Technically speaking, The Last Jedi already happened. In fact, it happened a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, and any secrets surrounding the film have already been answered. It just takes a while to send intergalactic media in light-years, so it makes sense why we're just now getting it in 2017. Space travel is tricky like that.
With that being said, fans are hungry for answers. The Force Awakens laid some serious groundwork, and that single cliffhanger alone with Rey and Luke is enough to warrant some serious desperation from audiences. Thankfully, we've only got about seven more months to go.
Any great franchise has more potential to fail than to succeed, and this couldn't be any truer for a film than an entry in the Star Wars saga. There is so much weight resting on its shoulders that if it trips up, the results could be unforgivable. So, if you've been eagerly following the breadcrumbs that The Force Awakens meticulously scattered, let's punch this ship into lightspeed and check out 15 Answers WE NEED in The Last Jedi.
15 Who Are Rey's Parents?
Rey's parentage is perhaps the ripest bit of mystery laid out in The Force Awakens. Seeing as she plays such an integral role in the series, despite audiences knowing less about her backstory than we do various throwaway characters who have shown up in past films (seriously, even Salacious Crumb and the Mos Eisley Cantina band have meatier backstories), the details of her bloodline are crucial.
Naturally, there are theories, and fans are mostly split down the middle. On one side, there's Team Skywalker (it makes total sense that Force-sensitive Rey would be another key player in the Skywalker storyline), and on the other side, there's Team Kenobi (which only seems like a stretch until you've dug deep enough). While there's a solid chance the films may wait until Episode 9 to reveal her heritage, that likely won't fly with diehard fans. Audiences need something substantial after all the teasing they've suffered through, and it's only fair that The Last Jedi satisfies this itch. Director Rian Johnson's affirmation that Rey's parentage will be addressed in Episode 8 is definitely reassuring.
14 Who Is Snoke?
Here's what we know about Supreme Leader Snoke: he's a baddie, he's being motion-captured by Andy Serkis, he's got ties to the Knights of Ren, he's using Kylo Ren (can we start calling him Ben Solo from now on?) for his powers, and he may or may not be compensating for something with his pointlessly oversized body projection. Other than those random bits of information, we're at a collective loss.
Some stronger theories have suggested that he might be one of a few characters who the casual moviegoer is likely unfamiliar with — The Operator from the novel Star Wars: Aftermath, the Grand Inquisitor from Star Wars Rebels, or even Darth Plagueis — but there's really no way of knowing. His presence in The Force Awakens was significant, but vague, so we can only hope that The Last Jedi dedicates some decent focus to this supremely damaged, albeit mysterious, character.
13 Will We Learn More About The Knights Of Ren?
After Ben Solo's training with Luke turned sour for reasons we haven't yet discovered, the moody Padawan opted instead for the ragtag team that is (was?) the Knights of Ren. He abandoned the ways of the Jedi, turned to the Dark Side, and swore an allegiance to Supreme Leader Snoke.
Why? Good question. Seeing as how Snoke explains that Kylo Ren needs to finish his training at the end of The Force Awakens, one can only assume that said training will pair up with some exposition regarding the Knights of Ren. As for the Knights in question: have they been wiped out? Are they waiting? Training? Have we actually met them already? There's a good chance that The Last Jedi will answer these questions, or at the very least shed some light on them, but don't hold your breath — this information could very well be something the franchise is saving for Episode 9. Hell, they might gloss over the Knights' origins entirely in this trilogy.
12 Did Kylo Ren Already Know Rey?
When Kylo Ren is being briefed about the whereabouts of BB-8 by Bala-Tik, he has an adolescent meltdown. But when he hears mention of a girl being involved, something is triggered, and his attention is suddenly piqued. Now, you can look at this from two angles: maybe he's just angry at the fact that there are people trying to sabotage his mission, or maybe the mention of a girl actually means something.
Kylo Ren could very well have information regarding Rey that we're unaware of this far along in the story. If nothing else, the few scenes we have that include Rey and Kylo Ren may hint at the fact that he knows something. Then again, maybe he just sensed that she was someone worth worrying about after Bala-Tik mentions a "girl." As of now, the best we can do is speculate...
11 Is Finn's Parentage Significant?
For all the screen time that Finn takes up in The Force Awakens, we don't know much about him. Aside from being scooped up as a kid to involuntarily join the First Order as a Stormtrooper, Finn's as much of a mystery as Rey. The thing is, though, does it matter? Are we not given specific details about his past because they're irrelevant to the story, or because knowing too much would enter spoiler-y territory?
We know a bit of information regarding his role in The Last Jedi, which mostly centers around his adventures with Star Wars newcomer Rose (as played by Kelly Marie Tran) and his possible relationship with Poe Dameron, but neither seem to hint at anything regarding the significance of Finn's backstory. Maybe he's more Force-sensitive than we've been led to believe, or maybe he's got some familial ties to the one and only Lando Calrissian, which some Star Wars merchandise either spoiled or mistook. Then again, maybe he's just the cool, rogue Stormtrooper who switched sides and raged against the machine. That works just as well on its own.
10 Will Luke And Rey Discover The Origins Of The Force?
Plot-wise, very little has been revealed about The Last Jedi. However, if you've been paying attention to the breadcrumbs (even the vague ones dropped in the film's teaser trailer), then you may have noticed a path leading Luke Skywalker and Rey to the origins of the Force. Over the years, the ways of the Force have been reinterpreted so many times that the truth behind them have been more or less lost, not unlike the earliest days of most modern religions or spiritual beliefs. This could very well lead Luke and Rey on a journey to discover the origins of the Force, to better understand the balance between the Dark Side and the Light Side.
In the teaser trailer, and even the teaser poster, the symbol for the Jedi is on full display, which means that audiences are clearly meant to put their main focus on exactly that. The fact that the previous Star Wars was even titled The Force Awakens should certainly add some weight to this theory.
9 Is The End Of The Jedi What Brings True Balance To The Force?
Throughout the Star Wars saga, there is mention time and time again of bringing balance to the Force. In the prequels, it all starts with Anakin Skywalker, and how his place among the Jedi would bring that very balance. Naturally, we saw how that crashed and burned — but maybe it actually didn't. Maybe Anakin turning to the Dark Side was absolutely necessary in order to bring balance, even though it may not have seemed to be the case at the time.
Even though it would be great to see the good guys beating the bad guys, "good" isn't necessarily balance. For that to happen, there needs to be a happy medium between darkness and lightness, and The Last Jedi may finally bring that conversation front and center. In the trailer, when Luke says, "It's time for the Jedi to end," he's not necessarily being a downer. In fact, he may very well be insinuating that, in order for there to be a true balance in the galaxy, both the Jedi and the Sith need to end, and the opposing forces need to be replaced by something more universally bonding.
8 Has Luke Been Communicating With Anakin/Yoda/Obi-Wan's Ghost?
Luke Skywalker was noticeably MIA in The Force Awakens, which has lead fans to wonder how he's been keeping himself busy. The most powerful hermit in the galaxy, Luke's been hanging out a planet called Ahch-To, specifically on one of its islands — but he's been alone. At least, that seems to be the general idea. Seeing as how the Jedi are able to communicate with deceased Jedi in their ghost form, it's really not much of a stretch to think that Luke's been chatting it up with some old friends. He's already done so with Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi, so who's to say that this wouldn't be the perfect excuse to bring back some fan favorites into the mix?
However, what would add an undeniably significant layer of intrigue would be the revelation that Luke's been keeping in touch with none other than his own father, Anakin Skywalker (aka Darth Vader). This would not only invite Hayden Christensen back into the series (which has been rumored), but offers the chance to allow Kylo Ren and Anakin to speak one-on-one, which could very well help influence Kylo Ren to abandon his course towards the Dark Side altogether.
7 Will We Learn About The Journal Of The Whills?
When George Lucas was still tinkering with the concept of Star Wars altogether, he had a concept that he wanted to incorporate into the original film which ultimately never saw the light of day. This concept referred to a super-race called the Whills, and in fact, the first Star Wars film was originally meant to be titled, Volume 1: Journal of the Whills (not as snappy, compared to Star Wars, but now that the world is consumed with obsessive fans of Lucas' saga, it's certainly more than a little intriguing).
Now that we're entering a new generation of Star Wars, the concept of the Journal of the Whills is finally being toyed with on a more legitimate scale. In fact, it even gets a shout out in Rogue One. So, if Luke does, in fact, try to discover the origins of the Jedi, this is the book that could very well answer all of his questions.
6 Did Han's Death Trigger Kylo Ren's Path To The Light Side?
It's easy to assume that (SPOILER? Pretty much everyone knows this by know, right?) Kylo Ren killing Han Solo was the ultimate act of evil and absolutely cemented Kylo Ren into the ways of the Dark Side. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Kylo Ren battles with his identity throughout the entirety of The Force Awakens, and the idea is that by killing his father, he can truly become the Sith that his grandfather, Darth Vader, was before him. However, it doesn't exactly play out that way.
In case you weren't sure how to interpret Adam Driver's expression after his character killed Han, just look to the script for the answer. It reads as follows: "Kylo Ren is somehow WEAKENED by this wicked act. Himself horrified." He assumed it would make him stronger than ever, but it did the exact opposite. Not only does it leave him emotionally wounded, but vulnerable to being shot by Chewbacca (which he should have sensed and deflected), and ultimately weakened while fighting against Rey. So, could this very well be the first blow that leads him to returning to his truer self — towards his path on the Light Side?
5 Is Kylo Ren A Double Agent For Luke?
Now, think of Kylo Ren what you will, but let's not put it past this film saga to make Han and Leia's son far greater than we could have ever considered. Killing Han may seem like the tipping point for "going too far," but when you've got the fate of the entire galaxy in your hand, maybe it's understood that heroes have to make sacrifices, and this may have been the only way to prove to Snoke that he truly was the baddie he's made himself out to be. The mere fact that he's taking inspiration from his grandfather, Anakin Skywalker, should be proof enough. Yes, Darth Vader was an evildoer, but only until he finally came around by the end of Return of the Jedi.
So, when Kylo Ren says that he wants to finish what Darth Vader started, isn't that sort of implying that he wants to bring balance to the Force, as Anakin had originally planned? There's a decent chance that this may not be the case at all, but it's worth considering — and The Last Jedi may very well answer that once and for all.
4 What Has Luke Been Doing All This Time?
It's safe to say that Luke Skywalker hasn't just been chilling out on Ahch-To. He's been missing, but chances are that he's been concocting some sort of plan, even if the details of said plan are vague at best. Now, the chances of coming out of The Last Jedi without answers to this question are slim, but for now, the best we can do is theorize. Has he been physically traveling from island to island (assuming this planet is just made up a series of islands to begin with), searching for the lost Jedi Temple? Has he been shipwrecked? Has he just been meditating and becoming one with the Force? Has he given up?
With Rey showing up, audiences are bound to get some A's to these pressing Q's, but it's best not to get ahead of yourself. Remember, everyone assumed Luke would show up to lay down the law in The Force Awakens, but he only appeared for a few seconds at the very end, and without any dialogue. So... you never know.
3 How Did Maz Get Luke's Lightsaber?
Another mysterious character in The Force Awakens is Maz Kanata. She's a wise, stumpy, Force-friendly character, not unlike Yoda, but different in the sense that she's not a Jedi herself. However, what's most intriguing about her is the fact that she's been holding onto Anakin/Luke's old lightsaber (for however long, it isn't clear). So, are audiences meant to believe that Maz is just such an accomplished collector of rare artifacts that she just so happened upon this particular weapon, or is The Last Jedi going to clue us in on something even more significant?
Maybe she's the glue that holds this whole new trilogy together. Or maybe she's not. Assuming there's a more significant, plot-friendly reason why she became the temporary owner of the lightsaber, chances are that we'll get an explanation in the next film — unless it's so significant that we'll have to wait until Episode 9 is released in another couple years.
2 Who Has Seized Control Of The Galaxy?
When the Empire fell at the end of Return of the Jedi, there was a general assumption that the good guys won and all the problems in the galaxy were fixed. Obviously, that wasn't the case, and the First Order was prime proof of this. When the Empire was destroyed, chaos replaced it, and it ultimately evolved into the First Order. However, audiences are seemingly about to witness history repeating itself now that the First Order is also on the brink of eradication. If they fall completely, who is taking its place? Who or what has seized control of the galaxy?
This will most likely be a hot topic in The Last Jedi, and it's going to stir up some serious battles among the good, the bad, and whatever exists in between. Then again, maybe this isn't true at all, and they'll actually turn out to be more more powerful than ever.
1 Will Rey Turn To The Dark Side?
The one major worry that is haunting Star Wars fans everywhere is this: will Rey ultimately turn to the Dark Side? From a marketing standpoint, this probably isn't going to happen. Star Wars finally created a solid heroine who hasn't had to suffer through pointless sexualization, someone that younger female audiences can look up to. Making Rey the ultimate villain would be a wasted opportunity in those terms.
Aside from marketing, however, a villainous turn is still very possible. In fact, for all we know, Rey and Kylo Ren could very well swap sides, so to speak, over the course of the next two films. Now, why she would turn isn't certain, but there are possibilities: she could turn for the same reason Kylo Ren turned (maybe Luke showed him something that even audiences aren't prepared to stomach), Luke could have turned to the Dark Side and thus trains her to do the same, or Yoda's ghost shows up and scares her away from the Light Side (okay, that one isn't likely, but let's not pretend anyone actually has a legitimate guess). Even if this does end up happening, chances are it's a revelation that wouldn't show up until Episode 9 -- if ever.
What other questions do you have that need answering in The Last Jedi? Let us know in the comments.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi will arrive in theaters on December 15, 2017; the untitled Episode IX will arrive in theaters on May 23, 2019.