NOTE: The following post contains MAJOR SPOILERS for Star Wars 7
Expectations vs. Reality.
It’s one of the oldest duels in any galaxy. With Star Wars: The Force Awakens, one of the most hyped films in recent memory, fans developed a litany of rumors longer than the U.S. Constitution and all of its Amendments. Now that we’ve seen J.J. Abrams’ magnum opus, we can put to rest many of the fan-fiction expectations as we move towards the Anthology films and Episode VIII. If you have yet to see The Force Awakens, please exit this article immediately and head to your nearest box office.
Here are the 12 Star Wars 7 Rumors That Were NOT True.
12 Chewie Dies
While it had long been expected that Han Solo would meet his fate in The Force Awakens, it was also widely rumored that his sidekick would be terminated. The final trailer’s release during Monday Night Football showed Rey (Daisy Ridley) weeping over a body, causing many fans to speculate that the crossbow-wielding Wookie finally bites the dust.
Combined with rumors from background actors leaking one of Leia’s lines, “I don’t know how he’ll cope without him,” it seemed plausible that Chewbacca would be killed off. As fate would have it, however, Chewie and Rey pilot the Millennium Falcon at the end of Episode VII, even without the ship’s scoundrel master.
11 Luke turned to the Dark Side
Throughout the original trilogy, Darth Vader, Yoda and Emperor Palpatine all pull at Luke Skywalker’s conscience. They know he is full of rage and hope, part Jedi and part Sith, with the possibility of fully embracing one or the other. At the Dark Side’s door in Return of the Jedi, he resists conversion and chooses “the light,” despite the mental and physical duress he suffers at the hand of Sheev.
As fans headed into The Force Awakens, with the film’s trailers and marketing showing practically nothing of their favorite Jedi, rumors swirled that Luke had finally succumbed to the dark side. They also posited that he, and not Adam Driver, was under the Kylo Ren mask. While we still don’t know much about what Skywalker has been up to since Return of the Jedi, we can confidently put those Dark Side rumors to rest.
The final shot of The Force Awakens, with the potent connection between Rey and Luke, serves as strong evidence to that end.
10 Lots of Lens-Flare
While the standalone films may leave more room for artistic license, fans should be generally pleased that Episode VII remained true to the original series in look, feel and content. JJ Abrams's directorial style and brand of storytelling are unique, as seen in his passion for the frequent lens-flare throughout Star Trek and Star Trek: Into Darkness.
Upon learning that Abrams was taking over the Star Wars reins, fans quickly derided his penchant for flicking the camera lens with a flashlight. If those moments are to be found in The Force Awakens, they are subtle indeed (with Kylo Ren’s view of the Starkiller laser perhaps being the most pronounced).
Still, the rumors were patently false that Episode VII would become an Abrams-branded film. It belongs to the Star Wars universe, free of that USS Enterprise lens-flare.
9 Max Von Sydow is Boba Fett
Not only was Max Von Sydow a different character than Boba Fett (despite early rumors suggesting he was the Mandalorian of yore), he was perhaps the most imminently disposable character in the entire film. It’s a shame the legendary actor didn’t get more screen time, but his brief moments with Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and BB-8 (Bill Hader and Ben Schwartz?) were enough to capture that old-school sagaciousness from the Alec Guiness days.
Still, pronouncing Lor San Tekka's name takes just as long as Kylo Ren's fatal saber-swipe. Despite his brief appearance, Tekka is the falling domino in The Force Awakens that sets into motion the entire plot of the film.
8 Flashbacks With Young Leia
While we got a glimpse of Rey’s past with some rather startling flashbacks, the rumor patrol was wrong to think we’d get the same treatment of young Leia. While The Force Awakens was in pre-production, fans speculated that we would get more insight into Darth Vader’s daughter through scenes with Billie Lourd (Carrie Fisher’s real life daughter).
The rumors were so specific that they expected the Leia reprisal to even contain her unforgettable side-bun hairstyle. While Episode VII put Leia Organa at the center of The Resistance, we only got word of her past thanks to a brief conversation with Han Solo. We can confidently expect more flashbacks in Episode VIII and IX.
7 Starkiller is the Planet Ilum
One of the most recent rumors related to the origins of Starkiller Base. This particular theory linked the super-weapon to a planet visited in The Clone Wars cartoon, Ilum, where the Jedi younglings get kyber crystals used to build their lightsabers. The rumor gained popularity because several new Star Wars books specified that the Death Stars used a giant kyber-crystal to focus the planet-destroying weapon.
As it turns out, Starkiller Base doesn't use a focusing crystal. Instead, it draws in energy from a nearby sun then releases it towards the system being targeted. While The Force Awakens never explicitly confirmed or denied that the planet was Ilum, it remains highly doubtful, considering the technology used by the base.
6 Jakku is actually Tatooine
J.J. Abrams developed a reputation for himself with the Star Trek franchise, given his handling of potential spoilers. For Star Trek: Into Darkness, he repeatedly stated that Benedict Cumberbatch's character wasn't Khan, only for the film to show otherwise. It was no surprise, then, when fans didn't trust everything the director said about The Force Awakens. The first trailer for Episode VII opened with shots of a desert planet that people immediately assumed was Tatooine.
This made a lot of sense, considering it featured in 5 of the 6 Star Wars movies. When it was clarified that the planet was not Tatooine, but a new planet, Jakku, many fans believed this was similar to the Khan situation. As the opening scroll of Episode VII confirms, however, Jakku is very much its own entity and entirely different from Tatooine.
5 Finn trains to be a Jedi
After everyone got over the shock of John Boyega's character, Finn, playing a stormtrooper, the marketing threw us another curveball. Finn also wields a lightsaber: the Skywalker family saber, no less. As tradition goes, the lightsaber is typically the weapon of a Jedi, and in the entire Star Wars series, we've only seen a single non-Jedi briefly utilize one. Based solely off what they knew, fans quickly assumed that Finn would be Luke Skywalker's new Jedi student.
As The Force Awakens ultimately revealed, however, this was complete marketing misdirection. Although Finn does spend the most time with the "Hero Saber,” it is Rey who inherits the weapon and trains to be a Jedi.
4 Finn's Family Tree
Star Wars has a rich history of drawing family connections between its characters, so it shouldn't be any surprise that people thought Finn would be related to a character from one of the previous films. Despite all of the rumors, the most common comparison had Lando Calrissian as Finn’s father, while others pointed at Mace Windu.
It turns out that Finn was trained to be a stormtrooper since his infancy, and like so many others, he never knew his parents. While that won’t be enough to silence the Lando/Windu rumors of his lineage, it's fairly safe to say that we haven't met Finn's parents or grandparents.
3 Snoke is Darth Plagueis
The mystery surrounding Supreme Leader Snoke leading up to The Force Awakens caused many people to start theorizing about his background. The most prevalent rumor stemmed from a conversation Palpatine had with Anakin in Revenge of the Sith. Palpatine told Anakin that there was a Sith lord named Darth Plagueis who had learned to have power over death. He taught his apprentice everything, only to be killed by him in his sleep. Of course, that apprentice was none other than Sheev Palpatine. Considering Darth Plagueis supposedly had power over death, it was largely rumored that he did not in fact die. Rather than directly challenge Palpatine, he waited for someone else to defeat him before expanding his power once again. In The Force Awakens, Supreme Leader Snoke is now head of The First Order.
Although the Darth Plagueis rumor is still very much in play, Snoke remains shrouded in mystery despite his multiple appearances in The Force Awakens. If any sort of future reveal ties Supreme Leader Snoke to Darth Plagueis, expect it to happen in Episode VIII or IX.
2 Anakin Skywalker Force Ghost
During filming of The Force Awakens, there were rumors of Hayden Christensen being sneaked onto set for a scene as the force ghost of Anakin Skywalker. While we did get several Darth Vader references, including Kylo Ren speaking to the helmet of Darth Vader, Hayden Christensen force ghosts were entirely absent.
There very well may be some force ghosts in Episode VIII and IX, including Hayden Christensen reprising his role in the prequels, but The Force Awakens effectively silenced this rumor for the next few years.
1 Darth Jar Jar
One of the biggest and most bizarre rumors surrounding The Force Awakens relates to the saga's most reviled character, Jar Jar Binks. Several months ago, a Reddit user submitted a fairly in-depth argument explaining George Lucas’s original plan to reveal Jar Jar Binks as Palpatine's true apprentice in an idiot’s disguise. The theory has its merits: both are from the same planet and Jar Jar is the one that proposes emergency powers be granted to Palpatine, paving the road for his rise to Emperor. The theory states that the overwhelmingly negative response to Jar Jar caused Lucas to pull his punch and relegate Jar Jar to a minor character for the remainder of the prequels.
This theory caught on so much that many people (albeit humorously, for many) were hoping this loose end would be continued for the sequel trilogy: bringing back “Darth Jar Jar” as he was originally intended. This is another rumor people will likely maintain for some time, but it's pretty safe to say that there is no Jar Jar in new trilogy, and he's not about to be reintroduced any time soon.
Were there any other rumors that came to the wrong conclusion? Let us know in the comments!