A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, one family defined the fate of the universe. From Anakin to Kylo Ren, no bloodline in the Star Wars series has had as much influence over as the galaxy as the Skywalkers. Though some are just humble farmers and slaves, others have risen to become Princesses, Jedi Masters and Supreme Leaders of tyrannical regimes. It's largely thanks to an intuitive mastery of the Force that appears to run through the family line richer than most. One long-held theory hinted at by deleted material from Revenge of the Sith is that the Sith Lord Darth Sidious was -- through some long-distance medichlorian tinkering -- responsible for Shmi Skywalker's "immaculate" conception of Anakin.
Years later, this has wormed its way back into Star Wars canon by way of Marvel's Darth Vader comic series, confirming that the Emperor engineered his future apprentice's birth using the Force. Vader's artificially inflated command of the mysterious energy that "binds and penetrates us" was passed down to his children: Luke and Leia -- an act that is forbidden by the Jedi Order for fear of creating over-powered offspring, which proved correct later in life for both of them. Luke became one of the most powerful Jedi Masters who ever lived while Leia displayed her Force-wielding strength in The Last Jedi with a Mary Poppins-esque flight through space. The Force-rich potency of Skywalker blood is what drew Snoke to her son and led many fans to become convinced that Rey, the light to his darkness, has to share that same blood. And that's far from the wackiest Skywalker family theory around.
20 ANAKIN WAS THE CHOSEN ONE
Since the release of The Last Jedi, the idea that the Jedi Order weren't that great has become a lot more popular. This has also led to further reexamination of the "Chosen One" prophecy -- a Jedi fable that one special individual would "bring balance to the Force," who Qui-Gon Jinn alone believed was Anakin.
The rest of the Order weren't convinced and Anakin's betrayal proved them right in the end. However, some theorists point to this quote from Yoda: "A prophecy, that misread, could have been," to argue that by wiping out the Jedi and eventually the Sith, Anakin did achieve this balance by eliminating two superpowers. (#QuiGonWasRight.)
19 KYLO WAS MERCIFUL TO HAN
Luke's "naughty nephew" broke hearts everywhere when he struck down his father in order to cement his place on the Dark Side. But what if Han actually wanted to be put out of his misery? Tumblr user gwendy85 points to a terminal disease in Star Wars lore called "Bloodburn Syndrome" that affects pilots.
Sufferers are supposed to avoid stressful, active lives to stay healthy -- two things that don't go hand-in-hand with the smugglers' lifestyle Han always ends up falling back into. "What if Kylo Ren sensed through the Force that his father's life was ebbing away?" gwendy85 suggests. Kylo does admit to feeling the "pull from the light" after all.
18 LEIA DREAMT THE HOLIDAY SPECIAL
If you don't know what the Star Wars Holiday Special is, count yourself extremely lucky as a Star Wars fan. Those unlucky enough to have seen this Christmas-themed, televised stop gap between Episode IV and V know it as the most embarrassing thing to befall the franchise pre-Jar Jar Binks. What's worse -- it's totally canon.
Unfortunately, as much as George Lucas wants to Jedi Mind Trick it out of our heads, one redditor has come up with an ingenious explanation for it. "Leia is tortured by Vader in A New Hope," they write. "This trauma triggers Leia's increased connection to the Force. The Force gives her premonitions [but] her inexperience controlling [it] explains why The Holiday Special [...] is a bit all over the place."
17 LUKE WAS HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT
One of the biggest grips fans have with the Original Trilogy is how poorly Luke was concealed from his father. How the hell did Vader manage to miss a kid bearing his surname, living on the planet he was born on? Many have attempted to rectify this plot hole, and one theory offers the simplest explanation.
What if Skywalker is actually as common a surname in space as Smith is in English-speaking culture on Earth? Redditor swagdaddy3 uses the etymology of the name Smith -- a person's occupation -- to infer that Skywalker could just mean "space traveler," while CairnC2 adds it could just be "the name of a slave that gets traded around."
16 THERE ARE TWO LUKES
Could Anakin and Padme actually be the parents to Skywalker triplets? One particularly outlandish theory wants us to believe that not only is there another Skywalker son, but he's a near-exact copy of Luke. This is the "Bigger Luke" theory. It began in 1985 following obsessive Star Wars VHS tape viewings.
After fans noticed some odd inconsistencies in Luke's height from scene-to-scene, two schools of thought developed: "Canon Luke" put forward that a normal-sized Luke, "Luke Prime" and a "Bigger Luke" existed in-universe, while the "Hamill Hypothesis" argued that, out-of-universe, a stand-in actor was used for certain scenes. Or, perhaps shapeshifting is another little-known Force power?
15 WHAT ANAKIN'S ENEMIES REPRESENT
The Prequel Trilogy isn't exactly fondly remembered, but fans have still found ways to put a shine on this aspect of the franchise's less than stellar past. Like Redditor TracerBullet's observation that "each of the Prequel's episode villains represents a part of Anakin's character that he loses during his fall to the Dark Side."
According to them, Anakin's switch from the bondage of slavery to the bondage of the Jedi Order is represented in Darth Maul's "subservien[ce] to his master." His later rejection of Jedi dogma in favor of "passion and power" is represented by fallen Jedi, Count Dooku. Finally, Anakin's bloody betrayal is represented by the "ruthless cyborg" General Grievous.
14 PADME HAD AN AFFAIR WITH OBI-WAN
This pairing may seem strange to some, but make no mistake -- there are plenty of Padme/Obi-Wan shippers out there. In fact, some even believe that a romance between them could have vastly improved the quality of the Prequels, while others are convinced that Obi-Wan is the real baby daddy to Luke and Leia.
"Luke much more closely resembles Obi-Wan in terms of height, build and hair color than Anakin does," one theorist claims, adding that Leia takes more after her mother. As casual hook-ups were permitted by his Order, Obi-Wan could have had one night of passion with Padme, and his interest in Luke could've been as more than just another potential "Chosen One."
13 WHEN VADER TRULY FELL
Vader's final conversion to the Dark Side is commonly thought to happen at the climax of Revenge of the Sith where he also converts to "more machine than man." However, Redditor PruFrock451 disagrees. They point to the many moments in A New Hope where Vader cooperatively and even congenially interacts with his fellow Empire associates.
By The Empire Strikes Back, this "collegial atmosphere of mutual respect" is suddenly gone, replaced by a subordinate-murdering, angry Vader. What changed? The destruction of the Death Star and the discovery that his son lived, and the Emperor -- the man who'd rescued him when he lost everything -- had lied to him. That's when Vader truly turned.
12 LUKE'S SELF-SABOTAGE
The Last Jedi reintroduced us to a very different Jedi Knight from the youthful and optimistic farmboy-turned-hero-of-the-galaxy we first met in A New Hope. Episode VIII eventually revealed that Luke's self-imposed exile was triggered by a moment of weakness -- the attempted murder of his own nephew.
While some argue this was out of character, Redditor TLM86 argues the opposite. "Luke has always trusted his instincts. [...] Obi-Wan even tells him: 'Your insight serves you well.' Luke's insight into the truth of Vader helps return Anakin to the light [...] Then comes Ben [...] Now Luke's trusted instincts are telling him to strike Ben down [...] They led him wrong [and to] an emotional crisis."
11 ANAKIN WAS A GRAY JEDI
"Gray Jedi" can mean two things. One interpretation is a Force-user who operates in the gray area between light and dark, and the other is a Jedi who follows the Order's way of life but not necessarily the rules of the Council. Masters like Qui-Gon Jinn are thought to have fitted into this category.
One theorist reckons that, later in life, Anakin also came to better fit this category. "He certainly did a lot of evil things, but it could have all been to accomplish good." They go on to suggest that he knew the only way to build a better version of the Republic was to allow the failing one to fall, and then bided his time waiting for the Empire to be defeated.
10 LEIA'S PADME MEMORIES ARE FORCE VISIONS
Revenge of the Sith threw a small spanner in the works of established continuity when it revealed that Padme's demise happened after she gave birth to Luke and Leia, making Leia's claim in Return of the Jedi that she remembers her mother hard to believe. But, the Force works in mysterious ways.
"Yoda told Luke that, through the Force, Jedis could see visions of the past," one fan theorizes. "[...] A young Leia, being strong with the Force, saw visions of Padme. [...] However, Leia, not knowing about her true heritage, didn't know what she was really seeing." This is actually supported by the Extended Universe: in Princess Leia #2, Leia is haunted by her mother's spirit on Naboo.
9 PADME SAVED LUKE AND LEIA
Another point of contention in the Star Wars canon is the cause of Padme's tragic end. According to a service droid at her bedside, it wasn't child labor or being thrown around by her husband that did her in, but rather: "losing the will to live." While there is some scientific evidence to back this up in the real world, fans have come up with another solution.
"I believe when Anakin choked Padme, it didn't harm her as much as harmed the twins," Redditor terriblehuman writes. "Padme, being pregnant with two very Force-sensitive children was connected to those children through the Force. [She] likely on an unconscious level used her life energy to save the children. Essentially, Padme sacrifices herself [...]"
8 LEIA WILL COMPLETE REY'S TRAINING
Ever since we met Rey in The Force Awakens, she's been in desperate need of parental guidance. Unfortunately, she's not had much luck when it comes the survival of her father figures, but perhaps the completion of her journey in the Sequels could lie in a more maternal place. Could Leia be Rey's last mentor?
Redditor Sin_Stalker points out that the absurd display of Leia's Force-sensitivity in The Last Jedi could have served to remind us of her latent power. In her brother's absence, she could be Rey's last chance to gain a better grasp of her powers in Episode IX. It would also finalize the pattern of her being schooled by each of the Original Trilogy's human heroes in each Sequel film.
7 LUKE BECAME ONE WITH THE FORCE
The circumstances of Luke's last stand -- and demise -- against Kylo Ren in The Last Jedi have become controversial, from doubts about the legitimacy of his long-range projection powers to the idea that over-exertion drained him of his life. Redditor IncomingMonkeyTurd has another view. "When projecting himself across the galaxy, the Force was flowing so strongly through [Luke] he was levitating.
"[...] He was so in tune with the Force that it was lifting him naturally. The Force has been described as letting go of your conscious self, so I think that he completely let go of himself on [Ahch-To]." Essentially, the theorist reckons Luke connected so deeply with the Force to pull such a feat off, he had no choice but to surrender to it.
6 VADER WAS PARANOID AROUND TROOPERS
Using the knowledge that the Clone Army were able to be programmed to subconsciously carry out an order, like "Order 66" instructing them to treat the Jedi as enemies, it doesn't seem too unlikely that Storm Troopers -- even non-cloned ones -- could be similarly indoctrinated. "It's been suggested in the Extended Universe that Palpatine had other secret orders put into their minds," one theorist claims.
"Vader is convinced that one such order translates as 'Kill my apprentice if he ever turns on me.' [...] Thus Vader views every member of the military hierarchy as a threat, and given his fear for his life he routinely [eliminates] them when they mess up to let them know he's on to them."
5 LUKE ATE PORGS
Sorry to break it to all you Porg lovers, but Luke almost certainly hunted, cooked and ate the adorable little space puffins while living on Ahch-To. (We nearly saw Chewie do the same thing in The Last Jedi, but the accusing stare of several cute faces put him off.) While not quite as disturbing as the idea of Ewoks eating humans, it's still a bit graphic for a family movie.
The first clue comes from Star Wars Made Easy, a book that describes the bird-like species as being "tasty." The Island's Caretakers definitely know this, as an official coloring book appears to show them hunting the creatures with nets. It's easy to make the assertion that, as well as slurping down alien milk, Luke would have chowed down on Porg too for survival.
4 LUKE WAS BAIT FOR VADER
The theory that Luke was hidden in plain sight on his father’s home planet tries to explain the long-running question of why Vader didn’t discover him sooner. But there’s another theory that suggests that he was poorly concealed, and the reason for this was strategic on Obi-Wan and Yoda’s parts.
In this theory, the two remaining Jedi made Luke a “sleeper agent” who was activated by his sister’s S.O.S, putting him on an inevitable collision course with his father who would be eager to capture rather than kill him when he learned his name. Luke would then become a “secret weapon” in Leia’s arsenal, subconsciously bound to protect her from the Empire at all costs.
3 REY WAS CLONED FROM LUKE
Of all the “who is Rey?” fan theories out there, this is one the more weirdly plausible ones. Weird, but just about plausible. If Rey isn’t a Skywalker by natural means, could she instead be one through unnatural means? Like, say -- Luke’s gender-bent clone?
Other than not looking much like the sandy-haired hero of the Original Theory, the other hole in this idea is where Rey’s creator could have gotten some viable genetic material from. But, supporters of this theory have an answer to this: the hand that was cut off of Luke during his fight with Vader in Empire Strikes Back. Could that severed limb be the closest thing she has to a parent?
2 SKYWALKER BLOOD IS CURSED
You could reason that Skywalkers attract action and misfortune because of a magical force known as... story. After all, no-one wants to watch a space opera without any space drama. But there could be an in-universe explanation from the Extended Universe.
Redditor JC-Ice points our attention to a quote from the Emperor in the Dark Empire comics. Before the Sith Lord’s last clone body is destroyed by Luke he gives him this chilling message: “If I’m annihilated, my curse will be upon Skywalker blood forever!” The user then tracks the series of tragic events that befall the Skywalker line in the EU following this, proving Palpatine could still wreak havoc from beyond the grave.
1 LUKE IS THE KEY TO FORCE GHOSTS
In a pre-Prequels series world, writer Lore Fitzgerald Sojberg re-watched the then-newly released CGI-enhanced Original Trilogy and came up with a hairbrained reading of Luke’s journey. What if Luke’s training wasn’t about kickstarting a new Jedi generation at all?
What if it was actually just about a group of old space wizards who were desperate to spend their final moments in front of him, knowing that meeting their end in close Luke proximity would ensure they’d live on as ghosts? That’s right -- Sojberg surmised that Luke’s true power was unconsciously turning dying men into spirits. He could be right, from a certain point of view...