We’re just a couple of weeks away from Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi hitting our screens. Of course, that means that the internet is going wild with crazy fan theories about the secrets that the new film may or may not reveal. Who are Rey’s parents? Is Kylo Ren secretly still a little bit good? Who the heck is this General Snoke fellow? Everyone and their mother has an idea that they believe is the ‘correct’ guess.
This is no new phenomenon, of course: the Star Wars fandom has been particularly active in creating their own theories over the years. Some have been weird, some have been downright wacky, and others have been oddly plausible. I mean, who isn’t a little bit convinced by the whole ‘Jar-Jar Binks is a Sith Lord’ school of thought? In celebration of this incredibly creative group of fans, we’ve put together some of the best Star Wars fan theories, from the original trilogy to the somewhat questionable prequels. Prepare yourself: we’re going into ‘crazy internet suspicions’ hyperdrive…
16. Jar-Jar Binks is a Sith Lord
What started out as a jokey theory about the most obnoxious Star Wars character of all has become a scarily believable account of The Phantom Menance. Turns out Jar Jar Binks wasn’t the hapless, annoying moron we all thought he was. He was working for the Sith the WHOLE TIME. He was apparently an agent of Emperor Palpatine who disguised his sabotage of Obi Wan and Qui Gon Jin’s plans behind fake buffoonery. Jar-Jar’s voice actor, Ahmed Best, has suggested that there’s some truth in this theory… So it’s basically canon. Unfortunately, Jar-Jar was so unpopular that he was written out of future films. We never did get to find out if he really was a double agent, or if he was just an idiot.
15. Qui Gon Jin was also a Sith Lord
Jeez, was every new character in the first Star Wars prequel secretly evil? Apparently so, if you believe this questionable fan theory. Liam Neeson’s well-loved Jedi master Qui Gon Jin was one of the only good things about The Phantom Menace, and his death left us pretty devastated. However, a certain group of fans has become convinced that Qui Gon was secretly evil. Their justification for this weird point of view? He used to be the apprentice of actual bona fide Sith Count Dooku, and can’t possibly have strayed from his master’s point of view. To be honest, I think it’s more likely that Qui Gon saw that Dooku had become evil and said: “no thanks, I’m out, I’m going to remain a good Jedi thanks”… But hey. Maybe I’m wrong.
14. Rey is Obi-Wan Kenobi’s granddaughter
The identity of Rey’s family is one of the biggest mysteries in the new Star Wars trilogy. Who were they? Why did they abandon her? And are her Force powers hereditary? This theory claims that they are and that she’s descended from one very powerful Jedi Knight. That’s right, she’s the granddaughter of Obi-Wan Kenobi! It doesn’t matter that Kenobi was never known to have any children – who knows what he was up to in all these years on Tatooine? Apparently, the fact that Ren has super strong powers from the outset means she just HAS to be descended from a talented Jedi like Obi-Wan. Hopefully, we’ll get some answers to this conundrum in The Last Jedi!
13. A Bounty hunter murdered Luke’s aunt and uncle
One of the most upsetting scenes in A New Hope is Luke coming come to discover the charred bodies of his aunt and uncle, presumably murdered by Imperial Stormtroopers. It’s pretty harrowing stuff and is one of the main events to trigger Luke’s decision to become a Jedi knight. However, many fans think that this scene is not all that it seems. They noted that the weapons that stormtroopers generally use wouldn’t cause the kind of massive destruction that Owen and Beru Lars clearly endured. Instead, they claim, their demise is more likely to be the result of a targeted hit from a Bounty hunter – specifically, Boba Fett. This infamously ruthless assassin is known to have been on Tatooine at the time of the murders – there’s a real chance he could have been the perpetrator. Yet another reason to hate his guts.
12. There are two Lukes: Regular Luke and Bigger Luke
Okay, this has to be one of the strangest theories out there. According to a very weird corner of the internet, there are two versions of Luke Skywalker in A New Hope: Regular Luke and Bigger Luke. Apparently, Bigger Luke is – you guessed it – slightly larger in size than Regular Luke. The reason for the existence of this ‘Bigger Luke’ isn’t really explained – he’s just kind of there. Some fans think ‘Bigger Luke’ is just a body double of Mark Hamill who’s a bit taller than him. Others think that there really are two Lukes roaming about the galaxy for no reason whatsoever. But… why? The internet hasn’t quite figured it out yet. This whole thing seems a bit nonsensical.
11. Chewbacca was a spy
Chewbacca is mostly known as everybody’s favorite super-fluffy Wookie. Han Solo’s best pal is handy with a gun and is loyal to the last second of his life… But is he also something more? Some Star Wars fans believe that Chewwie was secretly a spy for the Rebel Alliance throughout the original trilogy. According to this theory, Chewie is the owner of the Millennium Falcon, not Han, and it’s him that runs their whole smuggling operation. Chewie directed the ship to Tatooine, where he and Han were conveniently in place to pick up Luke, Obi-Wan, and R2D2. None of this was a coincidence: Chewwie was engineering events behind the scenes to further the cause of the Rebels. It’s an interesting theory, and one I’m sure Chewwie would say “RWAAAAAR” to.
10. It’s not actually set in a Galaxy Far Far Away
The opening credits of Star Wars claim that the action of the saga takes place in “a galaxy far, far away.” However, a certain section of the fanbase is convinced that this is total nonsense. They think that the series actually transpires in our own galaxy, The Milky Way. Their most convincing piece of evidence is the fact that in The Phantom Menace, aliens that look a whole lot like E.T. can be spotted in the background of one of the scenes. Since we know E.T. visited Earth, the Star Wars galaxy must be at least close to our own planet. Likewise, fans claim that the high frequency of humanoid aliens in the galaxy means that they can’t be too far from our own human-inhabited planet. Maybe the aliens look like humans because – shock horror – their actors are actually humans? We’re not too sure about the validity this theory.
9. Kylo Ren is a double agent
Ah, Kylo Ren: the stereotypical moody teenager who decided to take out his angst by murdering a load of people then also killing his father. Who DIDN’T do that when their hormones were raging? Anyway, a lot of Star Wars fans have begun to wonder if Ren is as evil as he seems. Could it be that he’s a double agent, stealing secrets from the First Order to give to the Resistance? Was Han Solo’s death actually a Snape-and-Dumbledore-esque inside job? I guess we’ll find out in future films. It would certainly be a twist and a half if Ren’s “I’m an emo who hates his dad” spiel is all an act.
8. Obi-Wan left Luke on Tatooine because Anakin hates sand
People have often wondered why Obi-Wan Kenobi decided to hide baby Luke on Tatooine. Like, it’s literally Darth Vader’s home planet. He knows he has family there. Surely it’s the first place he’d go looking when trying to track down his baby son? Apparently not, according to Star Wars fans. They claim that Kenobi was incredibly clever when deciding to spirit Luke away to this particular planet because Darth Vader just hates sand. Like, he hates it so much that he deliberately avoids the planet he knows his son is probably hiding on. Their justification comes from a scene in Attack of the Clones in which Vader, still in his teenage Anakin Skywalker form, expresses his intense hatred of sand to Padme. Would this really be enough to keep him away from Tatooine, though? I mean, can anyone hate sand that darn much?
7. The Ewoks are horrifying flesh-eaters
Remember the Ewoks, those cute and cuddly little bear guys who show up in Return of the Jedi? They’re so adorable, right? Erm… Perhaps not. One convincing Star Wars fan theory makes a very credible case for these walking teddy bears actually being horrific, flesh-eating killing machines. Who can forget the part where they tie Han Solo to a pole and try to literally spit roast him? They’re all too happy to serve Chewbacca and Luke for dinner too. Since this plan clearly didn’t work out for the Ewoks, they had to search for food elsewhere… Potentially in the Stormtrooper army. A lot of ominous empty bad-guy helmets are seen at the Ewok party that closes the film. What happened to the owners of this gear? According to fans, Ewoks definitely ate those guys. Grim.
6. Han Solo could use the Force
In the original trilogy, Han Solo makes it very clear that he’s a skeptic when it comes to the Force. There’s a famous scene in A New Hope where he basically calls the whole Jedi/Force thing a load of mumbo-jumbo, right to Obi-Wan Kenobi’s face. All Kenobi can do is smirk. Some fans have interpreted this as a kind of “I know something you don’t know” smile, and think that Han was actually Force-sensitive the whole time without realizing it. They think that Han’s insane ‘luck’ – he navigates asteroid fields without getting so much as a gentle tap to his ship, seems to predict his opponents’ moves in gunfights, and has survived more sticky situations than we can count – is actually evidence that he’s in tune with the Force. His undiscovered Jedi powers are what keep him safe. It’s a cool theory if a slightly dubious one.
5. Princess Leia turns to the Dark Side
Okay, this theory is genuinely upsetting. There are some fans out there that actually believe that between the events of Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, Princess Leia turned to the dark side. Maybe her breakup with Han Solo pushed her over the edge; maybe it was something else. Whatever the reason, fans believe that it was her who really orchestrated Han’s death by convincing her son that his father was a deadbeat that needed to be punished. Leia could be a secret agent working for the First Order, with her past traumas awakening the Sith within her… Maybe. To be honest, we have no idea what they’re going to do about Leia’s story arc in the wake of Carrie Fisher’s sad passing. We only hope they do her memory justice and not make this theory canon.
4. Rey is the bad guy of the new trilogy
After the trailer for The Last Jedi was released, a lot of speculation arose regarding Rey’s true allegiance. One particular scene shows her contemplating an alliance with Kylo Ren, who hasn’t proved himself to be a very nice bloke so far. Does this mean that Rey is going to join the Dark Side? Posters for the film have only added fuel to this fire. The general release poster positions Rey in a way that makes it look like she’s actually holding Ren’s red lightsaber. Could this be foreshadowing a future betrayal? Other fans have also pointed out the links between Rey and Anakin Skywalker. They both endured difficult childhoods, and both seem to have anger issues. Could this mean that Rey is destined to follow Anakin’s doomed path? We’ll have to wait and see!
3. Luke Skywalker is going to die very soon
This theory is totally centered on the title of Episode VIII: The Last Jedi. Some people believe that Jedi is plural in this context and that Rey and Luke are collectively the last of their kind. Others think that Jedi is singular and that Luke isn’t going to survive this movie. He’s going to die in some kind of tragic way before the film is out, leaving Rey the only Jedi left in the galaxy. If this theory is true, we hope that Luke at least gets a bit of airtime before he pops his clogs. All he did in Episode VII was stare moodily at Rey for a while… Can he at least have a line or two before his inevitable demise?
2. Emperor Palpatine was Darth Vader’s father
The Star Wars saga is famous for its pretty shocking parentage reveals. But what if there was one surprising family link that producers decided should remain a secret? Some fans believe that Anakin Skywalker wasn’t as fatherless as the prequel films made out. Nope – apparently, Emperor Palpatine is Anakin’s father. Don’t worry – he didn’t have some kind of weird affair with Shmi Skywalker. According to this theory, he manipulated the Force to cause Shmi’s allegedly Immaculate Conception-style pregnancy to take place. Thus, in a really strange and convoluted way, he fathered his future apprentice. Hmmm. If you say so…
1. Padme didn’t really die of a broken heart
Padme Amidala was a pretty badass woman who got the lamest death ever. Apparently, she died of a broken heart after realizing the extent of Anakin’s betrayal. Come on, Padme would never have let a guy’s actions damage her to that extent. She would have stayed alive simply so she could kick her estranged husband’s ass. Some fans believe that Padme’s sudden and mysterious death was actually caused by Palpatine using his manipulative Force powers again. It’s not too improbable, actually: the Force is supposed to be a life energy that courses through everyone and everything. If this is the case, a powerful Sith like Palpatine could easily have found a way to drain that life force out of someone. He had the motive, after all: he needed Padme to die for Anakin to make his final transition into Darth Vader. It all fits!