Star Wars

Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens just premiered to the biggest box office weekend of all time, and we took the weekend to rapturously enjoy it and avidly dissect the theories percolating across the Web. Here are 14 of our favorites, exploring the mysteries behind—and futures in store for—Rey, Kylo Ren, Luke Skywalker, Supreme Leader Snoke and more.

****Nothing but spoilers from here on in!****

1. Rey's preternatural ability with the Force is a skill we've never seen before. "This theory suggests that Rey is so strong with the Force that, rather than requiring Jedi training, she can simply 'reverse-engineer' vital skills by encountering others who exhibit these powers," writes the Guardian. Very cool idea, and a nice break from the nonstop speculation about her lineage. (Don't worry, we'll get into that, too.)

2. Supreme Leader Snoke is actually tiny. This one's straightforward and it's everywhere. The eerie, non-human Snoke, in his several conversations with Kylo Ren, seems to be huge, but he only appears by hologram. Is he going full Wizard of Oz on us? Does Kylo even know, if so?

3. Luke Skywalker gave Snoke those scars. Snoke has to have seen his share of action if he's risen to this top dawg spot, right? And who better to duke it out with than the greatest Jedi in the known universe? [The Guardian]

4. Maz Kanata and Yoda were tight. "I do believe that Maz and Yoda at one point had crossed paths," J.J. Abrams has been quoted as saying. "But that is not something, of course, due to the events of past films, that happens in this one." Did the 1,000-year-old wisewoman and the 900-year-old Jedi master do some important collaborating somewhere along the line?

Disney/Lucasfilm Ltd.

5. Supreme Leader Snoke is Darth Plagueis, the legendary Sith lord that soon-to-be-Emperor Palpatine hyped up to Anakin in Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. The Telegraph writes:

"As well as Smeagol and Lord Voldemort, Snoke closely resembles the images we have seen of the Sith Lord Darth Plagueis the Wise in relation to an Expanded Universe novel (which is no longer canon thanks to Disney’s buyout of the franchise), who trained, plotted to found the Empire with, and then was killed by, Palpatine."  

Support for this theory comes from the fact that the theme composed John Williams gave Snoke is super similar to the one that plays during Palpatine's speech about Darth Plagueis in Episode IIIListen to them both together here. [via Reddit]

6. The whole thing is a direct parable to the tale of King Arthur and his kingdom. Redditor fantoman lays it out in two concise paragraphs. Kylo Ren's medieval-looking hilted lightsaber; Captain Phasma's metallic armor; Rey is a peasant on the come-up; Luke's lightsaber is Excalibur. On and on, wonderfully. A particularly special bit: 

"Even most of the places they go are like European settings, with normal forests and lakes. You could imagine a LOTR or Game of Thrones battle happening in front of Maz's castle, in the snowy woods, or Luke's island. Luke of course, would be Merlin."

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7. Kylo Ren is a double agent with serious game. From Redditor vrso3g:

"My theory: Kylo is a double agent of sorts. He saw through Snoke's manipulations, but also believed Luke was too soft. So, he joined the First Order not because he was completely on the Dark Side, but because he wanted to get close enough to the Supreme Leader to kill him. Of course, joining the Dark Side corrupted him, but he has, or had once, a good motive. He may even have slaughtered his many enemies, including his own father, in order to gain Snoke's trust."

Effing love this theory. The conflict between the Light and the Dark raging inside Kylo Ren is one of the most intriguing and unique aspects of The Force Awakens.

8. Han Solo is still alive. Some folks think that! It's not easy to come back from being chest-stabbed by a big red lightsaber and being chucked into an endless-looking abyss, but Han's a resourceful, resilient chap. (Also, relatedly, not an easy character to say goodbye to.)

9. Kylo Ren had help killing Han Solo. Help given by Han Solo. "When Kylo was handing over his light saber to Han he had intentions to go with Han, but then the dark side won," says Redditor Sorge74 of a theory he or she has seen going around. "Han realized this and actually turned on the light saber himself so his son would have one less sin tying him to the dark." Believable and emotional!

10. Luke's exile is bigger than Kylo Ren. That's pretty much a foregone conclusion, but here's an idea: Maybe he didn't disappear just because he failed at keeping his trainee nephew away from the Dark Side—he went because he failed at training his entire new class of Jedi. Maybe that ties in with the Knights of Ren, a shadowy group we hear mentioned approximately once and see in Rey's lightsaber-touching vision for approximately a second.

11. Rey is the daughter of Luke Skywalker and who knows who. Luke's lightsaber—previously Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber—calls out to Rey in the basement of Maz Kanata's joint. Rey sees Luke (among, let's be honest, a bunch of other things) as she touches the lightsaber. She's also quickly mastering the Force, a la Luke. There's an extremely limited pool of known Jedi who could've given her those all-important midi-chlorians. Rey's the one to go to Luke in the end. 

And on and on and on. Some folks think she was even a student of Luke's, one who had her memory wiped when she was sent to the desert planet of Jakku.

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12. Rey is Han and Leia's daughter, a.k.a. Kylo Ren's sister. Kinda seems like the next obvious choice, that if she's not Luke's daughter, she's Leia's. Rey and Kylo—birth name Ben Solo—being brother and sister would certainly have more heft than a cousin v. cousin situation, but it's extremely suspicious that Han and Leia wouldn't betray this secret at all, either in private or around Rey. Han is visibly paternal toward her, though, and she rules at flying the Millennium Falcon. Kylo Ren also sneers that Han must seem like the father she never had. Here's Redditor JayMoots really bringing this theory home:

"The answer is, it’s because Han and Leia believe their daughter is dead. I'm confident that it will be revealed that Rey, as a young child, was at Luke’s Jedi Academy at the same time as her older brother Ben. When Ben went nuts and slaughtered the other Jedi-in-training, everyone assumed that he killed his sister too. But he didn’t. He kidnapped her and hid her on Jakku. He changed her name to Rey (similar to his his new name, Ren) and told her to wait there for him to come back. He had no intention of ever coming back, of course, (as Maz Kanata hinted to Rey in the lightsaber scene) but he also could not bring himself to murder his little sister. The Light was still too strong in him." 

13. Obi-Wan Kenobi is Rey's ancestor; parents TBD. The Jedi master's voice—both in the Alec Guinness iteration and the Ewan McGregor one—is one of several that calls out to Rey in her intense vision while first touching Luke's lightsaber. "She shares Obi-Wan's accent," Redditor nyteryder79 volunteers in a 17-point argument. "I think this is a key; In the film, no one else on Jakku had this accent." A more detailed note:

"She fights like Obi-Wan. Compare her lightsaber duel with Kylo Ren to the lightsaber duel between Obi-Wan and Vader in A New Hope. Her's is all defense and she moves her lightsaber just like Obi-Wan did with it extended out straight in front of her and moving it in a circular pattern."

In the same thread, user harten66 goes one further: "No, obi-wan had a daughter, Luke married her, together they had Rey. This would make Rey daughter of Luke and Granddaughter of Kenobi." Powerhouse!

14. Or Rey has no father and her mother is nobody special. If you understandably forgot this giant revelation from the prequels, Anakin Skywalker was almost definitely the product of immaculate conception, part of what led him to being identified as the Chosen One. Maybe that happened again with Rey, although who knows who her mother would've been in that situation. Not Leia. This also doesn't explain why she would've been pointedly abandoned on Jakku.