New ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ Plot Rumors Highlight a Familiar Fetish for the Franchise

By  · Published on July 21st, 2014

This may come as a surprise to you (if, say, you haven’t gone online, spoken to an acquaintance or left the comfy confines of the rock you live under for several days), but another intrepid soul has claimed to have the keys to J.J. Abrams’s mystery box. The secrets held inside? Significant story chunks from Star Wars: Episode VII.

Earlier today, we referred to this leak as “ridiculous-sounding plot details,” and that’s just about as accurate as accurate could be. But for the sake of blindly trudging into the unknown, let’s take a look at these ridiculous details anyway. Also, if any of this turns out to be legit, it will count as a SPOILER, but it’ll really only spoil the first five minutes or so. Maybe 10.

According to Badass Digest, here’s the scoop:

Imagine the standard Star Wars crawl, and when it ends the camera pans up to the stars. But instead of a spaceship zooming into frame we see… a hand! A severed hand, tumbling through space. A severed hand gripping a light saber.

There’s more to the story, but let’s start on this morsel. Because every Star Wars film has started with the same formula: “A long time ago…” + Star Wars logo + opening crawl + slight tilt down/up + spacecraft zooming across our field of vision. That’s the tradition.

And these rumors purport that Abrams and Episode VII would break that tradition. No spaceship. Instead just a severed limb, softly pirouetting through space. From there, the film becomes “The Quest for Re-Attachment,” as our two protagonists (John Boyega – who Badass Digest adds is playing a Stormtrooper gone AWOL, which is kind of a neat twist – and Daisy Ridley) realize that lightsaber in Mr. Hand is actually kind of important and should be returned to its rightful owner. Soon after, they meet an aged Han and Chewie and embark on a grand galactic adventure.

But when you have to ask “whose severed hand am I currently holding?” in the Star Wars universe, the answer is a lot more involved than you might think. Because every Star Wars film (barring one) has at least one significant meeting of lightsaber and general wrist area.

Let’s review:

Episode I: The Phantom Menace: Our only film to meet a zero on the Total Limb Loss Count (or TLLC, for short) scale.

Episode II: Attack of the Clones: Obi-Wan cuts off an assassin’s arm in a Coruscant cantina. Then, in the climax, Count Dooku parts Anakin’s hand from the rest of him.

Episode III: Revenge of the Sith: Anakin demonstrates the old law of retaliation, “two eyes for an eyes and then also I kill you” by removing both of Dooku’s hands in the opening battle and then his head. Obi-Wan, in dueling General Grievous, levels things out by taking away two of Grievous’ four robot hands. Anakin takes one from Mace Windu. Obi-Wan takes another from Anakin.

Episode IV: A New Hope: Just one, the infamous Mos Eisley Cantina arm chop.

Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back: In his fight with the Wampa, Luke separates one of the beast’s arms from its body. Then, in the iconic final battle, Darth Vader reveals his status as a PETA sleeper agent by taking one of Luke’s hands in return.

Episode VI: Return of the Jedi: Luke, in a rage (and a giant middle finger to PETA), chops his dad’s arm off, leading to tearful apologies from both men.

So, if you’re keeping score, Obi-Wan has the most severings to his name (a grand total of five), with Anakin trailing just behind with four. Anakin also has the most limbs lost by a single (human) character with three.

Limb removal will always be a part of Star Wars, and Abrams would do wise to remember that. But frankly, for the sake of Episode VII, let’s hope this latest collection of story bits aren’t quite right (except the Stormtrooper thing – that’s totally cool). A constant series of hand slicings is fine (not just fine; it’s tradition), but when you start your movie off that way, it might set a little too morbid a tone. Maybe leave the massive physical trauma for an emotional high point and not the opening credits.

We’ve got at least five Star Wars films coming our way. Disney can afford to take some time in distributing its pile of severed Star Wars hands.

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