Episode VII Trailer Analysis: Was Gwendoline Christie That Claymore Lightsaber-Wielding Sith?

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The internet is abuzz with Star Wars news and analysis ever since the Episode VII trailer dropped yesterday, and understandably so. We finally got our first look into the J.J. Abrams Star Wars universe including a bunch of iconic imagery like X-Wings, Storm Troopers, a modified speeder bike, and of course the Millennium Falcon. Perhaps the most interesting reveal, however, was one particularly brooding looking character wielding a unique Claymore-like lightsaber, complete with pommel guards to stop those darn Jedi from sliding their own weapons down and chopping off their wrist. Everyone seems to be assuming that the wielder of that unique weapon is a male Sith, but there’s a decent chance it could be Gwendoline Christie.

We already know that the Game of Thrones star has taken some time off portraying Brienne of Tarth to have a major part in Star Wars: Episode VII, but who exactly she is in the film has been mostly under wraps. Before even looking at the footage in the trailer, the most important piece of information that could lead to the conclusion that she is indeed the Sith was a rumor reported initially by Bad Ass Digest back in July.

According to my sources Gwendoline Christie is playing John Boyega’s commanding officer in Star Wars Episode VII, and she’s mad that he deserted. She’s looking for him. She’s an antagonist.

UPDATE: I’m have new info that puts things in new perspectives. She’s definitely hunting Boyega. I think she’s an Imperial officer, but I got one more piece of information that puts everything in a new light:

SPOILERS!

The actress has been training with a lightsaber.

Could she be an Imperial officer who has a lightsaber? Or is it something more? I’m hearing the S word.

Of course this is all the work of “anonymous sources,” but the rumor would make a lot of sense especially after seeing the trailer. We see John Boyega’s character waking up in the desert in full Storm Trooper garb sans helmet, and he’s clearly panicked. Being that he has all but been confirmed as the films lead character, it’s safe to assume he won’t be a Storm Trooper for long, and will likely get a lightsaber of his own at some point. If that initial rumor was indeed just someone messing with Bad Ass Digest or otherwise false, someone sure did call it way ahead of time. Without already knowing that Boyega would be an Imperial deserter, that’s quite the detail to just make up and happen to get right from the very first trailer.

And now onto the footage. I know you want to go watch the trailer again and watch it for yourself. Go ahead. I’ll wait…

Now that you’ve seen it again and wiped the tears from your eyes after watching the Millenium Falcon swooping in and fighting off a group of TIE Fighters, lets rewind a bit and look at that magnificent beast of a lightsaber being revealed.

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Now right off the bat it’s obvious that whoever this is, they are hunting someone else. Slouched over with a determined, focused walk and whipping out their lightsaber in the most intimidating way possible. We know that Jedi can open their lightsaber mid-run and with ease. So why the slow deliberate pace and theatrics? Aside from the boring answer of “for the trailer,” it could also be a disgruntled commanding officer chasing down some pestering deserter who she followed all the way to a snowy planet (Hoth?).

Watching a clip from Game of Thrones where Brienne of Tarth (played by Christie) fights Jamie Lannister even shows the same bouncy, uneven gait of the Sith from the trailer at around 2:19. Throughout that fight, it’s also apparent that nothing about Christie’s fighting style is smooth – it’s all jerky, deliberate motions. Some of that comes from the character of Brienne, sure, but it’s also a lot of Christie’s own style that J.J. Abrams would be smart to carry over to her new role.

You’ll also notice that, even in full armor, Gwendoline Christie has a very similar build to our Claymore lightsaber-wielder in question. While she’s constantly mocked by characters in the show for being large, she has a definitive figure that is slightly smaller at the waist and leads into broad shoulders. It can be seen slightly in character, as well as photos over her in less armor in real life. It’s not much, but wrap a belt tightly around her like you can see on the Sith in the trailer, and it would easily amplify her figure. Even with the waist wrap, the Sith’s midsection is still rather broad, just like Christie.

Comparison

On the left side of the above image is the only frame where you can see both sides of the Sith’s midsection, where neither her cloak nor her arm is blending in. Even compared to the fully armored Brienne of Tarth on the right, they are both rather barrel chested but slope outwards into their shoulders. The image on the right is flipped for comparison – both characters wield their sword right-handed with that same slight elbow bend.

Unfortunately we can’t make out much of the Sith’s figure in the trailer, save for those couple frames where she is pulling out her lightsaber, but I’m absolutely convinced that it is Gwendoline Christie. While the Sith’s cloak masks her figure a bit, and even makes her look thinner in comparison to her huge shoulders, they have an identical body shape.

Not exactly solid proof by any means, but it’s also worth pointing out that this iteration of Star Wars is clearly going for a diverse cast with a black male lead and another female protagonist showcased in the trailer. It would fit right in with this push for diversity that one of the main Sith in the film would be a woman, and Gwendoline Christie fits the bill perfectly. She’s tall, powerful, and can be extremely menacing – as several characters in Game of Thrones have found out the hard way.

This is all a lot of little details that all combine to paint a pretty solid picture of that mysterious Sith being played by Gwendoline Christie. And if true, she’ll do a heck of a job of it.

So what do you think? Have we taken the first Landspeeder to crazy town, or has Brienne of Tarth taken a turn to the dark side for Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens? Let us know in the comments, or Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, or Google+.

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