The Internet didn’t exist when Star Wars first premiered but if it had, fans would have been wild imagining what the sequels would be like. The prequel trilogy had scores of speculation on the plotlines and theories about the characters, many of which never came true. The latest movies have been much the same with fans love to debate on everything from who Rey, Finn and Kylo were to the state of the galaxy. Each time, the movies have surprised fans by taking different directions than expected and just fueling even more theories of what is happening.
With The Rise of Skywalker bringing the main saga to a close, fans are taking huge guesses as to what will happen. The confirmation that somehow Emperor Palpatine is returning has combined with the various trailers to fuel scores of new fan theories. Some may end up being false but there is the possibility that some are correct. A few may contradict others but they all showcase how seriously fans take the saga. Here are 20 of the biggest theories about Rise of Skywalker to enjoy before the film comes out.
20 "Skywalker" Is A Power
Many are confused as to the “Rise of Skywalker” title when Luke is gone. This ties into what has become one of the most common theories around. Which is that by the end of it all, Rey helps a ghost Luke unlock the Force to everyone, not just Jedi. “Skywalker” becomes not just the name of a man but a title for those wielding the light side of the Force (much like how “Darth” is a Sith title). This allows the Skywalker name to take on a new meaning that will change the galaxy forever.
19 The Dagger Is The Key
An odd moment in the trailer is when Rey and Kylo slash some sort of black statue to pieces. Fans have zeroed in on the dagger in Rey’s hands which they believe to be the Dagger of Mortis. Introduced in the Clone Wars series, this blade can take away power from immortal beings. The big theory is that Palpatine wants the Dagger as it will restore him to full life and give him incredible power. Rey is to either destroy the Dagger or use it to destroy Palpatine and Kylo wants it. This small knife could be the key to the entire movie.
18 C-3PO Sacrifices Himself
See-Threepio has been through a lot over the course of the last eight movies. When images of him with red eyes were shown, fans speculated Threepio would somehow be reprogrammed to go evil and be a spy for the First Order. The moment in the trailer where he says he’s “taking a last look at friends” fuels the idea that Threepio will somehow sacrifice himself to stop the First Order’s big attack. It would be fitting that Threepio pulls off one massive act of heroism to save the day.
17 Rey And Ben Switch Sides
This has been one of the biggest fan theories since the earliest trailer and refuses to die. The concept is that over the course of the film, Rey slowly begins taking on a darker edge to face Kylo while Kylo doubts in his “mission” for the First Order. In their big lightsaber duel, Rey welcomes the Dark Side while Kylo has a vision of Anakin to break away from that path. This leads to Rey becoming the dark Sith while Kylo fights to redeem himself. Swapping the hero and villain around would be a fantastic twist for the franchise.
16 Anakin Appears As A Force Ghost
As much as fans may have slammed Hayden Christensen’s performance as Anakin Skywalker, they can’t let this theory go. ROS is being called the “end of the Skywalker saga” so why not have Anakin appearing himself? This theory is that Rey and/or Kylo meet Anakin’s spirit who warns of the dangers of going to the Dark Side. This may include the long-dreamed-of talk between Anakin and Luke to be a fitting capper to this family saga.
15 Hux Rebels Against Kylo
While TLJ reduced General Hux to a blustering figure, it’s possible he makes a comeback in the new film. For all his ego, Hux is a scheming figure who’s likely to want more power for himself. It’s therefore likely that Hux ends up leading a coup inside the First Order against Kylo. It could be for the bad side as Hux figures this new Empire is better off without him. There’s also a chance Hux realizes the First Order will lose and negotiates a surrender. Either way, it’s a popular theory that Hux tries to seize control himself.
14 The Gray Jedi
Force wielders have usually fallen into either Jedi or Sith. Yet there is a history in the books and comics of “Gray Jed” who don’t conform to one side but use both. The movie may push how Rey realizes that the balance of the Force can’t come from one side dominating but both somehow existing together. Thus, instead of just choosing light or dark, a new band of Jedi can draw from both sides and create a new “force” to change the galaxy.
13 Jannah Is Lando’s Daughter
Among the new characters showing up in the movie is Jannah, played by Naomi Ackles. She’s shown fighting with Finn as some feisty warrior figure. Her origins are secret for now but the biggest fan belief is that she’s Lando’s daughter. Given that Billy Dee Williams returns in the movie himself, it seems more likely as one can easily see Lando having a kid and would continue the saga’s generational themes.
12 Kylo Kills Rose
Rose Tico won over fans in TLJ with her fun charm and showing true grit helping Finn out. She will be in ROS as she’s now leading the Resistance’s engineering corps and a big deal there. However, she only appears in one shot of the trailer and not much else. This fuels speculation Rose suffers a harsh end, perhaps at Kylo’s hands. It would solidify Kylo as a true monster and give Finn more fuel for revenge while reminding fans of the stakes by bumping off a major supporting character.
11 The First Order Has Been A Cover For The Empire
The tie-in books have detailed how the New Republic made the mistake of dismissing the First Order as just a small band of ex-Imperial forces and not realizing how strong they were. The latest trailers show huge fleets of old-school Star Destroyers coming from a strange world. The idea is that the Empire never truly died but merely hid and rebuilt itself under the cover of the First Order. With the Republic gone, they’re ready to throw off the mask and reveal their true dark colors to dominate the galaxy once more.
10 The World Between Worlds
The trailer shows Rey running through some forest area and then somehow meeting Leia. The passing of Carrie Fisher fuels speculation that Leia will have also died by the time the movie opens. Fans contend that Rey is in the “World Between Worlds”, the grey area between this life and the next. This will lead her to a meeting the Leia and Luke as well to give her advice and be a fine tribute to the beloved actress.
9 The Falcon is Destroyed
It’s tricky trusting some early “spoilers” as many of them are made up just to create buzz. But there are claims that a track on the movie’s soundtrack is titled “The Falcon’s Final Flight.” This would show that the beloved spaceship is destroyed in the epic final battle. If this is the end of the entire saga, what better to close it out than losing its most famous craft? There have been rumors it would have happened in the last two films so it seems most likely that this is the last ride for the beloved hunk of junk.
8 Zorri Bliss Is Rey’s Mother
Keri Russell’s new character has created a lot of fan speculation. Her armor has some contending she’s related to Boba Fett while others think she might be long-popular former Jedi Ahsoka Tano. The prevailing theory is that Bliss is actually Rey’s mother. She’d been forced to abandon her daughter to the people Rey thought were her parents while embarking on her secret criminal career. The fact Russell and Daisy Ridley bear a striking resemblance just fuels how we’re in for a fun family reunion.
7 The Knights Of Ren Serve Palpatine
After skipping TLJ, the new film promises to show more of the Knight of Ren, the mysterious force Kylo leads. The idea is that they’re not truly Sith but follow the Dark Side majorly. They will be secretly serving Palpatine as he was building his own force in secret. The Knights don’t serve the First Order or even Kylo as they’ve been carrying out missions for Palpatine for years. Now, they’re ready to take it to the Resistance and help Palpatine rise once more.
6 Kylo Redeems Himself
It may seem crazy that Kylo Ren can be reformed. He’s led armies to wipe out the Jedi, took it to the Resistance and killed his own father. But if Vader could be redeemed after doing so much worse, there’s a chance for Kylo. Many fans contend that Kylo will connect to Rey and realizing how he’d been used all along by Snoke and Palpatine. This will lead him to join with Rey to take out Palpatine, sacrificing himself in the process. It may seem unlikely but possible Ben Solo ends up a good guy in the end.
5 Rey Takes The Skywalker Name
A fan theory that refuses to die is that Rey is actually Luke’s daughter. They never brought it up in TLJ but fans insist it’s the reason Luke was helping Rey and while Han and Leia also gave her aid. Another theory is that Rey is actually Kylo’s twin sister, who (like Luke and Leia) were separated at birth for their safety. Either way, fans seem to agree on a theory that by the end of the film, Rey will take on the Skywalker name and thus explain the “Rise” part of the title.
4 Captain Phasma Returns...Briefly
Fans were disappointed that Gwendoline Christie’s big role in the movies turned out to be so forgetful. Phasma had some scenes making her seem tough but then suffered a fatal fall after battling Finn in TLJ. While Christie hasn’t been announced in the film, fans are hoping somehow Phasma makes a surprise appearance to fight Finn once more. This would confirm how this supposed tough commander is actually a coward who meets her end with her helmet finally exposing her face. It may seem unlikely but it’s possible Phasma pops up one last time.
3 Snoke Was Palpatine’s Puppet
Many fans were upset that Snoke was bumped off before we knew about him or his history. But maybe that’s the point. Since Palpatine’s return was confirmed, a theory has grown that Snoke was nothing more than a literal puppet created by Palpatine to be the face of the First Order. Note how Snoke was always about theatrics like a huge hologram rather than true leadership. Palpatine just crafted a face to hide behind so folks wouldn’t know he was still alive. Kylo didn’t “kill” Snoke so much as cut the puppet’s strings.
2 “Dark Rey” Is A Clone
The trailer shot of Rey wielding a double-bladed red lightsaber has been fueling a lot of theories. Some think she turns to the Dark Side while others contend it’s merely a vision she has. The most intriguing theory is that “Dark Rey” is a clone created by Palpatine. There are even fans pushing that the figure on the throne in the trailer isn’t Palpatine at all but this Dark Rey. An offshoot is that Rey is the clone who has to fight her true darker self in what should be an intriguing showdown.
1 Rey Is Palpatine’s Kin
The original script for The Force Awakens has a key line deleted from the final version. When Rey uses the Force to summon the lightsaber, Kylo says “it is you.” This indicates Kylo suspected there was more to Rey than just some scavenger. A popular theory growing on forums is that somehow Rey is related to Palpatine, perhaps even his granddaughter. She was stolen away by the people she thought were her parents and abandoned to keep her safe from her legacy. This fuels the idea Rey will turn to the Dark Side and why Palpatine wants her so badly.
Sources: TV Tropes, reddit.com, Polygon.com, Esquire.com