Although it wasn't perfect, "Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens" definitely succeeded in revitalizing the movie franchise with a engaging story featuring old & new characters.
One of the central components of Episode VII wasn't a person at all- it was Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber.
This Jedi weapon was retrieved by Obi-Wan Kenobi after the battle with his apprentice Anakin, who had turned to the Dark Side as Darth Vader. Obi-wan gave it to Anakin's son Luke, but it was lost when Darth Vader cut off Luke's hand as he tried to get his son to join him in Cloud City.
In "The Force Awakens", ancient bar owner Maz Kanata has somehow come into possession of the lightsaber. It is found by the new movie's protagonist, Rey, and induces in her a vision of the weapon's history. Even though she initially rejects it, Rey ultimately comes to acquire the lightsaber and returns it to Luke Skywalker, who has been in seclusion for years.
How Maz found it and why Rey was mystically drawn to it is still a mystery, but answers are sure to come in the next installments of the Star Wars saga.
Christopher Sherwood has edited together an awesome montage of the history behind this legendary weapon that weaves together the characters and events of the movies so far. It shows just how powerful and interwoven the Star Wars story has become.