As with most other Star Wars: The Force Awakens articles in the aftermath of the release of the film, this one is chock full of spoilers. If you haven't seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens yet, then "move along, move along."
No doubt when you saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens, you were left with a slew of unanswered questions. Some of them pertain to the bigger questions the film left in our minds, such as the identity of Rey and what her true lineage might turn out to be, and a lot of smaller ones (like why the heck did R2-D2 wake up at just the right moment?). As it turns out, a lot of those smaller questions are answered via the Star Wars: The Force Awakens novelization, written by Alan Dean Foster. The novelization was based on an actual script for the film, (though, not the final script. We'll get to that later), and a lot of the "internal feelings" that were described in the script -- but perhaps not conveyed so well via the actors -- are described in detail within the Star Wars: The Force Awakens novelization. So, if you were wondering just what Kylo Ren was thinking when he killed his father or what Rey was thinking when she kissed Finn goodbye at the end of the film, some of those things are answered. So let's get started.
The next revelation to be gleaned from the Star Wars: The Force Awakens novelization is Kylo Ren's recognition -- or assumed recognition -- of Rey. It's clear in the film when his subordinates tell Ren that BB-8 has escaped with the help of a "girl" that this news upsets him. When he finally catches up to her, Ren says something to the effect of "so you're the girl I've heard so much about." However, in the Star Wars: The Force Awakens novelization, it seems as if the recognition goes farther than that. What's interesting is that after Rey retrieves Luke's lightsaber from the snow bank using the force, Kylo Ren looks at her and mutters to himself, "It is you." Later in the Star Wars: The Force Awakens novelization, Rey thinks that Kylo "knew more about her than she knew about herself."
One more little tidbit about the final lightsaber duel between Rey and Kylo Ren: in the novelization of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, when Rey has summarily won and Ren lays before her on the ground, a voice speaks to Rey from within her mind.
"Kill him, a voice inside her head said. It was amorphous, unidentifiable, raw. Pure vengeful emotion. So easy, she told herself. So quick."However, in the book, Rey "recoils" from the voice, and the brief inclination to end Kylo Ren then and there. In the film, we see a glimmer of the dark side make an appearance on Daisy Ridley's face before the ground opens up and separates the two foes. In the Star Wars: The Force Awakens novelization, Rey makes the decision not to kill Kylo Ren and runs back to assist Finn before the ground opens up and separates them.
"Following through on the act ought to have made him stronger, a part of him believed. Instead, he found himself weakened."Okay, so this is where the caveat has to be put in that Foster based the Star Wars: The Force Awakens novelization on an earlier script than the final shooting script. However, the question remains, did J.J. Abrams deliberately make the choice that Kylo Ren didn't feel any conflict about killing Solo, or was it just not conveyed well by Adam Driver's performance on-screen? You make the call.
One last thing that might come as a surprise to Star Wars fans is that Supreme Leader Snoke and Kylo Ren both know how Darth Vader ultimately destroyed Emperor Palpatine. In the Star Wars: The Force Awakens novelization, the two villains discuss how the Emperor was killed, and Snoke refers to it as a "foolish error in judgement," and "sentimental."
What questions are you still left with after discovering these insights from the Star Wars: The Force Awakens novelization?
[Photo by Lucasfilm/Disney]