JJ Abrams debunked a major Star Wars fan theory… and then backtracked

The director of The Force Awakens has the internet in a tizzy

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It can take a long time for theories to be proved or disproved. The Higgs Boson was first conceived back in the 1960s, Darwin predicted the existence of a long tongued moth 150 years before it was captured, and Galileo argued a cannonball and a feather would fall at the same rate when dropped on the Moon 400 years and millions of miles before that could ever be tested.

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Fan theories are much the same. They may be speculation rather than objective truths, and they may be conceived by bored nerds rather than scientists (same difference, right?) but fan theorists know they’re playing the long game. They’re not in it for easy fame or glamour. Which is lucky, really, because there’s none to be had. 

Nevertheless, there was an apparent breakthrough in the field of Star Wars yesterday, when a little boy asked director J.J. Abrams about the identity of Rey’s parents: a deliberate mystery in The Force Awakens.

“Rey’s parents are not in Episode VII,” he told the audience at the Tribeca Film Festival. “So I can’t possibly say in this moment who they are. But I will say it is something that Rey thinks about, too.”

Exciting! By process of elimination, that means we can’t have met Rey’s parents before, right? Meaning it can’t be Luke or Leia or Snoke or anyone else, right? The list of suspects gets shorter, right?

Wrong.

“What I meant was that she doesn’t discover them in Episode VII,” Abrams subsequently clarified to Entertainment Weekly. “Not that they may not already be in her world.”

Get the difference? Abrams wasn’t saying that the parents were new characters, but that the plot point won’t even become important until at least the next movie in the main storyline: Episode VIII at the end of 2017. And, based on the example of Luke/Leia’s relationship in the original trilogy, we’re betting it won’t be resolved until Episode IX in 2019. 2019!

So rather than actually learning anything, we’ve confirmed we’re going to remain ignorant for a long, long time. 

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Galileo eat your heart out.