There isn’t much good stuff to take from the prequels. The classic ‘Star Wars’ trilogy is more relevant to ‘The Force Awakens’ both in the timeline and in the hearts of hardcore fans, but I can think of one notable exception: clones. Here me out.
The original storm troopers were clones using the genetic source material of bounty hunter Jango Fett. Clones were so integral to the fate of the series that they named a war, a movie and an animated series after them. Looking at the classic trilogy, clones as troopers have probably been phased out. Storm troopers were then less uniform. Some were tall, others were short, voices varied somewhat. All appearances of new ‘The Force Awakens’ character Finn imply that he is a storm trooper and no amount of genetic drift can account for Finn’s difference of appearance compared to Jango. No, at some point the Empire opted to enlist or draft it’s people.
Now there is a question of Kylo Ren’s identity. Adam Driver plays Kylo Ren but that isn’t enough to dismiss the notion that Kylo will not look like Adam Driver. There is precedent. James Earl Jones played Darth Vader, but Anakin was white as snow under that helmet. Director J. J. Abrams is a mystery nut and will not be able to create a ‘Star Wars’ movie that doesn’t at least attempt to recreate the feeling of surprise that comes with “I am your father.” A mask is used in the movie, a bunch of masks actually, expect at least some of them to hide something.
It has been revealed that Kylo Ren is not the character’s birth name. Ren comes from the Knights of Ren, a group that is Sith-like but not Sith. Kylo Ren appears with what looks like other Ren-types in the latest trailer for ‘The Force Awakens.’ What if they are all the same? Clones using the same source material just as the original stormtroopers?
I’ve already hypothesized that Kylo Ren could be a clone of someone we know. Kylo is also said to be a big fan of Vader, as all the Rens probably are. Why? Maybe because he is their genetic source material. Darth Vader is Ren-Prime!
Think about it. ‘Star Wars’ has always been about Vader. Episodes I through III were about the birth of Vader. Episodes IV through VI were about the death of Vader. Episodes VII through IX are about the rebirth of Vader. Darth Vader needed maintenance to his technology and biology to remain alive so the Empire (or what’s left of it) would have genetic samples of Anakin Skywalker handy. The Sith are gone and the Jedi are pretty much gone. We can tell because Force users are legend according to the trailer, with no modern examples of such beings for younger generations to witness. The Empire knew that they needed a Force user to regain power since the loss of both Vader and the Emperor. In the absence of such beings, they grew one.
Who specifically grew the Rens? I can’t help you there. Maybe the now dead Emperor Palpatine started the process. Maybe a new character with probable ties to cloning like the stormtroomer-clad Captain Phasma. It has never been discussed in detail how cloning works in the ‘Star Wars’ universe. What we do know is that there is a genetic component to one’s ability to use the Force. J.J. Abrams will probably refrain from referencing midi-chlorians, but he could paint a picture that shows cloning Force users is a little more complicated than normal folk. I suspect that the Knights of Ren are less-than Kylo in some way; beta-clones possessing no Force abilities or some other handicap perhaps.
That concludes my crackpot theory. Some might ask: “what of Luke?” Although he has been suspiciously absent from the trailers and posters of ‘The Force Awakens’, this isn’t J. J. Abrams first rodeo. He and his team misdirected fans of ‘Lost’ to the point of outright lies to dissuade them from the belief that the island was part of the afterlife. His recent comment saying that Luke is absent for a reason is just good mystery mongering. I think that it’s most likely that Mark Hamill will have a small but pivotal role to play as Luke Skywalker and no one else.
If I’m wrong, I hope ScienceFiction.com deletes this post from the Internet and we can all forget I ever said anything about any of this.