'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Finally Gets a Little Context

A Stormtrooper action figure gives us a new hope.

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Rumors have been swirling around the new Star Wars movie since the Internet realized it was actually happening. But anybody who knows director JJ Abrams knows he’s all about that mystery box mentality, and tends to try to keep anything and everything about his movies under wraps despite people going to desperate measures. We’ve gotten hints from the trailers, and an idea of what certain details will be, but we hadn’t gotten any context until today.

We won’t be able to get our hands on the toys for The Force Awakens until September, but IGN’s Eric Goldman got a look at one of the movie’s Comic-Con exclusives that will be for sale at the Con in July. The blurb on the side of the Black Series Stormtrooper box gives us a bit of a history lesson before we get to see The Force Awakens. Here it is:

“Shock troopers clad in white armor first appeared on the galactic stage during the opening battles of the Clone Wars. Clone Trooper armor became iconic almost immediately; its stark white design stood for hope that peace and stability might be restored to a galaxy at war. But this dream of peace died with the Republic, and the Empire that rose to take its place imposed order by any means necessary. Soldiers within the Grand Army of the Republic were given a new name: Stormtroopers. As these former protectors of galactic peace mercilessly crushed resistance across the galaxy, their white armor came to symbolize oppression and the indomitable power of the Emperor’s will. Yet the tyranny of Imperial rule sparked rebellion, and the Stormtrooper legions were scattered in the aftermath of the Empire’s fall. Now, the rise of the First Order ushers in the next chapter in the Stormtrooper’s legacy as a new era of ruthless brutality begins.”

The blurb gives us a nice feel to how the broad story arc played out on the macro level. Hope and peace gave way to oppression once the Empire crushed the Republic and Emperor Palpatine took over during Episodes I through III.

Now, after Luke and his buddies defeated the Empire and killed Palpatine in Jedi, The Force Awakens will take on a postwar mentality of scattered factions and allegiances. Think Berlin after World War II except on a much grander scale: Nobody knows who to trust or what to do after the powers that be cease to be.

Out of that chaos comes the aptly named First Order, the new version of the Empire that will most likely be led in some form by Adam Driver’s Sith baddie Kylo Ren. They’ll bring on some “ruthless brutality” to kickstart the events of the new movie (they wouldn’t do a third Death Star, would they?), and hopefully the Skywalkers will have a hand in their defeat once again.

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