Title of Film: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Genre: Science Fiction
Plot Synopsis (2-3 sentences):
Rey, a scrappy scavenger, and Finn, a runaway stormtrooper, team up to return a droid carrying secret information that might be the key to saving the galaxy. Along the way, they join forces with legendary resistance fighters Han Solo and Chewbacca but their plans are complicated when they are hunted down by the evil Kylo Ren and the First Order, the last remnants of the dreaded Galactic Empire.
What themes are presented in this film? You may discuss genre, gender roles, social issues/values,
history, etc. (at least 5-6 specific examples in sentence form):
Mythology:
Like the original Star Wars trilogy, The Force Awakens utilizes the monomyth of the Hero’s Journey (as described by Joseph Campbell in his book “Hero of a Thousand Faces”).
Rey believes that Luke Skywalker and the magical powers of the Force are a myth.
The scavenger, Rey, and Kylo Ren are able to use the magical powers of the Force (similar to sorcery from ancient mythology).
Supreme Leader Snoke represents the trickster character (similar to the Devil), who tempts people with power and encourages them to do destructive or self-destructive deeds (like ordering Kylo to kill his own
father, Han Solo).
Han Solo represents a mentor character often found in myths and fantasy stories who guides the hero both spiritually and in their life decisions (wizards- Gandalf, Merlin, Dumbledore, Obi Wan Kenobi). Like most mentors, Han Solo must fall before Rey can stand on her own.
Fears of Technology:
The First Order’s Starkiller Base is capable of harnessing the power of a sun and destroying multiple planets at once (a futuristic weapon of mass destruction).
Fascism:
The First Order is a metaphor for fascist governments like Nazi Germany. People are forced to serve the government without civil rights. The government destroys its enemies in pursuit of total domination.
Slavery:
Finn’s character is a metaphor for African American slaves. He was kidnapped as a child, given a new name, and forced to do subservient or expendable jobs (sanitation, infantry fighter).
Gender/Race:
The film challenges traditional representations of gender and race.
Finn and Rey’s gender and racial identities are hidden by masks until we learn about their characters (Rey- independent scavenger, Finn- compassionate stormtrooper).
Rey, a woman, has abilities traditionally held by male characters in films (independent, tough, flies and
repairs space ships, fights with blasters and light sabers, uses the Force, rescues herself).
Finn, a black man, has qualities usually reserved for female characters (kind, compassionate, fearful) and has a primary role in the story (unlike other minority roles that are traditionally supporting characters like Lando Calrissian in the original Star War trilogy).

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