It’s been a while since we saw The Force Awakens for the first time, but with Star Wars: The Last Jedi hitting cinemas this week, it’s probably time to recap what happened. More importantly, all the questions we had after watching Episode 7. In case you can’t remember, there were A LOT. From why Rey was abandoned on Jakku, to what turned Ben Solo to the Dark Side, below are the 14 biggest questions Episode 8 needs to answer (or else!). Read and on and get ready for The Last Jedi release. Oh, and spoilers for The Force Awakens below obviously, so if you haven’t seen it yet… well, I don’t even know why you’re here.
1. What’s the beef between Kylo Ren and General Hux?
Do those guys have issues or do they have issues?! The tension between Snoke’s two second-in-commands is so palpable you could cut it with a knife. All the tantrums, stink eye, and out right insults made me feel like I was watching Mean Girls all over again and it’s pretty weird behavior for two people who are supposedly on the same team. So what’s the deal? Is it just testosterone gone mad or do the pair have some currently unexplored history which will explain why they hate each other so much? Domhnall Gleeson recently revealed that Hux is “a bit freaked out by all the magic stuff,” so perhaps that’s why he dislikes Ren. Whatever the issue, you can be sure it’ll create problems for the First Order in The Last Jedi. Wait… maybe that’s a good thing.
2. How did the Millennium Falcon end up on Jakku?
It was pretty convenient for Rey and Finn that it did, but how did one of the galaxy’s most famous ships end up dumped on a desert-planet with no one to care for it? Especially when Han Solo and Chewie love it so much. Well, according to Han Solo, gunrunner Gannis Ducain stole the Falcon from him and Rey reveals that the Irving Boys stole it from Ducain and that Unkar Plutt then stole it from them. Basically, it was stolen a lot, but the question remains why Plutt left it rusting on Jakku when he’d gone to so much trouble to get it? Some kind of explanation would be nice because right now it just feels like a plot device.
3. Who are Rey’s parents and why did they leave her on Jakku?
This is the biggie. Rey’s parents are clearly important to the new Star Wars trilogy. You can tell because they feature in her story a fair amount, but we don’t know who they are. Plus, there are the flashbacks and the fact that they abandoned her on Jakku as a child with the intention of coming back for her but then didn’t… It’s looking pretty likely that we’ll find out who they are in The Last Jedi, but there’s been theories about Rey’s heritage flying around for a while now, ranging from her being Obi-Wan’s granddaughter to Kylo Ren’s sister. I think it’s safe to say that we know her parents (or at least one of them) from the Star Wars universe, otherwise what’s the point of all the build up?
Director Rian Johnson also recently revealed that Rey’s reaction to finding out who her parents are is more important than their actual identities which implies she’ll have a strong (possibly shocked?) reaction. I think we can safely say her parents aren’t Han and Leia (meaning she’s not Kylo Ren’s sister) because they would never have left her for so long. Could she be Luke’s daughter? Again, I think this is unlikely because it would be too similar of a revelation to his own discovery about his father in The Empire Strikes Back. Obi-Wan’s granddaughter is looking more and more likely - no way he lived in that cave on Tatooine all on his own for so long - but another possibility is that she’s a relation of Snoke’s. That certainly would be a shock for her.
This is obviously linked to another question which is, why did her parents leave her on Jakku? The obvious answer is to protect her which supports the idea that her parents are known to us and that she might be in danger because of her Force sensitivities. The other possibility is that her parents aren’t the ones that left her there. Luke and Leia’s parents weren’t the ones who gave them to their adoptive families after all. Perhaps Rey’s parents died long ago and someone else took her to Jakku. Maybe her parents didn’t even want to give her up, but she was snatched from them to stop her becoming a powerful Jedi? So many possibilities!
4. Why didn’t Chewie kill Kylo Ren?
You know the moment I’m talking about. Kylo Ren has just murdered his dad Han Solo in a heart-breaking scene and in response, Chewie lifts up his bowcaster and fires at Ren severely injuring him in the waist. That’s right, he missed. Missed killing him anyway, which is very odd given that Kylo was wide open, Chewie wasn't that far away, and he’s a really good shot… usually. So how did he miss avenging his BFF? There’s a few possibilities, but, personally, I’m a fan of this beautifully sad theory.
5. What’s happened to Snoke’s face?
I don’t mean to be indelicate but Snoke’s face looks like it’s been melted and then glued back together and then melted again. His disfiguration has to feature in the new trilogy’s story somewhere because no one is that ugly without a good reason, so what happened? Did he fall into a vat of boiling oil? Was it lava like with Darth Vader? Well, it turns out what whatever caused his injuries, the Resistance might be to blame as Andy Serkis reveals his injury has something to do with why he hates them so much. “He has suffered and he has suffered injury,” Serkis told EW. “The way that his malevolence comes out is in reaction to that. His hatred of the Resistance is fueled by what’s happened to him personally.” Perhaps The Last Jedi will explain exactly how he was injured as Snoke takes on a larger role.
6. Where is Snoke?
And speaking of Snoke, where is he? All we saw of him in The Force Awakens was as a giant hologram. It’s since been confirmed that he’s neither giant, nor a hologram so where is he holed up and why was he not on Starkiller Base? Maybe his injuries are too severe for him to travel and he commands the First Order from a high tech space lair? We should find out pretty soon as the end of Episode 7 saw Snoke telling Kylo to come to him to complete his training (more on that later).
7. What turned Ben to the Dark Side?
If ‘who are Rey’s parents?’ is Big Question No. 1, then this is Big Question No. 2. You don’t just grow up as the son of Han Solo and Leia Organa, and the nephew of Luke Skywalker, and then one day decide to join the Dark Side. Something has to happen. Something seriously bad has to happen. What could have possibly turned Ben Solo into Kylo Ren? It’s hard to say as we don’t know much about Ben’s life before he became Ren and it would take something pretty drastic to push him to the Dark Side, but one theory is that he did have a twin sister (as in the Star Wars expanded universe novels) and that she died and this made him angry which led to hate which led to… oh you know what I’m on about. Sort of like how Padmé’s death pushed Anakin into becoming Darth Vader. My feeling is that we may find out what happened to Ben Solo in The Last Jedi because if anyone is going to know it will be his mum Leia and it’s already been confirmed that she won't appear in Star Wars 9 in CGI (or any other) form.
8. Why is there a Resistance again?
As much as I enjoyed The Force Awakens, there’s definitely a few plot holes which need to be resolved in The Last Jedi. Like, why is there another rebellion? In the original Star Wars trilogy, the evil Empire ruled over the galaxy and it was the Rebels (along with Luke, Han, and Leia) who fought back and overthrew the dictatorship. They won. So, why, all these years later, is a very Empire-looking First Order in control and Leia is back leading the rebels? The good guys are even called the Resistance, implying that they’re not the ones in charge, but it’s never explained why. Perhaps the Rebels’ idealistic attitudes toward government just wasn’t very practical and Snoke orchestrated a coup? We need a recap of The Rise and (*fingers crossed*) Fall of the First Order.
9. What did Rey see in her Force vision?
I don’t know about you but I could have done with seeing that Force vision a few more times. When Rey touches Luke’s lightsaber for the first time at Maz Kanata’s castle, she sees a series of images, which rush by at such speed that you’d be forgiven for not remembering a moment of it now. Even after pouring over the scene when the Blu-ray came out, it’s not 100% clear what it all means. We know that Rey saw a mixture of past and future events because the scenes where she’s confronted by Kylo Ren in the snow-covered forest come to pass at the end of the Force Awakens. Other significant moments include her appearing in the corridor on Cloud City where Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker dueled in The Empire Strikes Back, reliving her abandonment on Jakku, and witnessing what we think are the Knights of Ren massacring a whole lot of people as Luke and R2-D2 look on. She also hears the voices of Darth Vader, Luke, Obi-Wan (the Ewan McGregor and Alec Guinness versions), and Yoda. It’s clearly very important and will be relevant to what happens in Episodes 8 and 9 so if you want to recap before you see The Last Jedi you can watch a full breakdown of the vision here.
10. How did Maz get Luke’s lightsaber?
Pretty convenient Luke’s lightsaber turning up on Takodana, right? Well, maybe - you could argue that Rey was either destined to find it or was drawn to it in some kind of mystical Force way, but that doesn’t explain how Luke’s Jedi weapon ended up there. It’s worth pointing out that this is Luke’s first lightsaber (which he got from Obi-Wan, who took it from Anakin), so the last we saw of it, the weapon was hurtling to the bottom of Cloud City after Vader cut it (and Luke’s hand) away in Empire Strikes Back. The journey from there is… a mystery. Maz is a collector, clearly, and she’s aligned with the Rebellion, so she may have bought it as an artefact. Or she may have been entrusted with it. By who? That’s the question, if this is the case. It could be a big clue in Rey’s backstory, if someone deliberately gave it to Maz for Rey to find. Also… what happened to Luke’s hand? Some theorists think that Rey is actually a clone made from Luke’s severed hand, which seems far fetched, but… never say never.
11. How did C-3PO get his red arm?
It’s unlikely C-3PO was involved in some kind of bare-knuckle brawl, so why does he now have a red arm? The answer can actually be found in the comics. In The Phantom Limb comic Threepio crashes on an unidentified planet along with four other Resistance droids and a First Order protocol droid OMRI. The Resistance droids escape and try and find their crew but OMRI - who has information on where the First Order have taken Admiral Ackbar - leads them into a trap. In the ensuing ruckus all droids except C-3PO and OMRI are destroyed, with C-3PO losing his arm to a sea creature. While taking shelter from the acid rain (it sounds like a really nice planet they’ve crashed on), OMRI has a change of heart, sharing Admiral Ackbar's location with Threepio and ultimately sacrificing himself so that the golden droid can be rescued. To remember his friend, C-3PO keeps OMRI's red arm and eventually wears it as a tribute. Awww.
12. Who made the map to Luke?
This one’s tricky. It seems Leia is the one searching for Luke, but she definitely isn’t the one who made the map, as she tasks Poe with recovering the final part of it. So… who else knows about Luke, and - crucially - where Luke actually is? The answer is probably Luke himself. Yeah, let that sink in. Why make a map and break it into sections unless you intend for someone to put the pieces together? You assume it’s going to take someone a certain amount of time to put that map together, depending on how well you hide the pieces, so you have a certain amount of time to prepare for… whatever. Your return. Because the map knows where Luke ultimately is, only Luke himself could have made it? Unless there’s another Jedi disciple character who fled the destroyed training camp with Luke, settled him in his hiding place, and then went into the universe to scatter the map pieces. Or is it just a plot hole waiting to yawn wide open throughout the next couple of movies?
13. What does Ren need to do to complete his training?
In The Force Awakens Kylo Ren still isn’t the finished article. Not even close. He still has training to do, as we hear from Snoke - and it wasn’t killing Han Solo to free himself from any kind of sentimental attachment to his family. So what will complete his training? I’d love to see some kind of reverse-Yoda montage, where Ren sprints around a Degoba-like planet with tiny Snoke on his back, grumbling about concentration. But it won’t happen. Perhaps Ren needs to either vanquish his old master, Luke, to complete the training… or he needs to slay both his parents to fully ensure there’s no good in him.
14. Why did Leia send Rey to get Luke?
There are a few possibilities here. Firstly, Leia is aware that Rey is Force sensitive, and she knows that by sending her to get Luke, she’ll have a chance to train with him. A trained Jedi would be a serious asset to the Resistance. Secondly, she could send Rey because of something that happened in the past - perhaps she knows Luke wouldn’t leave exile for her, because of a dispute or conflict in between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. Luke did try to train her son, who kinda turned to the Dark side, so that would definitely make things awkward during family Christmas reunions. Or maybe Leia is just too emotionally devastated by the loss of Han and, combined with age, she isn’t physically able to go and find Luke herself. Or - very speculative - Luke and Leia know about Rey’s past, so Leia sends her to find the answers she needs (but, for some reason, can’t tell her herself). Personally, I think it’s most likely a training thing.