Force Awakens Theories: Darth Vader's Helmet, Snoke's Identity, Rey's Rogue One Backstory And More

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:kylo ren and vader's helmet

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.


How Rogue One Might Connect To Force Awakens

Drem86 theorizes as to how Star Wars: The Force Awakens could connect with the upcoming A Star Wars Story stand alone movie  Star Wars: Rogue One. In my Force Awakens easter eggs roundup, I mentioned Rey's salvaged Rebel X-wing pilot flight helmet, which according to the Visual Dictionary, once belonged to Captain Dosmit Raeh of the Trierfon Yellow Aces. Dream has a theory on how this helmet might not only connect the two films but also maybe provide clues to Rey's heritage:

Also confirmed, Dosmit is female. 2)Luke spent time in the Rogue Squadron, and there was a Battle of Jakku, which marks a good meeting place for two X-wing pilots about to embark on a torrid romance. 3) It would make sense that Mads Mikkelson would play an early verison of Lor San Tekka ( whether he goes by a different name in Rogue One, and Tekka is a name derived from the Church of the Force he oversees is yet to be known). Mikkelson is from Denmark and Sydow from Sweden, which is not far off. 4)If Felicity Jones has her British accent in trailers, we will have an answer for Rey's. It is possible Dosmit raised Rey away from Luke on Jakku as a way to protect her from the Force, which frightens her. 5) The decision to make Rogue One before fan favorite ideas like a Boba Fett or Han Solo prequel with guaranteed appeal. Based off most theories, Episode VIII will have to be a movie filled with flashbacks describing generations of kenobi/skywalker and sith lineages along with force mind wipes and ass hole parents abandoning their child. 6)This would also give some more insight into why Lor San Tekka and the map are one Jakku. Tekka could have traveled to Jakku looking for a possession he knew Dosmit to once have. You can't deny the Felicity Jones/Daisy Ridley resemblance.

I have been saying for a long time that we'll probably see Max Von Sydow's character Lor San Tekka as a younger man in Rogue One, so this much I agree with. Rogue One director Gareth Edwards has said the film will not have feature any Jedi, the first for a Star Wars film. So I think this rules out the us seeing a Luke / Dosmit romance in Rogue One, but it doesn't rule out the possibility that Rey might be the daughter of a character in Rogue One, or that we might get more clues about her backstory via Lor San Tekka's appearance.

Snoke / Darth Vader Comparison

Snoke / Darth Vader Comparison

Seventhonmars shares the above comparison photo that shows Supreme Leader Snoke side by side with an old Darth Vader from Return of the Jedi. While the comparison is not a theory of any kind, and I don't think Snoke is somehow Anakin Skywalker, I thought the image was still worth sharing.Yuuzhan Vong

Snoke Is A Yuuzhan Vong

ModernMrDarcy on Reddit theorizes that Supreme Leader Snoke is not Darth Plagueis, but a Yuuzhan Vong. The Yuuzhan Vong are described as "tall, muscular, and humanlike, but his face and body were horribly scarred and disfigured. He had no hair, and his nose was practically missing" with grey skin tony, which certainly sounds like an apt description.

The other strong point is that the leader of the Yuuzhan Vong is called the Supreme Overlord, or alternately, the Supreme One. Both Hux and (I think) Kylo are eager to refer to Snoke as 'Supreme Leader Snoke' which fits nicely with the semantics of the Yuuzhan Vong's strictly regimented caste system. There are a host of other, less convincing points that I want to address, the first being that the Yuuzhan Vong use almost exclusively organic technology. One of my favorite fan theories refers to the fact that the Yuuzhan Vong are capable of turning planets into organic instruments of war. While the old canon (now de-canonized) only had these planets churning out troops, it doesn't seem far-fetched to me to wonder if the Starkiller base could have been helped along with some Yuuzhan Vong technology. Think about the differences between Starkiller and the Death Star. Starkiller represents a modification of an existing planet, a marriage of Yuuzhan Vong and old imperial technology. The other notable point about their organic technology is that it is oftentimes better than the mechanical version. I noticed that the hologram that Snoke uses to communicate a) only works in that weird water-chamber (possible because they had to grow technology in order to communicate with him?) and b) is a lot clearer than the holograms that BB-8 was using. Possibly this is because the rebels had a terrible time of getting solid hologram tech, but similarly possibly it's because they were using different technologies.

The big problem with this theory is that Yuuzhan Vong were from the expanded universe and are no longer considered canon. That said, a bunch of stuff from the expanded universe (i.e. "Legends") has already been reinstated through mentions in the canonized books. Its not that people, places and things from the Legends books didn't happen, they just did or didn't happen until something is provided in canon to confirm or refute it.

The theory could explain how Luke didn't sense the presence of another Sith Lord in the galaxy corrupting one of his trainees as "the Yuuzhan Vong are unaffected by normal force sensation and also most force attacks." Of course, I'm of the mind that JJ Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan and Kathleen Kennedy did not do a deep dive into the Star Wars expanded universe when developing the big bad for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But who knows, anything is certainly possible.


Why Snoke Is A New Character

Meanwhile, ServeGondor has some more evidence on why Supreme Leader Snoke is not Darth Plagueis, and is instead likely a new character (with inspirations taken from other, old Extended Universe characters: Abeloth and Son). First of all, Snoke disavows attachments and emotion while Darth Plagueis has described like many Sith:

He is passionate, uses and embraces his emotions, and seeks to manipulate the force to serve his personal, selfish needs. This can be seen in the famous quote Sidious tells to Anakin in RotS: "He could even keep the ones he cared about from dying" Furthermore, here is a quote from the no longer canon James Luceno book "Darth Plagueis", a quote from Plagueis himself I believe. Now while this is no longer canon, I felt it important to present here: "Remember why the Sith are more powerful than the Jedi, Sidious: because we are not afraid to feel. We embrace the spectrum of emotions, from the heights of transcendent joy to the depths of hatred and despair. Fearless, we welcome whatever paths the dark side sets us on, and whatever destiny it lays out for us." However Snoke's actions and words in TFA completely contradict everything we know about Plagueis. We know that Snoke, from the novelisation, spoke negatively about the emotions of the Sith and how they were so reliant on as Kylo Ren called it, "sentiment": "Had Lord Vader not succumbed to emotion at the crucial moment ... the Empire would have prevailed."

From this complete 180 from the character of Plagueis I no longer believe Snoke is Sidious' old master. True, after being betrayed and struck down by his apprentice and seeing the fall of the Sith-led Empire he could change his views on the Force, but why bother making him Plagueis if his most notable and recognisable attributes have been removed from his character.

And secondly, the way Supreme Leader Snoke speaks of the Force is not in like the Sith teachings:

As we have seen earlier, Snoke casts away the need for sentiment and emotion, yet is still certainly a dark-side user. What this shows us is Snoke is a new character completely unlike anything seen in the films before... but not necessarily unlike characters seen in the old EU. In particular I think Snoke is inspired, but not the same character as, Abeloth and Son. Without a shadow of a doubt Snoke is a dark-side user, but he has some traits of Jedi, well one trait. That being that he sees emotions as weakening for users of the Force. Because of this we can see that Snoke does not adhere to either main authorities on Force teachings in the Sith and Jedi. Rather he is a new being, strong in the Force, immensely old, perhaps even "ancient" similar to the rumoured title for VII before they settled on TFA, that being "The Ancient Fear". He embraces both sides of the Force, as seen through his courting of Kylo Ren as his apprentice, as Ren supposedly represents both the light and the dark (I think this line is also from the novelisation).

I do like the idea that Snoke is not a Sith, and even JJ Abrams has said that Kylo Ren is not a Sith, so it might make sense that his mater isn't one either. ServeGondor goes on to explain how Expanded Universe characters like Abeloth and Son may have been inspirations for Snoke and also that Kylo Ren built his red lightsaber as a result of his obsession with his grandfather, Darth Vader.

Deciphering Kylo Ren's Name

Patrick Haney believes that Kylo Ren's name is a vigenere cipher. In the video above, Haney explains how using "Skywalker" as the key word, a message is revealed: "Sons."Also he mentions that Kylo Ren's first name "Ben" is also hebrew for "Son."

Of course, we know that JJ Abrams loves mysteries and has been known to include coded messages in past works, but I'm not sure this is a coded message of this sort. I have theorized for some time that Kylo is actually a combination of his heritage given names, sKYwalker and soLO, which seems more obvious and more within the realm of the Star Wars saga.


Ra, the Sun God in Egypt

Speaking of names, kmbgonzo has a theory that Rey might be named and inspired by Ra, the Sun God in Egypt. I had always assumed that Rey's name was more literal, she is a "ray of light" coming the dark galaxy. But kmbgonzo theorizes that their could be similarities between the Force Awakens protagonist and Ra the Sun God in ancient egypt.

Ra carries a does Rey Ra has a head of a Falcon...Rey is the new "head" of the Millennium Falcon. Also, in ancient Egypt the Eyes are very important and we know that in TFA eyes player a important part via Maz.

star_wars_speculator on Reddit added the following:

Ra, as the sun god, travels across the sky during the day and then through the underworld at night. Every sunrise he is "reborn" and brings new life and order to the world. What I find interesting in Episode VII is that the moment the Force really "clicks" with Rey is during her battle with Kylo Ren, which happens to be in darkness (since the Starkiller base had just finished powering up). So maybe Rey realizing her powers could be a symbolic "sunrise" or "rebirth" in this case. (Assuming Rey and Luke are related...) In a more big-picture sense you could argue that "Skywalker" could mean "sun" since the sun does, in a sense, walk through the sky. Interesting to note that "Luke" (the name) can be interpreted to mean "light", and while "Rey" generally means "king", you could also think of "Ray" as in "a beam of light".

I'm not sure there is much to this comparison, but its interesting to consider.

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
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens Deleted Scenes: 20 Scenes Cut From The Final Film
  • 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?
  • More Force Awakens Theories: Snoke's Identity, Arthurian Legend, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Rey's Name, George Lucas and More
  • Who Is Constable Zuvio and Sarco Plank and where were they in Star Wars: The Force Awakens?
  • Why Supreme Leader Snoke (probably) is not Darth Plagueis