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  • Our very first taste of Kylo's Force potential: Poe tries to take a shot at him while he's open... but he doesn't deflect Poe's blaster shot. No no no. He freezes it (and Poe) in mid-air. The shot then lingers there until Kylo walks off.
    • It's a testament to Kylo's raw power that he seems to forget about the blaster bolt until after he's already started back to his shuttle.
    • While Vader's Force Choke was synonymous with his character, Kylo utilises his own favourite, the supposedly Light-Sided Force Stasis, displayed for the first time through a cinematic medium, on both projectiles and people. This "defensive" power is just incredibly creepy, on top of being a Game-Breaker, as it reduces both Poe and Rey to a state of utter helplessness (carried perfectly by their impressive acting) as they're completely paralyzed before the Knight of Ren.
  • Poe Dameron's reaction to being captured. He's surrounded by stormtroopers and brought face-to-face with a man powerful enough in the force to freeze him and his blaster fire in place, and the first thing he does is snark at him. Even after being tortured, it takes all of Kylo Ren's mind-reading to finally make him give up information.
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  • Poe and Finn stealing a TIE fighter to escape, blasting away at other troopers and blowing the control room apart before flying out. Afterwards, they take out the laser cannons as Poe shows why he's an ace, no matter what fighter he flies. This basically makes them best friends immediately.
  • Rey demonstrates some martial training when two thugs try to steal BB-8 from her. Finn starts to rush to her aid, only to watch her use her staff skills to beat up the thugs. After that, she easily chases down Finn, thinking he's a thief.
  • The entire chase on Jakku between Rey and Finn in the Millennium Falcon and two First Order TIE fighters is also amazing. Not only do the TIE pilots not fall for the normal "trick them into running into obstacles" skit that often got rid of TIEs in the original trilogy (forcing them to have to be shot down by Finn in the lower turret), amongst other things, Rey does stunts such as drifting and pulling a hairpin turn, in a ship she's never flown before, let alone could have piloted on her own. The Force is strong with her indeed.
    • Something has to be said for a certain bit of Lampshade Hanging when Finn and Rey are getting into the Falcon.
      Rey: This ship hasn't flown in years!
    • Well no, no it hasn't. But it's damn well flying again now.
    • Also note that the last time we saw the Falcon pull off these maneuvers, she needed a small contingent of co-pilots and technicians to keep her running. Rey does all of it by herself, in a ship that hasn't flown in years.
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    • The topper is when Finn's cannon is jammed in place with one TIE fighter left. After some great dodging, Rey deliberately stalls Falcon and gives Finn a perfect shot with the still-jammed cannon.
    • Even the Falcon's first appearance qualifies. You could almost hear millions of movie-goers squeeing at once.
  • When the Falcon is brought into a transport, Rey and Finn hide in a cargo chamber, trying to fix the ship to spew out poisonous gas. They hear the doors open, look up in fear as the camera focuses on a door... and in walk Han Solo and Chewbacca.
    Han: Chewie... we're home.
  • During the rathtar chaos abroad Han Solo's new freighter, Finn is captured by one of them and dragged away. Rey then uses the control panel to locate them and presses the button right on time to snap the door shut on the rathtar's tentacles, cutting them off and freeing Finn.
    • And then doesn't take credit for it when Finn marvels at how he got free. Classy.
  • Although an instrument of atrocity, Starkiller Base manages to top the Death Star in terms of power, impact, and awe. As we see the blast rise out of the earth from the imperial perspective, it looks as though hell itself is unleashing its fury. Just watching the shot as it speeds its way across the cosmos has an eerie, almost mythic aura, as though it were the act of an angry god. And that's all before the shots hit their targets.
    • As amazing as it is in action, Starkiller Base's demise is equally fantastic. We've seen not one, but two Death Stars blow up before now. How do you top that? By having this superweapon become the epicenter for the birth of a new star.
    • General Hux's speech, just before the weapon is fired, is as awesome as it is terrifying:
      General Hux: Today is the end of the Republic! The end of a regime that acquiesces to disorder. At this very moment in a system far from here, the New Republic lies to the galaxy while secretly supporting the treachery of the loathsome Resistance. This fierce machine which you have built — upon which we stand — will bring an end to the Senate, to their cherished fleet! ALL REMAINING SYSTEMS WILL BOW TO THE FIRST ORDER! AND WILL REMEMBER THIS... AS THE LAST DAY... OF THE REPUBLIC!!!
  • Lor San Tekka... just, wow. A seemingly harmless old man, with no weapons and no training with the Force, who somehow managed to track down Luke Skywalker himself, something his own sister and the whole Republic couldn't manage. Sees the invasion and destruction of his village by the First Order, doesn't run, doesn't hide, doesn't flinch. He doesn't seem afraid of the armed stormtroopers attacking him, and when Ren asks him where he hid the map, Tekka basically politely tells Kylo Ren to go f*ck himself at the cost of his own life. The best part is that he doesn't seem the least bit intimidated by Kylo Ren's threats - if anything, Kylo Ren seems a little bit intimidated by him. After all, Lor San Tekka knows what Kylo Ren's most ashamed of: His true identity.
  • This hardened old aventurer gets the first line in the movie, and it's not only a reassuring moment for Poe, but the entire audience.
  • We finally get to see Chewie's bowcaster used on something a bit squishier than one-shotting a speeder bike in ROTJ, and it's a weapon with a lot of impact. Even better is how Han tries it out himself (for the first time) and likes the stopping-power as it sends stormtroopers flying. And consider this: according to its specs it's essentially a crossbow that shoots grenades coated in plasma lasers.
    • If you look closely, you can shards of armor go flying every time Chewie shoots a stormtrooper. Stormtrooper armor's some tough stuff, yet the bowcaster shatters it like it's made of plastic. Which, technically, it is.
  • Finn doesn't get to show off a whole lot, but when given a blaster and a chance to return fire, he reminds us that at one point being a graduate of the Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy was not a joke. Even he seems to know this, judging by his constant request for a blaster whenever he needs a weapon, even while holding a lightsaber. He proves himself to be quite the good shot throughout the film.
    • One of Finn's first uses of the lightsaber is to straight up run it through one of the stormtroopers.
    • Later in the fight, after the Resistance shows up and he and Han are freed from captivity, he picks up a fallen blaster and almost casually manages not one, not two, but three perfect killshots. One-handed, no less, with a two-handed rifle.
    • In a Deleted Scene where he and Rey ride a snow speeder to meet Han back at Starkiller Base and are pursued by two Stormtrooper guards, Finn takes Rey's place at the front seat and, under heavy fire, keeps a calm head and takes out the enemy shooter. With one shot.
  • During the battle at Takodana, Han gets a fantastic nonchalant Offhand Backhand shot with his blaster. A small moment, but proves quite clearly that age hasn't slowed down one of the galaxy's finest gunslingers.
  • "Traitor!" Cue Finn turning to where the voice came from, only to see a trooper drop his rifle, take out a stun baton and charge him. That's right - a stormtrooper charged someone wielding a lightsaber. And then beat him in a straight fight. Granted, Finn never used a lightsaber before, but it's still a CMOA for the trooper, who would've won if Han hadn't blasted him away with Chewie's bowcaster. Small wonder he became an instant favourite amongst fans.
    • The movie wasn't even out for a week and this moment already underwent a Memetic Mutation. Just... wow.
    • Word of God is that "TR-8R" (as the fans referred to that stormtrooper) was actually designated FN-2199, and served in Phasma's unit alongside FN-2187.
    • Honestly, almost no one would have batted an eye if a muted reprise of Duel of the Fates had been playing during that fight.
  • The Resistance's arrival in the movie is a good one: while the Rebel Alliance never got a very cool "Here we come to save the day!" moment in the Original Trilogy, here, when things seem to be at their darkest, with Han, Finn, and Chewie already captured and Rey and BB-8 being hunted down, we suddenly hear a stormtrooper yell "We've got company!" Cue them all rushing to take defensive positions as a group of distant shapes speed over the lake in front of Maz's castle, and we see that it's dozens of X-wings coming in, S-foils locked in attack position, with the Resistance's theme playing in the background... and they wipe the floor with the Order's TIE fighters, while also occasionally blowing up stormtroopers for kicks and giggles.
    • Take note that the X-Wings didn't strafe-run the stromtroopers. They snipe them - while they're in close proximity to friendlies to boost, and without so much as an inkling of friendly fire.
  • Poe Dameron's Big Damn Heroes moment in Takodana, where he demonstrates why he is the best pilot in the Resistance by destroying ten TIE fighters in a single pass, while at the same time sniping stormtroopers on the ground with pinpoint accuracy. In the Legends continuity, killing five TIE fighters in one engagement makes you an "instant ace"; Poe managed to make himself an instant ace in an instant! Twice! That's one hell of a pilot indeed.
    • Particularly considering, until this point, we didn't even know if Poe was even alive.
    • This happens during Finn's aforementioned one-shotting of a bunch of troopers, and the camera swoops around so we can see both things happening at the same time. Bash Brothers indeed.
    • The film pulls off a Back-to-Back Badasses when one of said badasses in on the ground, and the other is in a fighter jet above him.
  • Rey beating Kylo Ren at the Force mind reading game. Her taunt - "You're afraid you'll NEVER be as strong as Darth Vader!" - completes her defeat of him, that horrified look on Kylo's face selling his fear that anyone could unmask him like that.
    • The fact that Kylo had to resort to Force mind reading at all is a moment of awesome in itself. When he first catches Rey in the woods, he threatens her with his lightsaber to try and get her to tell him where BB-8 is. The scene cuts away when he does this, and when we return to them, he's decided that mind reading would be more effective, implying that Rey refused to tell him anything even with a lightsaber blade at her throat.
  • Rey getting a stormtrooper to let her out and give her his gun with a Jedi Mind Trick.
    • Even better is the build-up to it. Rey's just managed to look into Kylo Ren's mind with the Force and immediately begins testing the limits of her abilities. The first two times, it fails to work, but the third time? Works like a damn charm. She is living proof to herself that the legends are true.
    • A third, subtle layer of awesome: on her third, successful attempt, Rey speaks in a calm and polite voice, rather than the commanding tones in her first two attempts. Just like every other Mind Trick we've seen in the films. Without any training and no doubt fearing for her life, she figured out that the Mind Trick relies on charisma and charm, not brute force.
    • What's more, that's confirmed as Daniel Craig's cameo appearance. In meta-sense, Rey just mind-tricked James Bond!
  • Finn making use of his knowledge as a former sanitation duty worker aboard the Starkiller Base as an advantage, even coming up with the plan to ambush Phasma.
  • Chewbacca shooting Ren with his bowcaster. And wounding him. One of the few times projectile weapons worked against Force-users. As Han - whom Ren had just killed a moment ago - once said, it is not wise to upset a Wookiee.
    • The follow-up: Chewie gets a small Roaring Rampage of Revenge by going berserk on some of the stormtroopers after wounding Kylo Ren, one-shotting everything in his path before detonating the charges he and Han had previously set while the base is exploding around him. The next time we see him, he's flying the Falcon to rescue Rey and Finn. He charged into an exploding enemy base and got away just fine off screen. Why? Because he's Chewie.
      • This has to be noted: When Chewie goes on his (quite literal) Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the Stormtroopers, he's not charging out of Starkiller Base. He's charging deeper into it. The exploding base that he himself just critically damaged. He just saw his best-friend and life partner die, and he's running towards the enemy, without any fear. Don't mess with a Wookiee, indeed.
      • To make it even better? Coming around a corner and being caught by surprise nearly took Chewie out. Running into an oncoming onslaught of Stormtroopers doesn't even make a scratch on him. When a Wookiee is on the onslaught, you do not fire back - you turn around and run away as fast as you can.
  • Han's Dying Moment of Awesome. This man has been a cynic and a loner all of his life, only recently coming out of a regression into his old criminal ways. Kylo Ren clearly knows he's there, and either chooses to ignore him, not ready to face his father yet and counting on Han "failing" him again to turn him to the Dark Side, or else stepping onto the walkway to set the scene for the confrontation. Either way, instead of hiding, Han approaches his son, calling him by name: Ben. And then he does Ben Kenobi proud, walking up to him without hesitation or even drawing his weapon. Demanding he take the helmet off, then putting his cynicism aside for the slim chance of his son's redemption, before dying and not leaving a body.
    • Don't worry, there's more: Han and Chewie's explosives open up the hole for Poe Dameron to strike a lethal blow on all of Starkiller Base. Han is the only man to enter combat against all three imperial super weapons. And he's 3 for 3 in helping to blow them up. Chewie tops that... since he's not just the only one to have matched Han's feat, he's the only one to have survived it.
  • If we’re counting heroic actions, Rey achieved her greatest victory by channeling the Force in the final battle and then proceeding to beat Kylo Ren in lightsaber combat. Especially since this is after Ren has killed Han, using his own father's love for him to gain the advantage. Seeing Rey (who had already come to think of Han as a father figure) totally own him is cathartic.
    • Even more than the battle itself is the moment Rey called the lightsaber to her hand, and embracing the destiny she previously refused. Made all the more epic by the new arrangement of "Burning Homestead" from the original film, combined with the marketing masterfully fooling the audience into assuming Finn was to be that generation's Jedi by never showing Rey with the lightsaber making the moment genuinely unexpected.
      • Even better? That wasn't a new arrangement of "Burning Homestead". It was taken directly from the 1977 soundtrack. As Broad Strokes points out, this is a deliberate and brilliant decision on behalf of the filmmakers since the soundtrack originated in the scene where Luke finally decides to continue on his journey to the Force, which is exactly what Rey is effectively doing in this scene. By using "Burning Homestead" exactly as it appeared in A New Hope, Force Awakens creates a subtle link between a key moment in each hero's arc.
    • Before that, Finn picking up Luke's/Anakin's lightsaber and challenging Ren. More on this below.
  • Seeing that even minor characters like Admiral Ackbar and Nien Nunb are still alive and fighting the good fight. Nunb even participates in and survives the assault on Starkiller Base!
  • Han Solo's arrival at Starkiller Base by exiting hyperspace within the planet's atmosphere. To put this in perspective, he had to put the Millennium Falcon on a course that would not only cross the planet's atmosphere, but exit hyperspace at a low enough velocity relative to the planet so that the Falcon could crash-land in one piece. To top that off, the Falcon was still spaceworthy even after the crash landing.
    • Even more awesome when you consider that, as of Season 2 of Star Wars Rebels, Interdictor cruisers are canon. Which means the hazards of realspace gravity wells to hyperspace travel are canon. The fact that the Falcon was in atmospheric proximity to the base's gravity well before exiting hyperspace shows us that hunk of junk is even more durable than we thought. One can only imagine the string of obscenities the ship's navicomputer produced when Han plotted that course...
    • Remember, the EU canon explanation for the "twelve parsec" Kessel run was that Kessel is in a maze cluster of black holes, and plotting a minimal-distance course through them is incredibly tricky piloting. Apparently the Falcon still handles gravity wells with distinction and aplomb.
  • Kylo Ren might be a little rough around the edges, but if there's one place in which he puts the old Sith to shame, it's endurance. He starts off the final confrontation having already been gutshot by Chewbacca's bolt caster (shown several times as particularly powerful, being able to kill several stormtroopers with just one hit) and his defeat of Finn isn't a curbstomp, he takes at least one good hit on his dominant arm and the battle is clearly exhausting. He then takes on Rey and she too puts him through his paces, yet he just keeps on fighting. She has to render him mechanically unable to stand for him to stay down, and he's still clearly trying to get up and continue the fight. Despite what you might think of him, especially after he killed Han, you've gotta give the bastard props for refusing to stay down.
  • Countering the above, we have Rey's potential as a Jedi. As shown, within days of seemingly awakening her potential thanks to making contact with Anakin's lightsaber, she figured out the basics behind the Jedi Mind Trick, managed to master pulling objects using the Force, and got a rudimentary feel of properly fighting with a lightsaber, and this isn't even counting whether or not her ability behind the wheel as a pilot is part of the Force flowing through her. Like Kylo Ren, with proper training she'll be amazing.
  • And then there's the moment where Kylo Ren tries to use the Force to recover Anakin's lightsaber, but is clearly having trouble. Suddenly, the lightsaber flies toward him, but PAST him and right into the hands of Rey. The mixture of rage and Oh, Crap! on Kylo's face is priceless.
  • With the above, the mixture of determination, fear, and a little 'wow, that worked' on Rey's face when she catches and activates the lightsaber is fantastic. Made all the more so from the Character Development it represents from her previous rejection of the Lightsaber and the idea of fighting the Dark Side, and her fear of Kylo Ren.
  • He may wind up being bested twice with it, but props really need to be given to Finn for his performance against Kylo Ren. Even with Ren sporting a gaping wound, Finn is still well below his level (Ren is a trained Dark Side user, while it's currently unknown if Finn is even Force-sensitive) and clearly scared as hell, yet despite that he manages quite admirably. Mind you, Finn was just another stormtrooper not too long before this, but there he stood, even getting in a good hit all while being knocked around and having one of Kylo's lightsaber crossguard blades dig into his shoulder. He's knocked out, sure, but give the man some credit - he put up a damn good show.
    • Word of God and supplemental material make a note of how incredibly dangerous a lightsaber can be towards its owner (hence the reason why they are so rarely made or used by non-Sith/Jedi). Just being able to use the damn thing without any training or being a Force user is nigh-impossible (think how counter-intuitive it is for a weapon's blade to be weightless - it wouldn't handle at all like a normal sword, spear, staff, etc), and even for well-trained Jedi, wielding an unfamiliar lightsaber is rather unwieldy. Fortunately nobody told Finn that.
    • That good hit may very well have helped Rey out too — slashing him across the arm/shoulder quite visibly crippled Ren's swing, as you can see that his moves are more lethargic and telegraphed afterwards. Not bad for a traitor. And later, when Ren and Rey fight over their lightsabers by holding each other's wrists, Rey overpowers the arm that Finn damaged!
    • His exchange with Ren prior to the fight:
      Kylo: That lightsaber... it belongs to me!
      Finn: (ignites lightsaber) Come get it!
    • Finn's open defiance in that above quote is all the sweeter when you take in his Character Development; the lowly stormtrooper has finally Taken A Level In Badass, and is not running away any more. Then, contrary to what the trailer had us believe, Finn is the one who charges at Kylo first, not the other way around. Lastly, it could also be a hint that, while not displaying any Force-sensitive abilities, Finn may have some Jedi potential.
  • Near the very end of the lightsaber duel Ren offers to train Rey and "Teach her the ways of the Force". Rey, has an epiphany, breathes 'the Force' and goes into some kind of combat trance. For the majority of the following fight she seems serene and In complete control, but when she has Kylo Ren at her mercy - just before the ground disappears between them - the look in her eyes is terrifying.
    • The novelization makes it clear, that moment where you see that look in her eyes: she was being tempted by the Dark Side right then. Tempted to kill Kylo. And she pulls herself out of it enough to not fall for it. Considering Han was very much turning into a father-figure Rey never had up until he died, it must have taken a ton of self-control to resist the urge to avenge Han right then and there.
  • Poe proving himself the best damn pilot out there when he flies alone through a slew of defenses, through a hole and into the core of the Starkiller Base, unleashing torpedoes everywhere to cripple it before flying right back out. He does what Luke did in A New Hope (fly through an armed trench) and what Wedge and Lando did in Return of the Jedi (fly into the core of a massive planet-destroying machine) within the same mission.
  • The final shot of the film, when we see an awed Rey holding out the saber to Luke. He looks older and sadder, but there's a glint in his eye that reminds us that he's a formidable opponent. With no lines and only a few moments on-screen, Mark Hamill makes a powerful impression.
    • Now sporting a hooded cloak and a thick beard, Luke heavily resembles his old mentor, Obi-Wan. The student has become the master, indeed.
    • The build-up to this is absolutely phenomenal, both in and out of the film. We all remember Luke infamously being Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer throughout the advertising campaign. Well not only was he missing in the trailers and posters, but the very first sentence in the opening crawl talks of how Luke has disappeared. The entirety of the movie revolves around looking for him, and he is now regarded as a Folk Hero and a myth — even Rey is shocked to learn that he's actually real. Every single character speaks in reverence about him, even his de facto brother-in-law Han, who was previously all about harping on the "hokey religions and ancient weapons". Then Rey is sent to look for him once the map to his location is complete. She climbs the island, up the steep steps and the crumbling ruins of an ancient Jedi temple. Then when she reaches the top, she stops. There is a cloaked figure stood ahead with his back turned. Then the "Force Theme" swells as he slowly turns around and removes his hood... finally — finally — revealing the face of Luke Skywalker to Rey and the audience. The look on Rey's face says it all. The myth is real. The moment is so poignant and beautiful that it makes the minute he's onscreen feel much, much longer.
    • Even better, this is one of the few moments in the film with no special effects whatsoever.note  The scene was shot at Skellig Michael, an island off the coast of Ireland with a crumbling Christian monastery. Even if you recognize the location, it works perfectly in the context of the scene and makes everything feel so much more real.
  • Kylo Ren and Snoke's conversation about Luke. Snoke is clearly worried while speaking about him, and the mere mention of his name is enough to cast a shadow of fear on Kylo Ren.
    • The official novelization explains that Snoke destroyed the star system in the movie, despite being a valuable resource to the First Order, as a desperate act to prevent anyone from finding Luke... Luke Skywalker is so ungodly badass that the villain of the movie, at the possibility of someone finding him, uses an Up to Eleven Death Star to destroy the entire star system of people who could possibly find him. Luke Skywalker is so feared that using a Death Star to wipe out a star system at a significant loss of the people trying to keep him away is an act of desperation. Snoke is not just worried about Luke returning, he's terrified of it.
    • Even Goku and Superman, widely considered to be among the most powerful characters in fiction, cannot claim that their mere existence has generated enough fear to wipe out an entire star system. Luke was already top tier but he is now borderline Physical God territory. And he hasn't even done anything yet.

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