Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the seventh episode of the Star Wars saga, and is the first live action feature film of the series since 2005's final instalment of the prequel trilogy, Revenge of the Sith.
Production was announced shortly after the Walt Disney Company acquired Lucasfilm in 2012, and is the first of a new sequel trilogy. Filming took place at Pinewood Studios in the UK, Abu Dhabi, Iceland, and Ireland.
The film is set roughly 30 years after the events of Return of the Jedi, and will be released on 18 December 2015.
The First Order is an organisation formed from the remains of Galactic Empire. It came into existence some time after the defeat of Emperor Palpatine at the Battle of Endor. Like the Empire, the Order's armed forces are made up of stormtroopers, and continue to use TIE fighters and Star Destroyers.
The Resistance are a group fighting against the First Order, much like the Alliance fought against the Empire. They formed some time after the Battle of Jakku, which itself occurred between the remnants of the Galactic Empire and the fledgeling New Republic in the years following the defeat of the Empire at the Battle of Endor.
Jakku, a desert planet in the Outer Rim territories. This planet was the site of a major battle between the remaining forces of the Galactic Empire and the New Republic which formed from the victorious Rebel Alliance. The planet is a haven for scavengers, as the desert dunes are littered with wreckage from the battle, including grounded Star Destroyers and T-65 X-wing starfighters.
Maz Kanata's castle is a location known to welcome smugglers, travellers, and pirates.
Rey (Daisy Ridley) is a human female scavenger residing on the planel Jakku.
Finn (John Boyega) is a human male stormtrooper in the First Order.
Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is a human male lightsaber-weilding warrior who wears a dark hooded robe and mask.
Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) is a human male X-wing pilot in the Resistance.
Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) is the leader of a currently unknown organization.
Maz Kanata (Lupita Nyong'o) is a female pilot who owns a castle which welcomes smugglers, travellers, and other riff-raff.
Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) is a female Captain of the First Order. She wears chrome-plated armor similar to that of a stormtrooper.
Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) is the son of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader. He was briefly trained in the ways of the Force by Obi-Wan Kenobi and then by Yoda. After Yoda's death he was thought to be the last of the Jedi, and during the Battle of Endor he resisted the Emperor's plan to tempt him to the dark side and succeeded in bringing out the good in his father, who then gave his life to destroy the Emperor.
Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) is the twin sister of Luke Skywalker, and was adopted at birth by the Alderaan royal family. As a Princess of Alderaan and a Senator she carried a high rank in the Rebel Alliance and had a hands-on approach.
Han Solo (Harrison Ford) is a former smuggler who became a General of the Rebel Alliance. He assisted in the destruction of both Death Stars.
Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) is Han Solo's co-pilot and lifetime companion, and a fierce Wookiee warrior who fought during the Clone Wars and against the Empire.
C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) is a protocol droid built by Anakin Skywalker, after the fall of the Jedi his memory was wiped and he was put into service with the Royal House of Alderaan and later came into the service of the Rebel Alliance. He is fluent in over six million forms of communication.
R2-D2 (Kenny Baker) is an astromech droid once owned by Padme Amidala, Luke and Leia's mother. After Anakin fell to the dark side R2-D2 became property of the Royal House of Alderaan, along with C-3PO. R2-D2 carried the plans to the first Death Star to the Rebel Alliance, and came into the service of Luke Skywalker.
BB-8 is a droid who's main body is a sphere which rolls for movement and upon which the head rests. BB-8 is capable of fitting into the astromech socket of a T-70 X-wing starfighter.
The Millennium Falcon is the YT-1300 light frieghter used by Han Solo during his days as a smuggler. He continued to use the ship in his capacity as a General of the Rebel Alliance, and the ship was last seen being piloted by Lando Calrissian during the assault on the second Death Star at the Battle of Endor.
TIE fighters are the mainstay of the First Order's starfighter fleet, much like the Galactic Empire before them.
T-70 X-wing starfighters are the successor to the T-65 X-Wings that were used by the Alliance during the Galactic Civil War, and are used by the Resistance.
Weapons and Tech
Anakin Skywalker's blue lightsaber was built during the Clone Wars. After Anakin turned to the dark side he was defeated in a duel by his mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi, who kept the weapon and later passed it on to Luke Skywalker. Luke lost the weapon on Bespin's Cloud City along with his hand when he confronted his father, now the Sith lord Darth Vader.
Kylo Ren's red lightsaber has an unusual design with a crossguard formed by two smaller blades at the tip of the hilt.
Han Solo's blaster
Stormtrooper blaster rifle