1:07pm PT by Graeme McMillan
'Star Wars: Force Awakens' New Details Center on Empire's Propaganda War
While no one was looking, the Empire struck back.
Thanks to a spoiler-filled Entertainment Weekly piece, fans have a little bit more context about Han Solo needing to tell Finn and Rey that the events of the original Star Wars trilogy were real in the most recent trailer for The Force Awakens.
According to EW, the First Order's stormtroopers were raised under the auspices of the former Empire, and were taught all about the adventures of Luke Skywalker et al. ... kind of. First Order troops, apparently, "are fed propaganda about the heroes of the Rebellion," including that Luke Skywalker "was a villain who destroyed the benevolent Empire."
Could this be why Skywalker has been absent from the trailers and posters for the movie so far — has he been forced into hiding by a new galactic order?
That's just part of the First Order's propaganda, however; the EW piece notes that the reason the soldiers believe in the "hate and fear of what the Rebellion stood for" is because "they've been taught that's all they're good for." But don't worry; while the First Order might be raising a slave class, it's at least more gender-blind than the Empire was: elsewhere in the story, director J.J. Abrams says that the movie has multiple women underneath the stormtrooper armor.