Before [Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens](tag:711158) was released, the internet was rife with speculation. Who are The First Order? What does Kylo Ren want? And where is Luke Skywalker? These are the questions we argued over for months, and we expected Star Wars 7 to solve all the mysteries. Except, it didn't.
And that's kind of a good thing. After all, if everything was revealed straight away there would be no intrigue to continue into [Star Wars: Episode VIII](tag:711868). But there are a mysteries which have been solved, although the facts aren't particularly well known...
Among the most mysterious characters are Kylo Ren and Supreme Leader Snoke. Their Dark Side allegiance makes them very similar to the Sith, but while they might be dark, they're not darth....
Kylo Ren's Not A Sith
He might idolise Darth Vader and mimic Sith fashion choices, but Kylo Ren is actually something new: he seems to simply be a Force user who leads the enigmatic Knights of Ren. Before the film was even released, JJ Abrams definitively stated that The Force Awakens' villains shouldn't be thought of as Sith...
"Kylo Ren is not a Sith. He works under Supreme Leader Snoke, who is a powerful figure on the Dark Side of the Force."
Well there you go then. The Dark Side doesn't just consist of the Sith apparently, which makes sense as Maz Kanata proved not all Light Side Force users are Jedi. But Abrams has far from given us all the answers. Who are the Knights of Ren? Did this Dark Side faction exist before Kylo Ren joined The First Order, or did he form them? The more we know the more we don't but if nothing else, this tidbit of info proves one thing...
Supreme Leader Snoke Is A New Character
Many fans have theorized that Supreme Leader Snoke is actually one of the Sith lords, although all the evidence we have suggests he's a totally new character. Back in November, Andy Serkis revealed to Entertainment Weekly that Snoke is not a character we've already encountered.
"He’s a new character in this universe: very much a newly-introduced character. He’s aware of what’s gone on, in the respect that he has been around and is aware of prior events. I think it’d be fair to say that he is aware of the past to a great degree."
Hmmm... This is very intriguing. It seems as though Snoke has some vendetta against the Jedi; this much was obvious from Star Wars 7.
Serkis also mentioned that Snoke is "damaged" and has a "huge agenda", which suggest something happened in his past to make him want to seek revenge. It's clear that Snoke's plans, and the motivation behind them, will be a huge part of the new Star Wars trilogy's plot, but so far this is all the info we have to go on. But as far as Star Wars history goes, Snoke is making sure Kylo Ren is aware of all the facts...
Ren Knows About Darth Vader's Redemption
One of the biggest unanswered questions of Star Wars 7 was why Kylo Ren was determined to follow in Darth Vader's footsteps. As we all know, Darth Vader was redeemed thanks to Luke Skywalker's efforts in Return Of The Jedi. So how could Ben Solo, after being taught by his mother and uncle about his grandfather's story, idolise the Dark Side?
Well, as the official novelisation reveals, it seems as though Supreme Leader Snoke had a lot to do with this, the sneaky bastard.
"It was neither poor strategy nor arrogance that brought down the Empire. You know too well what did."
Ren nodded once. "Sentiment."
"Yes. Had Lord Vader not succumbed to emotion at the crucial moment—had the father killed the son—the Empire would have prevailed. And there would be no threat of Skywalker’s return today."
So it seems as though Kylo Ren is obsessed with Darth Vader even despite his ultimate return to the Light Side. Which is kind of baffling. Here's hoping Episode 8 gives Kylo Ren some good motivation!
This Scene ISN'T The Jedi Massacre
So, remember the scene in Rey's vision where she sees Kylo Ren and the Knights of Ren surrounded by bodies? Well, it turns out this scene ISN'T set at the Jedi Academy!
Meaning that this doesn't depict Kylo Ren slaying Luke Skywalker's apprentices. Which is what we all assumed. Lucasfilm Creative Executive Pablo Hidalgo dropped this plot bombshell via Twitter, causing the speculation mill to start churning out yet more theories. Here's the revelation...
The murder in question happens right before the shot of the Knights of Ren, and it's definitely part of the same scene. This means we know even less than we thought about that crucial moment when Kylo Ren betrayed Luke Skywalker. I guess that's just more plot for Episode 8 to explain!
Coruscant Wasn't Destroyed
Ok, we're getting away from the Dark Side related misconceptions now... sort of. So, along with many other people, I assumed that the Starkiller Base destroyed Coruscant when it destroyed the New Republic. After all, that planet did look a lot like Coruscant, the capitol from the Star Wars prequels.
But it turns out that actually, the new senate was based in the Hosnian system, and Coruscant still exists! Whether we'll the new characters go there remains to be seen, and it's unclear what role this planet now plays in the governance of the galaxy.
Rey's Capability Is Not An Accident
One of the most annoying criticisms of Star Wars 7 is centered around the idea that Rey is, to put it simply, just too good at being a hero. But, as the new canon book Before The Awakening reveals, all of Rey's talents make total sense. Of course Rey is instinctively good at hand-to-hand combat: her ability to fight back was essential to her survival on Jakku.
"She'd learned to defend herself early. She had been in more fights than she could remember. More wins than losses, thankfully. She was good enough that the word had spread to stay clear of her and what she could do with her staff."
On Jakku, Rey has to constantly guard herself, and her prizes, for fear of attack. And instead of running, Rey's instinct is to stand and fight, which is very admirable.
So yes, Rey's talent at lightsaber combat makes total sense. Can we stop arguing about this now?
Leia IS Force Sensitive, But Not A Jedi
Ok, if you were paying even the slightest bit of attention during the original films you'll know that of course Leia Organa is strong in the Force. But there are still quite a few people who think that she isn't, so that earns a place on this list. Abrams even drilled the point home before the movie was released, revealing why Leia didn't train to be a Jedi...
"Why did she not take advantage of this natural Force strength that this character had? And one of the answers was that it was simply a choice that she made, that it was her decision to run the Rebellion, and ultimately this Resistance, and consider herself a General, as opposed to a Jedi. "
This makes a lot of sense for Leia's character: after all, Jedi training needs a lot of disconnection from relationships, and with a new son that's not exactly something Leia would want. But the new canon comic Star Wars Volume 2 does feature Leia wielding a lightsaber!
There are probably a ton more misconceptions about Star Wars 7, so if we've missed any off the list, let us know in the comments!