The Force Awakens and A New hope
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We’ve been clamouring for a proper sequel to Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (ROTJ) for 30 years, and now we finally get to continue the saga of the Skywalkers. So I did what any self-respecting Star Wars fan would do and watched Star Wars: The Force Awakens (TFA) six times (and counting).

But while The Force Awakens is a thoroughly enjoyable film, this is by far the safest Star Wars sequel that any director could hope to make. Why? Because it is a complete rip-off from the Star Wars movie that started it all! It’s an almost shot-for -shot/beat-by-beat remake of the much-loved Star Wars: A New Hope (ANH).

Here are the top 18 moments from The Force Awakens that are total rehashes of what came before.

SPOILERS AHEAD

1Desert planets are the location of choice

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TFA’s opening scene is set on Jakku, a frontier desert world home to thieves, outlaws and scavengers. Here’s the official description of Tatooine, where ANH opens: “A harsh desert world in the galaxy’s Outer Rim, Tatooine is a lawless place ruled by Hutt gangsters”. Sound oddly familiar no?

2Droids carry critical information

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The opening scenes of both movies also have an intrepid rebel/resistance spy transferring vital information into their trusty droids for safekeeping. TFA ups the ante by including the legendary Max von Sydow, but hey, same difference.

3Rebel/Resistance spy is captured

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In ANH, Princess Leia was the rebel spy captured by Darth Vader. In TFA, Poe Dameron is the one captured in similar fashion by Kylo Ren.

4Droids like to roam the desert

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R2D2 and C3PO trek through the desert in search for help. Which is basically what BB-8 does in TFA till he gets kidnapped by local scavengers.

5Main protagonist saves droids

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Without missing a beat, Abrams has BB-8 captured by a scavenger named Teedo before it’s rescued by Rey. In ANH, R2D2 and C3PO are kidnapped by more enterprising scavengers named Jawas. Uncle Owen is looking for a protocol droid and an R2 unit and when the one he selected malfunctions, Luke suggest getting R2D2 instead.

6Main protagonists are ‘orphans’

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By orphans, I mean that their parentage is left unknown. Nothing about Luke or Rey’s family history is explicitly revealed to the audience.

7Main protagonist dreams of leaving the planet

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Both Luke and Rey want to leave the planet that they are on (who could blame them, it’s a desert, for crying out loud). Luke wants to join the rebellion and fly X-wings. Rey dreams of her ‘parents’ coming to get her and leaving with them.

8Main protagonist has mad piloting skills

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Luke proves himself to be an extraordinary pilot when he navigates two photon torpedoes into the Death Star’s exhaust port. TFA shows us that Rey can not only fly the Millennium Falcon through a decrepit Star Destroyer, but essentially fix anything mechanical. (So she talks to machines then? Kinda like Aquaman? – Head Geek Nic Yong)

9Heroes use Millennium Falcon to escape Stormtroopers

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Not sure if the writers were just lazy or wanted to see how much remix they could jam into a single scene, but this is too coincidental. Luke, Obi-wan, R2D2 and C3PO all find passage on the Millennium Falcon to Alderaan. But before they can take off, Stormtroopers chance upon them and they have to fight their way off Tatooine.

TFA has Rey and Finn both running away from marauding Stormtroopers and commandeering the Falcon to escape Jakku.

10Rebel/Resistance spy gets tortured for information

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So here we have Poe Dameron getting tortured by Kylo Ren for information on the whereabouts of BB-8. In ANH, Princess Leia tries her best to withhold the location of the rebel base from Lord Vader.

11There is another Death Star

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You can tell that the writers are not even trying here. No matter which way you try to sell it, a huge sphere floating in space that destroys planets is a DEATH STAR. Granted that the one in The Force Awakens can take out multiple planets at a go, but you can’t hide the fact that it does exactly the same thing that the Death Star did 30 years ago.

12There is another trench run

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This one is really borderline plagiarism. One of the major set pieces of A New Hope was the Death Star trench run. JJ and co try to recapture the same magic in The Force Awakens by inserting a trench into the thermal oscillator (what use does a thermal oscillator have for a trench anyway?), but we’ve seen it all before.

13Jek Porkins returns

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Remember the portly X-wing pilot from the Death Star trench scene who was unceremoniously killed in a bombing run? The Force Awakens has its own Jek Porkins in the form of actor Greg Grunberg (the cop in Heroes). He even sports the same beard, which makes me wonder if they are related.

14The universe needs cantinas

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Han brings Rey, Finn and BB-8 to Maz Kanata’s bar (ie Cantina) to seek safe passage to the resistance base located on the planet of D’Qar. In ANH, Obi-Wan, Luke, R2D2 and C3PO head to a “wretched hive of scum and villainy” to seek passage to the rebel-friendly planet of Alderaan.

15Rebel/Resistance bases do not change much in 30 years

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This is one scene that would given even Princess Leia a bout of Déjà vu. 30 years ago, she was standing in the Rebel war room waiting for the impending doom that was the Death Star.

30 years on, she’s back in the war room, also waiting for her impending doom at the hands of Starkiller base. How can the same thing happen to the same princess twice?

16The Dark Lord and his Master

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Any remake would not be complete without a Dark Lord and his human counterpart of similar authority. Darth Vader had Grand Moff Tarkin to keep him in check and in TFA, we have General Hux balancing out Kylo Ren.

17The funny old guy who talks about hokey religions and ancient weapons

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Once upon a time, Obi-Wan Kenobi filled out the role of the wise old sage imparting knowledge to the young ingenue. Here in The Force Awakens, we have the scoundrel with the heart of gold as the one who confirms to Rey and Finn that everything about the Force is real.

18The wise old sage dies

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What would a remake of A New Hope be if someone revered and respected didn’t die? Obi-wan made the ultimate sacrifice and sent Luke along his way to become a Jedi knight. Unfortunately, Han Solo had to fill that spot in the current remake and thus died at the hands of his son, Kylo Ren.

And there you have it, the top instances which The Force Awakens shares with A New Hope. There are just way too many to ignore, such that this is the line circulating on the Internets: JJ. Abrams should change his name to DJ Abrams, as he seems to be really good at producing remixes.

May the Force be with Yo! Space out.

  • So next episode is called ‘the first order retaliate’

    • The First Order really needs to invest in better security systems – nic

    • Death Star insurance should be mandatory

  • Rip it did. And that it did well to an amazing effect.

    • I think DJ Abrams did remix the movie well, though. And the new characters are all appealing, especially Rey – nic

    • I think so too. He needed to do something that appealed to both old and new. What was a big difference I feel is that the planet that was destroyed in ANH was just a show of power by the Empire. This time The First Order sought to destroy an entire government which they accomplished. So essentially now, both sides are on a level playing field in episode 8. Even the Jedi/Sith suffered losses. We may now see more lightsabers with the revelation of the Knights of Ren.

    • I’m very hopeful for what Rian Johnson will do with Ep VIII. Really liked Looper – nic

  • @incoherentboy imho it was a case of “riffed off” . Aiyo, give chance pls

  • ayan na Allan Ray V. Ledesma sinasabi mo.,. Haha.,.

  • 10. She withstood the torture no? And even when Alderaan was in danger, she didn’t reveal the truth?

  • Rey didn’t want to leave Jakku. In fact, she is waiting for her family to return.

  • i see it more as a homage than a ripoff though. i don’t think it’s a big secret or conspiracy that the force awakens is a rehash of a lot of the classic star wars tropes. it is most telling at one point in the movie when the resistance was being briefed on the starkiller base and han solo hilariously quipped: “how do we blow it up? there’s always a way to do that!” which is a cheeky, self-reflexive way of admitting that the characters have found themselves once again in an all too familiar situation, much like the ones in episodes I, IV and VI.

    • I can’t agree more. Everything that happened in the movie was intentional. It gave us what we loved about the original with the promise of new and great things to come. It does this while sharing a similar experience to a new audience.

    • THANK YOU. i think you and i are on the same page about this, Jam Macaibay. the minute they brought on j j abrams as director, a lot of us knew what we’re in for. based on his work on star trek alone, it’s clear to see that he has a knack for updating time honoured franchises without departing too much from the original source material. getting him to work on the force awakens is pure strategy cuz they needed to get a director who can bring back the original spirit of star wars, the nostalgia, and restore the franchise to its old glory days. and this is something many fans want considering what happened with episodes I-III.

    • R2 wasn’t even “saved” in A New Hope. They were purchased.

  • I agree!

  • Kilimanjaro

    don’t forget the Groovy Tunes in their local watering holes.

    EP 4 – When Greedo talks to Han.
    EP 7 – Inside Maz’ pub.

  • You forgot no.19 deathstar destroyed

  • sometimes history repeats itself even in real life. get over it.

    • Naw, it didn’t prevent us from enjoying the movie – nic

  • Winfred Zerna Patagoc Gian Mananquil

  • I smell darth caedus …

  • or it could be that they based some elements in it

  • Emile Spreeuwers

    I’m Sorry, But I was very very disappointed when I left the cinema, I’m 38 years old and was born in 1977 when A new Hope first played in cinema’s,

    I’m a huge Star Wars fan, and this movie is a pathetic way to say, we Disney paid 6 billion for the Star Wars rights and we are gonna milk the cow dry.

    This was the best they could come up with after 10 years ???, a total A new Hope ripp-off ??And surely part 8 will be The (Empire) First Order Strikes back all over again, Rey is trained by Luke, the First Order is pissed off because their Death Star part 3 was destroyed by 3 people and a Wookie and 10 X wing fighters although it was a thousand times bigger than Death Star 1 and 2 pfffff.
    When the movie progressed I was struggling to find something new and interesting because everything was so predictable, the girl and the force, the casket , the 14 parsecs etc.. etc..

    And using the older actors is pathetic, they were used to get my generation to the cinema.
    This was not Part 7 but simply Part 4 to 6 all over again.
    And this movie cost 200 million to make ?? , the whole first hour of the movie is shot in Tunisia in the desert, expensive country I guess.(not)
    And the darth vader wannabee Bennie boy reminded me of Rick Moranis playing Darth Vader in Spaceballs, my sworch is as big as yours, impressive, most impressive hahaha, I can’t breath in this helmet hahahaha pathetic.

    But really , Im sad, so sad, waiting 10 years for this debacle and I’m amazed how the media can hype up such a bad movie to compare with the revenue in the likeness of Avatar, that was a completely original story , camera use, new 3D etc.. etc..
    This movie made me realize that the real George Lucas Star Wars ended in 2005 in a galaxy far far away !!
    This is pure for money making and building theme parks for the next generation, but that is what Disney is all about, making billions of dollars and they have to , they paid a 72 year old guy 6 billion for it !!

    Yoda would have said : A disaster this movie was !!!