Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens
One of Jakku’s sacred villages, Tuanul is little more than a few wattle-and-daub huts clustered around a large vaporator cistern. Here, worshippers guided by the Force live simple, self-reliant lives in isolation. That isolation came to an abrupt and brutal end when First Order stormtroopers arrived seeking the retired explorer and spiritual seeker Lor San Tekka.
After the Battle of Endor, the fragmented Empire made a last stand above the bleak frontier world of Jakku, battling a New Republic task force before retreating into the galaxy’s Unknown Regions. The battle left Jakku’s sands littered with wrecks of starfighters and capital ships from both sides. A generation later, Jakku’s scavengers eked out a living salvaging gear and components from the perilous area, now known as the Graveyard of Ships.
A lush green world in the galaxy’s Western Reaches, Takodana has long served as the base of operations for the diminutive pirate queen Maz Kanata, whose ancient castle is a haven for smugglers, brigands, scouts and spies from numerous worlds. Takodana has been largely spared war over the centuries, remaining neutral as galaxy-ruling regimes come and go around it.
Deep in the Unknown Regions, the First Order constructed a superweapon that used an entire planet as its weapons platform. The deadly Starkiller harvested energy from its system’s star, contained it within magnetic fields inside the planetary core, and then converted that energy into an ultra-powerful beam that blasted through hyperspace, able to sterilize the worlds of a distant star system with a single shot. Starkiller Base’s first shot obliterated the New Republic capital of Hosnian Prime. The planet was then destroyed in a daring Resistance raid.
The Jakku scavenger Rey lived in a unique home – an AT-AT walker toppled near the outskirts of the Graveyard of Ships. The walker was once Hellhound Two, from the Imperial Star Destroyer Interrogator; Rey made a home for herself in its former troop compartment. There she cleaned equipment scavenged from the sands, cooked, slept, and dreamt of the day her family would return and take her away from Jakku.
Jakku’s most significant settlement, Niima Outpost is little more than a bazaar, some hard-packed dirt that passes for a spaceport, and the compound of junk boss Unkar Plutt. The little settlement – named for its late founder, Niima the Hutt – is dominated by Unkar and his thugs, who control the market for salvage found by scavengers in the nearby Graveyard of Ships.
The ancient edifice known as Maz’s castle sits on the shore of a lake on Takodana, a site rumored to have been a battleground for the Jedi and Sith. The castle is simultaneously aged and state of the art, with sensor grids and advanced communications gear sprouting from worn stone battlements. Inside Maz’s castle, pirates, smugglers, spies and all manner of scoundrels mix and mingle, searching for loans, information, equipment, repairs -- or kicking back to enjoy music, food and drink or games of chance. All must obey their host’s prohibitions against politics or war. The First Order raided Takodana shortly before the Battle of Starkiller Base, leaving the castle in ruins and its proprietress indignant.
A harsh desert world, Jakku is a lawless place that’s home to thieves, outlaws and refugees. During the final years of the Galactic Civil War, Jakku was the site of a secret Imperial research base and served as a jumping-off point for warships heading into the Unknown Regions. The Empire made a last stand above the frontier planet, leading to a pitched battle between rebel and Imperial fleets. Jakku’s sandy wastes are littered with old wrecks, picked over by desperate scavengers searching for parts that can be salvaged and sold.
The capital of the New Republic, Hosnian Prime is a cosmopolitan world on the outskirts of the galaxy’s Core Worlds region. One of Mon Mothma’s reforms in establishing the New Republic was that member worlds would host the Senate on a rotating basis, a sharp break from the millennia in which Coruscant was the center of galactic power. But Hosnian Prime’s tenure as Senate seat makes it the target of a terrifying attack by the First Order.
A region of broken land and low hills on Jakku, the Goazon Badlands lies between Niima Outpost to the east and Kelvin Ravine to the west, and is bounded to the north and south by the Sinking Fields and Carbon Ridge, respectively. A trail known as the Pilgrim’s Road leads across the badlands. The Goazon is a harsh, forbidding place, with little vegetation or water. The scavenger Rey lived in a toppled AT-AT in the Goazon, not far from the Graveyard of Ships.
A lush world in the Outer Rim, D’Qar is the principal base of General Leia Organa’s Resistance. First surveyed by rebel pilots before the Battle of Endor, the planet’s obscurity and lack of native intelligent life made it a perfect choice when Leia’s new group needed a hidden base of operations. Resistance starfighters launched their attack on Starkiller Base from D’Qar, and were tracked back to the planet by the First Order. The Resistance hastily evacuated, narrowly escaping before the base was leveled by First Order turbolasers.
The First Order’s stormtroopers are trained in riot-control tactics and the use of non-lethal equipment such as the Z6 baton. The baton has a magnetic grip, can be spun in combat and delivers a stunning shock. Troopers often use it in conjunction with a betaplast riot shield. On Takodana, FN-2199 used a Z6 baton against his former stormtrooper comrade FN-2187, better known as Finn.
Like nearly everything she owns, Rey’s quarterstaff is salvage from the wreckage that litters Jakku. Self-defense is a must for a Jakku scavenger, and Rey has won respect for her skills with her staff and her willingness to use it if crossed or threatened. That’s a lesson Unkar Plutt’s thugs discover the hard way when the junk boss orders them to take BB-8 from Rey. Rey’s years of practice at hand-to-hand fighting serves her well when she’s forced to use a lightsaber in combat.
The Empire, Rebel Alliance, and New Republic all supplied troops with survival rations – dehydrated meals that expand into portions of veg-meat and polystarch. A generation after the Battle of Jakku, Unkar Plutt controlled the market for Imperial and New Republic rations, dividing ration packs into portions and trading them to scavengers in exchange for refurbished gear and scrap salvaged from the Graveyard of Ships.
Mechno-arms were cybernetic replacements to hands and arms lost in a variety of situations, but more often than not by lightsaber blades. After Count Dooku severed the right arm of Anakin Skywalker in the opening battle of the Clone War, a mechno-arm was grafted to what was left. Luke Skywalker had much of one grafted to his wrist after Darth Vader severed his hand at Cloud City. Mechno-limbs were much stronger than organic limbs and thanks to an electrostatic fingertip system, users were able to retain their sense of touch. They could also be covered over in synthetic skin for a more realistic appearance.
In her long centuries traveling the galaxy, Maz Kanata has collected any number of antiques and trinkets, stashing them in storehouses and vaults in her castle. Some of her dearest treasures – including a lightsaber built by Anakin Skywalker -- can be found in an old wood curio box, kept unlocked. Maz protects objects that speak to her through the Force, certain that one day the Force will in turn guide other seekers to find these relics.
Kylo Ren’s crossguard lightsaber is an ancient design that recalls weapons seen millennia ago during the Great Scourge of Malachor. The crossguard blades, or quillons, emerge from focusing crystal activators that split the lightsaber’s plasma stream into three channels, with the quillons appearing after the main blade ignites. The crossguard blades allow Ren’s saber to operate safely – his weapon is constructed around a dangerously flawed kyber crystal, which would be overloaded if not for the lateral plasma vents that create the quillons.
The enemies of the Empire feared interrogation at the hands of the Imperial Security Bureau and the Inquisitors, and the First Order has continued this brutal tradition, crafting interrogation chairs to restrain captives and inflict pain on them via the chairs’ built-in probes and tools. Interrogators often do their hideous work with the assistance of torture droids.
DL-44s were accurate, highly reliable, and easily modifiable, which made them a go-to weapon for military personnel, bounty hunters, and smugglers. Perhaps the most infamous user of a modified DL-44 was the smuggler-turned-hero-of-the-Rebellion, Han Solo. DL-44s were capable of firing charges powerful enough to blow through Stormtrooper armor.
Incendiary weapons have a long history in the galaxy, and are used to flush enemies from cover and destroy objects and structures that could be used as shelter. The D-93 incinerator combines three fuel tanks worn as a backpack with a flame-projector gun, connected to the backpack rig by a reinforced hose. Two of the tanks contain a volatile, flammable gel known as conflagrine-14, while the third is filled with propellant gas that launches the gel through the hoses. This combination is mixed and ignited at the barrelhead of the weapon, which has an effective range of 75 meters.