Five Crazy (but possibly true) Fan Theories for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

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by Billy Russell

If there’s one thing that internet denizens likes to do, it’s speculate.  In between seasons of your favorite television show and in the months leading up to an anticipated blockbuster movie’s release, you can count on message boards to run abuzz with theories about what’s to go down when it finally goes live.

And when it comes to Star Wars, fans don’t take the plot possibilities lightly. These aren’t your average, “Main character is really Tyler Durden,” or, “It was all a dream,” style fan theories (remember when everyone thought Megan Draper was a ghost?)—these are theories with some meat to them.

Luke Has Joined the Dark Side

Noticeably absent from the trailers and all promotional materials has been the hero of the original trilogy:  Son of Anakin, Luke Skywalker. His story arc concluded with him being dangerously close to joining forces (pun not really intended, but I’ll take it) with his father and the villainous Emperor, to bring destruction to the Rebel forces and taking complete rule over the galaxy.

Some have postulated that Luke’s story didn’t end there, and that if he isn’t necessarily Kylo Ren (who will be played by Adam Driver, according to most official sources), he could be in a position of much power on the side of the Sith, using the force for evil.  J.J. Abrams has gone on record as saying that there’s a reason for Luke not appearing in the advertisements for the latest entry.

Rey is Related to the Heroes of the Original Trilogy

The Daily Mail seems to think the latest TV spot advertising the new Star Wars movie actually CONFIRMS that Rey (played by Daisy Ridley) will somehow be related to some of the members of the original trilogy.  She could possibly be the daughter of Han Solo and Princess Leia, and given her potential for kicking asses, this wouldn’t be too far off base.

Maz Kanata (Lupita Nyong’o) even places an additional emphasis on the fact that she’s seen Rey’s eyes before and has seen the same eyes in different people. Since Maz is a pirate, maybe she traveled in some similar circles as Han Solo, who was something of a space-traveling drug transporter for a mafia kingpin that also happened to be a slug.

Han Solo Will Die

True story:  the whole making of Return of the Jedi was a crazy mess of things being thrown at a wall and some of what stuck ended up making it into the movie and others ended up being scrapped and ditched entirely and some feelings were hurt in the process. Gary Kurtz, one of the unsung heroes of A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back was fired during production and he outlined a darker vision, an Ewok-free vision, where Han Solo died halfway through during a raid.

Now that George Lucas no longer has the ability to fire those who oppose him, some people think Solo’s long-delayed fate will finally come to fruition.

I’m not so sure if this will happen or not, but I do hope that Jar-Jar’s semi-promised corpse will appear somewhere.

Luke Won’t Appear Until the Very End

Another reason that Luke Skywalker may be intentionally absent from any promos is because maybe they’ve decided to save his appearance for the very end of the film, to set it up for the next entry. Cliffhangers aren’t exactly unknown in the Star Wars universe. As excellent and as perfect as Empire is, it just sort of ended, and for audiences who weren’t used to that kind of the thing in 1980, it must have come as a total shock.

Good or bad, evil or righteous, a lot of entertainment in recent memory has celebrated the “slow burn” form of appreciation, where satisfaction is delayed. Just take a look at Game of Thrones and how many seasons upon seasons can go by where an anticipated (and bound-to-happen) event is postponed until the moment is perfect.

Perhaps “The Force Awakens” isn’t Luke’s story. Maybe his story is yet to come.

Finn is the new “New Hope”

This fan theory comes from Stephen Colbert. Stephen Colbert is, what a lot of people don’t fully get, a total nerd.  He’s a Tolkien fan like a priest kinda digs the word of Jesus. He lives and breathes fantasy and sci-fi. And he has some ideas about the plot’s trajectory in “The Force Awakens.”

John Boyega plays Finn, the helmet-less Stormtrooper in the trailers, who seems to be breaking from the flock and forging a path of his own. Colbert says, “The newly named Resistance fights in place of the Rebel Alliance, which has begun a tragic shift to the dark side. But John Boyega’s character is in a storm trooper suit so it follows that now the new new hope comes from the very enemy we’ve been trained to hate.”

Crazier things have happened.  No one in 1991 would have guessed that Arnold’s return in T2 would have been as the GOOD GUY.  But, what ended up happening is, as they say, cinematic history.

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