STAR WARS EPISODE 7 SPOILERS LIE AHEAD. JUST A HEADS UP.
I'm assuming if you're here you've already seen the new Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens. I'm also assuming you've seen your fair share of theories across the internet, ranging from the highly plausible (Rey wielding a saberstaff in Episode VIII) to the frankly impossible (come on, guys; Snoke is not Boba Fett. Get over it. He's dead.)
However, a handful of theories seem to have made their way to the forefront, the main five being:
- Rey was born from The Force, much like Anakin.
- Snoke is Darth Plagueis reborn.
- Luke Skywalker has become far too powerful for his own good.
- Rey will, like the rest of the Skywalker line, toy with the Dark Side.
- Kylo Ren is actually a good guy and just pulling a Snape on us.
Up until now, these theories have all been more-or-less individual, with the likelihood of one usually diminishing the possibility of another. However, after a brief sit down, a couple of diagrams and a few gallons of coffee, I think I've worked out a way for all of these theories to fit together into a mildly cohesive plot for the next installment in the trilogy, Episode VIII.
So grab a seat and maybe some popcorn. Please bear in mind this is entirely fan speculation and leave all questions and angry comments until the end of the lesson? Are we good to go?
It's not exactly a short ride, so you may want to strap in. Or stop here and be happy never knowing. It's your choice, but in the words of Yoda, "Do, or do not; there is no 'try.'"
So Who's Who?
So, as mentioned earlier, Rey is not a direct descendant of Darth Vader like Kylo Ren is but rather another offspring of The Force. If we imagine The Force to be a sentient creature, akin to a god, it's not hard to picture her as what is, in essence, Anakin's half-sister.
This gives us the continuation of the Skywalker line we were promised while also giving us a fresh start. This new trilogy seems to be following a pattern of "old and new" and this complements that theme perfectly.
Secondly, Kylo Ren, although still a massive asswipe, isn't nearly as evil as he seems. Well, I guess technically he is, but unlike what we were led to believe, he never intended to be. No, instead Kylo Ren is on a mission from Luke himself, only it hasn't gone exactly to plan. But more on that later.
Yes, according to this theory, Snoke is still Darth Plagueis. But don't roll your eyes at me just yet because this time round, there's a twist. Unlike previous versions of this theory, Plagueis is most certainly dead.
Instead, Snoke is what remains of Plagueis in the form of a Sith holocron, a device used by Jedi and Sith alike to store knowledge of The Force. Not only does it explain why his hologram looks so crisp, it also gives his hideous scars a backstory. It's incredibly likely that his rather fashionable head wound was the one inflicted by Palpatine when he was murdered all those years ago.
So, What's The Story?
So, here we go.
Remember how in A New Hope, when Obi Wan is telling Luke about his father, his pants are totally on fire? It only seems right that Luke does the same. At this point in time, it's entirely plausible to believe that Kylo Ren didn't kill all the remaining Jedi, but that it was actually Luke when his powers became too much. I mean, his aternal grandfather is literally The Force, so it's only right that he has basically no control over his power.
So, after Luke's little accident, only seven Padawans remain: The Knights of Ren. As loyal apprentices of Skywalker, they stay loyal and promise to keep the secret of their colleagues' deaths, but the loss of so many of their peers pushes each of them closer to the Dark Side.
But why did Luke suddenly lose control? Could it have been a sudden disturbance in The Force? Like perhaps, old Papa Forcebeard pushing out another child after being impregnated by Darth Plagueis? This is entirely speculation as I have no idea how this would work, but surely the creation of a new Force-baby would cause a huge burst of power throughout the galaxy?
So Luke decides that he's far too dangerous to be kept around people and runs off into hiding, hoping to find answers during his travels. At the same time, he enlists the most powerful of the remaining Jedi, Ben Solo, to try and hunt down this new Sith presence and find the new Forcebaby so they can be properly trained and controlled. Solo, who at the time is probably just a boy, takes on the quest and promises to fulfill his master's wishes.
However, people are starting to wonder what happened to all those younglings. Even in a galaxy as bizarre as this, a hundred Jedi aren't all just going to simultaneously fall on their swords. There must be an explanation. The blame immediately falls on the troubled, broody kid who likes to wear black and carve swear words into the wall with his lightsaber. I may be making that last one up.
So Ben Solo is blamed for the destruction of the Jedi Order but, knowing that the truth will destroy any chance of peace that remains, stays quiet. While his journey continues and he gets closer to the darkness, his resentment for Luke grows. I mean, what kind of guy forces a ten year old boy to shoulder all that burden while he takes a vacation in sunny Ireland? Lando is totally taking back the title of "cool uncle" now.
So, after a few years of running around the galaxy, Ben Solo, now going by the edgy codename, Kylo Ren, runs into Supreme Leader Snoke after finding a Sith holocron whilst exploring a forgotten temple. Ren tells him of his quest to find this being who was "born of The Force" and Snoke, sensing an opportunity, answers, telling him not untruthfully that Luke Skywalker is the one he's looking for.
Plagueis tells Kylo Ren that, for the safety of the galaxy, the Skywalker line must be extinguished as their dynasty will continue to gain stronger with each generation. In reality, Plagueis merely wishes to destroy what he considers his only failure. It's widely assumed from Palpatine's story in Revenge of the Sith that Plagueis created the Skywalker line by toying with the *sighs* Midichlorians to create life. He had the intention of harnessing this being for his own uses, but Luke's abandonment of the Dark Side ruined any chance Plagueis had. So he tried again, this time creating Rey. However, for her power to truly be realised, Luke must die. His power surge upon her birth was, in effect, an attempt on his life.
Enraged, Ren declares his hatred for Luke but stays loyal to his belief that this new force user is too powerful to remain hidden. However, while under the influence of Snoke, his opinion changes on what should be done about such a powerful individual. Why train them when you could mow them down with your new badass lightsaber you built after finding a load of old relics in that temple? This leads directly into the events of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
And This Is Where We Find Ourselves At The Beginning Of Episode VIII.
So the events of The Force Awakens transpire and we're left with Rey on a cliff edge with Luke. It's assumed that the final scene of the movie will lead directly into a Rocky style training montage but no, I'm pretty sure we're heading towards something very different.
Luke will immediately know who Rey is and will respond in one of three possible ways:
- Believe she came to destroy him and react accordingly.
- Refuse to train her out of fear for her life.
- Refuse to train her out of fear for his life.
Either way, Luke and Rey aren't going to get on swimmingly at first and Rey will most certainly return to the Falcon and declare this trip to be nothing short of a complete waste of time. Meanwhile, Luke remains up on mid-life crisis hill making Kylo Ren jealous of his angsty brooding power. Suddenly, Luke is approached by the three (possibly four if Liam Neeson's in town) Force Ghosts that have kept him from going stark raving mad all these years. Long story short they slap some sense into him and Luke runs down to find the Falcon leaving with Rey, Chewie and R2 aboard.
And we find we're going in circles. Rey resents Luke for being a washed up loser and making Han's death all for naught. Rey decides to find another way to control her power and again goes searching for another way. However, this time Luke isn't making the same mistake. He uncovers his old X-Wing and pursues the Falcon, intent on apologising to Rey and promising to train her the way Yoda had trained him.
This is where things start to get a bit wild. You may want to sit down.
So while Rey is flying around having a whale of a time, Finn is back on D'Qar at the Resistance base with Leia, learning the ropes of the war room following his brush with death. Suddenly, there's an attack on the base under the order of The Knights of Ren and a new and improved Kylo Ren. The battle is short and while the Resistance manage to hold their own, a key character is fatally wounded.
I think it's highly unlikely Finn will get killed off, so it's unlikely he will be this character. It could easily be Leia or Poe or maybe they could develop a fun relationship between Lieutenant Connix and Rey before killing the former. Basically, Rey loses someone important to her and she blames herself.
Rey returns to the Resistance Base to find said character dying. In their final breath, they promise they'll see Rey again some day; something that Rey hangs onto for the rest of the trilogy. Luke arrives almost immediately after and offers to train Rey, who straight up turns him down like a creepy Tinder date. Instead she leaves in the Falcon without a word, leaving Luke standing among the dead.
What follows is an emotional reunion with Luke, who hasn't shown his face in these parts in nearly twenty years. However, Luke is eager to get away and find Rey before she gets herself into trouble and Finn, who is equally distraught at her departure, tags along with him.
Meanwhile, Rey is still feeling torn apart after the loss of her close friend. She blames herself for not being there and begins to feel dark thoughts welling up within her. It's at this point Snoke comes back into play, eager to fix what went wrong last time with his last attempt at creating life. While vulnerable, Rey is pulled towards the location of Plagueis' holocron in an ancient Sith temple. For the purposes of fan service let's say it's Korriban. She opens it to find a younger, less melted Snoke, who is disguising his appearance, claiming to be able to write her wrongs and reverse the death of the person close to Rey. In a state of utter despair, Rey agrees, handing herself over to the Dark Side.
Are We Nearly Finished?
Not quite. we've also got our second plot of Finn and Luke hunting for Rey following the attack on D'Qar. Finn, unaware of Luke's treacherous past, finds him pleasant company and the two friends swap stories of battle, adventure and their mutual friend, Han Solo. The pair are a good few hours behind Rey and, as a result, land on Korriban quite a bit later. When they land, they see the Falcon already parked and footsteps leading into the Sith temple. If you really want you could stick a ton of Easter Eggs in here harking back to Knights of the Old Republic because hey, fan service.
Oh, and you can throw Poe Dameron and C-3PO in there too if you want. They're not necessary but it'd be fun to have them along for the ride.
But this whole thing had been a set up from the start. Snoke had engineered the entire thing to tie up all his loose ends. For, standing outside the temple we find none other than Kylo Ren, fully trained and very dangerous. Luke and Ren lock eyes and IT IS ON. Immediately the two start wailing on each other, each tapping into their darker side as they duel to the death on the dusty sands of Korriban. Meanwhile, Finn sneaks past unnoticed, creeping into the Sith temple to find Rey.
Finn finds Rey in front of a fully grotesque Supreme Leader Snoke, pledging herself to the Dark Side. Finn is taken aback by Snoke but presses on, pulling Rey from her trance. Rey turns around to see him and the pair have a tearful reunion. Finn begs her to come back with him but Rey tells Finn she can't leave. Finn pleads with her until she angrily pushes him with The Force, sending him sprawling back. Usually she'd be afraid of her power but this time she embraces it, turning back to Snoke.
Fin watches in disbelief as Rey kneels before Snoke but has little time to regain his composure as Luke and Ren come flying into the room, blades crossed. As the duel progresses into the temple, Finn makes one final attempt to reach Rey but is again thrown back, this time with more force than before. He's thrown from the temple and lands just behind Luke. Snoke sees the two duellers and orders Rey to destroy one of them. However, her hatred for the two men is more or less equal by this point and instead, using her overwhelming power, chooses to bring that section of the temple down on them.
Both men sense the impending collapse and dive out of the way, separating each other in true Star Wars fashion. After the dust settles, Luke awakens to find Finn digging at the rubble, trying desperately to reach Rey. Luke, accepting their chance of saving Rey at this time has plummeted into oblivion, is forced to drag Finn kicking and screaming back to the Falcon. With their entourage reuniting with Rey's crew, our heroes leave the planet somewhat defeated, leaving Rey to her fate with the Dark Side. Finn resents Luke for abandoning her but is willing to be trained by him in order to defeat Snoke and Kylo Ren and save his friend.
The whole thing ends on a rather sombre tone. Our heroes are feeling nothing but despair and our lead has followed in the footsteps of her predecessors and teeters on the edge of the Dark Side. Meanwhile, Snoke is still pulling all the strings. Not only did he orchestrate the attack on the Resistance base to give Rey a reason to find him, he also laid out the breadcrumbs to bring Luke Skywalker out of hiding. He corrected his mistakes and brought his Forcebaby back to the Dark Side and only failed at the final hurdle, killing Luke Skywalker.
The tides have changed; there are heroes on both sides. Episode IX is another two years away. Luke is back and this time it's definitely personal.
This theory really only focuses on Rey and Finn's arcs in Episode 8. With General Hux and Captain Phasma set to return plus a whole host of new characters, including Benicio Del Toro's villain, there's bound to be several other stories tying in with a more political theme.
Obviously this is all speculation and right now there are so many directions Episode VIII could go in. Do you have other ideas? Let me know in the comments!