Star Wars: The Force Awakens has crushed records and turned both older and younger viewers on (or back on) to the adventures set in a galaxy far, far, away. After so much hype and anticipation, fans everywhere are now getting to debate Star Wars 7's merits and flaws, while pouring over the many spoilers and reveals that occur in the film - not to mention, some unanswered questions waiting to be answered in Star Wars: Episode VIII.
But like with any big blockbuster genre film these days, The Force Awakens went through production with a slew of rumors swirling around it. In fact, director J.J. Abrams and Co. did such a good job keeping the secrets of Episode VII under wraps that the rumor mill never stopped churning with speculation - because really, that's all we had to go on. But now that Star Wars 7 is out in theaters, the false rumors have been decisively separated from the real facts, and the movie we have is the movie we have - nevermind the movie we might've had.
...But "What if?" we can't help but to ask. What IF some of those Star Wars: The Force Awakens rumors had turned out to be true? Well, we have 10 Star Wars 7 Rumors We Wish Were True, and here's why.
10 The Resistance Super Weapon
One of the bigger rumors to hit after the Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser sparked massive hype, was that in this spiritual cousin to A New Hope, the two sides of the galactic conflict would be viewed in more complexity than they were in the Original Trilogy. The notion of bad guys like the fascistic First Order simply having a 'skewed perspective' is nothing new - but what was new, was the rumor that in The Force Awakens, the noble Resistance led by Princess Leia would have its own deadly super weapon to rival the enemy's Star Killer Base.
Why We Wish It Was True: This particular rumor was exciting because it - along with a few other now-debunked rumors on this list - created a situation in which the notions of "light" and "dark" were muddled and less clear than they've ever been. It was interesting to think that the new galactic war between The Resistance and First Order would carry shades of the ethical questions about warfare and political agenda that we now struggle with in the real world. A version of The Resistance that embraced a "fight fire with fire" mentality - especially with the absence of the Jedi - would've been richer in some ways than the traditional "we're good; they're evil" setup we actually got in the film.
9 Hux Skywalker: Double Agent
After the Star Wars 7 cast was announced, the rumor mill went into hyperdrive, feeding us (mis)info on the characters the new cast members were playing. One particular person of interest was Irish actor Domnhall Gleeson (Ex Machina), whose role was rumored to be that of a double agent working within The First Order. Not only that, it was said that Gleeson's character would be revealed to be Luke Skywalker's son - a neutral party who sought to disarm both The First Order and The Resistance of super weapons that could threaten the galaxy.
Why We Wish It Was True: Along with the rumor about both sides of the galactic conflict possessing super weapons, General Hux being revealed as a Skywalker double agent would've been very interesting. The perspective of someone who viewed both sides of the galactic conflict as dangerous would've been a new one for the Star Wars franchise; the fact that he was a Skywalker would've extended that perspective to The Force, which would've been even more intriguing, perhaps offering us example of a Force user who truly is balanced between light and dark.
8 Phasma: Sith Lord
One of the first rumors that came out when Game of Thrones actress Gwendoline Christie was cast in The Force Awakens was that she was training to use a Lightsaber, and would be revealed to be a more than just a high-ranking Strormtrooper: she would be a secondary dark side warrior (alongside Kylo Ren), possibly a Sith Lord hiding in ranks of The First Order.
Why We Wish It Was True: This one is pretty simple: Gwendoline Christie is a great actress, and her role as Brienne of Tarth on Game of Thrones has proven beyond any doubt that she is as impressive with sword-wielding physicality as she is with dramatic gravitas. The thought of getting to see her bring her impressive stature to the role of an evil warrior still sounds enticing; in fact, even IF she never pops a lightsaber, we hope that in future installments, Phasma at least gets to show off a more extensive display of her battle prowess. Like, anything at all would be good....
7 Max von Sydow is a Cyborg
When veteran actor Max von Sydow joined the cast of The Force Awakens, there was a lot of speculation about who he could be playing. The usual Sith Lord/Evil Commander rumors flew, but when more of the film's premise started hitting the Web, there was another big rumor that took hold: Sydow was a cyborg. More specifically, it was said that Sydow's character would be the scrap collector that Rey works for, "an old cyborg dude [who] maybe has dementia." There was even some supposed leaked concept artwork featuring a cyborg character that fit the bill for who Sydow was rumored to play. Of course, in the actual film, it's Simon Pegg's alien character, Unkar Plutt, who runs the scrap yard Rey delivers to.
Why We Wish It Was True: Max von Sydow is one of the greats, for sure, and we can't help but feel that his role in The Force Awakens (translation: his cameo) could've been better served. And by "better served," we mean that he could've looked like a freaky and demented cyborg guy. There's still so much mystery surrounding his character (whose name isn't even dropped in the film), but the plain clothes appearance makes him rather forgettable, all things considered. No need for him to have had the scrap collector job, though; Unkar Plutt was pretty great.
6 Luke Turns to the Darkside
One of the biggest secrets surrounding The Force Awakens was the role of Luke Skywalker in the story. Looking back, it seems that every plausible theory regarding Luke was thrown into the rumor mill to churn - but the one that came up most often was that Luke had been lured to the Darkside. Some even thought it was him behind the mask of Kylo Ren - or possibly he was the real Supreme Leader pulling the strings of The First Order.
Why We Wish It Was True: While a lot of fans are totally against the idea of Luke Skywalker - hero of the OT - falling to the Dark side, we think that handled the right way, the reasoning behind WHY Luke turned evil could've been an important part of The Force Awakens. If the hero of The Rebellion went on to form attachments he cared a great deal about (family, friends, students... a daughter?) then it would've been interesting to see that bit of joy ultimately leading him down the same spiral as his father. The Skywalker family legacy (being tempted by the Darkside, due to intense bonds of love and friendship) is a rich mythos, worthy of further development.
5 Darth Vader (or Anakin Skywalker) Would Cameo
Darth Vader remains one of the most iconic villains in cinematic history - and one of the few to have had his official mythos expanded in a way that was both compelling and added to the depth and intrigue of the character. Vader has appeared in the current Star Wars animated series, Rebels, and it was rumored that he would appear in Episode VII, as well. Different scenarios for the cameo came with different rumors: In one scenario, it was said that Vader would appear via flashback; in another scenario (that has actually been confirmed as having at one point been in the plans), Star Wars prequel actor Hayden Christensen was going to appear as a Force ghost version of Anakin Skywalker.
Why We Wish It Was True: Fans of Star Wars animated series like Clone Wars have gotten to know a version of General Anakin Skywalker that lives up to the legacy - but many fans felt that the performances of actors Hayden Christensen and Jake Lloyd in the live-action prequels didn't measure up to the icon. Having Christensen's Anakin and/or Vader back for The Force Awakens in either a dramatic role (Force ghost monologue) or action sequence (flashback) would've been as nice an Easter egg for the Prequels fans, as the many nods and winks handed out to OT fans. As it stands, Darth Vader could reasonably make an appearance in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, but from recent quotes to press, it doesn't sound like Hayden Christensen is too keen on being back behind the mask.
4 Inquisitor Connection
The Star Wars Rebels animated series has started to build an interesting new chapter of the saga - one that fills the gap between the downfall of The Republic in Revenge of the Sith, and the rise of The Rebellion and Luke Skywalker in A New Hope. In addition to seeing how The Rebellion got its start, Rebels has also delved into the Darkside of The Force and introduced a new breed of Darkside wielders: The Inquisitors. Trained to be Jedi hunters with sharp deductive and combat skills, The Inquisitors have proven to be formidable enemies - yet they are still as big a mystery as The Knights of Ren. Early Force Awakens rumors had The Inquisitors factoring into the story in some way - possibly as precursors to the Knights of Ren (as explained in flashback), or something of the like.
Why We Wish It Was True: The Star Wars shared universe is still an unfolding idea, and as of yet, it's still hard to call it a successful multi-platform initiative. For the millions of fans who see The Force Awakens, The OT films and Prequel films, how many of them are also filled in on the official happenings of the Clone Wars and Rebels animated series, or the now half-dozen tie-in novels and/or comic books? How many will invest in the upcoming official canon video games, spinoff films, or live-action TV shows? That's all to say: We need to see strong connections that help sell each side of this shared universe. Establishing the Inquisitors as a bridge between Force Awakens and Rebels seems like it could've been as easy as a name-drop, and could've made for some smart IP synergy. But if Supreme Leader Snoke turns out to be an ex-Inquisitor, maybe things will come full circle?
3 Severed Hand Opening
One of the long-insisted upon rumors from sources heavy on Star Wars 7 reporting was that The Force Awakens would basically have the plot we all saw in theaters (plus or minus a few details), but that the film would open in a very unique (and frankly, dark) way. Rumor was that after the Episode VII opening scrawl, we would pan down to open space, where a severed hand, still clutching an iconic lightsaber, would come floating into view. Rumors varied from that point, but the gist of them pointed to a sort of montage sequence where we would see Luke's lightsaber passed from hand to hand, until it arrived in place for the new heroes of the saga (Rey and Finn) to stumble across. Cut to the here and now, and Poe Dameron's entrance.
Why We Wish It Was True: The Force Awakens ultimately did start on a somewhat dark note - what with Kylo Ren murdering an entire village, and Stormtroopers being shot down so violently that they're smearing blood on one another - but a floating hand through space would've been a freaky new flavor for the franchise, while the opening we got in the theatrical film (though enjoyable) could arguably be called a slightly tweaked knock-off of A New Hope. The Force Awakens ultimately left the mystery of Luke Skywalker's lightsaber unsolved, but there is a story waiting to be told about that weapon's journey from an exhaust valve in Cloud City, to where we find it in Maz Kanata's cantina. With a severed hand opening sequence, we could've scored a twofer win: giving The Force Awakens a more distinctive beginning, and telling the story of Luke's lightsaber (and in deeper subtext, The Force's influence on events) in the space of, say, a nice John Williams musical montage.
2 Finn is Lando's Son
When it comes to the Star Wars saga, "The Rule of Two" seems to apply as much to black guys as it does to Sith Lords, because Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) and Jedi Master Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson) were the only two black male characters in the Star Wars saga until John Boyega's Finn came along. As such, when Boyega was announced for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, rumors naturally bent toward him being kin to one of the franchise's only two black male characters: Lando or Mace. Technically, those possibilities are still on the board - that is if you even believe that Finn's family history need be explained at all.
Why We Wish It Was True: Of the two floated possibilities for Finn's parentage, the Lando possibility was always the more fun one. Billy Dee's Lando was a suave and cool addition to the saga, and has continued to shine in recent projects like the Star Wars Rebels animated series. Given how Finn was portrayed in The Force Awakens (bumbling, fast-talking, good-hearted guy who's in over his head), it would've been great for him to learn that the legacy he has to live up to is that of a suave, smooth-talking, always-cool-under-pressure hustler/Rebel commander. A future scene between Finn and Lando is still something we're keeping our fingers crossed for - however it comes about.
1 Rey Is Luke's Daughter
Okay, so technically this rumor could also turn out to be true, but it's something that we wish we had seen in the actual theatrical cut of The Force Awakens. Rey turned out to be the true hero of the story: a lonely, abandoned girl on the planet of Jakku, who turns out to be a powerful wielder of The Force. We never do find out in the movie why Rey is so powerful with The Force and adept at using it, but rumors have always favored Rey being a Skywalker - a daughter Luke was forced to hide, after Kylo Ren's betrayal.
Why We Wish It Was True: The Force Awakens has a lot in common with A New Hope, but one thing it was missing was a larger destiny being established for the central hero. A big part of A New Hope was a gangly kid like Luke Skywalker learning about his origins and connection to Anakin Skywalker - and the larger destiny as a hero he was to inherit. In Star Wars 7, we learn that Rey is strong with The Force, but her backstory - and how it feeds into her prophesied future - was never firmly established, making it hard for the viewer to root for heroic destiny. Having Rey learn that she is Luke's daughter while on the run from The First Order would've added another layer of depth and meaning to her character arc - as well as important external events like her cousin Ben killing her Uncle Han, just after she found him. In this case, a little more of that New Hope/Empire Strikes Back peppering would've added some welcome spice.
That's our list - were there any other Star Wars: The Force Awakens rumors you wanted to be true? Or is the movie perfect in your eyes and you hate this article for existing? Let us know in the comments!
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens is now in theaters, followed by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on December 16th, 2016, Star Wars: Episode VIII on May 26th, 2017, and the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25th, 2018. Star Wars: Episode IX is expected to reach theaters in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.