As everyone prepared for the July 4th celebrations of fire works and grilled food, Star Wars fans were given another reason to be festive. July 3rd saw the debut of Disney's newest addition to the Star Wars franchise: Forces of Destiny. Using voice actors from the live action film, these short cartoons are promised to bring new stories to the official Star Wars canon. The first of these episodes staring Daisy Ridley's Rey can be found on Disney's youtube channel. Entitled the “Sands of Jakku,” the nearly three minute episode takes us on a journey seemingly set shortly after Rey and BB-8 meet and before the flight from the First Order.
Though not intended to spoil anything, this short and kid friendly episode appears to be just a cartoon short that may not reveal much, however, this writer disagrees. The beginning few seconds gives us what may be a continual intro for each episode, but should still be seen as significant. Maz Kanata's voice is heard saying “The choices we make, the actions we take, moments both big and small shape us into forces of destiny.” With the hype that this series is canonical, these words give some interesting keys to what these short videos may have in store. It may be that the shorts will give us insight into character motivations, explanations for events and behaviors in the films, and maybe some brand new story lines. Where this new series is headed is anyone's guess, but if the first episode is to be indicative, then we could be in for a revealing ride.
Here there be spoilers, so read on only if you won't turn into a wookie and pull my arms out of my sockets. After Rey saves BB-8 with a good shot from her lance, the two are talking on top of the AT-AT she calls home. BB-8 asks how she found him under the desert sand, and Rey replies, “I'm just lucky, I guess.” A throw away line? I think not. We all know that Rey's force powers were a major part of the film to which this short is a part of. What we see here is that Rey has been using the force long before she was ever trained in it. She may not know what this power is, or even that it is a power at all, yet she is still able to wield it. In comparison to Luke Skywalker who did not exhibit any force capabilities before his meeting Obi Wan, this is revealing as to how powerful Rey might be, or what her mysterious past may entail. What we can say with a degree of certainty is that now it is canon that Rey was using the force long before her struggles with Kylo Ren, and that she has no idea she has been wielding it for years. We all will have to tune in for the second episode to see what Forces of Destiny offers in the future.
- Benjamin Lee Krause