All The Ways 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Draws Directly From 'A New Hope' [Spoilers!]


Really, leave now if you don't want major events of Star Wars: The Force Awakens spoiled.

Last chance.

Still here? Good. You might be surprised (or maybe not so surprised) to learn that you may already know more about The Force Awakens than you think.

Director J.J. Abrams heavily draws on elements from the original film that started it all. From rowdy cantinas to a Death Star look-alike, it's clear Abrams set out to retell A New Hope for a modern audience, with both new and returning characters.

Just how many elements from the original film make it into The Force Awakens? Here's all the key ones we noticed.

A young hero grows up alone on a desert planet

We've long known Rey would be a key figure in The Force Awakens, but what we didn't know was how closely her story mimics that of Luke Skywalker. Like Luke, Rey grows up on a remote desert planet with no real knowledge of her family. While Luke had Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen, Rey lives entirely alone, scavenging the wreckage of crashed ships and selling them for food portions.

Stormtroopers are once again looking for a droid

Poor Stormtroopers. They can't seem to catch a break. After failing to find C-3PO and R2-D2 in A New Hope, they are back once again searching for a Rebel droid (sorry, Resistance droid) that carries essential information that could be the key to saving the galaxy. This time it's the lovable and adorable BB-8 who is on the run.

The Millennium Falcon is still a hunk of junk

As Finn, BB-8 and Rey flee for their lives from the Stormtroopers of the First Order, they desperately look for a ship so that they can escape. Finn asks "what about that ship" as they run by, after which Rey responds by saying that the ship in question is "garbage." That ship is none other than the Millennium Falcon. Some things never change.

Han and Leia are both doing what they do best

For taking place 30 years after the end of Return of the Jedi, Leia and Han are close to where they started in A New Hope. Leia is now a general of the Resistance, leading the fight against the First Order. Han is back to his old smuggling ways, not looking at picking a fight with the forces of evil.

Han still has a bad feeling about this

Speaking of Han, this classic line for the original movie returns here. The iconic smuggler is cornered by two gangs wanting Han to pay up, but when Han's live (and very dangerous cargo) is unleashed, even the owner of the Millennium Falcon is in big trouble.

There's a cantina scene

The cantina scene in A New Hope is one of the most memorable moments from the first film. Luke and Obi-Wan enter the hive of scum and villainy known as the Mos Eisley Cantina to seek out the pilot Han Solo, along the way bumping into a huge variety of strange aliens. There's a new cantina in The Force Awakens, but the vibe is much the same. Sinister-looking aliens fill the room as a cantina band plays merrily in the background.

That holographic chess game with the monsters is still played

It's (apparently) called Dejarik, and you probably remember Chewbacca and R2-D2 playing it in A New Hope. The holographic chess-like game still works on board the Millennium Falcon, and it appears it's still played in other parts of the galaxy as well.

There's another Death Star...

It's not quite a Death Star, but it's impossible not to make the comparison. Even the Resistance makes the same claim when looking at the schematics for both massive battle stations side-by-side, though the sun-sucking, system destroying Starkiller Base is three times the size of the original moon-sized Death Star.

...And another trench run

The set-up is a little different, but the end result is the same. After Han and Finn disable Starkiller Base's shields, Resistance X-Wings zoom in to take out one of the key power structures of the planet-sized weapon. X-Wing pilot extraordinaire Poe Dameron and his comrades fly into a trench, dodging turbolasers before blasting away at the structure from the inside.

The galaxy far, far away still has trash compactors

In one of the best scenes in A New Hope, Luke, Leia, Han and Chewbacca find themselves in the bottom of a trash compactor alongside a nasty monster. Though the trash compactor isn't shown on screen in The Force Awakens, Han has his revenge by giving the First Order a taste of its own medicine.

The wise elder dies ... sending his companions into a Stormtrooper-blasting frenzy

Remember the death of Obi-Wan Kenobi? It the turning point of A New Hope, when Luke, Han and Leia are finally on their own, without the wise, old man to lead the way. The role of "wise elder" falls to Han Solo this time ... with similar results. As Han is struck down by the evil Kylo Ren, Chewbacca, Rey and Finn go into a frenzy, wildly firing their blasters and taking out as many Stormtroopers as possible, just as Luke does before fleeing the Death Star aboard the Millennium Falcon in the original.

There's nothing coincidental about the film's moments and story structure. It's all set up remarkably close to that of A New Hope by design. J.J. Abrams is a master of homage, knowing exactly why fans fell in love with the Star Wars franchise in the first place. Some of these elements may be too close to the original for some, but for others, it's the start of a brand-new chapter in Star Wars that will have fans both new and old excited for years to come.

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