I've seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens three times already, and it won't be the last time I see it in theaters. It's such an awesomely entertaining movie, but by the end of it, we were left with just as many questions as were answered.
After talking to friends about the film, I came up with a list of six of the biggest questions I had for the film. I tried to find information on them, and then offered up my own theories on what it means, or what we could see in future films.
Look over what I've come up with below and feel free to share your own thoughts, questions or theories in the comment section below.
Who are Rey's parents?
One of the biggest questions that I've seen Star Wars fans talking about is who Rey's parents are. Some say it's Han and Leia, but I didn't get a sense of that at all. Han and Leia clearly weren't familiar with who she was. They were focused on their son.
The popular theory is that Rey is Luke's daughter. That seems to be the most likely scenario, but it just seems too predictable for something Abrams and Kasdan would do. I think there's more to it than that. But why is the lightsaber calling to her!? Does she have to be a Skywalker? Why didn't Han or Leia recognize her? If she was Luke's daughter, they must have know he had a kid, right?
Could she be related to Ben Kenobi in some way? He did have the Skywalker lightsaber for years before he gave it to Luke. We also hear him in Rey's vision say, “Rey, you’ve taken your first steps.” We didn't hear Anakin Skywalker say anything.
The Force.net offers a theory on how Rey could be a Kenobi, explaining:
Anyone who has watched Clone Wars will know Obi-Wan had a relationship with Duchess Satine Kryze leader of the Mandalorians. In fact when Obi-Wan was still a Padawan he and Qui-Gon protected her for over a year. Obi-Wan and Satine grew so close that Obi-Wan stated he would have renounced his vows to the Jedi order had she asked. Now Qui-Gon was certainly no stickler for the rules, but fathering a child is in fact not against the Jedi code. The attachment that usually comes with such things is the issue. So Obi-Wan could easily have fathered a child with Satine and remained a Jedi so long as he was detached enough from the situation. This child being of both Mandalorian and Jedi descent would have to be kept a secret. It would have been an affront to the mandalorians seeking to return to the old ways and a target of assassination as a result.
There's also the slight possibility that she could be related to someone else entirely. In The Empire Strikes Back, after Luke leaves Yoda's training Obi-Wan says, "This boy is our last hope." And Yoda replies, "No, there is another." Many of us just assumed that someone was Leia, but maybe for this trilogy, it was made to be someone else will in this new story arc and that's who Rey is related to.
How was Rey so good at using The Force so quickly?
For someone who didn't know she was a Jedi, she sure did learn to use the ways of the Force rather quickly with very little help or guidance. It didn't even seem like she knew she was Force sensitive while growing up on Jakku. But by the end of this movie, she used the Jedi mind trick, she used the Force to get a hold of the lightsaber, and she was able to take on Kylo Ren both mentally and physically.
This makes me think that she was at least trained in the ways of The Force as a child by Luke before she was abandoned on Jakku. It is possible that whoever left her there used their Jedi powers to lock some part of her mind so that she couldn't use The Force to protect her from being killed like the rest of the younglings that Luke was training.
It wasn't until Kylo Ren started messing around with her mind that the Force was unlocked in her and she started using it. He obviously stirred something in her, and from there it just got stronger and stronger. It seemed like there were some memories coming back to her regarding what she may have been taught as a child. It was also in this scene where we learned she had a memory of the Jedi temple where Luke was in hiding.
Who the hell is this Snoke asshole?
We hardly got any information regarding Supreme Leader Snoke. He obviously rose from somewhere between Episode VI and VII. It seems like he has been around much longer than that, though. We've just never been introduced to him until now.
Over the years, it looks like he's been through some serious shit. The guy is physically messed up, and I imagine whatever happened to him only fueled his hate for the Jedi. The creature designer of the Snoke, Ivan Manzella, had this to say about the character in the book, The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens:
“J.J. [Abrams] wanted to base Snoke on the Hammer Films horror movies, giving the design a ghoulish look. We made a bust out of marble powder, because we talked about him being very pale. And I imagined him to be a beautiful marble sculpture, so dark and menacing, but actually quite beautiful to look at.
"It’s almost like Snoke was quite handsome when he was younger. And in my mind, the more powerful he’s become, the more the Dark Side consumes him. We made his eyes really pale, pale blue so the whites of his eyes are almost the same color as his skin and costume. Piercing.”
Maybe Luke actually battled Snoke at one point!? Maybe Luke is the one who jacked him up royally. We know that Snoke helped Kylo Ren turn to the Dark Side, though. We also learned from him that Ren's training is incomplete and that Ren has to return to wherever Snoke resides to complete his training. I assume Snoke will be the one to teach him.
There are fan theories that suggest Snoke is actually Darth Plagueis, who is a character that was mentioned in the prequels. Abrams has denied this in the past, but he also denied that Khan wasn't in Star Trek Into Darkness.
Emperer Palpatine once described Darth Plagueis:
“Darth Plagueis was a dark lord of the Sith, so powerful and so wise. He could influence the midichlorians to create life. He had such a knowledge of the Dark Side, he could even keep the ones he cared about from dying.”
But then Palpatine claimed to have killed Plagueis in his sleep. I personally don't think that Snoke is Plagueis. I think he's a different character entirely.
Where are the rest of the Knights of Ren?
Kylo Ren is a part of a group who relishes in the Dark Side called the Knights of Ren. We've talked about them a few times in the past, but we only got a glimpse of them in The Force Awakens during Rey's vision.
In that vision, we see that they lashed out against the Jedi and killed many of the new Jedi that Luke was training. We saw many of them dead, lying in the mud.
We know Kylo Ren was a part of that group, but where are the rest of them now? Are they with Supreme Leader Snoke, still in training? Are they in other parts of the galaxy hunting down Luke Skywalker and other rising Jedi? I'm sure they'll play a bigger role in the upcoming films, but it's hard to tell how exactly they will play into it, though.
Why did Luke really go into hiding?
We learned in the film that Luke went to train a new generation of Jedi. This is what Yoda instructed him to do when he told him to "pass on what you had learned." While doing this something bad obviously happened, and an evil arose within the group. Apparently it was really bad, and he felt responsible for what happened that he felt he needed to run and go into hiding. So he embarked on a journey to find the first Jedi temple. Why the first Jedi temple? Maybe to find some kind of answers or a solution to the growing problems of the Dark Side. I'd like to think that maybe he's been conversing with Yoda, Obi-Wan, and his father while he's been there!
Judging by Rey and Kylo Ren's age, he's been gone for maybe 15 years. So why wait all that time for someone to find him? Why didn't he come back to help? Does he really think the galaxy would be better off without him? Because we all know that's bullshit — I never saw Luke as some self-loathing person that wouldn't help.
Luke's journey in this new trilogy hasn't even started yet. I'm confident that we'll learn a lot more about what happened in Rian Johnson's Episode VIII. Will he start Rey's training in the ways of the Force? If Yoda and Obi-Wan have anything to say about it, yes...he will!
How did Maz get ahold of Luke and Anakin's Lightsaber?
Luke lost the lightsaber in Cloud City in The Empire Strikes Back after Darth Vader cut his hand off. Maz says that she came across it many years ago, but failed to explain how. She just said it was a story for another time.
When the movie was in early development, a rumor surfaced about how The Force Awakens would start. After the classic Star Wars crawl ended, it said that instead of a spaceship coming into frame, it would be the severed hand of Luke in space holding on to the lightsaber, and that it ends up falling onto a desert planet where one of the characters would find it.
It was originally rumored the character was Rey, but that obviously changed. Rey was meant to come across the lightsaber in Maz's watering hole. But maybe some of these details are part of the story of how Maz came across it. Also, in an original version of the script, Rey didn't find the lightsaber on her own. According to a previous report Maz leads Han, Finn and Rey into a chamber where the lightsaber is and she begins to tell them a flashback story. Here are some of the points of that story:
There are dead bodies are on the ground like we saw in the movie. Only in this version Luke shows up. After this carnage there is a more peaceful scene and R2-D2 is saddened as his master departs.
There is a hand that takes the lightsaber at the start of the film. This peasant drops the saber, starts a fire, panics and then returns. A local trader had got his hands on the saber, and he's seen leaving with it. This trader then makes a sale of a wealthy man. After that, there is a fierce battle with the lightsaber being use by a "Clan" against "The Seven." I assume The Seven are the Knights of Ren. While this battle is taking place, Maz, who was apparently originally named Rose, takes “the object,” which I assume is the saber that may have been dropped in battle.
These were all presented as bullet points, so it's hard to piece together what exactly happened, but that should give you an idea. I'm sure the mystery of how Maz actually came across it will be revealed in Episode VIII.