The Last Jedi is shaping up to be the most divisive Star Wars film yet. Though this is its first weekend, the imbalance between the critics’ reviews and the fan response has confused many. Those who have embraced director Rian Johnson’s approach to the Star Wars universe have said that The Last Jedi is a wonderfully weird and welcome change. Those who have given the thumbs down to the film say that there are just too many plot holes to ignore and that the shift away from the “Chosen One” storyline for Rey is insulting to women (among other criticisms). Either way, the conversations about The Last Jedi have just started.
It’s been two years since The Force Awakens. As always, immediately upon its release, fans began to theorize what would happen in the films to follow. The second film in a franchise has a lot of work to do thematically and plot wise. The themes and events of The Last Jedi has given fans a lot to digest, and now that we’ve watched it, the time has come to discuss what’s going to happen next. Here at CBR, we’re combed the galaxy (the Internet, really) to find 15 fan theories about the Star Wars universe after The Last Jedi.
Spoilers for The Last Jedi ahead!
15 KYLO LIED TO REY ABOUT HER PARENTS
For the past two years, fans have been debating Rey’s parentage. There were theories that she’s the daughter of Obi-Wan Kenobi as well as theories that she’s a Skywalker either through Luke or Leia. Apparently, all this debate was for naught because Kylo Ren, after being connected with Rey, was able to discern the truth: Rey’s parents were nobodies.
While this provides an interesting discussion about how nobodies/ordinary people can do extraordinary things, some fans aren’t buying it. Kylo’s reliability has been called into question: can we really trust him to tell the truth? If Rey is in fact from a Jedi bloodline, confirming this would’ve empowered her even further, which at that point Kylo wouldn’t want since he was trying to get her to follow him.
14 THE FIGHT HAS CHANGED
The conflict in the Star Wars universe has reliably been about light versus dark. In the hype for The Last Jedi, we heard repeatedly that “darkness rises and light to meet it.” However, in the film, dark and light isn’t black or white: a lot of The Last Jedi is operating in the grey.
Both Kylo Ren and Rey have moments of darkness and light. Rey goes dark on Ahch-To to find out the truth about her parents. Kylo Ren doesn’t pull the trigger on killing mama Leia. Added to this are the political overtones we got throughout the film, and it seems like the fight has changed to democracy v. communism. Rey and the Resistance are fighting for balance in government as they would for balance in the force, while Kylo Ren wants to be the sole power because he knows what’s best.
13 THE KNIGHTS OF REN ARE COMING
Snoke established the Knights of Ren in The Force Awakens when he said “Even you, master of the Knights of Ren, have never faced such a test” to Kylo Ren. We got a visual of said Knights of Ren in Rey’s vision when she touched Luke’s light saber: amidst brutal carnage, Kylo Ren stood with a group of masked warriors.
In The Last Jedi, Luke confesses to Rey that he had a moment of weakness and considered killing his nephew because Ben’s darkness was so powerful. Unfortunately, Ben woke up as Luke was standing over him and reacted with his light saber. Luke tells Rey that this is what caused Ben to leave, along with a handful of students. Fans are assuming that these Force sensitive students are the Knights of Ren that were alluded to in The Force Awakens and will be revealed in Episode IX.
12 TIME JUMP AHEAD
We know that in light of Carrie Fisher’s passing, a lot of the next film had to be rewritten. As we last left General Organa, she is still leading the Resistance and calling on other rebels throughout the galaxy to join her. If she is suddenly not in a figure in the next film, it’s going to be disorienting, to say the least.
Fans believe that the best way to deal with this is to have a significant time jump between The Last Jedi and Episode IX. Some are starting as low as five years with as much as 15 years being pitched. The reason why is it’ll give the universe time for Leia to pass and for whoever is leading the Resistance next to establish their leadership. This would also allow time for other interesting ideas to percolate, which will be discussed later in this list.
11 DAMEREY WILL BEGIN
Fans are undoubtedly thirsty for Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron. There seems to be a new ship for Poe depending on which character he happens to be in a scene with. We got some eyebrow-raising vibes between Amilyn Holdo and Poe, and the Poe/Finn ship is still going strong. Towards the end of The Last Jedi, Poe and Rey officially meet, so some fans have begun to push for “Damerey.”
Of course, there is likely no time for dating in the Resistance. Plus, the only relationship that Rey is probably down for right now is the one with the Force, and there’s really no need to add romance to her story if we’re being completely honest. But these thoughts go out the window when we see Poe flying like a boss and how ripped Rey’s deltoids are.
10 KYLO WILL DIE LIKE VADER
In Return of the Jedi, Luke recognizes the good in Darth Vader, and Vader’s last act is killing his master to save his son. Darth Vader doesn’t survive, but he finally takes his mask off, symbolizing his return to humanity. We don’t know the percentage of dark and light in Kylo Ren, but it’s safe to say that at the end of The Last Jedi, he is still conflicted.
Fans are doubting that this will ever go away and that we are being set up for Kylo Ren to die similarly to Darth Vader. There will be a showdown between Kylo Ren and Rey in a fight for the light, and Kylo will realize that he’s not evil like the First Order. However, Kylo’s master, Snoke, is already dead (or is he?), so it’s not going to be an exact parallel to Return of the Jedi.
9 REY TO FORM THE NEW JEDI ORDER
The Last Jedi showed Luke burning down the Jedi religion, quite literally. Yoda’s Force ghost and Luke watch the sacred tree of the Jedi order, and the original texts espousing the Jedi doctrine, burn. However, as we know from stories, something can rise from these ashes. The Force is more about belief and practice anyway. With Rey being so attuned to the Force, we could be looking at the new leader of the new Jedi order.
First, if there is a time jump, this will give enough time for Rey to hone her power and become a teacher. Fans have pointed out that Ahch-To is the perfect setting for Rey to train new pupils. If anything, she could take on at least one apprentice, whom we may have caught a glimpse of already.
8 REY WILL TRAIN BROOM BOY
Canto Bight is a hotbed for gambling and corruption, and of course, the poor are stuck doing menial work there. We see that these poor children still have hope, especially after helping Rose and Finn escape. The boy who is sweeping at the end of The Last Jedi is definitely Force sensitive.
The broom pulls into his hand, and he is clearly in support of the Resistance as he has held on to Rose Tico’s Resistance ring. While the theme of The Last Jedi makes it so that this boy doesn’t have to be another chosen one, some fans are speculating that this boy will be Rey’s apprentice in the future film. Fans have also pointed out that his age gap to Rey is similar to Anakin and Padme’s, so this could also be a potential romance down the line.
7 SNOKE IS PLAGUEIS (OR PLAGUEIS-LIKE)
Snoke met his end in The Last Jedi with his pupil Kylo Ren murdering him. This hasn’t stopped the speculation that there’s got to be more to the Snoke story, despite the fact that we saw a dead body and a close-up of a tongue lolling out of Snoke’s mouth. The Snoke is Plagueis theory has been kicked around for a while, and fans think that Snoke’s end in The Last Jedi actually solidifies that he’s Plagueis or at least Plagueis-like.
Plagueis was also murdered by his pupil, Sidious, which brought Sidious even further into the dark side. We also know that Snoke is old and immensely powerful -- he’s got the battle scars to prove it -- and as such, could have the power to come back to life. This would solve the villain problem that the Episode IX is currently facing as well.
6 REY IS A FORCE BABY
This is a fairly unpopular fan theory, but it’s certainly in the realm of possibility. Anakin Skywalker was conceived by midi-chlorians and birthed by Shmi Skywalker. It could follow that Rey’s parentage is actually no one because she was conceived from the Force itself, although she would still need a birth mother.
This would explain why Rey has no memories of her parents and just remembers being left behind. We see in The Force Awakens that she has flashbacks of a ship flying away. Who’s to say two people were in that ship? If she was a Force baby, her mother leaving her is emotionally scarring enough. The concept of midi-chlorians, however, is looked down on by Star Wars fans, and we doubt that Episode IX would borrow elements from the generally unpopular prequels.
5 LUKE WILL BE BACK
Jedis do not need to take a corporeal form. It was established in the original trilogy that in times of need, Jedis who have passed on can visit the living world -- we’ve dubbed them Force ghosts.
We had one appearance of a Force ghost in The Last Jedi with Yoda helping Luke burn the Jedi relics. Fans have questioned why it was at that point Yoda decided to pay a visit and not during Ben’s turn to the darkness, but it was a visit that was needed. Similarly, Luke can now visit Rey when she needs counsel, and he may even interact further with his nephew. This would take Luke’s role full circle, as he would follow the same pattern that his master Obi-Wan took.
4 REYLO LIVES ON
The connection between Rey and Ben, though amplified by Snoke, has been there since The Force Awakens. They are the balance of each other, which means they will always be drawn to one another -- it sounds cheesy, but they “complete” each other in a way. Though Rey rejects his offer to follow him and join his new order, fans doubt that that connection is going away.
The Force visions that they have with each other will probably continue. Snoke may have connected them initially, but with their powers growing, that connection isn’t likely to be severed. A showdown between the two of them in Episode IX is inevitable, and the feelings they have for each other, romantic or not, is going to make the battle have even higher stakes.
3 THE RENPEROR
Kylo Ren has been obsessed following in his grandfather’s footsteps. Darth Vader, not Anakin Skywalker nor Han Solo, was his ideal male role model. He’s had numerous moments of weakness and may still be conflicted, but at the end of The Last Jedi, Kylo Ren accomplished something his grandfather never did.
Fans have pointed out that with Kylo Ren assuming the Supreme Leader position, he has surpassed his grandfather because now he’s the Emperor figure: the Renperor. Darth Vader was always in the shadow of Emperor Palpatine, and Kylo Ren has taken control of the entire First Order. He no longer requires a mask because Emperors don’t need one. Fans theorize that Hux won’t take kindly to this, since he’s proven he’s willing to undermine Kylo Ren, and will stage a coup.
2 MORE FORCE SENSITIVE PEOPLE TO BE FOUND
In the original trilogy, the Force found its way into the main characters through familial connections: Anakin passed them on to Luke and Leia, and Leia passed it on to Ben.This is why fans had many theories about Rey’s parentage because if the original trilogy served as a model, she should have been related to someone with Force powers.
The revelation of Rey’s parents being nobodies has political overtones. Instead of being born into a Jedi bloodline or being a chosen one, people now have more opportunities to be at one with the Force. The Force has become an egalitarian concept. If this is the case, there has got to be more people in the galaxy than we previously imagined who are Force sensitive. Fans think we will likely see them come forward and answer Leia’s call for help in Episode IX.
1 EPISODE IX: A SPARK OF HOPE
This is much too early to call, but that won’t stop fans -- the speculation has begun for what the title of Episode IX is going to be. While The Force Awakens was hard to predict, when The Last Jedi title was announced, we knew we heard that somewhere. The phrase “the last Jedi” actually appeared in the opening crawl of The Force Awakens: “In his absence, the sinister First Order has risen from the ashes of the Empire and will not rest until Skywalker, the last Jedi, has been destroyed.”
So, fans have been analyzing the opening crawl for The Last Jedi to see what potential titles they can parse out. “A spark of hope” is favorite among fans, not only because it’s in the opening crawl, but also it works thematically. The ending of The Last Jedi is incredibly hopeful, and Episode IX can build on that spark.