Posted on Tuesday, January 5th, 2016 by Peter Sciretta
We’ve tried to answer some of the unanswered questions of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and also offered some of our own ridiculous theories and highlighted some of your Force Awakens theories. Today we bring you a new batch of even more Force Awakens theories to make you read, imagine, and consider.
After the jump we present eight new Force Awakens theories for you to consider, including how Darth Vader’s helmet may be effecting Kylo Ren, how Rogue One could connect with Force Awakens and give us some of Rey’s backstory, a look into the possible meanings behind Kylo Ren and Rey’s names, and a bunch of theories as to who Supreme Leader Snoke might be (a Yuuzhan Vong, a new character inspired by Abeloth and Son, and an interesting Darth Vader comparison) but also why he is definitely not Darth Plagueis.
Warning: Spoilers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens definitely follow:
Darth Vader’s Helmet Turned Me To The Dark Side
Blithe Cynic theorizes that Darth Vader’s helmet catalyzed Ben Solo’s turn to Kylo Ren.
We hear him allude to the helmet “showing” him things in the film, so we have a reason to believe it is possessed by either someone or some kind of dark energy (perhaps similar to the Dark Side Cave, which IIRC got its powers from being the site of a Sith Lord’s destruction). My theory is that Luke held on to the remains of Vader’s helmet as a memento, the same way that people hold on to a loved one’s ashes. The helmet not only served as a sentimental reminder of the fact that Vader was his father and ultimately saved his life, but also as a constant warning about the dangers of the Dark Side and the way it seduced Vader and could ultimately seduce Luke and anyone else if they are not careful. The fact that it served as such a warning makes it even more meaningful that the helmet itself ended up seducing Luke’s own apprentice. Ben Solo, being a student of Luke’s, possibly his most favored and most intimate due to their familial bond, comes across the helmet at some point during his training. Perhaps Luke shows it to him in order to give him a warning, or perhaps he discovers it by mistake among Luke’s possessions. Either way, whoever or whatever is possessing the helmet detects his potential – it recognizes a young, impressionable, but talented student, who clearly has a ton of inner emotional conflict (because, let’s be real, those rages didn’t just start yesterday) and is closely emotionally bonded to Luke, thus having an unusual amount of power over him.
So according to the theory, the helmet begins to speak to Ben and seduce him toward the Dark Side, completely unbeknownst to Luke.
This would explain Kylo Ren’s obsession with Vader – he feels a bond with the presence in the helmet that purports to be Vader in the same way that Anakin felt a bond with Palpatine that led him to betray the Jedi. It would also amplify Luke’s sense of responsibility if he figured it out. As to who or what is inside the helmet, I’m not so sure. I really like the Dark Side Cave theory: that the helmet is simply saturated with dark Force. The best way to explain this would be to consider how Vader died – his suit took a large dose of Palpatine’s Force lightening, which is basically concentrated evil energy. However, I think it is most likely Snoke using the helmet to convey images to Kylo Ren the way the lightsaber conveys images to Rey. It’s possible he even mimicked the “call” of the lightsaber to draw Ben to the helmet initially so he could use the idea of Vader’s legacy in order to turn him without ever having to make direct contact. This also serves to explain how Snoke was able to get to Ben right under Luke’s nose. I’ve also heard the theory that the helmet is possessed by Palpatine, which would be pretty gnarly, but I think it’s unlikely unless there is some direct connection between him and Snoke. Whatever is going on with the helmet, Snoke is definitely in on it.
Star Wars canon has shown that the Force can embed itself in objects, so its definitely possible, although it should be added that Han Solo and Leia’s diagloue hinted that their son Ben was already making some wrong decisions, which is why they sent him to train with Luke Skywalker in the first place. So is it possible that a force-tentative object from the dark side might only speak to those individuals who are already tempted?
The Helmet Made Him Almost Not Do It
On the podcast Electric Shadow with Moisés Chiullan (which I also appear on), friend and colleague Eric Vespe (Quint from Ain’t It Cool News) offers a different theory on Darth Vader’s helmet. Vespe talks about how fascinated he is that Kylo Ren begins as an already torn villain, we see him already having doubts about the Dark Side, which differs from the previous installments. And he wonders if Darth Vader’s helmet may have something to do with it.
Vespe theorizes that that totem, the helmet, is not actually a connection to the dark side as Kylo Ren believes. But since Anakin Skywalker was redeemed at the end of Return of the Jedi, that actually the pull of the light side of the Force could be coming from this mask, the remains of the former Sith. Its certainly a great twist as we are expecting something completely different, and everything on screen has us looking at the helmet as a dark forbidding object from the Dark Side.
I love the theory but I’m not sure it quite fits. Kylo Ren does know that Anakin Skywalker was redeemed in his last moments. There is a passage in the official Force Awakens novelization that has Snoke talking to Kylo about the weakness of personal connection which was what prevented the dark side from ruling the galaxy, and was the reason Vader failed. The scene was even shot, but cut from the film, but because its in the novelization its considered canon. So there is no way that Kylo Ren doesn’t know about Anakin’s redemption.