Spoiler Alert- contains mild spoilers for The Force Awakens. Read at your own risk.
Now that Star Wars 7: The Force Awakens is finally out (and killing the box office), Star Wars nerds worldwide have a plethora of new information to analyze and speculate about. Who is Rey? Who is Snoke? What happened to Ben Solo? What is going through Luke's mind when he sees Rey? For the next year and a half we can speculate all of these questions. We can address our hopes and our fears for this new trilogy.
One of the things that George Lucas did well with the prequels was unifying the Prequel and Original Trilogies with familiar characters. We see the evolution of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and, my favorite, Sheev Palpatine (aka Darth Sidious, the Emperor and Emperor Palpatine), throughout all six films. Why is Palpatine my favorite? Because, he is the overarching evil. His long-term plan of controlling his very own Galactic Empire is a feat worthy of praise (from a certain point of view). Part of that plan was his manipulation and control over Anakin Skywalker/ Darth Vader. As we all know, ultimately, Anakin's son, Luke, was able to release Anakin from Sheev's shackles, and Vader sacrificed himself to bring balance to the Force.
The prequels, the original trilogy, and this new one, are all focused on the Skywalker story. J.J. Abrams has said that the thing which pulled him into directing Episode VII was "Who is Luke Skywalker?". I thought that Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan set up answering that question beautifully at the end of The Force Awakens. So, character-wise we have our connective thread between the original trilogy and this new one, but what about the prequels?
My theory is that our overarching connection between the three sets of trilogies will be our vilain, Supreme Leader Snoke (aka, Darth Plagueis). Now I'm not here to convince you that Snoke is Plagueis. I'm going to leave that up to this awesome article by Mark Reilly, managing editor for geeknation.com, here.
If you can get on board with Snoke being Plagueis, then I want to extend my theory to include that Palpatine's story of Plagueis in Revenge of the Sith is referring to the creation of Anakin Skywalker. If you don't remember, Palpatine told Anakin:
"Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith so powerful and so wise, he could use the Force to influence the midi-chlorians to create life. He had such a knowledge of the dark side, he could even keep the ones he cared about from dying."
In The Phantom Menace, Anakin's paternal lineage is unknown. His mother Shmi tells Qui-Gon:
"There was no father. I carried him, I gave birth, I raised him… I can’t explain what happened."
What if Plagueis used the Force to create Anakin Skywalker? Now this theory is nothing new. It was even included in the James Luceno novel Plagueis. In the novel, which is NOT canon to the Star Wars universe anymore, the Force created Anakin in retaliation to Plagueis's manipulation. He became the prophesied "Chosen One" to bring balance to the Force and destroy the Sith.
Because it is no longer canon, the Lucasfilm Story Group (who decides what will or will not be canon) has a chance to cherry pick once again. What if Plagueis saved himself from dying and kept it a secret from Palpatine, playing a long-con on his apprentice. We already know Palpatine as a puppet-master of sorts.
Here's where it gets highly speculative.
One of two scenarios could be plausible:
A. the Force created Anakin to destory the Sith (as the novel Plagueis stated) or B. Plagueis successfully manipulated the Force to create Anakin.
Either way, Plagueis would have a direct interest in Anakin Skywalker and, thusly, his lineage. Maybe he wanted to reveal himself to Anakin as some point if Vader ever usurped Palpatine. Maybe not. Maybe it will be revealed in later movies/books. What we do know is that after Return of the Jedi the only Dark Side user alive is Plagueis and the only Light Side user is Luke Skywalker (bringing balance to the Force). That is, until Han and Leia have their son, Ben. Sensing the strength of the Light Side in Luke, Plagueis, as Snoke, sets his sights on Ben, thus leading to his turn against Luke and Luke's vanishing.
Now Plagueis finally has control of the Skywalker lineage. He can instruct Kylo Ren in the ways of the Dark Side. He can help foster Ren's obsession with Darth Vader and convince him of Vader's power of the Dark Side. Luke can train his daughter, Rey, (yes, I am also claiming Rey to be Luke's daughter) as a Jedi. All of which will lead to the point the Skywalkers will all have to face their creator. Plagueis can either control his rightful creation, or destroy those whom the Force created to destroy him. (depending on A or B). This is the overarching villainy and thread for the trio of trilogies. We can have a solid answer to Anakin's origins. We can have the Skywalker decendants understand their connection to the Force. And, it ultimately answers the question "Who is Luke Skywalker?".
So there are my thoughts and speculations particularly addressing Snoke and the future of the Skywalker story in broad strokes. Let me know what you think in the comments below.