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We round up the wildest and the best of the many many many fan theories that have cropped up in our collective wait for The Last Jedi.

Everyone has their own theory. As Star Wars Episode VIII, The Last Jedi, promises to swiftly become all anyone will talk about for several months, we thought we’d jump the gun and revel in all things Skywalker speculation with our countdown of the most intriguing prospects for the future of the franchise.

 

Kylo Ren: Undercover Jedi

There’s a general feeling, perhaps brought on by expanded universe stories including Luke Skywalker’s children, that the overall story arc of the new Star Wars trilogy will revolve around the character of Rey moving to the dark side and Kylo Ren moving back towards the light. Several characters make references to the possibility of him returning to the light, even Ren himself, but what if he’s already there? What if Kylo Ren is pulling the old Severus Snape on us and has been sent on a secret mission to infiltrate the dark side and destroy it from within? It’s tremendously unlikely but it does explain some of Kylo Ren’s internal conflict.

Killing one’s own father is a traditional tactic used by warlords to fully indoctrinate a child soldier to their army and it may have been the ultimate test which Snoke puts Ren through to prove himself trustworthy (he does resist at every turn). Especially if Snoke is as all-seeing and all-powerful as he’s made out to be (Leia senses Han’s death from across the stars, there’s no reason Snoke wouldn’t be able to sense it too). Kylo Ren, after all, isn’t the one who wants to use Starkiller Base as a weapon, that’s General Hux, and while we do see him execute another character (Max Von Sydow’s generically wise old man) we have no idea who this person is or why they have the map to Luke Skywalker. After all, Kylo Ren could have easily killed Finn but instead he incapacitates him. Albeit very violently.

 

Obi-Two Kenobi

In the great retelling of Arthurian-legend-in-space that is Star Wars, no character archetype is more clear than Obi-Wan Kenobi’s role as the Merlin figure. It’s a position filled by some of modern fiction’s most beloved characters, from Gandalf to Dumbledore, and Obi-Wan is certainly up there as one of the greatest. Even in the heavily contentious case of the Star Wars prequels, it’s generally accepted that Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan is undeniably great. So, of the many things that JJ Abrams’ new Star Wars film brought back in one form or another, Obi-Wan could very well be one for several reasons.

First of all we have to remember that Obi-Wan has already conquered death, a knowledge passed onto him by Yoda and Qui-Gon Jinn, as referenced at the end of Revenge of the Sith. This seems to basically mean being a ghost that can continue to hand out vague wizard advice but what little information that audiences have about the even vaguer “force” is that it connects all living things and the prospect of reincarnation is not off the table. The next theory in the list seems more logical, in terms of a reincarnation theory, but one other thing about Rey’s position in the story seems to support this idea.

As the Merlin figure in the story, one of Obi-Wan’s jobs is to remind the hero of the importance of their weapon. The Excalibur of Star Wars of course being Luke’s blue lightsaber. In the final shot of The Force Awakens, it’s hard not to be reminded of Obi-Wan handing the same sword to both Luke and Anakin. Could Rey be the reincarnation of Obi-Wan, returned by the force to help Luke get his groove back? Or even, as some speculate, Obi-Wan’s daughter? The assumption is that Luke will train Rey to become a Jedi, but is it the other way around? From what’s known about The Last Jedi, it would appear that Luke needs Rey’s guidance a lot more than she needs his.  

 

Darth Rey-der

The second, and most likely, of the reincarnation theories is that Rey is another so-called “vergence” in the force; like Anakin once was. This idea makes a lot more sense but it does hinge upon certain interpretations of Star Wars that aren’t 100% confirmed. Chiefly the story of Darth Plagueis The Wise, recounted to Anakin by the then-Chancellor Palpatine during the opera house scene. Palpatine tells Anakin that Plagueis was so powerful that he could manipulate the force to both prevent death and create life. It’s generally accepted that, even though he only implies it, Palpatine was Plagueis’ apprentice who also betrayed him and murdered him in his sleep. But it’s also believed that the implication is that Plagueis is Anakin’s father, having used his power to create this “vergence” (virgin birth), a power greater than anyone had ever known.

Accordingly, the theory states that Rey is another such vergence in the force, and the direct reincarnation of Darth Vader, created by a still-living Darth Plagueis who now operates under the guise of Supreme Leader Snoke. It would explain why Snoke appears so old and scarred, having used his powers to survive a presumed lightsaber to the face while sleeping. Supporting evidence for this theory is slight but a tad compelling. Kylo Ren does specifically refer to Snoke as “wise” and Rey’s vision, after touching Luke’s lightsaber, shows her what is clearly the hallway on Bespin where Luke and Vader fought at the end of Empire Strikes Back. It supports the belief that Rey will inevitably turn to the dark side of the force and that Luke perhaps even knows this, explaining his weary expression upon seeing her arrival at the end of The Force Awakens.  

 

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Posted on May 21, 2017

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