26 Unanswered Questions Of 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens': We Have The Answers

Star Wars is back, and it's fantastic. But Star Wars: The Force Awakens asks about as many questions as it answers, and having seen the movie three times now I've compiled a list of questions, some answered, others left a mystery.

While I don't have all the answers, I have some of them. I've talked to my good sources, delved deep into the books, comic books, and even the official novelization to bring you answers and insight into the film, what it might mean for the future of not only the Star Wars saga but also the A Star Wars Story standalone movies. And when I don't have answers, I have theories and present the evidence as its available. Journey with me to find the answers for some of the biggest Star Wars: The Force Awakens questions.

Here are some of the Force Awakens questions we will answer in this extensive piece (the links are to the page in which they appear):

  • If The Rebellion Won At The End Of Return Of The Jedi, Why Isn't The War Over?
  • Is The Resistance Part Of The New Republic?
  • What Has Everyone Been Up To For The Last 34 Years?
  • How Did The Lightsaber Get In Maz's Castle?
  • What Happened To The Shot In Teaser Trailer #2 Of Maz Handing General Leia The Lightsaber?
  • Who Was Max Von Sydow's Character? Why Did He Have The Map?
  • How Does Rey Know How To Use Force Powers?
  • How Do Rey and Finn Know How To Fight With A Lightsaber?
  • Is Rey a Skywalker?
  • Or Is Rey A Kenobi?
  • What If Rey's Parents Were No One We Even Know?
  • What Happens In Rey's Vision?
  • Who Was Rey Raised By?
  • Who Are Finn's Parents? How Did He Join The First Order?
  • Why Does R2-D2 Suddenly Wake Up? Why Did He Have The Map?
  • Why Did Kylo Ren Turn To The Dark Side?
  • Who Are The Knights Of Ren?
  • Who Is Supreme Leader Snoke? Is He A Giant?
  • Is Supreme Leader Snoke Actually Darth Plagueis?
  • Why Didn't Snoke Want To Find Luke Skywalker?
  • Why Didn't Leia Train As a Jedi?
  • How Did Kylo Get Darth Vader's Mask?
  • Why Was Finn Unable To Kill?
  • Why Did Luke Skywalker Disappear? Has He Turned To The Dark Side Of The Force?
  • What Happened To The Clone Army? Could The Clones Return?
  • Did Phasma Survive The Destruction of Starkiller Base?
  • Did Hux and Kylo Ran Survive The Destruction of Starkiller Base?
  • How Is It That Rey Understands BB-8 & Chewbacca's Languages?
  • Who and Where Are Sarco Plank and Constable Zuvio?
  • And here we go.

    general leia

    If the Rebellion Won at the End of Return of the Jedi, Why Isn't the War Over?

    This isn't so much unanswered as it is unclear in the film. The movie gives us some answers but the whole story must be filled in by the books like Star Wars: Aftermath and Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary.

  • The war is over: The death of Emperor Palpatine has given the galaxy evidence that the Empire can be defeated, and according to the Visual Dictionary, "a longing for freedom and peace drove a great tide of revolution from sector to sector, to the point of a truce — unthinkable at the height of the Galactic Civil War — was signed between the New Republic and the weakened Empire."
  • A New Republic is formed: In Aftermath we learn that Chancellor Mon Mothma restores the Galactic Senate to create a forum for the republic, with all worlds having equal say in shaping the government. The Alliance rebranded as the New Republic.
  • The New Republic has a military: The book says the New Republic fleet is the largest defense force in the galaxy, but nevertheless is a fraction of what it was during the Clone Wars.
  • The Senate is restored: The senate was restored and passed the Military Disarmament Act. The Galactic Concordance peace treaty was signed which restricted the Empire's ability to wage war, and turned its focus to reshaping galactic politics.
  • The First Order rises up: With their abilities restricted, the old Empire withered away and eventually organized in the unknown regions of the galaxy as the First Order.
  • the resistance

    Is the Resistance Part of the New Republic?

    Lets continue with recapping the events since the Battle of Endor....

  • Leia sees the threat, but the New Republic is unwilling to act: Princess Leia tries to get the New Republic to take notice of the rising threat of the First Order but they think she's either being an alarmist or a warmonger and refuse to take action.
  • The Resistance is formed: With the Senate too slow in providing support, Leia created a small private force called the Resistance to keep watch on the rising threat of the First Order. According to the book, the New Republic "tolerates the Resistance, though it is wary of risking war with the First Order." The opening crawl for the film says the New Republic "supports" the Resistance, and General Hux also believes this to be the case in his speech.
  • The power structure of the First Order: Kylo Ren "exists outside the formal command structure of the First Order, and has a direct link to the shadowy Supreme Leader Snoke who is ultimately in charge of these forces of darkness." Kylo's agenda trumps the military objectives of the upper command of the First Order, and he has personally been responsible for the disappearance of the Jedi order.
  • The Senate leaves Coruscant: As the new senate believes all worlds should have equal say, they decided the Senate would leave Coruscant. Instead the capital shifts across member worlds by a process of election, hosting the Senate on a rotating basis.
  • So basically, the remnants of the Empire have reorganized as the First Order in the far reaches of the galaxy, the Senate is too bogged down in politics to take action, so Leia independently creates a small force called the Resistance to keep watch on the rising threat.

    Now as for the events of this film, the Senate has convened on Hosnian Prime. Some people miss this but the Starkiller base destroys this planet during their show of power, effectively killing all the members of the senate.

    Star Wars: Shattered Empire - Kes Dameron

    What Has Everyone Been Up to for the Last 34 Years?

    This is another question that is partially answered in the film, but I thought you might want to know some of the extra details revealed in the books:

  • Han Solo: After the Galactic War ended, he married Leia Organa, became "a family man" (could they have had more than one son?) and "for a time – a successful racing pilot." They sent their son Ben to train under Luke Skywalker because they feared he had "too much Vader in him." The tragic events that followed broke up their marriage, and Han went back to his old life as "a tramp freighter captain, smuggler, and freelance law bender." Having lost the Millennium Falcon, Han eventually settled on an enormous bulk freighter named the Eravana, which he uses to haul massive shipments of legally questionable cargo. Chewbacca returned as Solo's wingman.
  • Chewbacca: After the Battle of Endor, Chewbacca helped lead the New Republic effort to liberate Kashyyk from Imperial rule. With his sidekick now settling down with a family, Chewbacca returned to Kashyyk and reconnected with his larger family. When Han Solo returned to his left as a smuggler, Chewbacca once again joined him. Chewie is now 234 years old, which is not yet approaching the middle age for a Wookiee.
  • Leia Organa: After the Battle of Endor, Leia (no longer a princess) became a influential New Republic politician, married Han and gave birth to a son. The family days ended after the tragic events at the new Jedi Academy. She argued that the New Republic was not doing enough to secure the safety of its citizens, and she was "estranged from the senate for her refusal to let the ghosts of the last war stay dead." Leia is concerned about the suspicious activities of the First Order but the New Republic brands her as an alarmist. So she starts up the Resistance to take a closer watch.
  • R2-D2: He accompanied Luke Skywalker in his journeys across the galaxy after the Battle of Endor, and was "witness to triumph and tragedy." After Luke Skywalker vanished, R2-D2 went into low power mode, where "his diagnostic systems are attempting to organize the vast trove of information in his databanks from over seven decades of uninterrupted operation." His data has never been wiped since Anakin Skywalker's ownership.
  • C-3PO: The protocol droid has been with Leia pretty much since childhood (give or take a few years), and he followed the former Princess to work for the Resistance where he not only is a translator but has been tasked with keeping track with the organization's movement pool of spy droids across the galaxy, managing the influx of information the comes from the field. He has been upgraded his TronLang III communications package to increase his language fluency to over seven million forms of communication. He sports a salvaged red arm, which is a memento of another druid's sacrifice (the story will be revealed in an upcoming comic book). Although you may miss it, C-3PO gets his arm restored to normal at the end of the film (you can see him waving at the Millennium Falcon as it takes off to find Luke Skywalker).
  • Luke Skywalker: After the battle of Endor, Luke Skywalker set up a new Jedi Academy where he hoped to train over a new generation of Jedi. He vanished after one of his students was persuaded by the dark side and massacred most of the young Padawans. He felt responsible for the tragic events and went into exile, but where? Those who knew him best believe he went in search of the first Jedi temple.
  • maz's castle

    How Did the Lightsaber Get in Maz's Castle?

    In the film, Maz tells us that she came across the lightsaber many years ago and has kept it safe and locked up. But how did she come into possession of Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber that Luke Skywalker lost in Cloud City? As Maz Kanata puts it in the movie, "It's a good question for another time." I'm assuming a future Star Wars novel or comic book will explore this story, or maybe it will be revealed in one of the Star Wars Saga or A Star Wars Story stand alone movies. So we just don't know how she ended up with it.

    Possible Explanation: One of the first rumors to hit the web came from Devin Faraci who reported the following:

    Imagine the standard Star Wars crawl, and when it ends the camera pans up to the stars. But instead of a spaceship zooming into frame we see... a hand! A severed hand, tumbling through space. A severed hand gripping a light saber. That hand falls onto a desert planet, where it is discovered by characters who will be our heroes. One is Daisy Ridley.

    Turns out Devin was partially right. The original opening crawl ended with the lightsaber tumbling through space towards a planet, but not a desert planet. Rey never found the lightsaber on Jakku, it always came to her in Maz's castle. The shot apparently got abandoned at some point in the process, probably because the reveal in the basement of Maz's castle is more powerful. Although I love the idea of the imagery of the saber flying through space, but the opening shot of the silhouette of Star Destroyer blocking out an entire planet is also cool.

    In a report from July, MakingStarWars shared what appears to be an earlier version of the events that take place in Maz's castle. The report claims that Rey didn't originally find the lightsaber by wandering through the castle's basement, but instead that after the First Order began their attack, "Maz ushers the heroes inside the castle and down a staircase" and begins to tell them who Luke Skywalker was and why he is important. "They enter an underground chamber. Maz has them all hold hands." According to that unconfirmed report, the vision included the following extra bits:

    We then see a peasant dropping the lightsaber and starting a fire. He panics and runs, but decides to go back for the lightsaber, saving it.We then see a local trader walking away with the weapon.The trader sells the sword to a prosperous man. Then there's a battle raging and the sword is being used by the clan against the Seven.

    I'm not sure exactly how this all fits together unfortunately. Leaving how Maz got the saber as a mystery is probably more interesting. I'm sure we'll hear the story (probably a different story) someday.


    What Happened to the Shot in Teaser Trailer #2 of Maz Handing General Leia the Lightsaber?

    Remember the second teaser trailer, the one that reuses the Luke Skywalker voiceover from the original trilogy? There is a shot of Lupita Nyong'o's character Maz Kanata handing over the Skywalker lightsaber to General Leia. From what we see from the background of the shot, the scene appears to take place in the Resistance headquarters. Yet in the movie Maz is never seen in the war room with Leia, and has no interaction with the former Princess. So what happened to this scene?

    Possible Explanation: If it's a deleted scene, it potentially confirms that Maz survived the attack on her castle. Its not uncommon for shots to appear in a trailer and not be in the final film, especially shots from early trailers when a final cut is far from locked. But the shot in the trailer features a completely computer generated performance, which is costly to produce. It's been widely reported that Abrams did secret reshoots for Force Awakens in his Bad Robot offices, and some of the reshoots apparently involved reworking the scenes in which Maz appears — so it's likely that something got changed along the way.

    Our sources tell us that in the shooting script, Maz left with the Resistance since her castle was left completely destroyed and presented Leia with the lightsaber in the war room.

    Max Von Sydow

    Who Was Max Von Sydow's Character? Why Did He Have the Map?

    We don't know much about Max Von Sydow's character Lor San Tekka. We know that Poe Dameron was tasked by General Organa to find an old ally of Leia's who holds information about her brother's whereabouts. The Visual Dictionary tells us the following:

    As the empire toppled, retreating Imperial officials destroyed records that would have been vital to the New Republic's attempts at Galactic reconstruction. New Republic bureaucrats turned instead to firsthand accounts from well-traveled locals to fill in the gaps. A seasoned traveler and explorer of the more remote fringes of the galaxy, Lor San Tekka has proven his worth to the New Republic and Resistance many times over. Ready to retire after decades of exploration and adventure, the spiritual San Tekka has settled with a colony of villagers in the remote Kelvin Ravine on the frontier world of Jakku.

    The StarWars.com official databank also offers the following about the character:

    A legendary traveler and explorer, Lor San Tekka is a longtime ally of the New Republic and the Resistance. After the Battle of Endor, San Tekka helped Luke Skywalker recover secret Jedi lore that the Empire had tried to erase, and Leia Organa hopes the old scout can now help find her brother. Following decades of adventure, San Tekka retired to live simply on Jakku, where he follows the dictates of the once-forbidden Church of the Force. But his retirement is fated to be anything but peaceful.

    But why has San Tekka held information about Luke Skywalker's whereabouts for years without giving it up? Also remember his first line — the first line of dialogue in the movie — is "This will begin to make things right." What does that mean? Kylo Ren also insinuates that he knew San Tekka from his earlier years, commenting, "Oh, how old you've become." San Tekka also says of General Leia that "she'll always be royalty to me" which insinuates that he knew Leia before A New Hope.

    Was San Tekka somehow involved in Luke Skywalker's new Jedi temple where Kylo trained as a child? It doesn't appear so, it seems as if he was a fan of the Jedi. The book says that San Tekka witnessed the Jedi Knights prior to the Clone Wars and "never believed the lies that painted then as traitors." During Palpatine's rule, San Tekka was a follower of the Church of the Force, an underground faith made up of non Force-sensative worshippers of the Jedi idols, who believed the Jedi would one day return.

    It was initially rumored that the character would reveal himself to be a character we previously knew from the past Star Wars films, the frontrunner being bounty hunter Boba Fett, but I can't find any real evidence of this. I've also heard the rumor that a younger version of this character could appear in one of the Star Wars Story stand alone movies like Rogue One or the Han Solo movie. The official descriptions mention his time as a former Scout, which might fit into the Rogue One story.

    the force awakens details

    How Does Rey Know How to Use Her Force Powers?

    Hey wait a minute, Rey somehow knows how to use the Jedi mind trick minutes after discovering she has Force powers? That might be your first reaction, but I believe Rey's vision establishes that she trained as a youngling at Luke Skywalker's Jedi Academy before Ben Solo got turned by Snoke and led a massacre of the students.

    We aren't sure about her age, but the child abandoned on Jakku (played by Cailey Fleming) appears to be somewhere between 5 and 7 years old. She clearly remembers some of her teachings, using the Jedi mind trick on a stormtrooper to escape custody on Starkiller base.

    Earlier in the film she says she thought Luke Skywalker was a myth, which seems to suggest her early memories were suppressed by someone with Force powers (likely whomever abandoned her on Jakku). Her memories seem to return as Kylo Ren tries to use the Force mind read to delve into her head.

    Finn and Kylo Ren lightsaber fight Star Wars: the force awakens

    How Do Rey and Finn Know How to Fight Kylo Ren with a Lightsaber?

    I think it's a mistake to think that only a Jedi or Sith can use and operate a lightsaber. I would argue that it is like a samurai sword — I can pick it up, I can swing it, I can train to use it but if I'm told to fight with it in a gun fight, I probably won't have much luck. A Jedi on the other hand is able to fight with a ancient weapon in a gun battle. Obi-Wan taught Luke to anticipate the shots and swings.

    Okay, so this still doesn't explain how Finn and Rey are able to go toe to toe with a trained former Jedi like Kylo Ren. Here's the possible explanation:

    Proof-2The movie shows us that all stormtroopers are trained in using a Z6 Riot Control Baton, which can be swung in a similar fashion as a lightsaber. The Star Wars: Before The Awakening book shows Finn training with this weapon. So Finn had some experience using a weapon of that sort. But even so, Kylo Ren was seriously injured by Chewbacca's bowcaster and was bleeding out in the snow. And even with that disability, Kylo was able to seriously own Finn in the lightsaber duel.

    As for Rey, it's established early on that she is quite adept at using her staff to fend off the scum that lives on Jakku. And I've already mentioned that her vision proves that she was very likely trained as a youngling at Luke Skywalker's new Jedi Academy. And it's not unreasonable to think that she had a lot of training with the mystical laser sword. But also it's established that Rey is strong with the Force. It seems like she might even be stronger with the Force than Kylo.

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    Is Rey a Skywalker?

    I think that would be the most obvious answer. Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy has said that the Star Wars Saga films will be the story of the Skywalkers. And I think she means the new stories with new characters, which obviously goes beyond Luke and Leia. Kylo Ren is obviously part of the Skywalker bloodline, and it would be easy to assume the new Star Wars trilogy will be about the redemption of that character (if they are following the franchise's formula, which judging by this film, is the case). But I'm also willing to bet there is also a good guy in the new generation that shares the Skywalker bloodline. But that could mean she could be either Luke or Leia and Han's child.

    Let's look at what we know: She very likely trained as a Jedi Padawan with Luke Skywalker before the Jedi Temple was attacked by the Knights of Ren. Let's ignore the fact that she thinks Luke Skywalker is a myth when Finn brings his name up (her memories were probably suppressed, probably using the Force) and that she knows legend of the famous Smuggler Han Solo but clearly doesn't remember him from childhood. She was abandoned by her family on Jakku.

    Why would whomever saved her in the Jedi Academy massacre just abandon her on a desert planet? Probably to put her out of reach from the Dark Side by hiding her where no one can find her and where no one even know she exists. This probably explains why Kylo doesn't recognize her, he probably thinks whomever she is was killed during the Jedi Academy attack.

    And we also know that Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber called to her. Maz even makes a point of saying that the lightsaber belonged to Luke Skywalker and his father Anakin Skywalker before him, "and now it's calling for you." So that must mean she's a Skywalker, right?

    When Kylo is interrogating her, he looks into her mind and says "You dream of a place" and begins to describe a small island like the one she later finds Luke on. Maybe she's not dreaming but able to see where her father is? Or maybe she saw the metaphorical X on the piece of BB-8's treasure map and knew that it was an island?

    If she is a Skywalker: Why doesn't Han Solo or Princess Leia recognize her? Or do they? Han is quick to offer Rey a job on the Millennium Falcon after he learns her name, but later doesn't seem too overly concerned when she was abducted by the First Order.

    When the Resistance returns back from blowing up Starkiller base, Leia walks right past Chewbacca directly over to Rey and hugs her never having met the girl before. Why wouldn't Leia comfort Solo's best bud? Do they know something we don't?

    Also it's interesting that Leia sends Rey to the island that might have Luke, and doesn't make the trip herself. Maybe its an unsafe mission for the General, but then why not send an accomplished high-ranking Resistance member?

    Alec Guinness Obi-wan Kenobi

    Is Rey a Kenobi?

    There is one more possibility: She could be Obi-wan Kenobi's granddaughter. I had heard early on that the change from Michael Arndt's script to the one J.J. Abrams was working on with Lawrence Kasdan was that it changed the story from being just about the Skywalkers to being a story about the Kenobis vs. the Skywalkers. Again, that was just a rumor and a lot of what we heard early on was wrong or evolved into something else. But it is possible.

    Consider this: Obi-Wan Kenobi was in possession of that lightsaber for three decades, while Luke Skywalker had it only for a year or so. The lightsaber calling to her might have nothing to do with Luke and Anakin Skywalker. Also, while Rey is having her vision we hear Obi-wan Kenobi say "Rey, you've taken your first steps." Of course, Yoda is also heard during this sequence, but of course he is one of the highest Jedi masters of all time. So the question is, if Rey is a Skywalker — why did Rey hear Obi-Wan in her vision and not Anakin Skywalker?

    Berith on The Force.net explains how Rey could be a Kenobi:

    Anyone who has watched Clone Wars will know Obi-Wan had a relationship with Duchess Satine Kryze leader of the Mandalorians. In fact when Obi-Wan was still a Padawan he and Qui-Gon protected her for over a year. Obi-Wan and Satine grew so close that Obi-Wan stated he would have renounced his vows to the Jedi order had she asked. Now Qui-Gon was certainly no stickler for the rules, but fathering a child is in fact not against the Jedi code. The attachment that usually comes with such things is the issue. So Obi-Wan could easily have fathered a child with Satine and remained a Jedi so long as he was detached enough from the situation. This child being of both Mandalorian and Jedi descent would have to be kept a secret. It would have been an affront to the mandalorians seeking to return to the old ways and a target of assassination as a result.

    All of that said, it still seems more likely that she is a Skywalker.

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens Rey and BB-8

    What If Rey's Parents Were No One We Even Know?

    Yes, Kathleen Kennedy did say the Star Wars Saga is about the Skywalker family, but the sequel trilogy already has Kylo Ren (who is of the Skywalker bloodline). So what if Rey isn't Luke, Leia or Obi-Wan's kid? When I talked to director J.J. Abrams before seeing the film, I asked him if the movie would explore the possibility that anyone can have the power. Abrams told me that while he would "never presume to question anything George Lucas says is canon in Star Wars" he believes "the Force has always seemed to me to be more inclusive and stronger than" bloodlines and midi-chlorians.

    I'm not someone who quite understands the science of the Force. To me Star Wars was never about science fiction — it was a spiritual story. And it was more of a fairytale in that regard. For me when I heard Obi-Wan say that the Force surrounds us and binds us all together, there was no judgement about who you were. This was something that we could all access. Being strong with the force didn't mean something scientific, it meant something spiritual. It meant someone who could believe, someone who could reach down to the depths of your feelings and follow this primal energy that was flowing through all of us. I mean, thats what was said in that first film! And there I am sitting in the theater at almost 11 years old and that was a powerful notion. And I think this is what your point was, we would like to believe that when s*** gets serious, that you could harness that Force I was told surrounds not just some of us but every living thing. And so, I really feel like the assumption that any character needs to have inherited a certain number of midi-chlorians or needs to be part of a bloodline, it's not that I don't believe that as part of the canon, I'm just saying that at 11 years old, that wasn't where my heart was. And so I respect and adhere to the canon but I also say that the Force has always seemed to me to be more inclusive and stronger than that.

    That all said, I do feel like Rey is related to someone we know. And I'm sure we'll find out in the next movie.

     Unkar Plutt

    Who Was Rey Raised By?

    If Rey was abandoned on Jakku as a child, who raised her? In the quick shot we see in Rey's vision, we see her at age 5-7 wearing an outfit that looks like that of a young Jedi Padawan looking up at a leaving spacecraft. We don't recognize the spacecraft, but we think we recognize the arm in the shot. It looks like the arm of Unkar Plutt, the character Simon Pegg plays in the film. Unkar is the alien junk dealer that Rey goes to to trade her salvaged findings for portions of food. In the scenes with Rey, it doesn't seem like she has a past relationship with Unkar. And it also doesn't seem like he would be the kind of person to agree to take care of a five-year-old girl.

    But then that leads us to the Millennium Falcon, a space ship that Unkar has had sitting in his junkyard for some time. Is it possible that someone traded him that ship in exchange for watching over his daughter and teaching her how to survive on the unforgiving world of Jakku?

    An interesting theory, but it seems unlikely. They filmed a scene at Maz's castle where Unkar confronts Rey about stealing the Falcon and Chewbacca comes to save her, which was not included in the final film (but will likely be seen in the home video deleted scene collection).

    bespin corridor

    What Happens in Rey's Vision?

    When Rey touches the lightsaber, she experiences a vision. The events shown in this vision whiz by fast, so you may have missed something. As we mentioned earlier in the Maz question, the vision originally showed more about how the lightsaber went from Luke's hand in Empire Strikes Back to Maz's castle, but the final film dialed this down.

    Rey ends up in the hallway from The Empire Strikes Back where Luke once faced Darth Vader. You can hear Luke Skywalker scream "No!!!!!!" if you listen carefully in the background. The Force Awakens official novelization adds that Rey sees figures in a lightsaber duel far down the hallway. The initial cut of the film had Rey run towards them and seeing a new shot, different angle, of the Luke Skywalker/Darth Vader confrontation. This is actually the reason why Empire Strikes Back versions of Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader were released in the Force Awakens action figure line. Apparently the shot was cut later in the editing process.

    Back to the vision, Rey sees Luke Skywalker lay his metal hand on R2-D2 as fire and ashes fill the background and foreground. This obviously suggests a scene after Kylo Ren has destroyed Luke's new Jedi Academy, right before Luke decides to go into exile. We see a scene of bodies scattered on the ground in the pouring rain with Kylo Ren having just killed one of them while a group of similarly dressed people stand next to him, presumably the Knights of Ren. Note that he is the only one with a lightsaber in this shot.

    We then see Rey as a young girl (age 5-7) being left behind on Jakku with what looks to be Unkar Plutt. Note that she is wearing an outfit that looks like something a young Padawan might wear, which suggests she was a student at Luke's new Jedi Academy. And then the last shot features her in the snowy forest at night.

    In the novelization, Rey hears a voice behind her say "Stay here, I'll come back for you." She whirls around trying to find the voice through the trees. "I'll come back sweetheart, I promise." She says "I'm here, right here, where are you?" No response. And then just like the movie, a figure comes at her — it's Kylo Ren, a premonition of the confrontation she has later in the film. She falls back and is back on the basement floor of Maz's castle.

    During this sequence we also hear Yoda, a new recording by Frank Oz, talking about how the Force surrounds us. And near the end we hear Obi-Wan Kenobi say "Rey, you've taken your first steps." This voice over is actually cleverly edited with Alec Guinness saying the name "Rey" followed by a new recording of Ewan McGregor saying "you've taken your first steps." You can read more about how those voiceovers came about here.

    Star Wars The Force Awakens Finn

    Who Are Finn's Parents? How Did He Join the First Order?

    Stormtroopers like Finn have been taken from their parents as children and raised to work and fight for the First Order. Finn  does not know where he came from or remember his parents, but that dangling plot thread leaves many people to believe its a set-up for a future reveal.

    At the Star Wars: The Force Awakens press conference, actor John Boyega recalled a screen test he did with his co-star Daisy Ridley where he said to her:

    There's no way that our stories are so simple.

    Boyega went on to apologize to Kathleen Kennedy who was sitting next to him but admitted that even though he's seen the movie:

    And we still don't know! So I've still got some conspiracy theories as a fan as to where Finn comes from and I'm still trying to figure that out, but I like that it's a mystery.

    Later in the conversation Boyega mentioned he loved the fan theory that Finn is Mace Windu's grandson and enthused about an encounter he had with Samuel L. Jackson at a party. Going by race alone, Finn could possibly be a descendant of Mace Windu or Lando Calrissian. But do we really need to make this universe any smaller than it already is? I would rather see Finn try to explore his past and find a new story with new characters and not make this galaxy any smaller and too connected by fate.

    It should also be noted that an image of Finn as a child, aged 5-7, was shown on a screen while the First Order was discussing his escape. So it's very likely this is the age he was when the First Order got him.

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens r2d2

    Why Does R2-D2 Suddenly Wake Up? Why Did He Have the Map?

    This was my biggest complaint coming out of the world premiere screening. How does R2-D2 just wake up? It just feels like an all-too-convenient moment for him to reactivate from low power mode.

    My Initial Theories: The more I thought about this unexplained moment, the more I found reasons for it. Here are some possibilities:

  • Luke turned him on: Luke Skywalker, feeling a disturbance in the Force from the death of Han Solo, or at very least Leia's reaction to the loss, decides it's time to let his sister know where he is and reactivates R2 using the force.
  • Rey arrives: It also seems not-so-coicidental that R2-D2 comes alive just moments after Rey arrives at the Resistance base. Could R2 have had orders to only turn on if she were to come to the droid?
  • There's also the question of why R2-D2 had the piece of the map to Luke Skywalker's location. Seems a bit too convenient right? Or maybe Luke planted the map there so that one day people could come find him. Does that mean that he gave the other piece of the map to Max Von Sydow's character? Was he ordered to only reveal the map if the Dark Side rose up again? Another possibility is that he was looking for the long-lost first Jedi temple before the massacre, and R2 has the pieces he uncovered before skipping town.

    The Official Answer: Sadly, the real answer is not very satisfying. Screenwriter Michael Arndt has said that the idea was that R2 plugged into the information base of the Death Star, "and that's how he was able to get the full map and find where the Jedi temples are." Director J.J. Abrams explains the reason why R2 suddenly awakens with the information:

    BB-8 comes up and says something to him, which is basically, 'I've got this piece of a map, do you happen to have the rest?' The idea was, R2 who has been all over the galaxy, is still in his coma, but he hears this. And it triggers something that would ultimately wake him up. While it may seem, you know, completely lucky and an easy way out, at that point in the movie, when you've lost a person, desperately, and somebody you hopefully care about is unconscious, you want someone to return.

    Again, not really a satisfying answer. It should also be pointed out that C-3PO clearly knows BB-8 (when the protocol droid sees him outside the Resistance base, he greets him). This makes sense because they have been both working for the Resistance for some time. But why is it that BB-8 has never seen R2-D2? Seems like a bit of a plot hole?

    BB-8 tries to wake up the old droid but C-3PO informs him that it is unlikely that he has the rest of the map. I guess this supposedly sparks R2-D2 to analyze his backups for possible info. The fact that he wakes up right as they return from Starkiller base still seems too convenient. And why has the Resistance never tried to get the information from R2-D2 before?

    kylo ren

    Why Did Kylo Ren Turn to the Dark Side?

    We don't know why Ben Solo (likely named after old Ben Kenobi, a family friend of the Skywalkers) turned to the Dark Side. We are told in the film that Ben was studying under master Jedi Luke Skywalker at the new Jedi temple. General Leia mentions that it was Snoke who turned him to the dark side, but how? This is one of the questions we really have no insight on. Actor Adam Driver told IGN the following about his character's motivations:

    Kylo Ren idolizes Darth Vader, not Anakin Skywalker. He idolizes what Vader represents and what Vader was trying to do. And the idea that Vader didn't succeed, if you look at it from Ren's point of view, he was seduced by the enemy and failed because of that seduction. So the idea is that Ren wants to complete the thing that Vader started.

    We suspect that thing is hunting down and killing every last Jedi.

    Kylo Ren Star Wars: the force awakens

    Who Are the Knights of Ren?

    In Rey's vision/flashback, we see Kylo Ren destroy Luke Skywalker's new Jedi Academy with "the Knights of Ren." But who is this organization? The only thing J.J. Abrams has said on record about the group is this:

    He is a character who came to the name Kylo Ren when he joined a group called Knights of Ren.

    Adam Driver gives a little more insight to the LATimes:

    It was a group that existed before him, that he was a part of. Their place within everything is maybe more of a satellite group than I would say ... This is really tricky.

    It should be noted that Kylo is not Ben's given name, it is most likely a combination of his family names sKYwalker and soLO.

    Finn refers to Kylo Ren as "Ren" and not Kylo which seems to suggest he could be the only remaining member of the group. Since we know Snoke convinces Ben Solo to join the dark side, maybe he is one of the other members of the Knights of Ren? Nope. In the movie, Snoke tells Kylo that he is the master of the Knights of Ren. I'm sure we'll either find out more about the group in future films or in the upcoming books.


    Who Is Supreme Leader Snoke? Is He a Giant?

    When I first saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I just assumed that Snoke was a giant. But remember back to the holographic projections of the Emperor, they featured his head at a gigantic size. Neal Scanlan told People Magazine confirmed the character is "7-foot-something tall; he's very, very thin." So it looks like he isn't a giant after all.

    We don't know much about the Supreme Leader other than he turned Ben Solo to the Dark Side and is set to give Kylo his final training. We know from The Art of the Force Awakens that his conference room was meant to reflect a bit of the Lincoln Memorial, and was originally going to be presented in greyscale but they decided to try to go more photo-real to preserve the reveal of him being a hologram. At one point during the development Snoke was almost made a female.

    J.J. Abrams and Neal Scanlan didn't want him to look old and decrepit like the Emperor. The idea instead was to base him on the ghoulish looks in Hammer horror films. Senior sculpted Ivan Manzella commented, "It's almost like Snoke was quite handsome when he was younger, and in my mind, the more powerful he's become, the more the Dark Side consumes him." They eventually went with a slightly more youthful version of the design.

    Darth Plagueis

    Is Supreme Leader Snoke Actually Darth Plagueis?

    Some Star Wars fans believe that Snoke is Darth Plagueis, a character mentioned in the Star Wars prequels. The filmmakers were asked about the possibility at Comic-Con, where J.J. Abrams denied the character's presence in the film. But fans are not willing to take the filmmaker's response as a definitive answer as Abrams has lied in the past to protect secrets (i.e. Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness). Fans also point out the similarities between the soundtrack for Snoke and the soundtrack for the scene in which Palpatine tells Anakin the story of Plagueis.

    According to Palpatine, "Darth Plagueis was a dark lord of the Sith, so powerful and so wise. He could influence the midichlorians to create life. He had such a knowledge of the Dark Side, he could even keep the ones he cared about from dying." While Plagueis had the ability to cheat death, Palpatine claimed to have killed Plagueis in his sleep. George Lucas has said that Plagueis was a Muun, a thin, narrow-faced species of alien with a flair for finances. A Star Wars book, Darth Plagueis, told the story of Plagueis' backstory but it is no longer considered Star Wars canon.

    Bill Hader BB-8

    Why Didn't Snoke Want To Find Luke Skywalker?

    After finding out that BB-8 has a map leading to Luke Skywalker, Supreme Leader Snoke issues the First Order to find and destroy the droid if they have to. Kylo Ren tells General Hux that he needs the BB-8 unit in working order as he needs the data he has. Kylo Ren obviously wants to find and destroy Luke Skywalker but Snoke seems fine without that information. Why?

    I can understand that Snoke didn't want the Resistance to get the map, but why why he less concerned about getting the information? Maybe having Skywalker out of the way makes it easier for the First Order to rise up. Or maybe Snoke knows that Kylo Ren is not strong enough to face his old Jedi master.

    Han Solo and Princess Leia in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    Why Didn't Leia Train As a Jedi?

    At the Force Awakens junket, IGN asked J.J. Abrams why didn't Leia become a Jedi after Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Abrams explains it's a question that he, co-writer Lawrence Kasdan and even George Lucas discussed.

    It was a great question, and one we talked about quite a bit even with Carrie [Fisher]. If there is 'another' why not take advantage of this natural Force strength this character had? And one of the answers was that it was simply a choice she made, that her decision to run the rebellion and ultimately this Resistance, and consider herself a General as opposed to a Jedi, it was simply a choice that she took. Not that there isn't any regret that should could have and didn't. But clearly we've seen and we do again, she is clearly Force strong.

    So there you have it, she chose to be a General rather than a Jedi but that doesn't mean she can't progress her Force abilities in the future if she wanted to.

    kylo ren and fader's helmet

    How Did Kylo Get Darth Vader's Mask?

    From the trailers, many fans assumed the shot of Kylo Ren and the Knights of Ren standing in the rain flanked with bodies was from a scene where they go to Endor and recover the remains of Darth Vader, but that was not the case at all. Last we saw Darth Vader, he was played to rest in a fire burial ceremony on the forrest moon of Endor.

    We don't know how Kylo came into possession of the helmet, only that the charred and melted helmet was "scavenged from a funeral pyre on Endor." We may find out how the relic came into the possession of Kylo and the First Order in one of the Journey to the Force Awakens books that have yet to be released, although I'm not sure the details are important in any way.

    The Circle movie cast

    Why Was Finn Unable to Kill?

    This isn't a question I had, as I took it at face value. But /Film editor Angie Han posed the question to me and I found the discussion was worth some exploration. In the film, Captain Phasma makes it clear that FN-2187 passed all the tests and scored highly in simulations with no indication of subordinate behavior.

    The Visual Dictionary notes that FN-2187 "lacks the combat zeal or submission to authority evident in his squadmates" but "keeps his misgivings well hidden." And of course when he witnesses the reality of war on Jakku and the death of his squadmate, he finds himself unable to participate and thats when he decides to make a run for it and save captured resistance pilot Poe Dameron.

    But the bigger question is why was he unable to deal with the violence of war? Could it be that seeing it in person with real people brought back subconscious memories from his childhood? It's mentioned in the movie that he has never known his name. I'm wondering if his instincts in the Jakku massacre stem from events in his early former life before he was abducted and brainwashed.

    The book Before The Awakening answers some of these questions. The mission on Jakku is Finn's second real mission in the field and seeing real civilians being slaughtered was too much for him. Finn basically he aces the simulations because he knows his "enemy." It's the Republic. He's been taught that since childhood. He starts to really have doubts, and then the sims start incorporating civilians and he can't justify shooting at them. He tries to save a fellow stormtrooper (the same one who dies in Force Awakens) in a simulation and Phasma reprimands him.

    luke return of the jedi

    Why Did Luke Skywalker Disappear? Has He Turned to the Dark Side of the Force?

    Luke Skywalker disappeared after the tragic events at the new Jedi Academy, but why did he go into hiding? All we know is that rumor had it he went looking for the first Jedi Temple, which we can only assume is on that ancient-looking island we see at the end of the film. But why did he go looking for that particular temple? And why had he remained in hiding?

    The answers to all these questions will likely be answered at the start of Rian Johnson's Episode VIII as Mark Hamill supposedly already shot a scene for that film on the island. I'm assuming that Luke feels responsible. Look at how much damage his family has brought to this galaxy. Maybe he believes the best thing he can do is to isolate himself from this world to not make things worse. If I were a betting man, I would say Luke is reluctant to accept his old lightsaber back from Rey and will probably push back at the idea of training her.

    CGI Clone Troopers

    What Happened to the Clone Army? Could the Clones Return?

    Some casual fans of the Star Wars series might be wondering why Finn is not a clone? Wasn't that the whole point of the Star Wars prequels? For those people, there is a throwaway line in the movie to acknowledge that the First Order Stormtroopers are no longer clones. During a disagreement between Kylo and General Hux, Ren says that maybe since Hux's brainwashed stormtroopers aren't working out so well, and suggests they could maybe bring back the clones. In Force Awakens, it is established that General Hux chose to use a collection of stormtroopers he trained from childhood, in many cases stealing the children from their families, and while it's not explicitly stated, it's suggested the First Order brainwashed the new children troopers.

    So why was the clone army abandoned? The best answer I could find for this question comes from Rukh:

    After the Clone Wars ended (Episode 3), Palpatine needed to solidify his power to reorganize the Old Republic into the new Galactic Empire. To do this his needed a much larger army (more than the existing clones) and also needed to generate popular support, so he instigated a new propaganda campaign to instill loyalty and patriotism by turning many of the higher learning centers into Imperial Academies (Luke Skywalker was attempting to apply to such an academy so that he could get off of Tattooine) where regular humans were educated and simultaneously trained to serve in the Imperial military as officers, technicians, pilots, and soldiers. In the roughly two decades between Episode 3 and Episode 4 (the original Star Wars) the majority of Stormtroopers were normal humans that graduated from Imperial academies and recieved advanced training from one of the Imperial Military Centers, like the facilities on Cardia.

    The clone army was something that was abandoned well before J.J. Abrams got involved in the series. The original expanded universe (which is now discounted only as "Legends") also established the move from clones to humans. The change that more recently got introduced came in the animated television series Star Wars Rebels, which established that children were now being brainwashed and trained to be stormtroopers.

    Captain Phasma

    Did Phasma Survive the Destruction of Starkiller Base?

    It has been confirmed that Gwendoline Christie will be reprising her role as Captain Phasma in Rian Johnson's Episode VIII. Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy told the LA Times that they have big plans for Phasma and confirmed that the captain will carry on into the next movie: "She's an important character, a baddie in the best sense of the word."

    Many critics have complained that Phasma's role in Force Awakens was too small and fans are already predicting that it will be beefed up in future films, some referring to her as the Boba Fett of this trilogy.

    Domhnall Gleeson - General Hux

    Did Hux and Kylo Ren Survive the Destruction of Starkiller Base?

    Supreme Leader Snoke tells General Hux to bring Kylo Ren to him so that he can finish his training, and we learn that Hux has taken off from Starkiller Base before the explosive stuff goes down. But what about Kylo Ren? Last we saw he was seriously injured and left bleeding in the snow as the weapon began to activate.

    We can only assume that Hux took off early to retrieve Kylo. After all, it seems like Kylo Ren will be the Darth Vader of this sequel trilogy, so I expect we haven't seen the last of him. Also, the official novelization, which is also considered canon, says that Hux picks up Kylo with some troopers and they were able to escape Starkiller base before it blows up.

    Constable Zuvio

    Who and Where Are Sarco Plank and Constable Zuvio?

    Two characters prominently featured in the merchandising don't make an appearance in the film. What happened to Sarco Plank and Constable Zuvio? What were their roles in the film going to be? Why did they get toys, books, and official photos (see above) if they weren't going to end up in the final film? Click on the above two links to find out about those two characters.

    rey and bb8

    How Is It That Rey Understands BB-8 and Chewbacca's Languages?

    You might have wondered how it was that Rey was able to understand both BB-8 and Chewbacca's native languages. The below screenshot from the Star Wars book Rey's Survival Guide gives us the answer.


    Any More Questions?

    Are there any unanswered questions we may have missed? Is there any information or evidence we didn't present? What are your thoughts on our theories? Is Rey a Skywalker, a Kenobi, or neither? Let us know in the comments below!

    If you enjoyed this feature on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, you may want to check out some of the following articles:

  • The Ultimate Guide To Star Wars: The Force Awakens Easter Eggs
  • We Have the Answers To 26 Unanswered Questions of Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • How Force Awakens Changed During Development: Jedi Killers, Force Ghosts and The Doom Star
  • 10 Insights From the Star Wars: The Force Awakens Novelization Not in the Movie
  • Star Wars Episode 8 Theories: Who Is Rey's Father?
  • Who Is Constable Zuvio and Sarco Plank and where were they in Star Wars: The Force Awakens?