5 Things We’re Excited To See In The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1

[This article features spoilers for The Hunger Games Trilogy of books and films.]

Suzanne Collins’s bestselling dystopian sci-fi trilogy has become a huge box-office success. The Hunger Games (2012) tells the story of Katniss Everdeen, a 16 year-old “tribute” from District 12 of Panem, who is forced to compete in a vicious televised fight-to-the-death to appease the totalitarian government, the Capitol. Catching Fire (2013) built on the first film to spin a wider web of political corruption, violent oppression, and the hopeful spark of revolution. At the end of the film, Katniss is pushed to breaking point as her allies fall into the hands of the enemy and her home is destroyed in retribution for her disobedience.

Mockingjay, the final part in the trilogy, is being split into two films to be released on 20 November 2014 and 20 November 2015 respectively. It begs the question: how will the story be split into two distinct films? And what fan favourite moments will make the cut in Part 1? We list some of the things we can’t wait to see below!

1. What’s become of District 12?

The powerful end scene of Catching Fire shows Katniss finding out that District 12 has been firebombed by the Capitol. In the epic final shot, we see Katniss going through everything from despair to denial to acceptance to anger. It’s that anger that pushes Katniss to accept her place in the uprising of the Districts against the Capitol, and especially the vicious destruction of District 12. The book describes the ashes of her home and the bones littering the streets in Collins’s typically stark style. It will be interesting to see if they can capture the consequences of the violence on screen with as much brutal realism, and especially to see Jennifer Lawrence’s performance. And let’s not forget President Snow’s ominous little gift to Katniss.

2. District 13

With District 12 all but gone, Katniss and her family have to take shelter in District 13. For years the Capitol claimed District 13 had been destroyed in the rebellion that led to the first Hunger Games, but in truth it was cut off and left with its meagre survivors. They managed to build a small community and over the years it became a technologically-advanced maze of underground buildings. It will be really interesting to see what the films make of District 13 and its underground bunkers, weapons testing rooms, and strict codes of conduct. The set and costume designers will probably have as much fun making the unique style of 13 come to life as they do with the Capitol.

It’s also here that we get to see some of the most interesting and morally-ambiguous characters reveal their true intentions. Fan favourites Plutarch Heavensbee, Haymitch Abernathy, Finnick Odair and Gale Hawthorne return with some great and weighty moments between them. And a few new and fascinating characters join the fray.

3. Battles & Tech

As the story unfolds and the uprising in the Districts becomes all-out war with the Capitol, the fighting hits the streets. Katniss’s simple bow and arrow is replaced with a high-tech version and ever-more terrifying weapons are being created by both sides in the vicious fight. Besides the explosive battle scenes and portentous threats, perhaps the most interesting aspect of this is the way the Capitol’s own televised system of propaganda is used against them by the Districts. It’s a dubious weapon, but both sides in the war create “propos” to sway public opinion to their side. It’s because of these “propos” that we can’t wait to see Katniss’s “You Burn With Us” speech, but it’s also the first hint that District 13 might not be quite the righteous force it claims to be – leading to an even more complex web of political intrigue to explore. And plenty of dark foreshadowing.

4. Katniss as the Mockingjay

The Mockingjay, in the books, is a symbol of defiance against the Capitol. The Capitol once bred Jabberjays – a bird made specifically to repeat the traitorous conversations of people in the Districts back to the Capitol – but when the Districts found out what they were used for the Capitol no longer had any use for them and set them free. In the wild, the Jabberjays bred with Mockingbirds and so the Mockingjay was born – a symbol of how a weapon the Capitol made ultimately created something good against their will. Katniss wore the Mockingjay pin in the arena and her own acts of defiance were made by using the Capitol’s own rules against them. And so the Mockingjay has become the symbol of the revolution.

Stylist Cinna designed Katniss’s fiery Mockingjay dress and was punished by the Capitol for his efforts. But this time round, he’s left a much more interesting costume design as his legacy and this one is befitting of a soldier. Previous films have included the fan favourite moments such as Katniss’s wedding dress and the brilliant tribute parade costumes, so it will be great to see what they make of this new challenge that represents Katniss’s acceptance of her role in the war to come.

5. Peeta and Johanna?

Perhaps the most heart-rending part of the story so far was finding out that Peeta and Johanna were captured by the Capitol at the end of Catching Fire. The Capitol’s bloody regime and reputation for torture don’t bode well for these characters. It also leaves Katniss feeling adrift and guilty. It will almost certainly be the emotional catalyst that drives Mockingjay: Part 1 and fans will be looking forward to seeing the dark repercussions of their capture. Will Peeta and Katniss see each other again? How will Peeta and Johanna fare under the weight of mental and physical torture they’ll face every time Katniss makes a move the Capitol don’t like? How can Katniss become the Mockingjay when she knows that the Capitol can hurt her friends every time she makes a stand? It’s a dark and difficult situation to explore, but in the books it is utterly compelling so we can only hope the film captures that spirit!

It’s especially hard to guess where the split will come in the Mockingjay two-parter, but once all of the above has been established the story takes a distinct turn that sends us catapulting toward an explosive, game-changing ending full of action, horror, and drama. See our 5 Things We’re Excited To See In The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 to explore the favourite moments we can’t wait to see in the second half of Mockingjay that will send us crashing toward that epic finale!

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Parts 1 and 2 will be released on 2o November 2014 and 20 November 2015 respectively.