Disclaimer: This post is about rumors, both past and present. Nothing in this article should be presented as fact or cited as a confirmation of anything aside from the rumor's existence.
When it comes to new Star Wars, rumors are ubiquitous. With the sequel trilogy on its way we have learned from rumors that Kylo Ren is really Boba Fett, Captain Phasma is really Boba Fett, Andy Serkis will be doing motion capture for an old Boba Fett (everybody in the film is Boba Fett). Luke Skywalker turns to the dark side. Finn is Lando's kid. Poe Damaeron is Bail Organa's nephew.
Rumors are nothing new, though. The big difference with this trilogy, as opposed to the OrigTrig and the prequels, is that geek culture has never been as big and visible as it is on the Internet right now. In the late nineties when we were clamoring for whispers of Episode I details, our discussions occupied niche message boards and a handful of film sites. In the OT era we had to rely on fanzines (they were printed on 'paper,' and came in the 'mail.' Ask your parents), where conversations took weeks or months and official news was sparse.
Looking back, some of these rumors are pretty amusing, and some even sound like they'd make for a good storyline. We have the benefit of hindsight looking back on these, but keep in mind there were people convinced that they were true. With no further ado, I present my top five list of discredited Star Wars rumors.
5. Obi-Wan killed Anakin Skywalker
This theory hinged on Owen's comments about Luke taking after his father, and Obi-Wan's vagueness when talking about Anakin and Vader. A popular supposition was that Anakin and Vader had fallen to the dark side together, and Obi-Wan killed Anakin but only wounded Vader. He lied about the affair in order to keep Luke on the path of light.
4. Boba Fett was a Jedi hunter in the prequel era
I first encountered this theory around a week after the first images of Episode I's Obi-Wan hit the Internet. Like all Boba Fett rumors, this one stemmed mainly from Fandalorians who were desperate to see more of the character on screen. The primary support came from the fact that he shot at Luke on Cloud City (it's reasonable that he knew Luke was a Jedi from his involvement in the plan), despite already having Solo and having no further stake in the conflict. It was also supposed that the wookiee pelts on his armor were actually the braids of slain padawans.
3. The Jedi/Padme love triangle
This would have changed the prequels entirely, and a huge chunk of the fandom was confident that it would turn out to be true. Since we knew that Anakin would fall to the dark side, everyone was speculating as to why. Many thought it would make perfect narrative sense for Anakin to feel betrayed by the love of his life and his mentor as they grew closer while he was off fighting the Clone Wars.
2. The rebels will save Emperor Palpatine
This rumor goes all the way back to the '70s, and is based around a passage in the novelization of Star Wars. The book's prologue informs us that Emperor Palpatine was a hero of the people who saved the failing Empire. As time went on he became more insulated by his advisers, until they were the ones ultimately ruling the galaxy. It made perfect sense that the rebellion would be concerned about freeing the Emperor from his own cabinet so that he could restore the Empire as he had before.
1. OB 1- Kenobi and the march of the clones
For 25 years we knew nothing about the clone wars aside from their existence. The stakes, scope, and details were up for debate since they were only mentioned once in the trilogy. The EU tried to fill in a few gaps, but because of Lucas' constraints there still wasn't a lot of detail. This led to everybody being a clone. Obi-Wan's name was really OB1, it was his designation as a Jedi cloned for war-fighting. Han was a clone, that's why he didn't believe in the Force despite being alive while there were still Jedi in the galaxy. Luke was a clone and that's why Yoda says there is another. Lando was a clone because why the hell not, they haven't shown us any remnants of the Clone Wars yet (we would find later that in early drafts Lando WAS intended to be a clone, it just never happened).
What's your favorite discredited rumor/theory?