Fan theories come about for a multitude of different reasons. Sometimes, fans try to connect the dots that have been laid out by filmmakers. Other times, fans are trying to read into ambiguities that have been put there intentionally. Perhaps the most common reason for the creation of fan theories, though, is the need to fill in plot holes. Even the best movies have moments that test the boundaries of real-world logic, especially those set in galaxies that have many differences from our own.
As much love as Star Wars gets, the films are far from flawless. Indeed, each installment comes with plenty of logical leaps, and each one has generated fan theories that work to make these leaps in logic easier to swallow. The Star Wars fan theories that cover up holes in the plot are ultimately doing the work that dedicated fans often do: they’re trying to explain the flaws in a thing they love dearly. It’s a testament to Star Wars that fans have tried so hard to make sense of every inch of it. Still, even Star Wars has its issues, and they’re ones fans have addressed in a variety of different theories.
Here are the 15 Star Wars Fan Theories That Fix HUGE Plot Holes.
15 Poe Dameron Is Indestructible
Thus far in the new trilogy, it doesn’t seem as though Poe Dameron has any sort of Force abilities. He’s an exceptionally skilled pilot, and he helps set the story of The Force Awakens in motion, but that seems to be the sum of his significance. Some have suggested that Poe is Force sensitive, though - largely in response to the fact that Poe survives a seemingly unsurvivable ship crash on Jakku.
Of course, the more likely explanation for this is shaky writing. Some fans have suggested that Poe may have grown up near a Force tree. If Poe is Force sensitive, that may explain how he was able to avoid terrible injury during his crash on Jakku, and his Force powers may also be useful in the films moving forward. It’s nice to have Rey as the trilogy’s central character, but that doesn’t mean Poe can’t use the Force too. Everyone should get to have a little fun.
14 Darth Vader Can't Kill Luke
Darth Vader doesn’t seem to be very good at his job. Although he’s certainly a menacing presence, he spends the entire original trilogy hunting for Luke and his friends, and never manages to kill or capture them. His first chance comes at the end of the original Star Wars, when he has Luke in his sights but doesn’t pull the trigger fast enough. The next comes when he fails to grab Luke when Luke escapes at the end of The Empire Strikes Back.
Both of these moments represent perfectly good opportunities for Vader, one of the most powerful Force users in the galaxy, to wipe out his son and end the entire saga. Instead, he lets him live, and many believe that decision is intentional on Vader’s part.
The theory suggests that he knew Luke was his son the entire time, and couldn’t bring himself to kill him, no matter how dark he had become. This theory culminates in Return of the Jedi, when Vader definitely chooses to save his son and sacrifice himself.
13 R2 is Telling Every Star Wars Story
R2-D2 is, perhaps strangely, one of the most important figures in the world of Star Wars. That little droid has been in all eight Star Wars films, and he’s played a critical role in each of them. Some fans have argued that R2’s appearance in all of these stories is more than a mere coincidence. The theory suggests that R2 is the one telling all of these stories, which would explain not only why he’s in every film, but why it sometimes seems as though he’s better than every other droid.
For a droid, R2 is rather remarkable, able to defeat battle droids and repair ships when no other droid can get the job done. These things make him a useful companion for our heroes, but they may also suggest that R2 himself is embellishing the stories to make himself look good. Most of these stories might have happened, but they might not have featured this little droid so prominently if he hadn’t been the one telling them.
12 Luke's Training on Dagobah
The Empire Strikes Back is widely considered the best Star Wars film, and with good reason. Its action is intense, its twists are earned, and it proves to be a genuinely grim entry in the Star Wars canon. These virtues are certainly enough to make the movie worth watching, but the eagle-eyed viewers may notice that Luke’s entire training with Yoda on Dagobah takes place over only a couple of days, which is hardly enough time to learn everything about the Force.
While it’s suggested that Luke leaves before his training is complete, the implication is that Luke’s made significant progress while he’s been there, which seems suspicious at best.
Some dedicated Star Wars fans have suggested that, although Luke only spent a couple of days on Dagobah, he was actually training for years inside his own mind with Yoda. Yoda, an incredibly gifted Force user, gave him this ability so they could extend their time and Luke could master the Force.
11 Rey Understands Chewbacca and BB-8
Rey lived a pretty boring and isolated life before she was swept up on an intergalactic mission, and she had to use her time up somehow. One fan theory suggests that the reason Rey seems capable of understanding both BB-8 and Chewbacca in The Force Awakens is her history of learning languages. Apparently, during Rey’s lonely days on Jakku, she learned quite a few, which made her well-equipped for her mission across the galaxy.
Rey’s numerous skills make her an ideal central figure for this new Star Wars trilogy, and provide a sharp contrast to Luke, who spent a great deal of his screentime learning how to do things. Of course, Rey still has plenty to learn, and it seems like Luke will be the one teaching her.
Rey may speak a million different languages, but she's not exactly a Jedi Master yet, and the next installment in her story will likely try to fix that particular gap in her skills. For now, though, it's she can probably talk to you no matter what language you speak.
10 The Emperor's Conspiracy
In one of the first scenes in the first Star Wars, an unnamed pilot on an Imperial Star Destroyer makes a decision that impacts the future of the entire Empire. Seeing a ship fly by without any life forms on it, the man says that there’s no need to chase after it. This ship is of course the one containing R2-D2 and C-3PO, who are carrying the plans for the Death Star.
Many have seen the decision this pilot makes as a critical error. After all, shouldn’t he know that there are droids all over this universe capable of carrying messages and communicating with humans? Droids are a real threat to the Empire, and they’re one this guy completely ignores.
One theory suggests there’s a reason he chooses not to chase after the ship. The argument is that the Emperor actually wanted the first Death Star to be destroyed to drum up support for the Empire against the Rebel Alliance, which may have worked considering the events of The Empire Strikes Back.
9 Darth Vader is Bad at the Force
The Force is a pretty undefined thing. It connects all living things, sure, but past that, the Star Wars universe doesn’t make it perfectly clear how exactly it works. One oversight seems to be the fact that Force users are sometimes able to sense the presence of other Force users, while other times they can’t. For example, Vader senses Obi-Wan aboard the Death Star in Star Wars, but fails to sense either of his children, who are also aboard the ship.
One theory that explains this oversight suggests that Vader could sense Obi-Wan’s presence because he was actively looking for his old master. He knew Obi-Wan would reappear in his life at some point, and was able to sense him for that reason. With his children, Vader was not actively hunting for them, in part because he assumed they were dead.
Vader could have sensed them if he had been trying to, but he didn’t see the point in looking for them.
8 Stormtroopers Can't Hit Luke and His Friends for a Good Reason
This one is based in good old fashioned psychology. Stormtroopers are supposed to be expert marksman. We hear that fact over and over again. Yet, when they come face to face with Han, Luke, or Leia, they seem unable to hit their targets. The reasons for this might actually have something to do with the apparel of Luke and his friends. Whereas normal rebel troops have a standard uniform which partially disguises their face, Luke, Han, and Leia all have distinctive outfits that make it much clearer that they’re people.
Rebel troops are easy targets for stormtroopers, because it’s easier for them to turn off the part of their brain that reminds them that those troops are human. With our protagonists, though, this becomes much harder. They look like people, and that makes them harder to kill on a subconscious level. This theory has borne out with actual soldiers, so there’s no reason to think it wouldn’t apply to stormtroopers as well.
7 Galen Erso is Very Vague
One of the biggest plot holes in all of Star Wars comes with the Death Star. The Empire’s ultimate super weapon, the Death Star was built with a fatal flaw that seemed totally unnecessary and was exploited not once, but twice over the course of the series. Rogue One revealed that Galen Erso, the man who designed the Death Star, was responsible for that fatal flaw, because he was actually loyal to the rebel alliance.
In fixing this plot hole, Rogue One opened itself up to another. When Erso explains that he built a flaw into the Death Star in a message to Jyn Erso, he’s incredibly vague about what that flaw is and how it might be exploited. One fan theory suggests that this vagueness is intentional.
Galen was worried that his message would be intercepted, and so he wasn’t specific about what the flaw was. Presumably, Galen planned to meet up with Jyn and deliver the information. Of course, things didn’t go exactly as planned.
6 Luke's Terrible Hiding Place
When you break down Luke’s hiding place, it all begins to look pretty foolish. For one thing, he’s on Anakin’s home planet of Tatooine. For another, his last name hasn’t been changed. If Obi-Wan was really interested in hiding Luke from his father, he seems to have played things pretty loose.
There is a fan theory that helps explain these oversights, though, and it’s one based on a pretty simple idea. Darth Vader believed both of his children were dead, so he didn’t waste much energy looking for them.
Obi-Wan must have known that Vader believed his children were gone, and so he didn’t put much effort into hiding Luke. What’s more, Obi-Wan likely knew that Luke would eventually have to face his father, and so he made sure that Luke would have enough information about the man to put the pieces together when the time came. Of course, Obi-Wan could have told him the truth straight out, but he chose to be a bit less straightforward.
5 Vader Doesn't Recognize C-3PO
In The Phantom Menace, we learn that Anakin actually built C-3PO, which is interesting, but it throws a wrench in the original trilogy, where Vader and 3PO share the screen. Although they don’t spend a ton of time together, it seems as though Vader would recognize 3PO, even if 3PO didn't remember him because his memories have been wiped.
One fan theory suggests that Vader does recognize his creation, but doesn’t want to give any indication of their history together.
This fan theory makes enough sense, in part because Vader’s face is always hidden under a mask. That makes gauging his reaction to pretty much everything a tricky endeavor. Vader is a dark lord of the Sith who doesn’t want to reveal how much good is still inside of him. When it comes down to it, he might not have wanted to reveal his history with 3PO, as it would have suggested a weakness in him that Luke could exploit.
4 Obi-Wan Doesn't Recognize Either Droid
Alongside Vader, Obi-Wan is one of the only other characters in the original trilogy that should recognize R2 and C-3PO from the prequels. He spends a significant amount of time with the droids in both the original Star Wars and the prequels, but he never gives Luke any indication that he recognizes them. Of course, Obi-Wan is notoriously misleading, and claims that he doesn’t “seem to remember ever owning a droid.”
It’s true, of course, that R2 and 3PO were never his property. Obi-Wan is very good at misleading people without lying outright. What’s more, one fan theory argues that he misled Luke because he didn’t want Luke to know who his father was. Revealing that he had a relationship with the droids would have led Luke to more questions, and it might have made keeping him in the dark much harder. As a result, most fan theories suggest that Obi-Wan kept silent in order to keep the information from Luke.
3 Leia Remembers Her Mother
In Return of the Jedi, Leia claims that she remembers her mother pretty well. That seems to make enough sense, even if she lost her real mother at a fairly young age. In Revenge of the Sith, though, we discover that Leia’s mother died during childbirth, which makes the odds that Leia actually remembers her quite remote. Of course, those odds increase significantly once you remember that Leia is Force sensitive, and may have powers of memory that normal humans would not possess.
The specific name for these powers is psychometry, which allows its user to sense the past of an object. The theory suggests that, although Leia isn’t trained in the Force, she possesses this ability, and it allows her to see what her mother was like. Of course, these aren’t memories exactly, but Leia’s an inexperienced Force user, so she might not be able to tell the difference between what she’s seeing with the Force and her own memories.
2 R2-D2 Wakes Up
When The Force Awakens first came out, fans were willing to tolerate quite a few conveniences in its storytelling. The one that irked fans most was the apparent randomness of R2-D2’s decision to wake himself up. The droid had been deactivated for all of the film thus far, but he wakes up just when they need him most, to complete a map to Luke that they now have the rest of.
One fan theory explains this apparent plot convenience by arguing that R2 finally had a good reason to wake up. BB-8 had communicated to R2 that the rest of the map had been found, and R2 realized that, for the first time in a long time, he was needed. He woke up to help, even though he was still upset about being abandoned by Luke.
It may have seemed as though R2 would be asleep forever, but this theory suggests R2 was just waiting for the right moment to wake up.
1 Jar Jar Binks is a Sith Lord
Jar Jar Binks is an almost universally despised character in the Star Wars universe. He shows up in The Phantom Menace and proves to be a consistently annoying presence who eventually makes his way into the Senate, and is actually the one who proposes granting special powers to the chancellor. Not only is he supremely annoying, but Jar Jar is also responsible for the downfall of the Galactic Republic.
One popular fan theory suggests that Jar Jar is actually a Sith lord, which explains his enormous role in the downfall of the republic, and his existence in the trilogy. It may sound convoluted, but Jar Jar’s prominent role in the trilogy, coupled with some things George Lucas has said about the character suggests it might be true.
From behind the scenes, he was subtly able to influence the other characters and ensure that Palpatine would rise to power. The Emperor may seem like the bad guy, but it was the friendly Gungan the whole time.
Do any of these Star Wars fan theories satisfy you? Let us know in the comments!