Ever since the first words of the famous scroll eased onto cinema screens in Star Wars: A New Hope, there was always a hint of Nazism swirling around the Empire and its insatiable drive for a totalitarian rule. It was a theme that George Lucas had intentionally tapped into with the original trilogy, even creating the uniforms and general aesthetic to resemble the fascist regime. Now, more than three decades after Jedi, J.J. Abrams is gunning for a similar approach to the First Order in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Speaking with Empire – no, not that one – as part of the outlet’s exclusive coverage of the sci-fi sequel, the director touched base with the all-powerful galactic menace, and how one of the biggest pieces on the chess board, Kylo Ren, isn’t the Sith Lord you’re looking for.
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In fact, Abrams went on record to state explicitly that Ren won’t follow the Sith tradition per se, and will instead operate under a Supreme Leader with deep ties to the Dark Side – ties that can only spell danger to our roster of heroes. Here’s what the filmmaker had to share:
“Kylo Ren is not a Sith. He works under Supreme Leader Snoke, who is a powerful figure on the Dark Side of the Force.”
“That all came out of conversations about what would have happened if the Nazis all went to Argentina but then started working together again?’” Abrams reveals. “What could be born of that? Could The First Order exist as a group that actually admired The Empire? Could the work of The Empire be seen as unfulfilled? And could Vader be a martyr? Could there be a need to see through what didn’t get done?”
That Supreme Leader is Snoke, the character voiced and motion-captured by industry stalwart Andy Serkis, who lent his formidable vocal chords to The Force Awakens‘ first teaser late last year. Ultimately, though, the First Order is oozing with a dark mystery. Abrams has evidently mapped out the reasons behind their meteoric rise to prominence, but one unexplained facet that has us firmly on the edge of our seats is where Darth Vader fits into this masterplan. Is it possible that the former ruler – and martyr? – is still alive?
Star Wars: The Force Awakens will herald a whole new era for the galactic franchise, with Disney planning to alternate the episodic installments with a trio of Anthology films. And J.J. Abrams’ much-anticipated adventure will punch it all the way into theaters on December 18.