24 questions we still have and some answers after Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
Is SPOILERS really SPOILERS? What does SPOILERS when she SPOILERS? And many, many more SPOILERS...
**The Force Awakens Spoilers are strong with this one... so you'd best just bookmark the page and come back when you've seen Episode VII**
1. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?!?!
We're honestly not sure
2. Who is Lor San Tekka and how did he know who Kylo Ren was?
When first we encounter Poe Dameron he's dropped by Lor San Tekka's place on Jakku to pick up a piece of a map to Luke Skywalker. He's an old ally according to the opening crawl, and we're not long discovering that he knows Leia's backstory – and Kylo Ren.
The pair go way back, actually, so Ren strikes him down without so much as a breath.
But who is the mysterious old man? Well, according to some of the books that accompany the film, he's a space explorer. And some believe that he was a member of the Church of The Force – an underground faith made up of worshipers of the Jedi ideals.
3. Who is Kylo Ren and why did he turn to The Dark Side?
Ben! Solo! Aka The Force Awakens' answer to Jacen Solo, Leia and Han's force sensitive Expanded Universe son, who was tempted to the Dark Side despite uncle Luke's best efforts to train him in the ways of the light.
Ben's got a fierce internal battle going on, though – as Rey revealed when the pair had a mental battle – and he's afraid of never living up to his grandfather's reputation. Fear, as Master Yoda once said, leads to anger, anger leads to hate and hate leads to suffering.
Is it fear that forced Ben to fall under Snoke's wing? It wouldn't be the first time a Skywalker's fear made them a bit impressionable... Or did it have something to do with Leia's decision to send her son away?
4. Why aren't Han and Leia living happily ever after?
If ever there was a pair of star-crossed lovers, it was Han Solo and Leia Organa. The chemistry between the two sizzled in Empire Strikes Back, before they finally copped on and got together in Return of The Jedi.
And when we see them FINALLY reunited on screen in The Force Awakens, it's clear that something really rather painful has transpired between them. Leia laments that she lost Han and her son when she decided to send the lad away to train with his uncle Luke – but is there more to the story?
And why did she send Han on what was effectively a suicide mission – 'bring back our son' she commanded, as if the boy was merely down the pub, in need of a clip round the ear from his daddy who'd been trawling the streets in the car to find him.
5. How did their son get Darth Vader's helmet?
Last time we saw it (in historical order), it was burning atop a pyre on its owner's head. So how did his grandson manage to get his hands on the mangled piece of metal/plastic? It appears to be resting on what looks like a pile of ashes, so either Luke held on to his dad's headgear or Kylo Ren/Ben sought it out.
There's always the possibility that Snoke picked it up somewhere too, though. Answers on a postcard, please!
6. Who is Supreme Leader Snoke and how did he nab Ben Solo?
There’s very little we know about Andy Serkis’ Big Bad, including his size – is he as large as he appeared in that hologram, or was that just the scale of projection?
The questions rage on. Is Snoke a Sith Lord who rose after the death of the Emperor, or some sort of other Dark Side figure who emerged from the shadows to rebuild the Empire as the First Order? Could he be the Emperor himself, raised from the dead with some minor injuries or in a new body (as often happened in the Expanded Universe Star Wars novels)? He certainly looks a lot like the original concept art for the Emperor drawn by Ralph McQuarrie for the first trilogy (below).
Alternatively, it could be that Snoke is a Jedi-turned Dark Side lover just like Kylo Ren. After all, as far as we know the only force users out there post-Return of the Jedi were those trained by Luke – could Snoke be a student who turned against him? It would certainly explain how he had the access to fellow student Ben Solo to turn him into the mopey Kylo we all know and love, and why Leia and Han seemed somewhat familiar with the Supreme Leader (and vice versa).
Plus, Snoke does have that diagonal scar on his face– could he have battled a Jedi (possibly Luke) at some point after betraying the new order, explaining the injury? It does look an awful lot like the lightsaber scar Kylo Ren ends up with by the end of the Force Awakens.
Hopefully, we’ll find out more about Snoke in Episode VIII – as well as some other mysterious Dark Side fellas…
7. Who or what are the Knights of Ren?
Apparently Kylo Ren is “Master of the Knights of Ren”, and we see some similarly dark figures standing with him in Rey’s vision of the Jedi massacre – but who are this group, and what do they want?
We reckon it could be that these are other dark side pupils of Snoke. Official Star Wars fact files have revealed that Kylo isn’t Snoke’s only apprentice (just his most powerful), and Snoke seemed to have respect for the group implying some sort of association with him.
Perhaps these are even other pupils (Jedi “Knights” turned bad) who decided to join Kylo. That said, it doesn’t seem like any of them have lightsabers except Kylo, instead favouring other weapons – but why would he join (or found) a group that wasn’t related to the dark side in some way?
Of course, it could be that they’re all just fans of 90s Nicktoons. Kylo Ren and Stimpy, anyone?
8. Who is Rey?
This is really the big unanswered question from The Force Awakens, that will likely rage over the next couple of years. Here at RadioTimes.com we’ve previously theorised that she could be the daughter of Han and Leia, and we’re still not entirely convinced that’s not the case. In the official novelisation of the film Kylo Ren recognizes her, and throughout the film it’s suggested that he’d been worried about the appearance of a force-sensitive girl who could derail his plans. Who better than the sister sent away to be protected?
There are also a few guilty looks thrown her way by Han Solo, while she seems to have an instant bonding moment with Leia at the end of the film despite never apparently meeting her before. Could this be her parents keeping her in the dark, or something else entirely?
Of course, the other theory is that Rey is instead the daughter of Luke Skywalker himself, explaining her connection to his old lightsaber, her piloting/mechanical skills and her intuitive Force abilities. Perhaps Luke left her on Jakku to be raised in secret just as he was on Tattooine, though taking the extra precaution of not leaving her with relatives or, you know, letting her keep the surname Skywalker.
It’s even hinted that Rey might have already known where she’d find Luke at the end of the movie. When reading her mind, Kylo found that she dreamed of a huge ocean with a small island on it – just like where Luke turned up. Do we even need to throw in the fact that R2-D2 woke up with Luke’s map just as she arrived at the Resistance base? (We will, later!)
Or you know, she could be a random person who’s strong with the force. That might be cool too.
9. What was in Rey's vision?
An awful lot, frankly. Kicking off with a bit of the duel between Luke and Vader in The Empire Strikes back (including the corridors, Luke’s scream and Vader’s breathing) the “forceback” also showed us Kylo Ren’s destruction of the new Jedi Order and Luke’s heartbreak as he crouched by the funeral pyre.
Laced within the vision were also voice cameos from a few old friends – Frank Oz’s Yoda, Ewan MacGregor’s Obi-Wan Kenobi and even original Obi-Wan Alec Guinness (the word “afraid” edited to say “Rey” by JJ Abrams and his team).
Finally, we caught a bit of Rey’s abandonment of Jakku. Left in the care of scrap metal dealer Unkar Plutt (Simon Pegg), the younger Rey screamed at a departing ship to come back. Perhaps her mysterious family leaving her for her own good?
10. Why was Rey left with Unkar Plutt?
When first we spy their pair interacting Unkar Plutt's not being too generous to our hero. In fact, he's leaving her short when it comes to rations. That's why it's particularly interesting to see him feature in her Force vision: the five-year-old Rey was being pulled along by him as the ship she was screaming at blasted off from the surface of Jakku.
Is Unkar Plutt really just some hoarder who just so happened to have the Millennium Falcon in his possession? Why was he so interested in BB-8? And is there more to him than meets the eye?
11. How did Maz Kanata get Luke's lightsaber?
The diminutive bar owner said that was a story for another time, but we want it NOW!
Our best bet is that the lightsaber survived the fall onto the surface of Bespin after The Empire Strikes Back and came into the hands of some sort of rare goods dealer, who passed it on to Maz.
The fact that Rey’s visions when touching it linked to later events than Bespin does muddy the waters a little, though, and Maz suggested the real story was slightly more interesting. So who knows? Maybe we can expect a spin-off "lightsaber adventures" film imminently.
12. Who is Finn?
We’d like to think that the erstwhile FN 2187 is what he seems to be – a random everyman drawn into the action – but it’s possible he’s related to a character we’ve seen before in the series but doesn’t know it after being taken away from his family to be a stormtrooper.
He certainly handled that lightsaber well for a beginner – could he perhaps have had a Jedi in his family tree?
13. How did he know how to use a lightsaber?
Alternatively, Finn might have held his own with the saber due to his stormtrooper training. At one point in the film, he battles a stormtrooper with a special electrical staff which is able to push back against the saber, and it would seem these devices are fairly standard issue.
Maybe Finn had handled similar melee weapons in his training (perhaps themselves created as a defence against Jedi weapons), which gave him the experience he needed to survive the attack from Kylo Ren.
14. How did Poe Dameron get back to D'Qar?
The X-Wing pilot from Yavin 4 claims he woke up in the middle of the night on the sands of Jakku and couldn't find Finn, so how did he make it all the way back to the Resistance?
Well, chances are the First Order were a bit distracted following Rey, Finn and BB-8, leaving Dameron off the radar. They weren't after him at that stage after all. It was the droid they were looking for...
15. Is Han Solo really dead?
Son Ben ran him through with a lightsaber and he fell into a vast pit/generator, so you'd think he'd be dead-er than dead, right? Right. But this is Star Wars you guys. STAR WARS.
And when Darth Maul was cut in half by Obi-Wan Kenobi he fell into a pit we all thought he was deader than dead, but then the Star Wars powers that be said he could actually have survived. So couldn't Han have survived too? Is this another Jon Snow situation?
Or is Han just dead? Like Harrison Ford really wanted him to be all those years ago in Return of The Jedi?
We're still in denial. Pics or it didn't happen.
16. Does everyone in Star Wars die falling into a big pit?
At LEAST once per trilogy.
Darth Maul did it in the prequels. The Emperor did it in the original trilogy. And now Han's fulfilled the quota for the sequels before we've even really begun.
It's essentially a Star Wars rite of passage.
17. Why did The First Order make a mega weapon with a mega weakness?
Did they learn NOTHING from the destruction of TWO Death Stars? The Rebellion didn't take long to figure out how simple it was to knock out fully functioning battle stations – wouldn't you think The First Order would make their defences a little more sophisticated?
18. Speaking of Starkiller Base, which planets did it destroy?
Don't fret, that wasn't Coruscant they blew up.
The new Republic likes to rotate its capital, and when we catch up with them in The Force Awakens they've set up shop in the Hosnian System, far, far away from the planet we've come to associate with the Galactic Senate.
The planets we saw destroyed were most likely ones we have yet to encounter in the films, including Chandrila, the home of Mon Mothma. She's the one who told us about those unfortunate Bothans who died to make sure the Rebels got those Death Star plans.
19. Did Rey chop off Kylo Ren's hand?
We thought she'd chopped off his head at first, but a lot of people are wondering if Rey made the 3rd generation Skywalker suffer the same fate as his uncle and grandfather before him.
Our in house fanatics have seen the film about six times between them, and not one thinks Ben Solo lost his hand. If he shows up with a new arm in Episode VIII you can let them know all about it in the comments.
Rey did disable that lightsaber though, striking it through the hilt, so we're expecting a new weapon for Kylo Ren next time around.
20. Is Rey stronger than Kylo Ren?
That's hard to tell at this point. We know she managed to keep him out of her head, to an extent, before besting him in a lightsaber duel using The Force. And she totally wiped the floor with him during that mental battle for Luke's lightsaber.
But he WAS injured by Chewie's infamously lethal weapon, so that may have contributed to it. And she had just discovered her powers, which may have also heightened her abilities.
Nevertheless, it didn't take baby Ben Solo long to discover that this girl was a force to be reckoned with.
21. Who survived the destruction of Starkiller Base?
We all saw the planet/weapon blow up in dramatic fashion, but not before Snoke told General Hux to bring Kylo Ren to him, so chances are both Hux and Ren lived to fight another day. At least that's how the official novel puts it anyway!
But what of Captain Phasma? Wasn't she heading for a garbage chute? Well, if Luke, Leia and Han could get out alive, perhaps the Chrome Trooper could too...
22. Why did R2-D2 suddenly wake up?
Everyone's favourite astromech droid (well, second favourite now that BB-8's rolled into town - did you SEE that lighter thumbs up? Amazing!) decided to power down when Luke disappeared, much to Leia's dismay. And yet, at the very last minute, he woke up.
Just as Rey got to The Resistance's base on D'Quar, R2-D2, much like The Force, mysteriously awakened.
Could he have sensed someone who reminded him of his missing Master? It certainly adds fuel to the "Rey's GOT to be Luke's daughter" fire. And we're not buying JJ Abrams explanation – why would you go to THAT much trouble just to give the droid an introduction?
23. Where is Luke?
Well, we know he ran off after his nephew (Ben Solo aka Kylo Ren) went all Anakin Skywalker and slaughtered every burgeoning Jedi he could find.
And when we first/last see him in The Force Awakens, Rey has found him on an island in the middle of an ocean *cough* FORCE DREAMS *cough*.
But where is the island? And is that the first Jedi temple, which Leia said Luke had gone in search of?
24. And where was Daniel Craig?
Remember that time Simon Pegg said Daniel Craig was going to be in The Force Awakens? And Daniel Craig refused to confirm it but Kathleen Kennedy basically confirmed it instead by saying there'd be a few famous Stormtroopers?
Well, Entertainment Weekly claims he WAS in the film, and during a pretty important scene too. When we first saw the movie and encountered a Stormtrooper who had quite the chat with Rey before she used her Jedi mind tricks on him, we thought "dude, that's GOT to be one of the famous ones, nobody else would get that much dialogue". And then EW's source claimed it's Craig.
We can't confirm it, but three viewings later we really do think he's the stormtrooper you're looking for.
Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens is now showing in cinemas