Five questions ‘Star Wars Episode VIII’ needs to answer

‘Force Awakens’ raises more questions than answers


Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers. Do not read if you haven’t seen “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

If you we’re hoping “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” was going to answer all your questions, you’re going to be disappointed when you see the movie.

And you clearly don’t know much about this saga.

The series set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away loves its mysteries and reveals – especially those dealing with parental lineage. And while we got our answer to who Kylo Ren is – he’s Han Solo and Princess Leia’s son – we also got even more questions that the next installment, “Episode VIII,” will have to answer.

Here are the top 5.

5. Who and where are the Knights of Ren?

We knew going into “Force Awakens” that Kylo Ren’s namesake came from him being the leader of the Knights of Ren – a mysterious group of dark Jedi.

But other than an extremely brief mention and one shot of them in a flashback, we never hear about or see them.

One can gather they’re the other Jedi Luke Skywalker was training who also turned to the Dark Side. Kylo Ren led the revolt against Luke, and from that flashback, it appears the Knights of Ren also dress in black masks to idolize Darth Vader.

But where are they during “Force Awakens?” Kylo Ren, after failing to get the map to Luke and getting beat down by Rey, seems like he could have used the help.

We should fully expect an appearance by the Knights of Ren in “Episode VIII” and that won’t be a good thing for the heroes.

4. Why did Luke Skywalker go to the first Jedi temple?

We know the first Jedi temple is probably where “Episode VIII” will start off, as Episode VII ended with Rey going to the temple – located on an isolated island – and coming to face-to-face with Luke Skywalker himself.

The first Jedi temple is where Luke ran off to after Kylo Ren and the rest of the Knights of Ren turned him against him, but why there?

It could just turn out to be the go-to place for a Jedi to spend his exile, but it will feel like a bit of a cop-out if that’s the case. There should be a reason Luke went to the first Jedi temple, and that reason should be instrumental to the plot of “Episode VIII.”

3. Who exactly is Maz Kanata and how’d she get Luke/Anakin’s lightsaber?

When Han Solo asks pirate queen Maz Kanata where she got Luke/Anakin’s old lightsaber – last seen hurling down a Cloud City pit in “The Empire Strikes Back” – she replies that it’s a good question, but there’s a better time to answer it.

That’s a convenient way of saying there will never be a time it’s answered – not in “Episode VIII” or IX.

The character of Maz Kanata is interesting and likeable – but she seems like she’s just thrown in to explain the force to Rey in the absence of Luke. All we know about her is she’s a non-Jedi who’s knowledgeable about the force, friends with Han, Luke and Leia and keeps an old “Star Wars” relic in her basement.

She survives the First Order's attack that destroys her space pirate bar, so “Episode VIII” should tell us more about her and how she got her hands on that lightsaber.

This is a question that should be addressed, hence why it’s No. 3 on this list, but something tells me we’ll never get the answer.

2. Is Supreme Leader Snoke actually Darth Plagueis?

Maybe the most popular fan theory heading into “Force Awakens” was that Snoke, Kylo Ren’s master and supreme leader of the First Order, is actually Darth Plagueis.

Darth Plagueis was the Emperor’s old master, and who the Emperor apparently killed before the events of the “Star Wars” films.

But Darth Plagueis had been working on ways to cheat death, and Snoke's been described as someone who’s very old and has been watching from the sidelines during the first six “Star Wars” movies. It would make sense and be a nice way to connect all three trilogies if Snoke were actually Plagueis.

“Force Awakens” doesn’t tell us whether or not Snoke is Plagueis, nor does it present any evidence that he is or isn’t. We only see him in a few scenes – he’s a hologram in all of them – and we learn very little about him.

Snoke is bound for a larger role in "Episode VIII" – maybe even a fight with Luke Skywalker – so we’re also bound to learn who he is and whether or not he’s Darth Plagueis.

1. Who are Rey’s parents?

Obviously the biggest mystery of “Force Awakens” is who Rey’s parents are.

At the end of the film, we still only know that Rey was abandoned on desert planet Jakku by her parents at a young age, and she’s intent on waiting for them to come back.

Going into the film, the logical answer was that she’s the daughter of Han and Leia. Rey and Han even appear to have a bit of a father-daughter connection. But clearly Han and Leia’s only child is Kylo Ren – and unless they’ve just completely forgotten they also have a daughter, it doesn’t appear Rey is a Solo.

That doesn’t mean she’s not a Skywalker.

The popular theory now is that Rey is actually the daughter of Luke, who she comes face-to-face with at the end of film and who seems to recognize her. This would of course mean Luke met a woman, had a child, then lost that woman and abandoned his child after “Return of the Jedi” – which would be a bit of a stretch.

It's possible that Luke is not Rey’s father, but is the one who left her on Jakku. Perhaps after his older students turned to the Dark Side, Luke sent his off his younger force-sensitive students, like Rey, to remote planets so they would not fall to the Knights of Ren.

You never know.

And yes, the universe doesn’t have to be so small and everyone doesn’t have to be connected. Rey could just be a powerful force user that got caught up with the characters we love. But the film puts such an emphasis on her being an orphan and not revealing her backstory that either she or her parents must be connected to the “Star Wars” universe we already know.

We’ll – probably – find out on May 26, 2017.

Tom Dinki is the editor in chief and can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @tomdinki.