They say the best things come to those who wait. 10 long years after the Star Wars prequel trilogy wrapped up with Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, and three years after Disney first announced their purchase of LucasFilm, Star Wars: The Force Awakens finally hit theaters this weekend, and it's taking the world by storm. We reported on Friday that Star Wars: The Force Awakens is on track to be the biggest movie of all time, and today's box office numbers revealed this blockbuster shattered Jurassic World's opening weekend record with $238 million. As beloved as this blockbuster has become, it still didn't provide fans with all the answers they were looking for. Be warned, if you haven't seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens yet, there will be MASSIVE SPOILERS BELOW, so be sure to read on at your own risk.
Right from the start, Star Wars: The Force Awakens was shrouded in secrecy, which spawned rumor after rumor from insiders and outsiders alike, all with new details on the casting, characters and the production, once principal photography got under way last year. Some of those rumors were proven to be true, such as the death of Han Solo, while others were proven false, such as the opening of the film featuring a lightsaber that falls from the sky and lands on the desert planet of Jakku. Now that Star Wars: The Force Awakens is finally here for all to see, we're breaking down the biggest unanswered questions from director J.J. Abrams' immense sci-fi adventure, set in that beloved galaxy far, far away, filled with colorful characters, villainy and intrigue.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens introduces three new heroes into the Star Wars universe, John Boyega's Finn, Daisy Ridley's Rey and Oscar Isaac's Poe Dameron, along with Adam Driver's villainous Kylo Ren. Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Harrison Ford (Han Solo) and Carrie Fisher (Leia Organa) are also reprising their iconic roles from the original trilogy. The Star Wars: The Force Awakens supporting cast includes Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux, Lupita Nyong'o as Maz Kanata, Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma, Andy Serkis as Supreme Leader Snoke and Max von Sydow as Lor San Tekka.
As you well know by now, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is just the beginning. This blockbuster will be followed by the first spinoff, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which is currently in production and set to hit theaters on December 16, 2016. Director Rian Johnson's Star Wars: Episode VIII is slated for release on May 26, 2017, with Star Wars Anthology: Han Solo Movie arriving on May 25, 2018 and Star Wars: Episode IX premiering sometime in 2019. Lucasfilm is also developing a Third Star Wars Spin-Off Movie, which is presumably set to arrive in 2020.
Keep in mind, the aforementioned projects above are merely the ones that have been announced so far. Last month, a report surfaced that revealed Disney plans on putting out a new Star Wars movie every year, indefinitely, until the demand for these bold adventures dries up with moviegoers. As of now, Disney and LucasFilm haven't announced any formal plans for either movie or TV projects, but don't be surprised if we hear about even more projects in the new year, perhaps even an update or two on the Third Star Wars Spin-Off Movie. Josh Trank was initially set to direct, before he left the project earlier this year, and LucasFilm hasn't announced his replacement yet. But still, what does the seemingly infinite potential of the burgeoning Star Wars have to do with these unanswered questions? Quite a bit, actually.
It would be one thing if the studio was planning a trilogy and three spinoffs, and that's it, but we know that's not the case. This means it's possible some of these questions we're seeking answers for may not be resolved in Star Wars: Episode VIII, or even Star Wars: Episode IX. With that in mind, we present 15 unanswered questions from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and when we might find some answers to these burning questions. This is your absolute last warning for SPOILERS, so if you haven't seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens yet, or if you aren't averse to spoilers, then turn away now and come back after you've seen this epic blockbuster. We begin with with one of the new heroes introduced in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, whose journey will be followed very closely from here on out.
1 Who is Rey? Skywalker? Solo? Kenobi?
With just just one movie credit and a handful of TV guest spots to her name, British actress Daisy Ridley was plucked from obscurity by director J.J. Abrams, when he cast her as Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. If you think about it, Daisy Ridley's journey somewhat mirrors that of her character, and while there is a lot we found out about Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, her presence raises even more questions. We know Rey grew up on her own after her family abandoned her on the desert planet of Jakku. Director J.J. Abrams has confirmed that Rey's surname has been kept secret for a reason, hinting that she could be the offspring of either Han Solo and Leia, or Luke Skywalker himself. It's also possible that she could be related, in some way, to Obi-Wan Kenobi.
The exclusion of Rey and Finn's surnames in Star Wars: The Force Awakens has lead to much speculation, with many believing that they are related, in some ways, to original trilogy characters such as Luke Skywalker. However, there is another iconic character that Rey could be related to: Obi-Wan Kenobi. Director J.J. Abrams confirmed over the weekend that Ewan McGregor and the late Alec Guinness' voice was used for different versions of Obi-Wan Kenobi in a scene where Rey experiences visions after touching Luke Skywalker's lightsaber. This scene also features Frank Oz voicing Yoda, but Obi-Wan Kenobi's inclusion could hint that Rey is somehow related to the late Jedi master. Rey's parentage was a major part of the story, since she didn't want to leave Jakku in case her parents ever came back for her.
Of course, Obi-Wan Kenobi dies at the end of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, but he appears to Luke Skywalker in the form of a Force Ghost throughout the rest of the original trilogy. While we learned much more about this iconic Jedi in the prequel trilogy, there is never any indication that he bore any children. However, there is roughly a 20-year gap between Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, so it's possible that he could have had a child, and that child may have given birth to Rey, which would help explain why Rey is so Force-strong. We don't have any facts to back this up yet, but it's an interesting theory to ponder moving forward.
It's also possible that Rey could have been another child of Han Solo and Leia Organa, which would also explain why she's so powerful with The Force. This would also make Rey the sister of Ben Solo, a.k.a. Kylo Ren, which makes their battle at the end of Star Wars: The Force Awakens even more intriguing. It would also continue a theme of secret siblings established in the original trilogy, and could provide for one of Star Wars: Episode VIII's most jaw-dropping moments, much like Darth Vader's reveal of Luke Skywalker being his son in Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back. There are hints of a kinship of sorts between Han Solo and Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but it's never explicitly said that Han is Rey's father. Then again, this could give her even more motivation to fight her possible brother in the sequel, if she does learn that Han Solo is her father.
Rey is also the only character to interact with Luke Skywalker, at the very end of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, although no words were spoken between them. There is so little we know about Luke's journey in Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi, so it's certainly possible that the legendary Jedi could have fathered Rey as well. There are a lot of tidbits throughout the movie that point this direction from the abandonment on a desert planet, to the tech-savviness, to the Rey's strength with The Force. Is it that easy though? Hopefully we find out soon. It's noteworthy to keep in mind that producer Kathleen Kennedy recently confirmed that this trilogy will focus on the Skywalker family saga, and since Rey's family is such a big mystery, Luke may very well be her father.
2 Who is Supreme Leader Snoke and how did he build The First Order?
Much like Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker and Max von Sydow's Lor San Tekka, one of the other characters we didn't see at all until opening day of Star Wars: The Force Awakens is Supreme Leader Snoke, portrayed by, Andy Serkis. The closest thing we got to a glimpse of Supreme Leader Snoke was a photo of Andy Serkis wearing all of his motion capture attire, and his massive presence in Star Wars: The Force Awakens is quite surprising. Then again, we never actually see him in person, only portrayed through holographic messages, so it's completely possible that there's a Wizard of Oz-type scenario unfolding, where the one behind the curtain, or hologram in this case, isn't as mighty or powerful as believed. That's just speculation on my part, though.
Regardless of Snoke's stature, we know practically nothing about him in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, except that he has both Kylo Ren and General Hux to carry out his orders. All we know about the First Order is that it was made up of the discarded remnants from the Galactic Empire after their fall in Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi. Since there is a 30-year time gap between this movie and Return of the Jedi, it isn't known if Snoke had any alliance to the Sith, who aren't mentioned at all in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, except for Kylo Ren speaking to the burnt helmet of Darth Vader. Whoever Snoke is, his presence will certainly be looming large in Star Wars: Episode VIII and beyond, especially after Snoke reveals at the end that Kylo Ren's training is not yet complete.
3 Who is Max von Sydow's Lor San Tekka?
Earlier rumored to be named simply The Viccar, Max von Sydow's Lor San Tekka is introduced fairly early on on the desert planet of Jakku. Lor San Tekka has acquired a data disk that Resistance pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) is sent to retrieve, before The First Order attacks. He appears to be a very wise man, and it's clear that he has some sort of connection to the events of the original trilogy, since he calls Leia (Carrie Fisher) "royalty." We do know that Tekka and Kylo Ren have been acquainted, since Kylo Ren remarks how old he looks now. This connection could rule out the possibility of Lor San Tekka being a fake name, and one would assume that, if Kylo Ren knows this mysterious man, his mother Leia must certainly be acquainted with him as well. It's also worth noting that Lor San Tekka appears to be the "old friend" who is mentioned in the opening crawl, but that's about all we have to go on.
4 What is Poe & Ben's relationship?
We first meet Poe when he travels to Jakku, to retrieve the all-important data disk from Lor San Tekka. Shortly after his arrival, he's ambushed by a massive regime of The First Order, even though Poe is on his own, and the desert people of Jakku hardly seem equipped to defend themselves from anyone, let alone an army of First Order Stormtroopers. Poe is then captured and taken to Kylo Ren himself, who uses his Force magic to extract information from Poe's mind. Why focus such a massive attack on just one man? True, Poe was retrieving a piece of the map that leads to Luke Skywalker, who Kylo Ren is trying to track down, but it still feels a bit excessive. One possible reason is that Poe and Kylo Ren have crossed paths before. Like most characters in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we don't get a ton of backstory on Poe Dameron, or Kylo Ren for that matter, aside from Han and Leia being his parents, so perhaps Kylo Ren captured Poe Dameron for another reason, unrelated to the map to Luke Skywalker.
5 What made Ben turn to the Dark Side?
Kylo Ren is evil, that much we know. For some unknown reason, he seems obsessed with finishing what Darth Vader started... but why? He was, after all, raised by two heroes, Han Solo and Leia Organa, but like most villains before him, he was seduced by the Dark Side and he joined Supreme Leader Snoke in The First Order. It was revealed that Ben killed all of the potential Jedi warriors that Luke Skywalker was training. This appears to be the scene we see in the dark flashback with Kylo surrounded by what we assume are the Knights of Ren. While it's quite dark, we can see several dead bodies around them, so it's possible this flashback was our first look at the Jedi slaughter.
6 How did Maz get Luke's lightsaber?
One of the earliest Star Wars: The Force Awakens rumors laid out the supposed opening scene, where a lightsaber with a severed hand fell from the sky into the desert of Jakku. The rumor claimed that Rey finds this Jedi weapon, which reportedly belonged to Luke. That report turned out to be false, but Luke's lightsaber was in fact a major part of the story, in ways many fans weren't expecting. While Rey didn't find Luke's lightsaber in the Jakku desert, she did come across this ancient weapon while visiting Maz Kanata's (Lupita Nyong'o) bar, that was quite important in the scope of this epic story. When Rey touched this Jedi relic, she had powerful visions of the past, present and future, which we will hopefully learn more about in Star Wars: Episode VIII and beyond. However, there is one burning question that is worth examining: How did Maz Kanata get Luke Skywalker's lightsaber?
This is the same lightsaber that was lost when Darth Vader cut off Luke Skywalker's hand during their legendary Cloud City battle in Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back. When Maz Kanata produces this Jedi weapon in the basement of her bar, Han Solo recognizes it as Luke's, but when pressed for details about how the lightsaber came into her possession, Maz Kanata only says that is a story for another time. While this is the first we've seen or heard of Maz Kanata in any of the Star Wars movies, director J.J. Abrams revealed in November that Maz has lived for over 1,000 years, and she used to be a pirate before owning the bar we see in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Hopefully this "story for another time" will be told in Star Wars: Episode VIII.
7 Who's dead? Who's still alive?
With two more sequels already in the works, Star Wars: The Force Awakens played the "cliffhanger" card, showing Luke Skywalker for the first time at the very end of the movie, which presumably leads into a much bigger role in Star Wars: Episode VIII. Aside from the slew of questions fans might have about where the Jedi warrior has been up to for the past 32 years, Star Wars: The Force Awakens also leaves the fates of several characters up in the air. Shortly before the Starkiller Base was destroyed, it's implied that key First Order characters like Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) and General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) made it off this massive ice planet alive, before it's destruction. However, we certainly don't see any visual proof of these characters making it off the base alive, leading to speculation about who we may or may not see in Star Wars: Episode VIII. Production begins in earnest on that sequel next month, following a brief shoot on Ireland's Skellig Michael Island in September, since that was literally the only time the production was allowed to shoot on the island. Hopefully we'll get confirmation of who will be back in this sequel as we get closer to production getting under way.
8 How did The First Order rise up?
After the Galactic Empire was destroyed for good in Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi, all appeared to be right in this galaxy far, far away. Of course, there wouldn't be much of a story to tell in Star Wars: The Force Awakens if everything was just hunky-dory, so, of course, a new evil force has come into play, known as The First Order. There is still very little we know about The First Order, but it seems that Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) is the big boss in charge of this new evil empire, with both Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson). All we know about The First Order thus far is that it was born out of the remnants of the Empire, but when and how this happened has not yet been revealed. The First Order's connection to Kylo Ren, who was revealed to be a former Jedi trainee of Luke Skywalker, is also an important detail that we hope is illuminated more in Star Wars: Episode VIII.
9 How does The Empire not know how to protect its "Death Star" by now?
After two failed attempts at building an all-powerful Death Star, both of which were thwarted by the Rebel Alliance, one would think that the Resistance would learn from their predecessor's mistakes while constructing their immense Starkiller Base. We find out in Star Wars: The Force Awakens that, just like the two Death Star's before, the Starkiller Base has one critical weakness, that was inevitably exploited by the Resistance, leading to the destruction of this planet of mass destruction. Since The First Order was born out of the ashes of the defeated Empire, one would assume that these evil-doers would find a way to improve on the Empire's designs. Of course, the Starkiller Base is exponentially bigger than both Death Star's combined, but even with the increased size, the Resistance still found a way to bring the Starkiller Base down. Since there is so little we know about the First Order, we don't know who was involved in the actual design and construction of the Starkiller Base, but it's clear that the First Order didn't exactly brush up on the Rebels/Resistance's tendencies to find the ONE weakness each base has.
10 Will we see a new Starkiller base in Star Wars 8?
The original Death Star was destroyed in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, but that didn't stop the Empire from building yet another Death Star in Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi. Of course, these evil forces haven't had the best luck with their destructive creations, but it's worth pondering whether or not we will be seeing a new Starkiller base in Star Wars: Episode VIII. Now, if we go by the "formula" set forth in the original trilogy, we won't see another Starkiller Base/Death Star until Colin Trevorrow's Star Wars: Episode IX, set for release in 2019. Still, it's assume that several pivotal members of the First Order make it off the Starkiller Base before it's destruction, which leads one to wonder where they may go, and what they may be up to.
11 Why are the Jedi so bad at picking the next generation of pupils?
We all love the Jedi, but let's be honest. They don't exactly have a super recruiting track record. Anakin Skywalker, the one who was supposed to bring "balance" to The Force, was lured over to The Dark Side, turning him into Darth Vader. The latest Jedi hopeful revealed in Star Wars: The Force Awakens is none other than Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), who was being trained as a Jedi by Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), when something happened and he turned to the dark side. While we certainly don't have all of the details, Ben Solo/Kylo Ren's journey certainly does seem to mirror that of young Anakin, a promising Jedi who, for reasons undisclosed, breaks bad and supposedly slaughters Skywalker's Jedi trainees, turning to the Dark Side and creating the Knights of Ren. All we know about Kylo Ren at this point is that he is the son of Han Solo and Leia Organa, who, for whatever reason, turned into a nefarious villain. After he slaughtered the rest of Luke Skywalker's trainees, Luke is, presumably, once again, the last Jedi in the galaxy, and it seems that, if he should try to embark on another recruiting mission, he should do a better job of pre-screening his recruits for evil, Dark Side tendencies.
12 Who's voices do we hear in Rey's flashback? Yoda? Obi-wan? Luke?
One of the many unsolved mysteries in Star Wars: The Force Awakens involves Rey's flashback vision, when she touches Luke Skywalker's lightsaber for the first time. Aside from the images of the past, present and future, Rey also hears a number of voices during this scene, some of which sound quite familiar to Star Wars fans. Director J.J. Abrams confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that not only did Ewan McGregor and Frank Oz return to the franchise to voice Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda, but they also used the late Alec Guinness' voice as well. They cut out the word 'Rey' from the the actor saying "afraid." in one of the previous movies. What isn't known is if there are plans to use these actors/voices again, and if they plan to show them on the screen in the form of "force ghosts."
13 How did Rey know how to use The Force?
It is believed that the Star Wars: The Force Awakens title itself refers to Rey's "awakening," but how is she so strong with The Force with absolutely zero training? One of the most powerful scenes in the movie is where she is able to out-Force Kylo Ren and take the lightsaber stuck in the snow. Since we don't know who Rey's parents are, the fact that she was able to overpower the highly-trained Kylo Ren is an intriguing piece of information, and one that demands to be explored even more. Despite being abandoned in the desert wasteland of Jakku her whole life, Rey is reluctant to go on this journey across the galaxy, because she may miss her family returning to Jakku for her. It's certainly one of the most heartbreaking aspects of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which makes the mystery of who her parents are one of the biggest unanswered questions in the movie, which we hope and assume is addressed in Star Wars: Episode VIII.
14 Why did Luke Skywalker create a map?
The whereabouts of Luke Skywalker is one of the biggest driving forces of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens plot, with both The First Order and the Resistance alike searching for this Jedi warrior. The movie opens with Resistance pilot Poe Dameron journeying to Jakku, to retrieve an important data disk, which he eventually places inside BB-8 after The First Order attacks. As it turns out, this data disk was actually the missing part of a map that lead to Luke Skywalker's whereabouts, with the iconic droid R2-D2 holding the majority of this map. The very end of the film gives us our first glimpse at Skywalker, as Rey follows the map to him, holding out his lightsaber. The question that remains, though, is why did Luke create a map to his Jedi sanctuary in the first place, and why did he split it up into two parts? Did Luke know that it would be Rey who comes looking for him, bringing his lightsaber with her? While very few story details have been released for Star Wars: Episode VIII, we know that director Rian Johnson has already shot scenes at Skellig Michael Island in Ireland, which is where the Luke sanctuary scenes were shot, so we're hoping that the next movie picks up right where the last one left off.
15 How badly are Finn & Kylo Ren hurt?
Another one of the biggest moments in Star Wars: The Force Awakens was the lightsaber battle between the nefarious Kylo Ren and new hero Finn. Unlike most lightsaber battles, this fight doesn't end with a clear-cut winner, as their duel is interrupted when Rey shows up to help Finn, who had been struck down. Unfortunately, we don't see much of Finn and Kylo after this scene, and while we do know they were both wounded in this battle, it isn't clear how badly they are hurt, especially after Rey herself delivers a few crucial wounds to Kylo Ren. Finn was cut on his shoulder and his back was sliced open along his spine. When Finn arrives on Leai's planet in the final sequence, Finn is alive, but seems to be in some sort of coma. The last time we saw Kylo, he was unable to get up, so it's possible he could have been badly hurt as well. However, the following scene has Snoke telling General Hux that he and Kylo Ren need to return to him, stating that Kylo Ren's training is not complete.
16 What made R2-D2 reactivate? Was It Luke? Was it Rey?
We saw very little of our favorite droids R2-D2 and C-3PO in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but we learn from C-3PO that R2-D2 has been in a low-power sleep mode ever since Luke Skywalker put himself into a self-imposed exile. We also see BB-8 trying to awaken R2-D2 a number of times during the movie, but it was only at the end, after The First Order's Starkiller Base was destroyed, that R2-D2 came to life, presenting the map to Skywalker, which BB-8 completed with his piece of the map. Was R2-D2 only set to awaken until after The First Order was defeated? Was it Luke who used his Jedi powers to reactivate R2-D2 at just the right moment? Maybe it was Rey, who had just shown up at the rebel base at that moment, somehow conjuring The Force, which R2-D2 was programmed to pay attention to? We don't know for sure, but another question that deserves to be examined is how did BB-8 know that R2-D2 held the other part of the map? There is still so much we don't know about BB-8 and where he came from, which will hopefully be examined in Star Wars: Episode VIII.
17 How Did Kylo Ren get Darth Vader's charred helmet?
Even before Star Wars: The Force Awakens hit theaters this weekend, one of the film's trailers featured a scene where Kylo Ren is seen talking to the burnt mask of Darth Vader, with Kylo vowing to finish what the Sith Lord started. Unlike his idol, Kylo Ren is not part of the Sith, but he apparently wants to finish Darth's mission, which we assume is killing Luke Skywalker. But, one big question still remains: how did Kylo Ren get a hold of Darth Vader's helmet? Of course, the last time we saw this iconic villain on the big screen was at the end of Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi, when his body was burned on a funeral pyre as his son Luke, Han and Leia watched. Does this mean that Kylo Ren actually went to Endor to retrieve this helmet himself, only to "speak" to it and vow his allegiance to the former Sith lord? It's certainly possible, and, it's worth noting that there have been rumors about Hayden Christensen appearing in Star Wars: Episode VIII as Anakin/Darth, so perhaps we could see this iconic character's Force Ghost interacting with the saga's new villain.
That wraps up our breakdown of the biggest unanswered questions in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which is currently playing in theaters worldwide. Star Wars: Episode VIII won't hit theaters until May 26, 2017, but fans will be treated to the first spinoff, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, arriving on December 16, 2016. Stay tuned for more on all of the upcoming Star Wars movies, as soon as more information is unveiled.