This article contains major spoilers for "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."
Considering how many records "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" broke over the course of its opening weekend, odds are you saw the latest "Star Wars" movie and odds are you have a few questions.
Just like 1977's "Star Wars," "The Force Awakens" drops viewers right into the middle of the action. This time, though, the action follows a 30 year gap since last we saw our heroes. The events of those lost decades are briefly mentioned throughout the film, with some events getting just a little more spelled out than others, thus leaving imaginations with plenty of stuff to ponder over until "Episode VIII" opens in 2017. And on top of that, "The Force Awakens" also introduces a number of new mysteries involving new characters that have us desperate for more info.
Now that we've had a few days to run the events of "Episode VII" through our heads a bit, here are the burning questions we have about "Star Wars."
Who are Rey's parents?Based on how she sparked to Luke's lightsaber, her lineage is clearly Skywalker, which explains her incredible natural ability to tap into the Force. But debate is already raging online whether Rey is Luke's kid or Leia's. Han, Leia and Kylo Ren all seemed to recognize Rey, but as who? "The Force Awakens" only teased us with the start of this warrior's backstory. Also left to be uncovered is who left Rey on Jakku, and what role does she have to play in the wars to come. (Kristy Puchko)
What role will Leia play going forward?It's great to see Leia in "The Force Awakens," but her role is limited. As the general of the Resistance, she's calling the shots behind the scenes, away from the action. But she's got as much at stake as anyone: Her son, Kylo Ren, is a major player in The First Order, her brother is/was missing and now Han Solo has been murdered (by her son, no less). How much more involved will she get in future films? "The Force Awakens," understandably, focused on the father/son relationship between Han and Kylo, but what will we see of the mother/son dynamic? Also, what's her relationship with the Force? She clearly didn't go down the Jedi path, but her sensing Han's death proves the Force is strong with her. (Albert Ching)
What’s going to happen to the Galactic Senate? Along with four other planets, the Starkiller weapon targeted Hosnian Prime -- the home of the Galactic Senate -- presumably taking out every senator along with it. While Leia is left unscathed to rebuild the government, there must be a void and political disunity in the galaxy after such a catastrophe. If there were no survivors, what's going to take place of the Galactic Senate? Could we see a return to Coruscant? (Anthony Couto)
How did Maz Kanata get Luke’s lightsaber?It’s probably a bit of a hike from Bespin to Takodana, but that’s the course the Skywalker family lightsaber traveled over the decades between "The Empire Strikes Back" and "The Force Awakens." When last we saw the blue-bladed weapon, it was tumbling through Cloud City after being lost in Luke’s battle with Darth Vader. In the old canon, the lightsaber was recovered by a maintenance drone after getting lodged in an air shaft. That explanation could still be in play for "The Force Awakens," but since we’re in totally new canonical territory here, anything could happen. And even if we find out how the lightsaber didn’t fall directly into Bespin’s gaseous center, we still don’t know who carried it in the following decades and how Maz Kanata acquired it. (Brett White)
Who is Max von Sydow's character?The robes made us think that Lor San Tekka could be a Jedi, so could he also be a survivor of the Knights of Ren's slaughter? He must be incredibly trusted by Luke to have been bestowed with this bit of the map to his location. Based on his home on the Outer Rim, he could be a deposed senator from the old Republic, which could account for his saying Leia "will always be royalty" to him. Will we learn more about him in future Episodes or another Star Wars project? Does he have a connection to Rey or is it a coincidence they were on the same planet? (Puchko)
Who are the Knights of Ren and are they Sith?We saw shockingly little of these guys in the movie and did not get a lot of clarification on their abilities as fighters. We know they’re essentially a cult that Ren's part of, and possibly former disciples of Luke Skywalker, but can they actually tap into the Dark Side? If so, does that mean Star Wars is breaking away from the “rule of two” when it comes to Sith? (Couto)
Who is Supreme Leader Snoke?He’s unquestionably evil, vaguely powerful, and possibly the tallest character in Star Wars’ new canon. But who is he? Similar to the Emperor’s early mentions and appearances in the original trilogy, we leave "The Force Awakens" knowing terrifyingly little of the First Order’s mysterious master. We know he seduced Ben Solo over to the Dark Side, but is Snoke himself Force sensitive, a Dark Jedi, or possibly even a Sith Lord? With the canon wiped clean for the new trilogy, is it possible that he’s a rebooted version of Emperor Palpatine’s old master Darth Plagueis? The amount we know about Snoke is inverse to how important he will most likely become, so this question just leads to more questions. (White)
What made Kylo Ren turn to the dark side?Typically people are seduced by the dark side because they suffer a great loss in their lives. Anakin lost his mother, which caused him to violently kill the Tusken Raiders. Anakin again gave into fear and hatred again at the prospect of losing Padme, thus fully allowing the Emperor's lies to take hold in him. Considering Kylo Ren (Ben Solo) is the son of two loving parents, Han and Leia, what tragic circumstances in his life allowed him to be manipulated by Supreme Leader Snoke and turn over to the dark side of the Force? (Lauren Gallaway)
How does Finn fit in?As "The Force Awakens" ends, it's easy to see that Rey is the new hero of this saga -- the lightsaber-wielding Jedi-in-training, not to mention apparently the new pilot of the Millennium Falcon. Poe feels like a less-snarky Han Solo, the swaggering, cocky and undeniably magnetic action hero. Finn isn't any of those things -- he's the main focus of much of the film (and its marketing), but he's not too handy with a lightsaber and he's one of the few Star Wars heroes that doesn't know how to fly. The instantly likable character is presumably here to stay, but it's not obvious what the former Stormtrooper's path will be going forward as the Resistance continues its battle against the First Order. (Ching)
What lies ahead for Luke Skywalker?Now that the ultimate question -- where is Luke Skywalker? -- has been answered, it has only prompted new ones. What happens with Luke now? Mark Hamill’s Skywalker appeared only briefly at the end of the film, but the conclusion will give one pause. Does he recognize Rey? Was he expecting her? If so, where does he know her from? Is it through the Force, or is there a more personal connection between the two? Han Solo and General Leia seemed to recognize her, though it’s not clear how, so it would make sense if he too knew her before his self-imposed exile. Will he voluntarily train her now that Supreme Leader Snoke and the First Order has revealed its power, despite how Kylo Ren turned to the dark side? What’s more, does he have any connection to Snoke -- and if he does, what is it? Has he learned more about the Force, as he set out to do originally -- and if he has, what new tricks does he have up his robe's sleeve? Will he rejoin his sister in the Resistance, or blame himself for Han Solo’s death and choose to stay aloof as Yoda did in "Empire Strikes Back"? These are just a few questions we hope to see answered in "Star Wars: Episode VIII," which now seems so far, far away. (Meagan Damore)