Who was Supreme Leader Snoke?
The introduction of the mysterious Emperor Palpatine-like character Supreme Leader Snoke in The Force Awakens raised many questions. Who is he? How did he come to power? Is he human or alien? How big is he? The two-year wait between movies saw fans digging through every piece of new canon and action figure release in search of clues. Multiple theories emerged. Snoke could be Darth Plagueis, the Sith Lord who Darth Sidious said learned to conquer death. Maybe he’s Mace Windu! Could he be Jar Jar Binks? The Last Jedi killed Snoke without any further revelations.
Is Snoke the First Jedi?
This is one of the more compelling theories that arose in the wake of The Last Jedi’s release. In the First Jedi Temple on Ahch-to, where Luke lives in self-imposed exile, we see a yin-yang like mosaic with a meditating figure. In the Star Wars: The Last Jedi Visual Dictionary, it says the Caretakers on Ahch-to describe the figure as, “the Prime Jedi, the first of the Order, in a state of meditation and balance.” In addition to the fact that this figure sort of looks like Snoke, there’s the fact that his new version of the Empire is called The First Order. We know he’s not a Sith, we think he’s ancient, we know he’s from the Unknown Regions, and we know he has plenty of thoughts about the dark side of the Force and the light side that rises to meet it.
Is Snoke really dead?
Sure, he was cut in half. But so was Darth Maul! We made an entire video detailing all of the events in canon involving the very much still living Maul, which stretched from just after The Phantom Menace till his actual end in Star Wars Rebels. Of course, Snoke didn’t fall down a deep pit. We actually saw his corpse sliding out of his throne a good while after the conclusion of the battle. But hey, it is Star Wars.
Can Kylo Ren be redeemed?
It’s important to keep in mind that just like Snoke, we knew little about the Emperor, who we first saw as a large hologram in The Empire Strikes Back, before his death in Return of the Jedi. The prequel trilogy spent three movies explaining his rise to power and even then, we had very little to go on about his pre-Episode I life. Whether you loved it or hated it, Snoke’s death certainly strengthened Kylo Ren’s character. The easy duplication of the narrative arc of Darth Vader is impossible without Snoke. We may have gone into that scene in the throne room half-expecting Rey to convince Kylo Ren to revert back to Ben Solo and turn on his dark master. But instead, we saw Kylo Ren turn on his master and fully commit himself more to evil. So going into Episode IX, with Ren now leading the First Order, can he be redeemed? He’s already killed his own father, led pilots into battle who shot at his mother, and tried to kill his uncle numerous times. Of course, his grandfather was even worse. (show Anakin about to kill Younglings in the Revenge of the Sith.)
Did Rey really learn the truth about her parents?
The Last Jedi dismissed all of the theories about Rey’s parentage in just a few lines. She’s not Kylo’s twin sister, hidden away by her parents as their mother once was. She’s not the secret offspring of Luke Skywalker or Obi-Wan Kenobi. But was Kylo Ren telling the truth? And did Rey truly recognize what he was saying, deep inside? One thing is for certain: Rian Johnson is on record saying that whatever happens going forward Kylo Ren absolutely believed what he said in The Last Jedi. So whether Abrams or someone else retcons that moment, Johnson meant it sincerely.
What’s the connection between Kylo Ren and Rey?
If Ben Solo and Rey aren’t related by blood, then why are they connected so closely? Luke seemed to chalk it up to their respective strength with The Force, which is plausible, given how few Force-sensitive types with any real training there seem to be. Snoke says that he more or less faked their connection, to draw Rey to him. But is there something more to their Space Skype sessions? We’re looking to you, JJ.
What’s up with Luke’s lightsaber?
Luke tosses his father’s lightsaber over his shoulder like Rian Johnson tossing the JJ Abrams mystery box over a cliff. The lightsaber was so important in A New Hope. It seemed even more so in The Force Awakens. In fact, the original opening of the film was going to be a shot of Luke’s severed hand from Empire floating in space, still clutching Anakin Skywalker’s Jedi weapon. Episode VIII didn’t tell us anything about how Maz Kanata came to possess it, why it calls to Rey, why it gives her visions and lets her hear the voice of Obi-Wan, and why it chooses her over Kylo Ren during that battle in the snow. After all, Kylo Ren is Anakin’s grandson and Rey is… Nobody? While we’re on the subject, why does Luke have the blue lightsaber during his final showdown with his old student? Granted, it’s a Force projection, which means Luke looks more like he did the last time Kylo Ren saw him. So wouldn’t he have his green lightsaber, then? In flashback, we see that Ben Solo had a blue lightsaber. Was that his grandfather’s lightsaber? If so, how did he get it and how did it end up in a cantina?
Where are the Knights of Ren?
We briefly saw the Knights of Ren, Dark Force leaning followers of Kylo Ren who are presumably also former students of Luke Skywalker, in flashback in The Force Awakens. With the Jedi Order once again destroyed and the Sith apparently extinguished in Return of the Jedi, the Knights of Ren seemed full of purpose and promise, in terms of rebuilding some kind of Force wielding cult of warriors. Plenty of us went into The Last Jedi expecting to learn more about them. Where are they?
Where is the New Republic in all this?
The books, comics, and video games that are part of the new Star Wars canon revealed that the Rebel Alliance was reorganized into the New Republic following the events of Return of the Jedi, just as the Empire was more or less disbanded and secretly regrouped as the First Order. With the New Republic failing to recognize the growing threat of the First Order, a Resistance forms. The Republic’s seat of power is annihilated by Starkiller Base in Force Awakens and very little is left of the Resistance by The Last Jedi. But what was left of the New Republic after Force Awakens? And following all of those events, why not throw in with the Resistance?
Will we see Force Ghosts in Star Wars 9?
Luke makes it clear during his climactic showdown with Kylo Ren that he’s comfortable entrusting the Jedi legacy to Rey. Given JJ Abrams’ reverence for the Original Trilogy, it seems inevitable that Luke Skywalker will return as a Force Ghost in Episode IX to complete Rey’s training or otherwise offer encouragement. Revenge of the Sith revealed that Qui-Gon Jinn was the first Jedi to figure the whole Force Ghost thing out, which was explored further in the Clone Wars cartoon series (Liam Neeson even returned more than once to voice the character). Thanks to Qui-Gon, both Yoda and Obi-Wan learned the Force Ghost secret.. All of it was a cool twist, given that Anakin was seduced by the Sith’s supposed ability to cheat death, How did Anakin return as a Force Ghost in Return of the Jedi? Will we get him or any other Force Ghosts in Episode IX?