The seven Star Wars films so far have been high on adventure, spectacular special effects, and… questions. There are always so many questions. Such as, who are these Jedi, really? And would all those different species really drink the same kind of booze?
Episode VII: The Force Awakens ignited its own set of new questions with the arrival of Rey and other new characters with backstories that need filling in. It’s through all those questions that the plot will likely unfold, edging to the conclusion of the trilogy of trilogies with Episode IX.
Old and new characters return, including Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, John Boyega as Finn, and Daisy Ridley as Rey. The blend of previous and current generations of Star Wars characters gives the movie’s creators the opportunity to clear up some of the many relationships and motivating factors behind the action of the plot.
The action of Episode VIII: The Last Jedi picks up right the second where Episode VII left off. Rey has just landed on Ahch-To, and she’s just laid eyes on Luke. What happens next will certainly start to answer these many questions we have.
The Last Jedi hits movies screens on December 15, 2017
15. Why Must The Jedi End?
“It’s time for the Jedi to end.” So we hear Luke say as the last line of the first teaser trailer for Star Wars 8, and it’s a theme, of course, that is echoed in the movie’s title. But why must they end? And how? And what does that mean for Rey, who has just traveled across the galaxy to find him? Rey has been characterized by her self-sufficient ways, and it looks like they may come into play yet again if she’s left to make her way on her own. Kinda like when Yoda went on his eternal sleep just when Luke thought he needed him most. Father figures and abandonment — it’s a theme littered across the Star Wars saga. Or perhaps, the phrase is pointing the way towards the completion of the entire 9-movie Star Wars saga that will finally reach its conclusion in the next film — maybe the end of the Jedi and a new galactic order a la Lord of the Rings?
14. Who Is (Are) The Last Jedi?
Ever since Disney and Lucasfilm announced the official name of Star Wars 8 in January 2017, speculation has been rampant as to its meaning. Who is the last Jedi? Or does it mean the last of the Jedi entirely, as an order? As an individual, we could be looking at Luke. Or maybe it’s Rey who will emerge as the last Jedi left standing. Jedi, the word, can be singular or plural, leading to some of the confusion. Fans thought they had the answer when the teaser poster came out in languages other than English. In German, the poster reads, “Die Letzten Jedi” – which is plural. It’s the same deal in Spanish. But then, during the Star Wars Celebration Orlando event in April 2017, director Rian Johnson told Good Morning America that he’d actually never considered the question. “In my mind it’s singular. In my mind, it is, absolutely.” In his mind? It looks like we’ll have to watch The Last Jedi ourselves to find out.
13. Who Are Rey’s Parents?
This has to be easily the greatest subject of fan speculation online and off. Who are Rey’s parents? We know that she was dropped off on Jakku by her family to fend for herself as a scavenger. She’s been waiting patiently for them to return. But, seriously, what kind of family drops a kid off on a desert planet alone? Well… maybe a Jedi. Many people think that Luke Skywalker is the natural choice. It would explain why the Force is so strong with her and all. It would also raise a few more questions, such as: why would he abandon her while taking the time to train his nephew, Ben Solo – aka Kylo Ren? Disney’s Star Wars 8 web page has hinted at the “mysterious connection” between Rey and Kylo Ren — maybe it’s family ties? Other possible father figures include Obi-Wan Kenobi, who does have that 30-year gap in Tatooine unaccounted for, and even Han Solo… but the latter wouldn’t explain Rey’s midi-chlorian count, unless it came from the mother… Others have speculated that she is actually the Emperor’s granddaughter. No matter which way it goes, we’re expecting at least a direction to go in, if not the definitive answer, from The Last Jedi.
12. Why Did Luke Leave?
First off, we’ll have to note that the Jedi have a habit of making themselves scarce whenever things take a turn for the worst. The Emperor takes over and nixes the Republic? Yoda buggers off to Dagobah. Fight to the near death of your one-time padawan, now an evil Sith, servant of his master Darth Sidious? Time for Obi-Wan to head for the deserts of Tatooine. So, there’s a tradition. In Luke’s case, it also comes after his training of Ben Solo goes seriously south, his nephew emerging as Kylo Ren, apprentice to Snoke, Supreme Leader of the First Order. On the way out, Kylo Ren followed the path of Anakin Skywalker as he transformed into Darth Vader — an idol of Ren’s — in killing all the other Jedi trainees and destroying Luke’s attempt to re-establish the Jedi Order. So he’s despondent; we get it. But there’s more. He was looking for the First Jedi Temple when contact was lost. It’s mentioned that this is a personal quest of his. What kind of quest? What made it important at that time? Has he found it? And why was he looking into the origins of the mysterious order? We have a feeling the answers will prove crucial to the plot.
11. Why Did Rey Experience Visions After Touching The Lightsaber For The First Time?
When Rey first touches Luke’s old lightsaber, she’s immediately transported into a flashback vision of being in a hallway. We hear a younger version of Rey’s voice screaming “No!” We also hear the voices of Obi-Wan in a version that blends the voices of Alec Guinness and Ewan McGregor, and we hear Yoda too. “Its energy …” Yoda says “… surrounds us …” We see R2-D2 and someone in a hood, which most commentators assume is Luke. The scenes flash between what looks like Cloud City to a rainy outdoor battle. We see Unkar, who is the boss of the junk trade on Jakku, dragging a young Rey away while a spaceship flies away into the sky. Then she’s in a forest as the snow falls and she confronts Kylo Ren with Obi-Wan dishing out advice. What does it all add up to? And why does she have these visions, which didn’t occur with Luke himself when he received the lightsaber? It seems to point to a different sort of origin and perhaps destiny for Rey. Maybe she’s not a Skywalker after all…
10. Who Is Maz Kanata And How Did She Come By Luke Skywalker’s Lightsaber?
Maz Kanata had a short but very intriguing role in The Force Awakens. Let’s start with the diminutive alien depicted through motion capture via Lupita Nyong’o. She used to be a pirate, and she’s over a thousand years old. She runs a multi-species bar on Takodana that is reminiscent of the famous Cantina scenes from the planet Mos Eisley in Episode IV: A New Hope. An ex-pirate running a seedy, sometimes violent, bar is plausible enough. But what’s with the Jedi lightsaber lurking oh-so-casually in the basement? The last we saw Luke’s lightsaber, it was falling into the black void of space in the city’s air shaft along with Luke’s severed hand during his climactic battle with Darth Vader in Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back. That happened on Geonosis, which is not far from Tatooine. Where could it have gone from there? Maz clearly knows Luke, or at least about him, and the ways of the Force. Did Luke leave it with her for safe keeping? Or did she come across it during her pirating days perhaps?
9. Why Does Rey End Up With Luke’s Lightsaber Again?
Along with the first teaser trailer for Star Wars 8, Lucasfilm and Disney released new posters and other promo materials for the movie. We’re noting that Rey is sporting a slightly different look this time around, along with Luke’s lightsaber. Now, even setting aside the untold and no doubt complicated history of how she came by it in the first place, when we last see it at the very end of The Force Awakens, she’s kneeling, offering it to Luke Skywalker. Does he give it back as he begins her Jedi training? That seems logical. Still, Luke is said to play a fairly significant role in Star Wars 8. How will he do that without a lightsaber? Or, maybe the question should be: what kind of role can he play without a lightsaber? There’s not much to go on in the way of clues or script leaks so far, so all we can do here is wait and see.
8. What Is Supreme Leader Snoke’s History?
What’s the deal with Supreme Leader Snoke? Seen briefly in The Force Awakens, he clearly occupies the same place as the Emperor, adept at the Dark Side with Kylo Ren as his apprentice. He’s got a sketchy official bio, and there’s no indication whether he’s actually a Sith or some other type of being. Another part of his mystery is his appearance. He’s creepily thin and has large hands. He looks like you could blow him over with a strong wind. Snoke’s face is scarred, and his eyes are pale blue. His hologram appears several times larger than life. The creators of his look wanted him to appear like someone who had been attractive as a young person — humanoid? — but whose face was gradually consumed by the evil of the Dark Side. Who was he? And where did he come from? How did he rise to power within The First Order as it began to form?
7. Who Is Finn?
As the director of The Force Awakens, J.J. Abrams stated in interviews that Finn’s last name was never revealed in the movie for a reason. We know him more correctly as FN-287, the operative designation he’s given by The First Order as one of their stormtroopers. The First Order raised him from birth, but who actually gave birth to him? Now, it has to be said that the entire Star Wars saga has not been a real model of diversity in casting. That narrows the field down a little if we’re to assume that he’s the offspring of someone we already know. That might be Lando Calrissian as played by Billy Dee Williams or Samuel L. Jackson‘s Mace Windu. Now, Mace is problematic as a possibility since he would have lived and died decades before Finn. He could possibly be his grandfather, if the Jedi Master and general had ever had a lapse of his Jedi-ness and indulged in an affair, which is forbidden. Lando is a more direct possibility. He certainly could have settled down and had children, but what happened to send Finn directly to The First Order at birth? This one may or may not be answered in Star Wars 8 — there’s been no hint of it as yet — but we need to know.
6. Who Are The Knights Of Ren?
Kylo Ren is their leader, and that’s pretty much all we know about the Knights of Ren so far. What we’ve seen of them comes exclusively from the vision that seizes Rey when she first takes hold of Luke’s lightsaber. She sees them with a bunch of dead bodies scattered at their feet. Now, when Ben Solo turned to the Dark Side as Kylo Ren, he is said to have slaughtered all of Luke’s other Jedi trainees. But what if he turned them, too, or at least some of them? He would have brought the lot of them over to serve Supreme Leader Snoke. Rey’s vision could have been showing her how the faithful trainees were killed by the turncoats — but then, we’re not sure what is past and what is future in those visions of hers. We have a feeling that the more we know about the Knights of Ren, the more we’ll know about Kylo Ren’s backstory and his turn toward the Dark Side.
5. Why Does Kylo Ren Have An Ancient Lightsaber?
When Kylo Ren faces off against first Finn, and then Rey in the forest in The Force Awakens, it’s lightsaber against lightsaber, but with a difference. The two lightsabers are clearly made from two different designs. Luke’s has a blue plasma blade with an intense but contained glow. Kylo Ren’s has a red plasma blade with an additional crossguard blade, and the glowing plasma seems much less stable. According to a Disney, Kylo Ren’s lightsaber was made recently from an ancient design. The purpose of the crossguard blades, also called quillons, is to act as vents for the raw power generated by the main blade. The instability comes from using a cracked Kyber crystal to power it. The question remains, why would Kylo Ren be using the design of an ancient lightsaber when constructing his own, and who gave him said design? Luke would have taught him how to construct a modern one like his own. Was it Supreme Leader Snoke? And does that mean he also has a connection to the Jedi? Does it have anything to do with Luke’s quest to find the First Jedi Temple? There are lots to untangle in these simple questions.
4. Will Luke Skywalker Cross Lightsabers With Kylo Ren?
This really goes to Luke Skywalker’s role in The Last Jedi. Does he serve as more of a mentor and quasi-father figure if not actual biological father figure to Rey, only to fall away and die as most such father figures do in heroic sci-fi movies, leaving our heroes to become heroes on their own? It’s a classic role, but it would be a little disappointing not to see the Jedi Master put his battle skills to use, especially against the apprentice who went so entirely wrong. The brawl between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker on Mustafar was a crucial one — and, we have to say, one of the highlights of the Episode I-III trilogy. We think a duel between Luke and Kylo Ren would be equally seminal and certainly worth watching. Certainly, the two are likely to come face-to-face at some point, and some kind of confrontation seems certain. What will happen, and how will it turn out?
3. Will Yoda And Obi-Wan Return?
In the first teaser trailer, as Luke narrates, you can hear whispering in the background and in between his lines. At one point, Obi-Wan Kenobi says, “seduced by the dark side.” Yoda can be heard saying, “surrounds us, binds us.” It could just be whispers and nothing more. Or they could appear as Force Ghosts, something like the way Obi-Wan, Yoda, and Anakin appear to Luke at the end of Episode VI. Obi-Wan and Yoda could help Rey with her Jedi training. They may play an even more significant role than that. Frank Oz, who voices Yoda, was seen in Ireland on set when The Last Jedi was being filmed. Hayden Christensen was also said to have traveled to Ireland at the time. Most of the action in the movie is sure to be left to the newest generation of Star Wars heroes and villains, but it’s nice to see a sense of continuity tying the eventual nine-movie series together.
2. The Origins Of Anakin Skywalker
Back in August 2016, a Star Wars Episode VIII script leak hit the media, and it seems to hint that Anakin Skywalker’s — Darth Vader’s — father was none other than Supreme Leader Snoke. What?? The leaked scene includes an encounter between Luke Skywalker and Snoke, and during a conversation, Snoke seems to be saying that he met Anakin Skywalker. The line is “After all, what father doesn’t see his own creation?” Notice, though, that the supposed line mentions “creation” and not “son.” Anakin Skywalker, as we know, is supposed to have been conceived by Shmi Skywalker via midi-chlorians — with no biological father, in other words. Does this mean that Snoke somehow manipulated the Force in order to impregnate Shmi? That, in turn, has led some to speculate that Snoke is actually Darth Plagueis, the Sith who had been the Emperor’s master and who had the necessary power to create life and manipulate the flow of midi-chlorians.
1. What Role Does BB-8 Play In The Story?
R2-D2 and C3PO were among the highlights of the first six Star Wars movies, and they’re among the fans’ most favorite characters. R2-D2 seems to be playing at least some role in the next phase of the galactic space opera, but the baton has been passed to round, more terrain-friendly BB-8. In The Force Awakens, BB-8 arrives in the story with Poe Dameron, and we really get no background info on him. Where did he come from? He’s carrying part of the map to find Luke Skywalker, and he’s the one that communicates with R2 to hook up with the last missing part of the map. At the end of Episode VII, just before Rey takes off to find Luke, BB-8 says something to her, and we see her stern expression as she hears it. But, when she heads out, she takes only R2 and Chewie with her. What is BB-8’s role in all of this? Is he a kind of sidekick to R2, or will he take on a more important role? Toy manufacturers need to know.