Nothing has generated speculation quite like Star Wars. With seven movies and a metric ton of extra material still being pumped out, it's basically a fanon playground...except when the fans turn their attention to the main series itself, plugging in plot holes and explaining away discrepancies as if "The Force did it" wasn't pretty much already the answer to everything.
Some theories are just boring ways to explain certain things in the movies, but sometimes they can be creative and interesting in their own right, explaining the movies in ways that make the movies, potentially, more interesting than they already are.
Here are some Fan Theories That Improve The Star Wars Saga.
10 Anakin Used The Force to Manipulate Padmé
Criticizing the Star Wars prequels is like beating a horse that died, came back as a zombie, died again and has now been hung up from a tree like a scorn-inducing piñata of shame.
That said, the Anakin/Padmé love story was just awful. We’re told that Anakin has been obsessing over this woman from the moment he met her (he was nine at the time), and Attack of the Clones only cements the fact that they had no chemistry, or even a reason to be together. Anakin spends most of the movie giving Padmé stalker eyes, blatantly telling her that she’s been the object of his creepy dreams and trying to woo her with horribly-written dialogue. Hayden Christensen’s acting isn’t entirely to blame, but the performance doesn’t help. Even worse, Padmé reciprocates despite his whining, angsty, childish attitude and wholesale slaughter of children (the first time).
And so in an attempt to make something out of the train-wreck that was their relationship, fans came up with a theory that caused the whole thing to take on a new meaning: Padmé was never truly in love with Anakin, but was instead being manipulated by The Force. Whether it was intentional or subconscious on his part is up in the air, but it goes a long way in explaining why the two ended up staying together against all odds. A simple Jedi mind trick might not have worked on Padmé, but long-term exposure to Anakin’s Force powers was what caused her to make all the wrong decisions and think that she loved him in return. The Force has often been used for telepathy, and given the depth of Anakin’s obsession, it’s entirely plausible that he was using it to get what he wanted. At no point did he show himself to be a balanced and emotionally healthy person, especially in Attack of the Clones, so Anakin may have even fully believed that what he was doing was justified.
And let’s be honest: it would take something as powerful as The Force to make Padmé fall in love with him after the "I hate sand" speech.
9 Han Solo is Secretly Force-Sensitive
The Star Wars universe has always been intrinsically linked with Jedi, regardless of how few of them are around at any given time. This is a galaxy of many trillions, yet you can always count on someone Force-sensitive being in the thick of things (and since The Force is established to have a will of its own, this isn’t too implausible).
That said, not everyone sensitive to The Force is trained in its use…leading to a number of theories about who might be hiding powers they never knew they had. Chief among these seems to be Han Solo, a thorough nonbeliever (at least, in the original trilogy) and man of the world… who just so happens to be crazy-good at getting out of all kinds of trouble, despite everything being stacked against him. A few instances show Han’s potential for unconscious use of The Force, such as being able to dodge a blaster bolt from just across a table, his impeccable accuracy and his ability to navigate the Kessel Run in under 12 parsecs. Whatever that means, it’s become legendary. Han makes it through asteroid fields unscathed despite minuscule odds, manages to avoid hails of blaster fire and by his own admission in The Force Awakens is particularly adept at talking his way out of trouble, despite swindling practically everyone he meets. Silver tongue or unconscious Jedi mind trick? It’s not likely, but fun to consider, especially since Han himself probably never would’ve embraced this kind of power. Nothing beats a blaster by your side, after all.
8 The Prequels are R2-D2's Memory Dump
This particular theory is perhaps the most ‘out-there’ of the entire list…but it still helps to clear up a whole lot of what went wrong with the prequels.
We’ve long known that droids aren’t just machines, but thinking beings with emotions, fear of death, comprehension of friendship and more or less anything that sentient beings possess. R2-D2 is even a special case, a droid with both personality and incredible efficiency… mostly. As this theory states, R2 may have been exaggerating his role in events.
He spends the majority of The Force Awakens (and years beforehand) in low-power mode, doing heck knows what. The theory says that the entirety of the prequels are R2-D2 running events through his memory and cataloging each one, since he’s been around for decades and is running out of space. We’re seeing things either through his eyes, or events that he’s heard of/downloaded. This explains why the droids have such a prominent role in every movie: little R2 is letting his trumped-up ego color the memories and inserting himself as the hero, zipping around on jet-boosters that he never really had and dragging his half-finished friend C-3PO along for the ride. The acting and lines are stilted and wooden because R2 doesn’t quite understand how human interactions function, and he’s certainly not built to process relationship nuances, hence Anakin and Padmé’s romantic disaster.
As a theory, it’s kind of nuts. But still, there are more than a few burned fans who wouldn’t mind dismissing the Star Wars prequels as nothing more than a formatting error from a slightly-neurotic droid.
7 Chewbacca Was a Secret Rebel Agent
For a galaxy with incalculable inhabitants, a whole lot of stuff seems to happen to exactly the same people throughout the Star Wars saga. Practically every star war revolves around the Skywalker family, who are accompanied by the same sidekicks… you get it. But what if things weren’t quite so coincidental?
Chewbacca might not have much to say in English, but he’s an intelligent being like any other and involved in an awful lot of important Rebel missions. One theory states that Chewbacca was an agent of The Rebellion all along, making sure people were in the right place at the right time and possibly taking cues from the likes of Yoda and Obi-Wan. We know he met the former in Revenge of the Sith, while he and Han end up in Mos Eisley Spaceport at a suspiciously convenient time for Obi-Wan and Luke to hitch a ride. This lead to them rescuing Princess Leia, which someone without the specific skillset of Han Solo and the specs of the Millennium Falcon might not have been able to do.
This would explain why Chewbacca left his homeworld, after we’ve seen him working with Yoda. He convinced Han to work with Jabba the Hut so they could make trips to Tatooine, thus keeping in touch with Obi-Wan. Some theories even go so far as to include R2-D2 in the mix as a Rebel agent, having avoided a mind-wipe like C-3PO and secretly reporting to the Rebellion the whole time.
At the very least, this makes the collision of so many people who knew each other in the original trilogy a little more plausible. Neither Obi-Wan nor Yoda seem to recognize R2 despite meeting him previously… because they both knew what was at stake, and wanted to keep his status a secret.
6 Palpatine Always Planned to Take Luke as His Apprentice
One of the greatest questions of the original trilogy, made much worse by the prequels, seems to be the way the Skywalker twins were hidden. Leia was relatively safe, hidden with a well-to-do family on Alderaan with her name changed. That leaves Luke…who was supposedly ‘hidden’ on Vader’s home planet, with no change of surname, with his only living relatives. His father might not have known that he existed, but Palpatine definitely did - and with his galaxy’s worth of resources, tracking down Luke should’ve been a cinch. So why did he never make the effort? Did the Empire keep Sidious that busy with paperwork?
As this particular theory explains, he knew all along. Remember, Darth Vader was a whole lot weaker as an apprentice than he should’ve been, what with 100% of his limbs being robotic and lacking the ability to breathe unaided. He wasn’t what he was supposed to be…but his son could’ve been. Supposedly, Sidious knew full well that Luke was growing up on Tatooine, and possibly even of the existence of Leia. He tolerated them for so long because either one or both of them were meant to replace Vader as his uber-powerful Skywalker apprentice. Preferably one that isn’t broken this time.
We’re also never told how in Empire Strikes Back Palpatine suddenly knows about Luke being the son of Anakin Skywalker, though it makes sense if he knew this all along. He may have even wanted Luke to kill Vader and realize his true power, which becomes a reality by the time of Return of the Jedi. And hey, if Luke turned out to be a dud, there was still a backup Skywalker waiting in the wings.
And as for Luke’s hiding place being so lame, well…
5 Luke Was Hidden on the One Planet Vader Hated
As previously mentioned, hiding Luke in plain sight, keeping his surname and giving him to people Darth Vader already knows doesn’t seem like a great plan. One theory states that Obi-Wan did this to lure out Vader and kill him once and for all… but this doesn’t really mesh with his principles. Also, Yoda knew where Obi-Wan was going and probably would’ve had something to say about using an innocent child as bait.
Assuming that both Jedi masters just crossed their fingers and hoped that Palpatine was caught up in all that aforementioned paperwork, a more prominent theory states that Tatooine was meant as a deterrent for Vader himself. If The Emperor ever found out about Luke, he’d likely send his apprentice to do the job… except Obi-Wan was counting on his old friend not wanting to ever come near the place. Tatooine held nothing but bad memories for Vader; it was a place of pain and suffering, all the way from his harsh childhood as a slave to when he came back and had to watch his mother die. He would’ve had no reason to want to go back, and even if he was forced to go there on some kind of Imperial business (unlikely, considering how much of a backwater the place was) he’d be out of there faster than you can say "now THIS is podracing." Thus, Luke was hidden in the one place Darth Vader never, ever wanted to return to; or hidden in plain sight, if you will.
There’s also the issue of sand. Luke was surrounded by a whole lot of the stuff. It was practically an Anakin-proof moat.
4 The Ewoks Ate All the Stormtroopers
This one is less of a fan theory and more heavily implied on-screen…but it’s hard to know exactly what was meant when we saw it. You may remember the ‘Yub Nub’ party from the end of Return of the Jedi, what with all the congratulating, hugging, interchangeable Force ghosts and the barbecuing of human flesh.
That last one didn’t quite make it into any of the special editions, but as fans have repeatedly pointed out, Ewoks eat people. When they can get them, anyway. The first thing we see a bunch of them do is try to eat Han, Luke and Chewbacca, and it was only telekinetic trickery that forced them to back off.
But then we explicitly see Stormtrooper helmets being used as bongos at the Ewok party, which leads to some uncomfortable questions about what was going on at the buffet table. The forest floor is littered with corpses, and it’s not like the Rebels were going to go around smacking Ewok paws and telling them they can’t have perfectly good food lying on the floor of their own home.
The Ewoks ate the dead Stormtroopers, is what we're saying. Or at least, we can hope that they were dead at the time and not just really unfortunate POWs. How does this ‘improve’ the saga? Well, the Ewoks aren’t exactly the favorite race of anyone over the age of eleven, given that they were inserted for the kid appeal and kill a lot of the drama. Portraying them as having a dark, people-eating side gives them a much needed edge, as well as a bit of motivation for their actions during the final battle. They weren’t just defending their home. They were hunting. And to the survivors went the spoils.
3 The Death Star was Designed for a Galactic Invasion
As we’ve mentioned before, the Death Star just doesn’t make sense. It’s an obscenely expensive superweapon with crippling overspeciality that mostly just serves to make the denizens of the galaxy to hate The Empire even more than they already did, and to make matters worse, it never really did anything useful. But what if it was never meant for the Galactic Civil War?
As the fan theory goes, the reason the Death Star seemed so impractical because it was meant for much greater and more important things, namely an invasion force from outside the galaxy. Darth Sidious had the power of foresight, and he saw an invasion coming that would need something of the Death Star’s magnitude to repel. Those who know anything about the Expanded Universe will be familiar with the Yuuzhan Vong, a race from outside the known galaxy who instigated a devastating war on the New Republic. Sidious might not have seen his exact role in the conflict (which at the time amounted to ‘being really, really dead’) but he knew it needed to be prepared for. Thus, he made a big scary superweapon to float around and inspire wholesale terror. The Yuuzhan Vong might not have had planet-sized ships, but they’d have given their invasion plans a second thought if they saw that the enemy had enough firepower to obliterate their most powerful weapons ten times over.
The theory goes further in stating that the enemy might have been other beings, possibly ones that did have planet-sized ships in need of blowing up. And the Rebels, heroes of peace and justice, had to go and destroy no fewer than two Death Stars, sinking the galaxy gazillions of credits into debt and possibly even screwing everyone over in the future. Who are the good guys here, exactly?
2 Jar Jar Binks as a Sith Lord
This one just kind of had to be here. Admittedly, if ever even hinted to be true, it would elevate one of the most hated characters in all of fiction to the level of subversive evil mastermind…and the theory carries a surprising amount of weight.
The original reddit post explains the whole thing in detail, but in short, Jar Jar Binks is a secret Sith Lord controlling everything from behind the scenes.
Completely nuts, right? Well then, how would you explain Jar Jar’s insane amount of success in all the important things he ever does? No one that clumsy could perform manoeuvres such as shooting battle droids with his feet, disabling entire tanks and climbing the ranks from outcast to bombad general in the space of a few minutes. He then goes on to blatantly assist Palpatine’s rise to power, inserting himself into galactic events and influencing the entire senate into action. Again, this is Jar Jar Binks we’re talking about here, a Gungan with the charisma of bantha fodder and the voice of an offensive stereotype. None of the events surrounding him really make sense upon closer inspection, almost as if he was using some secret Force power to get ahead while portraying himself as a complete doofus.
This would also explain why Count Dooku suddenly pops up as an antagonist in the sequel without explanation or any real backstory; his role was meant to be filled by Jar Jar, except that Lucas realized what a hate sink the character had become and trashed the entire Sith plot.
As theories go, it probably errs on the side of fun rather than fact…but if anything can give Jar Jar freaking Binks some credibility, it’s this. Or the Clone Wars animated series.
1 Stormtrooper Inaccuracy is Scientifically Grounded
Stormtroopers are so bad at their jobs, they’ve passed into legend. TV Tropes has "Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy" as the title of the page that explains why all the bad guys in fiction are such terrible shots. And yet, as we’re told early on in the original film, “Only Imperial Stormtroopers are so precise.” How does that work out for them in literally any other scene, exactly?
One fan theory grounded in actual science goes a long way in explaining the phenomenon. For one thing, Stormtroopers are acting just as real life troops do when asked to fire at something alive: they don’t want to do it. Few people are born murderers, and if they’re part of a group and think they can get away with it, a lot of soldiers simply refuse to either fire at all or make an effort to hit whatever it is they’re supposed to hit. This problem is probably exacerbated working for the very obviously evil Empire, with your bosses being a Sith Lord and a cyborg in all-black armor who chokes people for incompetence, and probably fun. Heck, just working aboard something called The Death Star is a clear sign that you’re on the wrong side- and if these Stormtroopers have been conscripted, that’s even less chance of them wanting to do their jobs properly.
There’s also the matter of their helmets, which are intimidating and completely face-concealing. The cast of attractive leads just see a faceless evil army and have no problem gunning them down, while on the Stormtrooper end, they’re firing at a simple farm boy, a beautiful princess and a dashing smuggler. Seeing a person’s face makes them that much harder to shoot, hence why legions of Stormtroopers have been branded as incompetent when it’s probably just a good old dose of human compassion and empathy.
Except if you’re TR-8R, in which case screw empathy, you have a spinny electro baton and traitors to murder for the glory of the First Order.
Know any more theories that explain a whole lot? Leave us a comment