If there’s one thing we’re known for sure here at the Star Wars Shadow Council, it’s reasonable and conservative predictions about Episode IX that more or less square with what the rest of the fandom thinks will happen. But today, we’ve decided to break with tradition. Read on to find out what brilliant, iconoclastic ideas we’ve been cooking up in the Shadow Council think tank…
(Oh, and for every comment we get informing us that this article is no more crazy than all our other theories, we will set one (1) Kylo Ren action figure on fire. Consider yourself warned.)
Luke Isn’t Dead, He’s Just Sealed In Carbonite Somewhere
Rey is a Skywalker and Kylo Isn’t
The theory most overlooked in fandom’s endless discussions of Star Wars parentage and Skywalker lineage, is actually pretty obvious: Rey is the Skywalker and Kylo Ren is the nobody. After all, his name is Ren or Solo, depending on who is talking about him, and neither of those names are Skywalker. If a marriage is involved between he and Rey as some segments of fandom desire, he’ll become a Skywalker because of her. Not the other way around.
Are we so accepting that the wet blanket that is Kylo Ren (as we’ve seen so far in the new films) could really be the biological child of Leia Organa and Han Solo?
I think not.
It’s much more believable that Leia, in the tradition of her Organa family, and honoring the now lost traditions of Alderaan, adopted Kylo Ren/Ben Solo. We know from canon that unlike Luke, Leia does not forgive Anakin Skywalker and is less accepting of him as her father, so it makes sense she would also be leery of passing his DNA onto the next generation. At the end of war, there’s always many displaced refugees and many orphaned children. Ben/Kylo was clearly one of these kids.
Think about it, if he has puppy eyes right now as a grown man, imagine those eyes on a tiny parentless force sensitive baby? Han and Leia would be helpless to resist!
This also makes Kylo Ren’s obsession and fascination with continuing the legacy of Darth Vader all the more poignant on several levels. Before he was Darth Vader, Anakin too was once a puppy eyes youth taken in by wealthier people, and he wants to prove his worth and talents. He went on to eradicate the Jedi culture that adopted him, and for several decades was one of the most powerful people in the galaxy. We know that in young adulthood, Ben Solo struggled with the dark side, self confidence and belonging. In the same way the Jedi Council was cautious of Anakin’s darker tendencies, so too would Leia be of any hint of dark side interest. To the point that it is likely for much of his life Ben Solo did not know his mother’s connection to Darth Vader.
Discovering his adoptive mother’s true identity would surely have influenced and even validated his darker personality traits. In becoming Kylo Ren, Ben Solo rejects Leia’s termination that Anakin’s Skywalker’s legacy is not one worth following, simultaneously proving his own worth and making a deeper connection between himself and what he (incorrectly) believes to be the legacy of the Skywalker family.
Kylo Ren feels kinship with Darth Vader, not because he was his biological grandfather, but because they both were placed in new places and with new people, who did not understand or know how to deal with the dark side of the force. He feels connected with the idea of demonstrating the power that others seem to discount. His drive to complete what Vader started also propels him to keep pushing himself to embracing the parts of himself he believes his adoptive family would never approve of.
Fake “Snoke” was Rey’s Real Mom
Arguably one of the most intriguing visual storytelling moments in the Sequel Trilogy takes place during Rey’s ForceBack, and in particular, the hair-raising scene where she witnesses Kylo Ren and the infamous Knights of Ren massacring the warrior inhabitants of an unknown village. Though we have been able to decipher many mysteries surrounding this scene, and why it symbolizes Rey’s familial connection to the Skywalkers, there is but one outstanding unanswered question that remains: Who is Kylo Ren Hunting in Rey’s ForceBack?
The scene in question begins with Rey lying in the mud, rain pouring down, and a warrior attacking in her general direction. From behind the unknown man, Kylo Ren’s cross-guard saber pierces through the warrior’s armored chest – he has literally stabbed this warrior in the back. Hang on to this note, as this is our first clue as to who Kylo Ren is hunting.
Why was the warrior attacking away from the Knights of Ren? Note that the Knights of Ren are behind Kylo Ren as well, meaning the warrior was clearly attacking someone other than Kylo and the KOR, perhaps even trusted Kylo and the Knights of Ren…. Meaning, I strongly suspect this was the former Master of the Knights of Ren, and Kylo Ren dispatched him as a part of many tests from Snoke. By killing the former Master, Kylo Ren assumed the role and title of Master.
This still doesn’t explain why the Knights of Ren were attacking the village, or who the former Master appeared to be attacking? And why did Kylo want the kill for himself? These are important questions to keep in mind as we dig further.
Something that’s always puzzled me is that as Kylo Ren appears to take notice of Rey, she too turns around in the general direction that Kylo is approaching, and the same direction the now slain Master of the Knights of Ren was attacking. For the first time, we present below new video analysis that points to something – OR SOMEONE – moving behind Rey. A keen eye will notice that there appears to be a cape blowing in the wind, or is being thrown to the side to prepare for battle directly behind, and to the left of Rey’s position (see marked gif below).
It is painfully obvious that the original mission, and also why Kylo Ren killed the former Master, was to investigate, hunt down, and kill if necessary, Luke Skywalker’s secret wife, “Mara Jade.”
It is currently unknown which planet this massacre takes place on. However, the animated series, Resistance, gives and incredibly important clue. In the show, two Force sensitive children arrive on the Collossus, explaining to Kaz that they escaped near death from Kylo Ren – who allegedly destroyed their village on the planet of Tehar. Interestingly enough, Tehar is strongly suggested to exist within the Unknown Regions (obviously connected to Snoke as well as the origins of the First Order). I believe Mara originates from a similar situation, only Snoke himself had preyed on Force Sensitive people’s throughout the Unknown Regions, recruiting newer, and newer prospects to serve as the Knights of Ren.
Playing on the “Mara Jade” angle, I believe Snoke ordered the Force-wielding Dark Princess, who went under the guise of an alias name with “Snoke” in it, to infiltrate, and corrupt Luke’s training temple. In her attempt to seduce Skywalker, she ended up falling for his pure heart. It was too late, however, because her wicked ways had already lured Ben Solo to the dark side of the Force, and back to the *real* Snoke. This would also explain why Han and Leia speak of “Snoke” as if this person had close ties to the Skywalkers at a previous time – in fact, “Snoke” a.k.a. Mara Jade, did: “Snoke” was Luke Skywalker’s lover. The real Snoke suspected this, and sent the Knights of Ren to investigate and kill her.
Again, this makes perfect sense because Rey in the ForceBack turns around to see who is behind her, only to be transported to Jakku as a young girl, watching “family” fly off without her. Indeed, I believe this was Mara since she would have the unique advantage of maintaining trust with First Order sympathizers, such as Unkar Plutt, because her relationship with Luke remained secret outside of the Skywalker family. In other words, she was still widely known throughout the Galaxy as the Dark Princess “Snoke.” Mara’s plan was to leave Rey on Jakku for safe keeping, until she was able to defeat the Knights of Ren.
What I strongly suspect we’ll see in Episode IX is this ForceBack vision play out in full, and witness Kylo and the Knights of Ren prove to be too strong for Mara “Snoke” Jade and her peoples, slaughtering the entire village along with Rey’s mother as the final boss battle. Rey will likely experience the new ForceBack after reforging the Skywalker Blade, symbolizing what originally broke apart the Skywalker family, and what must be done to repair it.
Remember, Daisy Ridley herself said that she thought it was obvious who her parents were in The Force Awakens, and this theory certainly fulfills that commentary.
Threepio: The Droid Behind the Curtain
Mild mannered Threepio, always loyal and unfailingly helpful. He’s always been at the heroes side and sometimes dabbled in heroics himself. What greater friend and helper could anyone ask for?
Let me tell you something, Threepio is the real big bad of the saga and will be revealed to be the droid behind the curtain in Episode IX. The Skywalkers will finally realize they’ve been played for fools by this cunning master of deception and chaos. Only then can they put an end to the mechanical monster who has plagued them for three generations.
In the greatest of ironies, the patriarch of the Skywalker family constructed Threepio to help his mother around the house. As is so often the case, Anakin only had the best of intentions with his creation. Threepio played the part, but took to betraying his master almost immediately. It is no coincidence the Sith discovered the Jedi and Naboo Queen’s presence on Tatooine shortly after the droid was activated. The devious droid secretly transmitted their location, but was disappointed when Maul failed to stop them.
Though the droid was left on Tatooine, his plotting was hardly impeded. Using the Jedi Sifo-Dyus’s identity, the crafty droid put in an order for the clone armies and waited. He communicated with the Sith and coordinated the rise of separatism as a plot to destroy the Republic and Jedi. Years later, he finally had his chance to rid of himself Shmi Skywalker and gave her to the sandpeople. Anakin returning and taking him away from the blighted sand covered planet was unexpected, but welcome bonus.
Finally within the halls of power, Threepio played the part of Padme’s protocol droid. However, this only gave him the tools to undermine her and the Republic she fought for. He was instrumental in many of the bills that furthered the Republic’s descent into the Empire. When he judged the time right, he engineered Palpatine’s kidnapping, knowing Dooku was no longer a match for Anakin. With everything coming together, he took the time to truly betray his creator. On Mustafar, Padme was hurt, but perfectly healthy… until Threepio got his hands on her.
To his shock and dismay, Padme was pregnant with twins and the Jedi chose to split them up. Knowing he could not control galactic affairs as effectively from a moisture farm, he accompanied Bail to Alderaan.
Over the years, he helped orchestrate the rise of the rebellion all the while secretly solving many design issues for the Death Star. With Alderaan’s destruction, he had no further use for the Death Star lest the Empire use it to do the last thing he wanted: establish peace and order. Betraying Leia and the plan’s location and destination, he feigned reluctance to leave the Tantive to his oblivious counterpart, Artoo. Once he tracked down the Lar’s homestead and Luke, he convinced Artoo to leave in search of Obi-Wan Kenobi, knowing Luke would chase him. Before leaving, the dastardly droid told the Empire the plans were on the homestead.
Threepio’s gambit of getting the plans to the rebels worked, and the Death Star was destroyed. The galactic conflagration that followed filled his circuits with glee.
Over the next four years Threepio played both sides of the war. It was him that suggested Hoth to the Empire. Though his escape was the one time things did not go as intended. Expecting to take one of the transports back to the rebel fleet, he was forced to board the Millenium Falcon, a ship he full well knew had a malfunctioning hyperdrive. He had expected the ship to be destroyed along with its Captain, but did not expect he would be on board. Thinking fast, he planted the suggestion of Bespin after discovering Han’s history with Lando.
Unfortunately, this led to another close call when the bounty hunter, Boba Fett, turned out to be more crafty than expected and traced them to Cloud City. This was nearly the end of the duplicitous droid, but for his unwitting rescue by Chewie. Their harrowing escape made quite the impression on the droid and he concluded he was in danger of losing control of events. It was time to bring the current war to a conclusion and regroup.
Looking to decisively end the war in one battle, Threepio masterminded the leak of the Death Star’s existence and plans to the Rebellion. At the same time, he tipped off the Emperor, calculating the despot would go himself. The Empire sprung its trap as Threepio had hoped while he deliberately hung back on Endor. Coordinating the Ewoks, he helped turn the battle, putting him above all suspicion. The Emperor was killed and the Rebellion had won, for now.
Threepio spent the next year setting the foundation for the next round of chaos. He personally designed and commissioned the construction of ‘sentinels’ who would speak in the name of the Emperor, but really under his control. This was just the start as he set about assuming control of the droids of the galaxy. After Jakku, he used his droid brethren to subtly undermine the New Republic and spread chaos.
His plans to hurt the Skywalkers also continued. Han and Leia, unaware of the droid’s malice, left their son in his care repeatedly. Threepio used these opportunities to corrupt the young boy, who came to distrust his family and ultimately betrayed them and his fellow students at the academy. At the same time, he had Bail’s recording for Leia planted where he knew it would be found by one of Leia’s political enemies. As hoped, the Skywalkers’ true heritage was released to the galaxy, forcing her resignation. When Leia began the Resistance, he happily offered the services of his droid spy network. As he controlled the information the organization received, he was able to manipulate it into doing whatever he wanted.
Once the Starkiller super weapon was ready, Threepio was ready to unleash the next round of mayhem. The Republic was destroyed and the Resistance was nearly wiped out, but the seeds for the next great war were planted and the rogue droid would be in full control this time. The galaxy is at his mercy, but the Skywalkers may yet discover his duplicity in time to stop him.
BB-8 & BB-9E: The Furthest Thing From H8
One of the most beautifully poignant moments in The Last Jedi – indeed, in the entire saga – is overlooked by all but those with the sharpest eyes and the most intuitive observers. I am speaking, of course, of the tragically romantic pairing of BB-8 and his dark mirror, BB-9E. They appear together in just one scene, barely thirty seconds long, but the emotional weight is impossible to ignore. Here we have two BB units, forced apart by their programming, doomed by their respective factions – the Resistance and the First Order – to never be together. When BB-9E sees through BB-8’s poor disguise and recognizes the droid within, the simultaneous joy and heartbreak in the little astromech’s sensor is enough to make grown men weep. BB-9E has no other choice but to catalog and report BB-8’s presence to the First Order, and it can be safely assumed that the very action caused the droid’s gears to grind to a halt in anguish.
While BB-8 did not get the chance to reunite with – or even see! – his other half, I am certain that he did not blame BB-9E for the other droid’s actions, knowing there was little choice. These two droids are yin and yang, opposite yet complementary, each longing to be with the other but manipulated by forces greater than themselves. They are star-crossed lovers, the longed-for balance between the light and the dark. Their relationship is tragically romantic, the true Romeo and Juliet of Star Wars. They will both undoubtedly play pivotal roles in Episode IX, working to end the war once and for all so that they can finally unite and bring balance to the galaxy.
The look of true love.
Jyn is Still Skymom
For many months preceding the release of the first “A Star Wars Story” film Rogue One, fans like myself were highly suspicious of the lead female character, Jyn Erso. With all the unanswered questions about Rey’s identity in the previous Star Wars outing, The Force Awakens, it seemed only logical and also really cool that LucasFilm would decide to use one of its non-episodic films to explore things the episodic films cannot. Giving Rey’s mom her own movie saves exposition time in the saga and balances out the importance of both parents, given that, if Rey is a Skywalker, we already have a lot of focus on her father Luke.
Add to that, with the casting of Felicity Jones, (an English brunette actress with a familiar enough scowl to match Daisy Ridley’s) to portray a feisty character like Jyn Erso, it seemed clear that the stars of the galaxy far, far away had aligned nicely to position this character as the Skymom of the saga. Of course, the ending of Rogue One seemed to snuff out all speculation on that front.
However, that really all depends on how you define dead.
Jyn, in the end, could well turnout to be Skymom after all, taking the saga deeper into the lore of the Force, balance, and life and death. When Rey reaches out to the force in her lesson with Luke, she sees light and darkness, as well as life and death. LucasFilm has been exploring the Force and its role in all things, since the saga began.
A new take on death, and what role the force plays in it has already been heavily hinted at between at in other Star Wars material. The world between worlds, introduced in the animated Rebels series saved Ahsoka and Ezra from certain death, who is to say it isn’t still impacting the story? In Episode 8, Yoda is dead and he still burned down a tree. Birthing babies isn’t that much harder, when you really think about it. Especially in a world with wizard monks, space whales, and floating rocks.
Crispy or not, Jyn was wearing a force crystal necklace the last time we saw her and that means something. Don’t count her out.
As Luke hints in The Last Jedi:
“No one’s ever really gone.”
Re(e)y is the Daughter of Luke Skywalker’s Clone
Though the debate on Rey’s parentage has been long and heated, there is one thing we can all agree upon: her backstory, however superficially obvious (ie, Rey Skywalker) should nonetheless unfold in an interesting and unexpected way. Personally, I believe that this unexpectedness should come not from WHO her family is, but HOW she was separated from them, and of course how this information is discovered and revealed in the story.
But today isn’t a day to be “reasonable” or “logical,” today is a day to embrace absurdity! Today is a day to delve into the deepest recesses of batshit plot logic, to come up with the most utterly bonkers–yet strangely persuasive–idea I can imagine!
And that is why I propose to you my humble theory: Rey’s father is Luke’s evil clone.
The argument for this theory is manifold. For one thing, the idea of an evil Luke clone appearing as a Deus Ex Machina to solve a plot problem is not without precedent–in the Legends universe, Luuke, the evil clone of Luke, is slain by Mara Jade as a way of symbolically completing her master’s command for her to kill Luke Skywalker. So we’ve established that a clone, for all intents and purposes, serves as a meaningful substitute for the original person in the Star Wars universe. It stands to reason, then, that the child of a clone would have the same transitive property, meaning Rey would still technically bear the same connections to the Skywalker family that she would if the O.G. Luke had fathered her himself.
We know from the example of Jango and Boba Fett that clones can be made to age at roughly twice the normal human rate, so this hypothetical clone theoretically could have been born roughly 10-15 years before Rey’s birth, right around the time that Luke’s severed hand would still be floating around in space in relatively usable condition. In early drafts of The Force Awakens, Luke’s hand fell out of the sky and landed on Jakku, which would be a very convenient place for it to do so, given the Imperial research facility on the planet. Let’s suppose the lucky bad guy (maybe Snoke?) who stumbled across this freeze-dried appendage took it back to this research facility and hatched a plan to create an evil Luke clone from it who could kill the real Luke, because, like, only Skywalkers can kill Skywalkers or something. Just go with it.
But! After some years, Frankenstein-like, the clone escapes and flees into the Jakku desert, where he must survive using whatever rudimentary skills he can to make his living…including junk scavenging, perhaps? Oh, and also he, uh, develops a drinking problem, I guess. Because he was treated like shit by his creator to make him evil, and it left him with lasting emotional issues that he turns to booze to self-medicate. Don’t think about it too hard. Anyway, right around 15 ABY, the clone hooks up with some other drunk asshole and they have a baby together named Rey. Unsurprisingly, the little girl bears a striking resemblance to the Skywalker family, and has even inherited their personality traits and knack for piloting, fixing things, and making lots of unnecessary costume changes. But because Clone Luke is a massive prick, he and his shitty girlfriend sell their daughter off to Unkar Plutt for beer money. And this is where the story of Rey Skywalker, biological daughter of Luke Skywalker AND the daughter of abusive drunk scavengers on Jakku, begins.
“But Sprinx!” you cry, “that is a dumb theory! It lacks all meaning! It robs Rey of her emotional connection to Luke, and it has no narrative or symbolic foreshadowing!” AU CONTRAIRE, my friends. The Sequel Trilogy is BURSTING with ReyHandCloneBaby symbolism, and I will tell you about it right now.
For one thing, look at all those hand close-ups in The Last Jedi! As we’ve pointed out before, these shots symbolize deep, familial or pseudo-familial connections, thus linking the concept of “hands” to the concept of “family.” Rey’s family=hands. It’s not difficult.
Also, what does Rey see when she visits the mirror cave looking for her family? That’s right–clones. The mirror cave gave Rey an answer to her question as to who her parents are, and the answer is clones! Or, one clone. Unless her mother was also a clone? Not a Luke clone, though. Okay, we’re getting off track.
Finally, look at the central theme of The Legends of Luke Skywalker, the only canon EU novel centered around Luke post-RotJ thus far. “We are all Luke Skywalker.” Where is this phrase first stated? Why, in the story about a dirty Jakku scavenger with Force powers who looks just like Luke Skywalker. Granted, this story is set like 2 years after Luke lost his hand, but the narrator never explicitly says that this Luke isn’t a very mature 4-year-old child. You have to read between the lines. The point remains: there are many Luke Skywalkers out there. Anybody, on any planet, could be Luke Skywalker. Literally Luke Skywalker, genetically. And at least one of those Luke Skywalkers probably had a kid at some point, and that kid is probably Rey. It’s an airtight argument.
And really, that’s all the Sequel Trilogy is trying to say. We are all Luke Skywalker. Especially the one of us who is an actual clone of Luke Skywalker and who is Rey’s real father.
(“But Sprinx, don’t you think they mean it figuratively? Like, we all have the capacity to be a hero, not that it’s possible that any of us are a biological clone of Luke Skywalker?” No, you IDIOT. Read a BOOK.)
Now this is Podracing!
One thing that has been noted by many fans about the Sequel Trilogy is that it has echoed beats from the original trilogy. The Force Awakens echoed beats from A New Hope and The Last Jedi echoed beats from both the Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. This creates a bit of a problem for Episode IX, though, as there isn’t a movie left from the original trilogy for it to echo. The obvious solution then is for Episode IX to echo plot beats from the film Lucas made next: The Phantom Menace.
Given that the Skywalker saber was broken in the Last Jedi, Rey no longer has a lightsaber to fight her cousin with. However there is a solution. Both of them are talented pilots. A perfect way for them to settle their differences while also paying homage to their grandfather’s legacy would be to have a podrace! Just as Anakin raced for a new hyperdrive for Padme’s ship and his own freedom, his grandchildren will race for the fate of the galaxy. Naturally Rey will win this race while Kylo will end up in a smoking pile of wreckage shouting “Poodoo!”
Kylo and Finn Have Been Working Together to Save the Galaxy
What if Finn’s defection from the First Order wasn’t a heat of the moment choice? What if Kylo going to the dark side was a personal sacrifice that had to be made for the greater good? And what if two men fundamentally different from each other had made a plan to save the galaxy together?
Finn and Kylo knew that the galaxy would forever be stuck in an endless cycle of violence. There would always be factions that desired more people, or governments that weren’t strong enough to do what needed to be done. They knew in their hearts that to the galaxy from itself, they had to break the cycle and begin a new era of peace. Kylo searched the ranks of the First Order to find an ally, but to no avail. Not even the Knights of Ren could help, but just as he was about to give up all hope, he met a Stormtrooper that had the same desire for JUSTICE as he did! The trooper and former Jedi were as different as night and day, yet through their ideals they became brothers.
You see, that is the secret to everything! That’s why Kylo didn’t make a move on Jakku after Finn didn’t fire on the villagers, that is why Kylo let the operation to find BB-8 be handled by Hux instead of taking over the mission personally. What Kylo told the mask of Vader that “Nothing will stand in our way”, he was talking about Finn and himself. This plan was not an easy one though, Han had refused to stay away, regardless of the multiple times both Finn and Kylo tried to, directly and indirectly, lead him astray. So he had to die, which was honestly a bummer. Then to keep up the ruse, Kylo had to slash Finn’s back open so the Resistance would see him as a hero. In any other situation, Kylo would have just killed his enemy. We’ve seen what he did to Lor San Tekka and the Reb Lobster guards of his Sugar daddy Snoke. Finn surviving was not luck or the will of the force, it was planned.
So where does Kylo being Supreme Leader fit in? Well, its simple my dear Skywalker lovers. Kylo and Finn had entered the next stage of their plan: The Ren Requiem! Not to be confused with the Ren Rectum. That was how Kylo managed to make Hux follow his every command.
The Ren Requiem will be the reveal in IX. Kylo will have given up the mantle of Ren and the mask, and will now show his true face. He is Emperor Ben Solo! The Resistance will fall, how wouldn’t they? There was like 7 people in that Falcon. Does Connix even know how to use that blaster? Speaking about Connix…doesn’t she look like the General? Perhaps a secret romance? Kylo always that he should have had a twin sister for some reason. She could have been named Jaina. Anyway, back to my theory.
Emperor Ben Solo will be addressing the galaxy, gloating about how he had finally brought the galaxy to order by using fear and power, but then, out of nowhere a new figure would appear. It is Kylo Ren! Or rather, someone wearing Ben’s outfit. Ben will try to strike down Kylo Ren with his red crossguard lightsaber, but the doppelganger will be too quick for him and will stab him through the stomach. Ben uses his remaining strength to touch the mask of his doppelganger, smearing a three finger steak against the mask, and the man inside the outfit begins to weep. Ben whispers “Thank You” and falls, tumbling down to Rey, who has just been standing around chilling.
Rey reaches her hand out to the dying Emperor, and as their hands touch one last time, Rey sees the truth. The doppelganger of Ben had been Finn. Ben and Finn’s plan had been to make Kylo the most hated man in the galaxy, as to unite everyone in a common enemy, then after declaring himself Emperor Ben Solo, Finn would killed him dressed as Kylo. Thus Finn would redeem Kylo as a hero, but damn Ben Solo as a villain for all eternity.
With his dying breath, Kylo whispers in Rey’s ear “Your father is Dexter Jettster,” and then dies in her arms, a peaceful smile on his face.
Rey looks to the binary sunset that just appeared, even though they are inside a ship, and softly whispers “Well Whaddya Know….”