparent death in the darkened forest, the sudden light from the Millennium Falcon as it swoops in to the rescue is framed almost as if it were a sunrise.
    • After the Starkiller weapon is destabilized, the star it consumed blows it up from the inside, leaving a new sun in its place.
    • Kylo Ren's cross-guard lightsaber has a cracked focusing crystal, causing it to sputter and spark when live and requiring secondary "channels" perpendicular to the blade to vent some of the excess power that the crystal cannot contain. The blade itself mirror's Kylo's inner turmoil, great power, and difficulty with control.
  • Running Gag: Finn has three loosely interlinking ones that are all a part of his Fish out of Water routine
    • Finn's inability to understand any language other than Basic, be it droidspeak, Shyriiwook, or anything else.
    • Finn not having a blaster during fight sequences. First on Jakku, then during the rathtar sequence, before finally at Maz's castle. When he finally gets his hand on a Stormtrooper blaster, he immediately shows why he wanted one.
    • Finn lying badly about being a Resistance member. Only Rey buys it. Even BB-8 manages to look skeptical, which is quite a feat given his utter lack of changeable facial expression.

    Tropes S to U 
  • Saharan Shipwreck: Star Destroyers belong in the vacuum of space, but here they are in the desert of Jakku. They also supply our heroine with artifacts to collect and trade.
  • Scavenger World: Jakku gives off the vibe of one by featuring large, barren expanses while also featuring several abandoned supply stations, though there are still cities on the planet.
  • Scenery Gorn: Jakku's surface is littered with the broken hulks of X-wings, Star Destroyers and AT-ATs that fell in a battle decades ago.
  • Scenery Porn: Lots of it, with gorgeous desert vistas on Jakku, the forests of both Takodana and Starkiller Base, and finally the absolutely spectacular final shots of Skellig Michael as the first Jedi temple.
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Distance:
    • After Rey and Finn leave Jakku on the Millennium Falcon, they manage to lose the Finalizer without going to lightspeed.
    • All the planets in the Hosnian System are close enough to be visible in the same frame.
    • The destruction of the Hosnian System is immediately visible in the skies above Maz Kanata's castle, even though that system is hundreds if not thousands of light years away.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
    • Finn's reaction after being sent on his first mission as a Stormtrooper, in which he watched in horror as an entire village was massacred by the First Order. This prompts him to free Resistance pilot Poe so they can escape together.
    • Some First Order officers start to make a run for it as Starkiller Base is destroyed.
      Colonel Datoo: Lieutenant, get back to your station!
      Lieutenant Rodinon: Tough luck! We won't survive! Even Hux is gone!
    • Finn doesn't want to join the Resistance, he just wants to be as far away from the First Order as possible.
    • Rey is on board with helping the Resistance, but changes her mind and runs off after touching Anakin's lightsaber and having a vision of the past.
    • A pair of Stormtroopers, while approaching Kylo Ren's interrogation room, see and hear him having an angry breakdown after Rey escapes, then quickly decide they have other places to be.
  • Secret Legacy: After Rey's harrowing Force Vision, Maz implies the "family" that she has been seeking is in fact Luke Skywalker, which comes as a complete surprise to Rey. Whether this is due to her Force abilities making her an obvious fit for the Jedi or an actual blood relation is left ambiguous.
  • Sequel Escalation: The movie has a $200,000,000 budget, nearly twice the amount that it took to film any of the Prequel Trilogy films. That money is being put to use in a way that involves some of the most convincing practical effects and stunning CGI ever shown in a Star Wars movie.
  • Sequel Hook: The movie leaves multiple threads dangling for future installments (whether they be in the movies, comics, or novels):
    • The movie ends with Rey presumably becoming Luke's Padawan.
    • Rey's parentage isn't revealed, nor are we given a reason why her family abandoned on Jakku. However, we do get a brief flashback showing her being left behind.
    • Finn mentions that he never knew his family, as he was taken away by the First Order as an infant. This is another possible thread that could be explored. It was said earlier in interviews that there is a reason so little about Finn and Rey's family histories was revealed.
    • Finn has gone into a coma by the end of the film, being severely injured in his fight against Kylo Ren. Only time will tell if he will heal completely by the next film, or if it will require some assistance from other heroes à la Han Solo-in-carbonite first.
    • It's never revealed how Maz got her hands on Anakin's lightsaber. She even says that it's a story for another day.
    • Kylo Ren, General Hux, and Captain Phasma all survived the destruction of Starkiller Base, and Snoke ominously claims that it is time to finish Ren's training. Kathleen Kennedy even confirmed that Phasma is planned to have a bigger role in Episode VIII.
  • Serial Escalation:
  • Serkis Folk:
    • Surprising absolutely no-one, Andy Serkis plays an alien character (Supreme Commander Snoke) rendered with CGI motion-capture. His mo-cap studio will also help with any other CGI characters in the Sequel Trilogy.
    • Lupita Nyong'o plays Maz Kanata, another CGI motion-capture character.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Jakku is nothing but desert, and even has pools of quicksand.
  • Shoot Out the Lock: While trying to escape the freighter, Han fiddles with the door controls while Chewie holds off the gangsters. After Chewie gets shot in the arm and Han has to borrow his bowcaster, he just gives up and blasts the panel, opening the door.
  • Shoot the Dog: While escaping the freighter, Han cold-cocks one of the fleeing pirates, grabs him, and shoves the guy into the mouth of a approaching rathtar to give himself some more time to run. The deliberate nature of it also seems to be a meta-commentary on the whole "Han shoots Greedo" controversy, showing that, yes, Han will absolutely kill another less-than-moral person if he's in a tight spot.
  • Shout-Out:
    • There's a Resistance pilot in the movie named Ello Asty, a reference to the album "Hello Nasty" by The Beastie Boys, director JJ Abrams' favorite band.
    • The shot of Rey and Finn running from a TIE Fighter attack in the second teaser is framed like the crop duster scene in North By Northwest.
    • Finn's Stormtrooper callsign "FN-2187" and name "Finn" are both references to George Lucas' THX 1138, where characters were referred to by the phonetic pronunciations of assigned serial numbers (e.g. "THX-1138" was "Tex", "LUH-3417" was "Luh", "SEN-5241" was "Sen", and "JOT/CAM" was "Jot/Cam").
    • The shot of the Knights of Ren standing with their weapons in the rain, surrounded by bodies, is based on a iconic scene from Seven Samurai.
    • In the section where Rey is on the lam after giving Kylo Ren the slip some stormtrooper chatter is heard: "We think they may be splitting up" — and it sounds like it was lifted directly from the sequence in A New Hope where Ben is making his way to the tractor beam control system aboard the first Death Star.
    • A shot of TIE Fighters flying through the orange skies of Jakku references a shot of chopper silhouettes on an orange sky from Apocalypse Now.
    • Han Solo's new leather jacket makes him look like Indiana Jones, and he (along with Chewie) invoke that character's iconic Never Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight on Nines and his stun baton.
    • The first scene with Rey involves a girl wearing a mask and goggles with a long metal weapon slung over her back on a leather strap investigating the upper reaches of a massive ruin for a small item, which she puts in a bag on her side. She then descends into a large room with Rays from Heaven running through it to reach the outside. This is identical to the first scene with Nausicaa in the film adaptation of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.
    • BB-8 looks up at an explosion during one scene, and the shot of the sky reflected in his lens is very similar to one from ''WALL•E"
    • Word of God says that Phasma's name was inspired by Phantasm, specifically the fact that her chrome armor is reminiscent of the Tall Man's Sentinel Spheres. invoked
  • Shrouded in Myth: Rey has heard stories about the Jedi, but needs Han to confirm that they're true.
  • Sidequest: Unlike A New Hope, where the Death Star plans are the MacGuffin and destroying the Death Star is always the objective, in TFA, having to destroy Starkiller Base is a distraction away from the protagonists' quest to find Luke.
  • Signature Team Transport: The Millennium Falcon is back in business.
  • Silence Is Golden: The final scene of the film, marking the first appearance of Luke since Return of the Jedi, lacks any dialogue.
  • Single-Biome Planet: All of Jakku that we see is a desert.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Luke Skywalker barely appears in the teasers, and for good reason as he only appears in a Force vision and the last 30 seconds of the film.
  • Skeptic No Longer: Han is no longer a disbeliever in the Force; a far cry from his curt dismissal of "hokey religions" in A New Hope. Considering what he's seen by now, it isn't surprising. Anything else would be essentially Flat Earth Atheism.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Starkiller Base, which outside the buildings is a snowy wasteland dotted by a few trees.
  • So Last Season:
    • The First Order Stormtroopers wield baton weapons that stop lightsaber blades.
    • The First Order makes a Kill Sat weapon as big as a planet instead of a moon like in the original trilogy.
  • Spin-Offspring: The film continues the generational saga of the Skywalker family — although, interestingly, who is related to who is not made clear going into the film.
  • Space Pirates:
    • Maz Kanata is one and her castle is filled with them.
    • Han Solo also encounters a few to whom he owes money.
    • The First Order has connection to these groups, since they are in exile and need to gain resources secretly.
  • Standard Establishing Spaceship Shot: Several with the Star Destroyer, including one where it points directly at the viewer (in 3D it looks like it's about to fly up one's nose).
  • Stealth Mentor: Kylo Ren is an unintentional one for Rey — every time she uses the Force, it's after he did something similar. By the end he seems to catch on to what is going on and flat-out offers to train her.
  • Stealth Pun: When Poe and Finn escape the First Order, they try to take off in a TIE Fighter. They're held back, however, because it's TIEd up.
  • Stock Scream: A Wilhelm Scream is heard when a Stormtrooper gets knocked away during Finn and Poe's escape.
  • Stock Sound Effects: When the rathtars are attacking the pirate gangs, one of the beasts emits the iconic mechanical scream that Blackout used in Transformers.
  • Stopped Numbering Sequels: Both averted and played straight. Chronologically, this film follows the original trilogy movie titled simply Return of the Jedi, and known as Episode VI only retroactively. However, the last live-action Star Wars release was officially titled Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, following the same pattern as other prequel movies. So, if following the release order the numbering was dropped by this movie, but by chronological order it was dropped all the way back when Episode IV: A New Hope was titled simply Star Wars.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Are we done with that TIE Fighter that Poe and Finn escaped in once the quicksand dune swallowed it? Nope! It lights off under the dune and spews a plume of sand into the air.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: When Finn explains that he helped Poe escape the First Order, Rey assumes that means he's with the Resistance. Not wanting to reveal his past as a Stormtrooper, he pretends she's right.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Jakku to Tatooine; both desert planets where the Jedi prodigy is doing repetitive work and then becomes the center of a clash between the First Order and the Resistance.
  • Sword of Plot Advancement: Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber, which becomes an impetus to both Finn and Rey becoming heroes.
  • Tactical Withdrawal: Once the Resistance counter-attacks the First Order on Maz Kanata's planet, Kylo Ren decides to regroup rather than commit more forces to a battle, since he believes Rey has the information he needs.
  • Tagline: "Every generation has a story."
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Averted. After Finn and Poe hijack a TIE Fighter and are pursued by enemy forces, Poe starts to explain why he needs to return to Jakku and pick up BB-8. The two get into an argument because Finn doesn't understand why they're going planetside just to pick up a droid, and in the process get nailed by a missile Finn is too distracted to pick off.
  • Taught by Experience:
    • According to the Visual Dictionary, the First Order, learning from the Empire's mistakes on Endor, eradicated all intelligent life forms of the planet they chose to build Starkiller Base on.
    • During the briefing before the attack on Starkiller Base, the Resistance wonders desperately how they'll stop it. Han points out that these giant doomsday weapons always have some exploitable weak point — remembering the two Death Stars — and is quickly proven right.
    • The shield generator for Starkiller is inside the shield so it can't be disabled from the outside, and the "weak point" is a hardened structure capable of withstanding repeated strafing runs by X-Wings. It takes Chewie blowing a large hole in the side and Poe flying inside and emptying his fighter's torpedo magazines into anything that looks important to finally destroy it.
    • The moment the Resistance X-Wings attack the Starkiller Base, Hux orders all TIE fighter squadrons to be launched, presumably learning from the first Death Star's destruction. They manage to destroy half of the X-Wings and would have succeeded in defeating the Resistance had Chewie and Han Solo not blown a hole in the oscillator.
    • Starkiller Base has better anti-starfighter protection than both Death Stars, incorporating turrets around key structures as well as missile launchers.
    • According to the "Incredible Cross-sections", they also applied this to the design of their new Star Destroyers. The Finalizer no longer has the exposed bridge tower which resulted in the destruction of the flagship Executor. A painful lesson to learn, indeed.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: When Rey uses the force to grab Anakin's lightsaber before Kylo Ren can reach it, the Force theme (specifically, the variation from "Burning Homestead") plays just before she begins the fight.
  • Thirsty Desert: Jakku, particularly Finn's trek while dropping armor, capped by sharing backwash in that animal's water trough. Might also qualify as Shifting Sand Land after swallowing a TIE fighter.
  • This Is Reality: When Finn starts his plan to escape by liberating Poe, the latter asks if he's with the Resistance. Finn is bemused, and in the novelization even asks how long Poe thinks a person sympathizing with the Resistance would last on a heavily monitored star-destroyer, full of indoctrinated Stormtroopers.
  • The Three Faces of Adam: Finn is the Hunter, desperately looking for a purpose, summed up in his quote in the first theatrical trailer. Kylo Ren is the Lord, a leader of the First Order with the burdens of the position and his superior, Snoke, placed upon him. Han Solo is the Prophet, a world-weary soul who has seen too much but is compelled to impart his wisdom to a new generation of heroes.
  • Threshold Guardian: Kylo Ren fills the role of the Threshold Guardiannote  who guards the entrance to the "special world" and tests The Hero's resolve in this film. When Rey faces him, he offers to teach the ways of the Force (read: the Dark Side), testing The Hero's commitment to the light. After defeating him, Rey is ready to enter the "special world" of the Jedi and flys into the Unknown World to search for Luke Skywalker (and presumably learn from him).
  • Tomato Surprise: Everyone who knows more about Kylo Ren than his name knows that he's Han and Leia's son. This is kept secret from the audience until the second act.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Both between films and within the film:
    • The Stormtroopers are no longer the laughing stock they were in the OT. They effectively use cover, frequently call in air support, they come equipped with batons capable of deflecting a lightsaber, and they have the training to spar one-on-one with lightsaber wielders. Some of them can even shoot straight.
    • The First Order uses a larger, multi-role variant TIE Fighter which still keeps the speed of the standard TIEs.
    • In the film, Rey begins to discover the Force and goes from a Force-sensitive Action Girl to a Force-wielding badass capable of taking on a dark knight.
    • Chewie's iconic bowcaster is upgraded to BFG-level stopping power, blowing Stormtroopers across the room and destroying door panels. Han even marvels at it so much that he asks to borrow it on a few occasions.
    • Finn, the lowly ex-Stormtrooper starts the film as a Cowardly Lion and remains one for much of it, but when Rey gets kidnapped, and later knocked out by Kylo Ren he finally stops running. The change is complete when he ignites Luke's old lightsaber and duels Kylo Ren; he'd come quite a ways from thinking that running away was the only option.
  • Torture Is Ineffective: Played with. Mundane torture by a First Order interrogator fails at making Poe Dameron crack, but Kylo Ren succeeds with a Force Mind Probe. Then he fails at the same technique on the Force-sensitive Rey, who turns it back on him.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: A Freeze-Frame Bonus in the trailer for the Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition Play Set that adapts the events of the film reveals that Rey takes up the lightsaber Finn had been using to fight Kylo Ren with.
  • Tykebomb: Stormtroopers are established to have been recruited, conditioned and trained as children. They aren't even given names, just numbers. Finn is the only one who breaks his conditioning and decides to defect to the Resistance.
  • Uniformity Exception: Before we get to see Finn unmasked, one of his dying comrades leaves a Bloody Hand Print on his helmet so we can tell him apart from the other Stormtroopers during the massacre on the Jakku village.
  • The Unreveal: C-3PO begins to tell the story of his red arm to Han, but is interrupted by Leia.
  • Up to Eleven: The original Death Star was the size of a small moon. The second was half again as large as that. Starkiller Base is absolutely enormous by comparison.
  • Used Future: The film returns to this aesthetic as it was used in the original trilogy, as it is set decades after it. Though a few ships and items look sleeker, such as the Stormtroopers and the X-wings, some things look exactly the same as they did back in Return of the Jedi (or how they would have appeared), give or take a few tweaks (like the Millennium Falcon, which was completely unmodified save for a new satellite dish). Judging from the second teaser, Luke can't even find the materials (or the time) to maintain his prosthetic hand properly.

    Tropes V to Z 
  • Vagueness Is Coming: The "Awakening" speech from the first teaser.
  • Vestigial Empire: In addition to the First Order being this to the old Galactic Empire, it's played with in the case of the New Republic. A disarmament policy sometime after the Battle of Jakku means that its armed presence is significantly reduced from the Rebellion at its height, which in turn prompted Leia to establish the Resistance in the first place. By the time the film takes place, the Resistance is unofficially supported by the Republic.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Kylo Ren has a few:
    • First, when he learns that BB-8 escaped Jakku, he hacks a nearby computer to bits.
    • When he learns that Rey escaped her cell, he slices up the room he's in. Some Stormtroopers who were going to report to him wisely decide to come back later.
    • Most dramatically, he breaks down completely when he confronts his father, Han Solo. When he goes through with murdering Han, he completely loses it. In the climactic battle against Rey and Finn, he's pounding masochistically on the wound where Chewbacca shot him, falling apart emotionally and physically.
  • Villainous Crush: Kylo Ren is strongly implied to have one on Rey. He bridal carries her, watches her sleep and even offers to become her teacher. The novelization expands on his sentiments, revealing that he feels compassion for her.
  • Villainous Valor: The First Order's troopers are fanatical, well-trained, and skilled in a way which makes them terrifying.
  • Vulcan Has No Moon: Between this film and Star Trek, you'd be forgiven for thinking that J. J. Abrams is constitutionally incapable of imagining a universe where you cannot see literally every other point in it with the naked eye. The destruction of the several inhabited planets of the Hosnian system is clearly visible with the naked eye, from what is explicitly a different star system entirely, in real time, during the local day, without even using any psychic vision handwavium.
  • The War Has Just Begun: Once you read the novelization, the Visual Dictionary and the prelude novel Before the Awakening you come to realize that the First Order has built massive armies and naval fleets, currently hidden in the Unknown Regions, working up for the invasion. All the main bad guys survived, the First Order's command structure is still intact and its ability to wage war is only diminished slightly by the loss of Starkiller Base. The New Republic just lost most of its government and a sizable chunk of its military while the Resistance, never that big to begin with, took heavy losses to take out Starkiller Base. By then end of the movie the question is whether the New Republic and Resistance can survive the coming blitzkrieg.
  • We Are Everywhere: The First Order is shown as relying on a relatively large network of informants, spies and sympathizers to expand its reach far beyond its actual size.
  • We Have Ways of Making You Talk: Kylo Ren uses Force Mind Reading when he interrogates Poe Dameron and, later, Rey.
  • What a Piece of Junk: When she, Finn, and BB-8 are running from the Stormtrooper attack, Rey dismisses Finn's ship suggestion as "garbage" and opts for another ship right in front of the group. When the ship is blown up, she quickly decides that the "garbage" is better than nothing. The "garbage" turns out to be anything but; it's the Millennium Falcon, and by the end of the film, Rey has inherited it from the late Han Solo. True to form, she's still very high-maintenance.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?:
    • Considering that Finn was a Stormtrooper at the start of the film, and the fact that they are revealed to consist of kidnapped, brainwashed children, the main characters sure don't mind gunning them down by the hundreds — even Finn, himself, doesn't show any guilt or internal conflict when he inadvertently kills dozens of his comrades when he escapes the First Order. This gets a minor subversion in the novelization; Finn says "Sorry boys," before opening fire.
    • Also, blink and you'll miss it, but the Stormtrooper Finn stands by as he dies and who leaves a Bloody Handprint on Finn's mask has a moving death scene — it's the only Stormtrooper death we've ever seen that was more than simply falling over.
    • This is the also the first Star Wars film to remind the reviewers that there are living, breathing men and women under the Stormtrooper armor, and that they are being killed by the heroes regularly. Emphasized by the first-time revelation that being shot dead by a blaster is not bloodless, nor always instantaneous, in the case of the aforementioned Stormtrooper Finn tries to comfort.
  • Wham Line:
    • The very first piece of new exposition in over thirty years is this.
      Luke Skywalker has vanished.
    • Another one occurs about half way through and changes the whole tone of the film.
      Snoke: [to Kylo Ren] The droid is aboard the Millennium Falcon in the hands of your father, Han Solo.
    • Han calling his son's true name when he confronts him: "BEN!"
  • Wham Shot:
    • Pretty much every scene featuring the return of a classic character, from Han to Admiral Ackbar, especially for long-time fans.
    • Kylo Ren murdering his father Han Solo.
    • Rey using the Force to summon the Skywalker family lightsaber.
    • Kylo Ren unmasking himself to Rey.
  • Who's Laughing Now?: At Starkiller Base, Finn takes pleasure surprising his former commanding officer, Captain Phasma, greeting her by his new name.
    Finn: My name's Finn, and I'm in charge here!
  • Weapon of Mass Destruction: Starkiller Base is a weapon constructed inside a planet that absorbs the energy of suns. It's far bigger and even more lethal than the original Death Star, having the capacity to obliterate multiple planets at once from interstellar distances.
  • A Wizard Did It: The Force explains and justifies a lot of coincidences that would seem out of place if it wasn't a Star Wars movie. See Contrived Coincidence above.
  • Worf Had the Flu: A successive version happens to Kylo Ren in the final confrontation. He's emotionally compromised from killing his father, wounded from Chewbacca shooting him in the side with a bowcaster bolt, and as it turns out still Incompletely Trained during his duels with Finn and Rey.
  • Wrecked Weapon: The end result of the grapple between Rey and Ren near the end of their duel. Rey manages to force her lightsaber blade into the hilt of Ren's, wrecking it and leaving him defenseless to a crippling blow.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Lor San Tekka and Han try to convince Kylo Ren this at the beginning and towards the end, respectively. Ren violently disagrees with Tekka, and almost appears to agree with Han until impaling him.
  • You Are Number 6: Stormtroopers of the First Order are only assigned numbers with a two-letter prefix such as "FN". When the Stormtrooper that rescues him tells Poe Dameron that his name is "FN-2187", Poe names him as "Finn".
  • You Have Failed Me:
    • It's averted by the First Order in general, considering that their predecessors were the original Trope Codifiers. Justified, since they don't have the resources for it.
    • Ironically, not playing this trope straight comes back to haunt the First Order in a big way. Finn's reluctance to engage in the Jakku village massacre is noted not only by Captain Phasma, but Kylo Ren himself. Whereas Vader would have remedied the problem with a Force choke before it became an issue, Phasma merely has Finn tagged for reconditioning, and he's apparently allowed to continue his non-combat duties in the meantime (as she notes, it was his first "offence"). As a result, Finn is given the opportunity to defect and kicks off the chain of events that ultimately destroy Starkiller Base.
    • A First Order officer fully expects to be killed when he has to report that BB-8 escaped. Instead, Kylo Ren takes out his frustration on the computer terminal, much to the officer's surprise.
    • Even though their premier weapon has been destroyed, and his underlings have stacked one failure on top of another throughout the movie, Snoke (although clearly pissed) gives no indication that he intends to punish anyone for anything.
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!:
    • Finn says this verbatim when Poe tells him BB-8 has a map to Luke's location.
    • Also, Han's reaction when Finn admits that his job at Starkiller Base was in sanitation.
    • And about a dozen other examples. The film loves this trope.
    Finn: We're making our landing approach at light speed???
  • You Monster!: Rey calls Kylo Ren a monster for killing his father.
  • You Are What You Hate: Kylo Ren calls Finn a traitor several times, even screaming the word at him before their fight. Somehow, the insult doesn't seem so offensive coming from a man who betrayed his family, destroyed his uncle's temple and just murdered his own father — who only wanted to help him.


Alternative Title(s): Star Wars 7, Star Wars The Force Awakens

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Film/TheForceAwakens?from=Film.StarWars7