Predictably, Star Wars fans were both excited and nervous when the new trilogy was first announced. While the beloved series was returning, it was doing so under a new director and new writers. Turns out, there was no need to worry. In addition to almost universally positive reviews, the first movie has so far broken all earning records in the United States and is on track to become one of the highest grossing movies in history worldwide. One of the most appealing aspects was the reintroduction of some classic characters, still played by their original actors. However, it’s not just nostalgia driving the movie. A new batch of characters have joined the crew and they are winning hearts as quickly as they are battles. Below are five of the best new characters from The Force Awakens.
Poe DameronEveryone loves a pilot. When that pilot is young, attractive, and fights for the Resistance, he is definitely guaranteed to win fans. Not only that, but Dameron shows himself to be single mindedly committed to both his cause and his comrades, making him an appealing new hero for the series. His mother’s own heroism in the previous war and his loss of her as a child just makes him easier to love.
FinnFN-2187, or Finn, makes our acquaintance first as a stormtrooper. Despite this, he quickly wins hearts by helping to rescue Poe Dameron and turning traitor against the First Order. Though he has trained to be a stormtrooper from when he is a young child, his soft heart and reluctance to kill in cold blood eventually drive him away from the men and women who trained him. Though he isn’t particularly interested in joining the Resistance at first, it is again his commitment to helping his friends which cements his involvement. Well, that and some bad luck.
Personality-filled droids are a Star Wars hallmark, and the updated series wouldn’t be complete without at least one new robot to fall in love with. Despite his cute and not particularly fierce appearance, BB-8 has been entrusted with vital Resistance information that the First Order is desperate to get their hands on. Aside from the strategic importance this lends him, the character is also essential in bringing Finn, Rey, and Dameron together, though the information he carries paints a bullseye on their backs.
Kylo Ren is one of the most interesting new characters in the Star Wars universe. Much like Darth Vader before him, his actions are extremely dark. In fact, they are objectively unforgivable, as he resorts to torture and murder to accomplish his goals. Despite this, there is a thread of good still alive in him that keeps viewers intrigued. Without giving too much away, it becomes obvious where both the light and the dark in his soul come from, though his motivations for turning away from one for the other are less clear. This character will surely reveal himself further in the next two films, and fans will just as surely be fascinated by each new revelation.
Rey is still largely a mystery herself. A fierce fighter and extremely capable, her history and parentage are not well known. What is known is that she is Force-sensitive, ensuring that her role in the next two films will likely be significant. Though she starts out as a mere scavenger at the beginning of the film, it is clear that she is much more. She is also a breath of fresh air in the traditionally male-heavy Star Wars universe, which desperately needed a little estrogen.
Whether a fan of villains, heroes, futuristic technology or just a good redemption story, there is something for everyone in the newest Star Wars film. Though a quick refresher course with the old films and spin offs via Google Play and Direct TV is advisable, The Force Awakens manages to stand on its own despite the weight of the previous six films resting on its shoulders. Not only that, but with its casting choices the franchise has thrown open the doors to welcome new fans in. The far far away universe that so many people have come to love continues to grow, and it feels as though the newest saga is just beginning.
About the author: Kate Voss is a writer and blogger based in the Windy City. Fuelled by coffee and chocolate, she’s an MSU alum with a passion for traveling and love of all things Disney. Her favorite Girl Scout Cookies are the Trefoils.