ByShi Heng Shi, writer at
Policy advocate, proud poppa, punk rocker and avid Star Wars fan
Shi Heng Shi

From comments made by Colin Trevorrow, it seems the burning question of Rey's parentage will not be answered until the final installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy. That said, there are still some burning questions that need answering. Here is my list of eight questions I hope are answered in Episode 8.

1. Who exactly is Supreme Leader Snoke?

We know he leads the First Order and is the big baddie of the new trilogy, but who exactly is this new menace? Theories range from the plausible (Darth Plagueis) to the not so plausible (Anakin Skywalker). What we do know is that he's been around since at least the Clone Wars and in the wake of the Galactic Civil War was able to piece together a formidable new Empire in the deep reaches of the Unknown Regions that now threatens the galaxy. It'll be interesting and important to learn who is behind the biggest threat to the galaxy since the Sith that was able to turn the child of Han Solo and Leia Organa to the Darkside.

2. How did Snoke turn Ben Solo into Kylo Ren?

Being the son of heroes of the Rebellion, and having you're uncle be the last of the Jedi, you would think Ben Solo was destined to a career as a stellar Jedi. Yet not very long into The Force Awakens we learn that not only did he turn to the Darkside, but is seen as responsible for murdering the next generation of Jedi. It's hard to imagine that Luke and Leia, knowing their paternity would have played fast and loose with Ben's destiny. So how exactly was Snoke able to not only get access to Ben, but actually turn him to the Darkside? Knowing the how, should shed some insight into not only Snoke's background, but Luke's future as well.

3. Why did Luke go into hiding?

Given what we've been told, it's easy to assume that having failed at rebuilding the Jedi order Luke bailed on the galaxy. Yet what we know of Luke is that he risked not completing his Jedi training --and his life-- in Empire in order to save his friends and in the face of certain death before the Emperor, he threw down his weapon in Return of the Jedi, placing his faith in the good that still existed within Vader. To me these are not the marks of a man who will cut and run in the face of failure. It's hard to swallow that Luke would abandon his friends and family to sulk leaving the galaxy at the mercy of the Darkside. So why did Luke go into exile? What was he searching for and how will that play into the future of the Star Wars universe?

4. What's so important about the First Jedi Temple?

Building off of the previous question, whatever it is clearly it was important enough and worth the risk to Luke to leave the galaxy with the growing threat of the First Order and the Darkside. What has Luke discovered on Ach-To and what does it mean in the fight against the Darkside?

5. Speaking of Luke, what's Snoke afraid of?

In both the novelization and the movie, it is clear that Luke is a serious threat to Snoke. (Which again implies that Luke did not go into exile tail tucked between his legs). It seems that Snoke is more concerned with preventing the Resistance from finding Luke than he is with having him dispatched. Which again begs the question as to why Luke disappeared and what he may have been looking for.

6. What do the Knights of Ren have to do with any of this?

We know Snoke calls Kylo Ren, "Master of the Knights of Ren" but in The Force Awakens they nary make an appearance save for the Force-back vision Rey has in Maz's castle. So who are the Knights of Ren and where do they fit into the First Order's plans? Were they simply a tool to eliminate the Jedi and themselves dispatched by Kylo at Snoke's behest? Or do they play a more significant role in future films, gearing up for a face-off between Luke, Rey and other newly minted Jedi? Learning more about the Knights of Ren will also help us better understand Kylo so I hope Episode VIII spends more time than some exposition and flashbacks into this mysterious order.

7. What's up with the neutral systems?

Look after Episode II we've all had our fill of politics in the Star Wars universe, but one of the few weaknesses of The Force Awakens was not really explaining the current climate for viewers and leaving it to books and comics to fill in the gap. And while I admit maybe it's not that burning of a question, I still want to know what will now happen with the neutral systems. Are they cowed by the First Order's display of force and rush into their fold creating a more dire situation for our plucky Resistance fighters? Or in the vacuum of the New Republic do they rally behind General Leia Organa setting up for a more even keeled battle between the First Order and the "good guys"?

8. What did Han take with him?

While I know we probably won't be getting a reveal as to Rey's parentage, there is one unanswered question from The Force Awakens that I hope Episode VIII at least begins to address. Maz Kanata asked "so who's the girl?" and the camera cuts away before Han Solo answers. It seems he took that answer with him to the grave, but the implication is that he knew more than he was telling us. So what information followed Han down that shaft-way in Starkiller Base?


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