The Force Awakens -- A Lot Is Cleared Up In The Novelization
The Baffling Moment:
Film novelizations can be a lot of fun, providing details not seen in the movie, such as the fact that E.T. was secretly a pervy old peeping tom. And since Star Wars is a juggernaut of useless crap first and a cinematic space adventure second, we naturally received a novelization for The Force Awakens ... and it actually clears up some big questions.
For instance: When former stormtrooper Finn meets our new hero, Rey, he mentions that the First Order is after a map that leads to Luke Skywalker. Rey excitedly responds that she thought Luke Skywalker "was a myth."
"To be honest, I thought black people were a myth too until 10 minutes ago."
Think about how crazy this is for a moment: Luke Skywalker was the catalyst in one of the biggest events in the galaxy, which happened only 30 years ago. That would be like if you grew up thinking that The Beatles didn't exist.
The same scene plays out in the novel, but this time we get to hear Finn's inner-monologue as he reacts to what she's saying:
"Luke Skywalker? I thought he was just a myth."
Finn gaped at the girl. Was she serious? It was true that Jakku was a backwater world, but still ...
"Really?" was all he could think of to say.
"I got my name yesterday, and even I know this shit."
Basically, Finn thinks she's a fucking idiot -- of course Luke Skywalker's famous; he blew up the damn Death Star! The problem is that this desert planet is a hive of space rednecks and space ignorance, and this poor girl has no space education whatsoever.
The book also explains how Poe survives crashing a TIE fighter, somehow leaving only his jacket behind. The book explains that his jacket was caught, and he had to remove it, then stumbled away in a concussed haze. So there goes all of your "Poe is a ghost that only Finn can see" fan theories.
Though he might as well be, since they only have eyes for each other.
The ending also makes way more sense in the book: Instead of R2-D2 magically springing to life because the movie needed an ending, Rey mentions that the missing part of the map is in the Imperial Archives, and that's what triggers R2.
It seems R2 downloaded the entire Imperial Archives, probably from back in the first movie when he got his computer interface arm all up in the Death Star's business. That map, combined with BB-8's, is what leads them to Luke's island of mopiness. Sadly, the book never offers any huge revelations, like that Rey's parents are Lobot and Bea Arthur's Holiday Special character.
J.M. McNab co-hosts the pop culture nostalgia podcast Rewatchability, which can also be found on iTunes. Follow him on Twitter @Rewatchability.
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