With 40 years, eight movies, and a countless number of books, video games, and TV shows under its belt, Star Wars has always been grounds for prime fan theories. And with the premiere of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on December 16, some new theories have made their way to the foreground.
Here are six fan theories running around the internet right now that have fans talking, fighting, and discussing what really counts as canon in the Star Wars universe.
As if it needs to be said, but: This post contains major spoilers for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
1. Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor are actually alive.
This one’s, like, kind of impossible, right? But it would be so satisfying and fun to live in this little bubble. The idea of Jyn and Cassian — holding each other, most likely in love as they wait for the explosion to engulf them by the water — coming out the other side of that massive wall of light alive, if not unscathed, would be a true holiday miracle.
And while no one’s really offered up any good “here’s how they did it” scenarios, the denial game is a fun one to play, especially when the real scenario was as painful as the entire Rogue One team biting the dust. Or, that is, biting the bullets, a grenade, and the fiery blast of the Death Star. But let’s take it one step further. If Jyn and Cassian are alive, then so are Chirrut, Baze, Bodhi, and K-2SO. Everyone lives! See how fun it is to be in denial?
2. Rey is Jyn’s daughter.
A lot of people think that just because they can’t tell Daisy Ridley (Rey) and Felicity Jones (Jyn Erso) apart, then they must be related. In the eternal words of Jones herself: “I know we both have dark hair and talk funny to you Americans, and I know were both in Star Wars, but yes, remarkably two young, British women can exist in the same cinematic galaxy,” Jones says in an MTV PSA. “I know. Crazy.” Jones ends the video by saying in no uncertain terms that Jyn and Rey are not related.
But ever since Ridley said that she’s surprised Star Wars fans haven’t figured out who Rey’s parents are yet, people have been scrambling. The mystery of Rey’s parentage is a big one. Some people think it’s Luke Skywalker. Some people think it’s Jyn and Cassian. Some people think it’s Jyn and Luke … No matter the outcome, fans can look forward to another iconic “I am your father” moment, though it definitely won’t be from Jyn.
3. Chirrut Îmwe and Baze Malbus are married.
Even if you’re not a Chirrut and Baze shipper, you have to admit that their odd couple relationship is the perfect grounds for a marriage. While this theory is another wishful thinking scenario, it makes sense on some level. Their trust in and comfort with one another paired with Baze’s good-natured eye-rolling and Chirrut’s knowing smiles is prime old-married-couple material.
They’ve clearly been together for a long time. So, maybe their absolute comfort is indicative of something more. Maybe it’s not. Either way, their relationship is stellar.
4. The Force has always protected the Rebellion.
So, you the know the triumphant scene that immediately turned tragic when Chirrut prays to the Force so he can make it safely to the switch through enemy fire? Yeah, we cried too. But that scene is also a reminder of the enormous power of the Force. Not only is the Force accessible for use by Jedi and faithful believers such as Chirrut, but it’s also a living, sentient energy with a strong ideal of what’s right and wrong.
One Twitter user (@tveitlight25) noted that maybe the poor stormtroopers aren’t as bad a shots as people give them credit for. They are, after all, so notoriously horrible that it’s become a running joke in Star Wars circles. But maybe that’s not their fault. Maybe the Force has been protecting the Rebellion and those on the side of good all along.
5. Vader’s castle is going to tie Rogue One to Episode VIII.
Darth Vader’s castle (because every Disney character needs their castle) on Mustafar was a total treat. The castle was originally meant to be used in the original trilogy, but it was scrapped for various reasons. Having it standing amongst the lava and filled with Imperial guards while Vader takes a bath is satisfying as hell. And some are predicting that Vader’s castle will be seen again in Episode VIII.
Who in the new trilogy is obsessed enough with Vader to invade his former home away from the Death Star and make it his own? Was that an overwhelming cry of “Kylo Ren” we just heard? Yeah, Kylo would definitely take over Vader’s castle and claim it as his “birthright” or something equally as melodramatic. The possible connection seems pretty legit.
6. Supreme Leader Snoke used to work for Darth Vader.
While Lord Vader was hanging out in his bacta tank, perhaps trying unsuccessfully to heal the deep scars he obtained on the very planet his castle is on, a hooded figure approached and announced Orson Krennic’s arrival. The bacta tank itself is fascinating, but even more so is that aforementioned hooded figure. Who is this person?
One running theory is that he’s a member of the Acolytes of the Beyond, a group of fanatics who worship the Dark side of the Force and Vader himself. Supposedly, they bought Darth’s lightsaber from a junk dealer after his death on Endor in order to return it to him in the afterlife. These guys were real pieces of work.
But there’s another option as well. As Star Wars fans are looking to connect Rogue One as much as possible to the trilogy of trilogies, tentative connections to The Force Awakens and the as-yet-unnamed Episode VIII are rather in vogue at the moment. Perhaps this hooded figure is the future Emperor Snoke. Maybe he was an Acolyte back when Vader was alive. Nothing is known about Snoke’s background so far, and his being a part of a Dark side cult who worshipped Vader would make sense for his apprentice’s obsession with Vader and, perhaps, Snoke’s own plans for the eradication of the Jedi once again.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is now in theaters.