'Star Wars: Episode VIII' Needs to Answer 10 'The Force Awakens' Questions
'Episode VII' was great because it kept us wanting more. But what's next?
Chances are you saw The Force Awakens this weekend. A lot of people did. But because of J.J. Abrams’ insistence on not opening the Mystery Box, as well as resolving his new movie to be the introduction of a new trilogy, there were some dangling plot lines and leftover questions that fans may have had. These are the plot lines we want to see sewn up in Episode VIII or beyond.
Beware, heavy spoilers lie ahead.
10. What’s Up With Threepio’s Red Arm?
Some are saying this little detail is probably the dumbest addition to the new movie, and that it’s a literal appendage to anything important to the plot. But we think it’s worth figuring out. Granted, it looks guaranteed to be answered in a new C-3PO Marvel comic (which we know all of the diehard fans were clamoring for) and you may have missed the fact that Threepio gets his golden arm restored at the end of the film when everyone is waving at the Millennium Falcon. But it’d be nice to get some backstory in the next movies to highlight the political turmoil that made Threepio get busted up in the first place.
9. Is the Resistance Part of the New Republic?
We don’t mind not having every single thing spelled out for us in these new Star Wars movies; the original trilogy’s world-building also worked with a deft, light touch. But we’re looking forward to getting a better sense of the New Republic that was created in the wake of the Galactic Empire falling in Return of the Jedi and why a small faction led by General Leia called the Resistance was created to combat a fanatical Empire offshoot called the First Order in The Force Awakens. This kind of development is a near-guarantee considering the members of the Senate went ‘splode after the planet Hosnian Prime was blown up by Starkiller Base in The Force Awakens.
8. Was the Map and R2-D2 in Sleep Mode Just a Simple MacGuffin?
The thing that drives the story of The Force Awakens is the incomplete map that BB-8 carries, which ostensibly fills in the puzzle pieces for the Resistance to figure out the location of Luke Skywalker. It turns out R2-D2, who was in a sort of sleep mode ever since Luke took off, had the rest of the map. Abrams explains that “BB-8 comes up and says something to him, which is basically, ‘I’ve got this piece of a map, do you happen to have the rest?’ The idea was, R2, who has been all over the galaxy, is still in his coma, but he hears this. And it triggers something that would ultimately wake him up.” But why did Artoo go to sleep, and why did Luke leave a map behind for people to find him? Maybe this little tidbit will be fleshed out in later movies when we find out more of Luke’s decision-making.
7. Who is Lor San Tekka?
Max Von Sydow’s character, Lor San Tekka, appears only in the opening sequence of The Force Awakens where he’s killed by Kylo Ren after giving Poe Dameron the map fragment. But you don’t cast Max Von Sydow in your movie for less than five minutes and then get rid of him. The opening crawl establishes him as a “trusted ally” to the Resistance, so hopefully his role in the saga will be explored later, possibly in relation to Rey and why she’s abandoned on Jakku by her parents.
6. Where Did Maz Kanata Get Luke’s Lightsaber and Where Does She End Up?
Seriously though, last time we saw Luke’s iconic blue saber it was falling down into the bowels of Cloud City along with his severed hand. In The Force Awakens it’s suddenly in the possession of Lupita Nyong’o’s character Maz Kanata. She’s positioned as this ageless mystic who’s also a swindling pirate, so she probably bartered for it at some point in her travels, or she came into possession of the lightsaber because she’s an important cog in the massive wheel of the saga. We’re just glad it wasn’t as random as what’s been reported about the lightsaber since last year.
5. Captain Phasma
Regardless of what you may read about her, Captain Phasma is most definitely the new trilogy’s Boba Fett. She isn’t a main character, she interacts with people in the background, and she’s iconic because of her badass armor — sounds like Boba Fett to us. But what really left people wanting more was the fact that Phasma just kind of drops out of The Force Awakens never to be heard from again after Finn, Han, and Chewie force her to lower the shields on Starkiller Base. Lucasfilm mastermind Kathleen Kennedy confirmed that Phasma will return in the next movie, saying “She’s an important character, a baddie in the best sense of the word,” so expect Phasma to get a beefier role in the next movie.
4. Who Is Supreme Leader Snoke, and Why Is He Trying to Compensate For His Size?
Everyone seems to hate Snoke. Not the character and his Palpatine-esque machinations, but his look and the way he’s portrayed. With J.J. Abrams stressing the practical effects in his new movie, it’s easy to see why the overly CGI Snoke made some people get a prequel-level computer generated relapse. It’s obvious that he appears to Kylo Ren and General Hux as a massive Lincoln Memorial-looking hologram because he’s trying to compensate for what will inevitably be his Yoda-sized stature. Some people think Snoke is Darth Plagueis, the Sith that cheated death and was Palpatine’s mentor. Though Palpatine claimed to have killed Plagueis in his sleep, that doesn’t necessarily mean the big, big baddie has been Snoke all along.
3. What Happened Between Luke and Ben Solo / Kylo Ren?
Surprise! Kylo Ren, a.k.a. Ben Solo is Han and Leia’s son! And he was trained in the ways of the Force by Luke sometime after Return of the Jedi! And it went south, causing Ben to turn to the Dark Side and throw Luke into a self-imposed exile! That’s a lot of drama, especially for this epic space drama, and we only get people talking about what exactly happened between Kylo Ren and Luke. Considering Luke shows up in literally the second-to-last and last shots of the movie, it’s a good bet that we’ll find out just how Luke messed up or Kylo Ren turned his back on the Light Side in the next movies.
2. Who are Finn’s Parents?
Considering fathers, sons, parents, and the relationships between them all are the fundamental theme throughout the Star Wars saga, we gotta learn more about Finn’s family. According to the movie, Finn was taken from his parents at a young age and conscripted into the First Order to fight as a stormtrooper. They didn’t even give him a name, only a call number. Actor John Boyega brought a bumbling but heroic sincerity to the role, and despite how the character ends up in The Force Awakens there needs to be something more to his character.
1. Who Are Rey’s Parents and Who Raised Her?
Here’s a Jedi mind trick for you: This question will be answered. It doesn’t seem like Rey was abandoned on Jakku to be some sort of slave to junk dealer Unkar Plutt (even though it sounds an awful lot like young Anakin’s relationship to Watto), and her flashbacks and Force sensitivity seem to make it clear she’s the most important character to the new saga. So who are her folks? Here’s what we’re thinking:
The new movies don’t have enough narrative capacity left to handle a scenario in which Rey is Luke’s daughter. (Her mother presumably would also need to be introduced, and you can see how everything could bog down in exposition.) So here’s my guess: Rey is Han and Leia’s younger daughter, a fact Han doesn’t know.
Here’s how the chronology on that would work. Han and Leia have Ben (a.k.a. Kylo Ren) after Return of the Jedi and eventually allow Luke to train him in the ways of the Force. Ben goes off to become a Padawan of Uncle Luke, but something isn’t right. He embraces the Dark Side and goes AWOL, prompting Han to run from his problems by ditching Leia. At the same time, Leia discovers that she’s pregnant again, but doesn’t tell Han for fear that another kid will become Mini Vader. To keep the baby safe, Leia takes actions that echo her and Luke’s upbringing: She hands her daughter off to the “trusted ally” referenced in the Force Awakens opening crawl (perhaps Max von Sydow’s character, Lor San Tekka) who takes her to Jakku and watches over her a la Obi-Wan did with Luke prior to the events of A New Hope. It’s the only way to bring balance to the Force and to the narrative flow of the new trilogy.