Max Von Sydow

Who Was Max Von Sydow’s Character? Why Did He Have the Map?

We don’t know much about Max Von Sydow‘s character Lor San Tekka. We know that Poe Dameron was tasked by General Organa to find an old ally of Leia’s who holds information about her brother’s whereabouts. The Visual Dictionary tells us the following:

As the empire toppled, retreating Imperial officials destroyed records that would have been vital to the New Republic’s attempts at Galactic reconstruction. New Republic bureaucrats turned instead to firsthand accounts from well-traveled locals to fill in the gaps. A seasoned traveler and explorer of the more remote fringes of the galaxy, Lor San Tekka has proven his worth to the New Republic and Resistance many times over. Ready to retire after decades of exploration and adventure, the spiritual San Tekka has settled with a colony of villagers in the remote Kelvin Ravine on the frontier world of Jakku.

The official databank also offers the following about the character:

A legendary traveler and explorer, Lor San Tekka is a longtime ally of the New Republic and the Resistance. After the Battle of Endor, San Tekka helped Luke Skywalker recover secret Jedi lore that the Empire had tried to erase, and Leia Organa hopes the old scout can now help find her brother. Following decades of adventure, San Tekka retired to live simply on Jakku, where he follows the dictates of the once-forbidden Church of the Force. But his retirement is fated to be anything but peaceful.

But why has San Tekka held information about Luke Skywalker’s whereabouts for years without giving it up? Also remember his first line — the first line of dialogue in the movie — is “This will begin to make things right.” What does that mean? Kylo Ren also insinuates that he knew San Tekka from his earlier years, commenting, “Oh, how old you’ve become.” San Tekka also says of General Leia that “she’ll always be royalty to me” which insinuates that he knew Leia before A New Hope.

Was San Tekka somehow involved in Luke Skywalker’s new Jedi temple where Kylo trained as a child? It doesn’t appear so, it seems as if he was a fan of the Jedi. The book says that San Tekka witnessed the Jedi Knights prior to the Clone Wars and “never believed the lies that painted then as traitors.” During Palpatine’s rule, San Tekka was a follower of the Church of the Force, an underground faith made up of non Force-sensative worshippers of the Jedi idols, who believed the Jedi would one day return.

It was initially rumored that the character would reveal himself to be a character we previously knew from the past Star Wars films, the frontrunner being bounty hunter Boba Fett, but I can’t find any real evidence of this. I’ve also heard the rumor that a younger version of this character could appear in one of the Star Wars Story stand alone movies like Rogue One or the Han Solo movie. The official descriptions mention his time as a former Scout, which might fit into the Rogue One story.

the force awakens details

How Does Rey Know How to Use Her Force Powers?

Hey wait a minute, Rey somehow knows how to use the Jedi mind trick minutes after discovering she has Force powers? That might be your first reaction, but I believe Rey’s vision establishes that she trained as a youngling at Luke Skywalker’s Jedi Academy before Ben Solo got turned by Snoke and led a massacre of the students.

We aren’t sure about her age, but the child abandoned on Jakku (played by Cailey Fleming) appears to be somewhere between 5 and 7 years old. She clearly remembers some of her teachings, using the Jedi mind trick on a stormtrooper to escape custody on Starkiller base.

Earlier in the film she says she thought Luke Skywalker was a myth, which seems to suggest her early memories were suppressed by someone with Force powers (likely whomever abandoned her on Jakku). Her memories seem to return as Kylo Ren tries to use the Force mind read to delve into her head.

Finn and Kylo Ren lightsaber fight Star Wars: the force awakens

How Do Rey and Finn Know How to Fight Kylo Ren with a Lightsaber?

I think it’s a mistake to think that only a Jedi or Sith can use and operate a lightsaber. I would argue that it is like a samurai sword — I can pick it up, I can swing it, I can train to use it but if I’m told to fight with it in a gun fight, I probably won’t have much luck. A Jedi on the other hand is able to fight with a ancient weapon in a gun battle. Obi-Wan taught Luke to anticipate the shots and swings.

Okay, so this still doesn’t explain how Finn and Rey are able to go toe to toe with a trained former Jedi like Kylo Ren. Here’s the possible explanation:

Proof-2The movie shows us that all stormtroopers are trained in using a Z6 Riot Control Baton, which can be swung in a similar fashion as a lightsaber. The Star Wars: Before The Awakening book shows Finn training with this weapon. So Finn had some experience using a weapon of that sort. But even so, Kylo Ren was seriously injured by Chewbacca’s bowcaster and was bleeding out in the snow. And even with that disability, Kylo was able to seriously own Finn in the lightsaber duel.

As for Rey, it’s established early on that she is quite adept at using her staff to fend off the scum that lives on Jakku. And I’ve already mentioned that her vision proves that she was very likely trained as a youngling at Luke Skywalker’s new Jedi Academy. And it’s not unreasonable to think that she had a lot of training with the mystical laser sword. But also it’s established that Rey is strong with the Force. It seems like she might even be stronger with the Force than Kylo.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Is Rey a Skywalker?

I think that would be the most obvious answer. Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy has said that the Star Wars Saga films will be the story of the Skywalkers. And I think she means the new stories with new characters, which obviously goes beyond Luke and Leia. Kylo Ren is obviously part of the Skywalker bloodline, and it would be easy to assume the new Star Wars trilogy will be about the redemption of that character (if they are following the franchise’s formula, which judging by this film, is the case). But I’m also willing to bet there is also a good guy in the new generation that shares the Skywalker bloodline. But that could mean she could be either Luke or Leia and Han’s child.

Let’s look at what we know: She very likely trained as a Jedi Padawan with Luke Skywalker before the Jedi Temple was attacked by the Knights of Ren. Let’s ignore the fact that she thinks Luke Skywalker is a myth when Finn brings his name up (her memories were probably suppressed, probably using the Force) and that she knows legend of the famous Smuggler Han Solo but clearly doesn’t remember him from childhood. She was abandoned by her family on Jakku.

Why would whomever saved her in the Jedi Academy massacre just abandon her on a desert planet? Probably to put her out of reach from the Dark Side by hiding her where no one can find her and where no one even know she exists. This probably explains why Kylo doesn’t recognize her, he probably thinks whomever she is was killed during the Jedi Academy attack.

And we also know that Anakin Skywalker’s lightsaber called to her. Maz even makes a point of saying that the lightsaber belonged to Luke Skywalker and his father Anakin Skywalker before him, “and now it’s calling for you.” So that must mean she’s a Skywalker, right?

When Kylo is interrogating her, he looks into her mind and says “You dream of a place” and begins to describe a small island like the one she later finds Luke on. Maybe she’s not dreaming but able to see where her father is? Or maybe she saw the metaphorical X on the piece of BB-8’s treasure map and knew that it was an island?

If she is a Skywalker: Why doesn’t Han Solo or Princess Leia recognize her? Or do they? Han is quick to offer Rey a job on the Millennium Falcon after he learns her name, but later doesn’t seem too overly concerned when she was abducted by the First Order.

When the Resistance returns back from blowing up Starkiller base, Leia walks right past Chewbacca directly over to Rey and hugs her never having met the girl before. Why wouldn’t Leia comfort Solo’s best bud? Do they know something we don’t?

Also it’s interesting that Leia sends Rey to the island that might have Luke, and doesn’t make the trip herself. Maybe its an unsafe mission for the General, but then why not send an accomplished high-ranking Resistance member?

Alec Guinness Obi-wan Kenobi

Is Rey a Kenobi?

There is one more possibility: She could be Obi-wan Kenobi’s granddaughter. I had heard early on that the change from Michael Arndt’s script to the one J.J. Abrams was working on with Lawrence Kasdan was that it changed the story from being just about the Skywalkers to being a story about the Kenobis vs. the Skywalkers. Again, that was just a rumor and a lot of what we heard early on was wrong or evolved into something else. But it is possible.

Consider this: Obi-Wan Kenobi was in possession of that lightsaber for three decades, while Luke Skywalker had it only for a year or so. The lightsaber calling to her might have nothing to do with Luke and Anakin Skywalker. Also, while Rey is having her vision we hear Obi-wan Kenobi say “Rey, you’ve taken your first steps.” Of course, Yoda is also heard during this sequence, but of course he is one of the highest Jedi masters of all time. So the question is, if Rey is a Skywalker — why did Rey hear Obi-Wan in her vision and not Anakin Skywalker?

Berith on The explains how Rey could be a Kenobi:

Anyone who has watched Clone Wars will know Obi-Wan had a relationship with Duchess Satine Kryze leader of the Mandalorians. In fact when Obi-Wan was still a Padawan he and Qui-Gon protected her for over a year. Obi-Wan and Satine grew so close that Obi-Wan stated he would have renounced his vows to the Jedi order had she asked. Now Qui-Gon was certainly no stickler for the rules, but fathering a child is in fact not against the Jedi code. The attachment that usually comes with such things is the issue. So Obi-Wan could easily have fathered a child with Satine and remained a Jedi so long as he was detached enough from the situation. This child being of both Mandalorian and Jedi descent would have to be kept a secret. It would have been an affront to the mandalorians seeking to return to the old ways and a target of assassination as a result.

All of that said, it still seems more likely that she is a Skywalker.

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