Star Wars: The Force Awakens - All the questions Star Wars 8 needs to answer

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

So, we've all seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens by now, yes? We've lived the hype, felt the awakening; now we just can't stop talking about the darned thing. CAUTION: major spoilers ahead for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. You've been warned!

What's refreshingly intriguing about J.J. Abrams' contribution to the Star Wars universe is how close to the chest it plays so many of its narrative cards. Days have passed since this film was released in the cinema, yet those who even saw it on opening night are still filled with questions and queries on this return to a galaxy far, far away. Sure, there are a few leaps in logic that perhaps stretch any audience's suspension of disbelief, but largely these questions are the excitable result of a film not leading you through each plot point like a toddler taking its first steps. We know so little about Finn, Rey, and Poe because we've just met them, they're still a mystery to unravel over the next instalments of the trilogy. It's an enticing concept which has left audiences chewing at the bit for the release of 2017's Star Wars: Episode VIII. Because there are some serious questions we need answering, pronto. Who are Rey's parents?

We end The Force Awakens with Rey locking eyes with none other than Luke Skywalker. Is this the first time they've met? Does their connection run deeper than Jedi teachings; as deep as bloodlines and parental ties? She's powerful, for certain; suggestive of a future in which she may play a potentially vital role in restoring balance to the Force. However, her ability to almost instantly master her powers would suggest some previous training; of memories once suppressed, now brought to the surface when the quiet of her mind is disturbed by Kylo Ren's force torture methods. Something becomes unlocked, and Ren's desperate plea for him to train Rey suggests her abilities are worthy both of his fear and of his awe.Indeed, Rey's visions upon touching Luke's lightsaber see both Kylo Ren's destruction of Luke's Jedi Academy, and her own abandonment on Jakku. Surely these two things are connected, and it's entirely logical to conclude that Rey was once trained by Luke as a young girl, hidden on Jakku to possibly protect her from Ren's wrath. Also, let's consider the fact R2-D2 springs back to life as she touches down on Resistance ground after the destruction of the Starkiller base; is this really a coincidental moment? J.J. Abrams told /Film that R2-D2's rousing from his low power mode was down simply to BB-8 asking if he had the other piece of the map, yet Rey's return as a powerful force-wielder seems incredibly well-timed. It's wild conjecture, but did Luke only allow himself to be found in the knowledge that the key to bringing balance to the Force had unveiled herself? We know Jedis are adept at sensing disturbances and changes in the Force, so it seems incredibly unlikely Rey will have to make introductions to Luke at the start of Episode VIII.

Where does this power come from? Is she a Skywalker? Her connections to Luke's lightsaber, triggering visions and springing to her hand in the forest fight would suggest she's Luke's daughter. And Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy has said this new trilogy will be the story of the Skywalkers.Yet, that could also potentially make her Han and Leia's daughter. It does seem significant that, upon Rey's return, Leia walks right past Chewbacca to hug a girl she's supposedly never met before, with Chewie having just lost his best bud in the world. Did Leia sense something about Rey? Has she realised her true identity?That would assume Han, Leia, and Kylo Ren were convinced she had been killed; none of these characters appear to either recognise her or acknowledge the existence of a deceased child. But, consider this: would Han and Leia have any hope of redeeming the soul of Ben Solo if they believed he had been responsible for his own sister's death? An entirely separate theory circulating states Rey is actually of the Kenobi clan, specifically Obi-Wan's granddaughter; springing up from the revelation that Ewan McGregor recorded a line for Rey's vision, combined with an audio snippet of Alec Guinness' Kenobi to form, "Rey … these are your first steps." For that to work out, we'd have to learn of some secret family fathered by Kenobi in-between the prequels and the original trilogy; unfortunately, it doesn't exactly sit that well with monastic, Jedi lifestyle Kenobi seems so to have followed so strictly through his lifetime. Will Finn also become a Jedi?

Fans have been speculating a possible future for Finn training under Luke to become a Jedi. Yet, the only real evidence for such is his supposed ability with a lightsaber; which, really, isn't much of an ability considering he's KO'ed pretty quickly by a severely impaired Kylo Ren. Furthermore, Finn's a trained Stormtrooper; he could logically be quite adept with hand-to-hand combat since we see Stormtroopers using a Z6 Riot Control Baton. That said, there's one major query here. How was Finn able to resist a lifetime of indoctrination and desert the First Order? Sure, with the amount of kidnapping and brainwashing the Order were committing, someone was bound to slip through the net. Yet, we're dealing with the Star Wars universe here. Nothing is ever a coincidence. Does Finn have some sensitivity to the Force then? Or did something go wrong during his training? Considering there's so much mystery in both Rey, Ren, and Finn's origins, it seems fairly likely future episodes will be dealing with more significant flashbacks than Rey's brief vision. Now, legions of fans have been complaining that the overtly hyped Captain Phasma barely had a look in on The Force Awakens. Thankfully, Kathleen Kennedy has insisted that Phasma will have a major part to play in future instalments. Could she possibly form an integral part of Finn's backstory and the events which led him to desert her squad? Or did she actually survive the destruction of the Starkiller base by grabbing a spot on whatever space shuttle Kylo Ren and Hux presumably escaped on? Who is Lor San Tekka?There was a fair amount of fuss made over the venerable Max Von Sydow popping up on the cast list, but then why is his appearance as Lor San Tekka so truncated? The official website for the film seems to paint him as an old ally of Luke and Leia's, a scout and collector of Jedi lore; someone who retired to Jakku to live in peace. The very same Jakku Rey happens to have been abandoned on? Likely story...Considering Von Sydow's star power, it's not unlikely to assume Tekka will have had something to do with the Rey's abandonment and the bust-up between Kylo Ren and Luke; although considering his unfortunate offing at hands of Ren, that'll be another thing we'd have to deal with in flashback. After all, his first line (which coincidentally begins the movie) states, "This will begin to make things right." Plus, Kylo Ren recognises him and comments on how he's aged since their last meeting. If Rey was indeed part of the Jedi camp and was hidden on Jakku for safety, was Lor San Tekka entrusted to act as a kind of guardian angel for the girl?How did Poe Dameron escape Jakku?

OK, the only answer for this might just be because he's really, really cool. Let's allow the inevitable novelisation/comic spin-off explain that one.Who is Supreme Leader Snoke?

We can immediately rule out that this guy's actually a giant, right? Considering the pull-back-and-reveal that his throned figure was just a hologram, you can pretty much guarantee he's a fairly small dude and merely masking himself in an illusion similar to Kylo Ren hiding his L'Oréal-worthy locks underneath a Darth Vader rip-off helmet. The only real clue to Snoke's actual identity might lie in the scar striking across his left cheek, which looks an awful lot like it was lightsaber-inflicted. That would presume an encounter with a Jedi at some point in his lifetime, with the obvious candidate being Luke. That said, Collider mentions the novelisation gives Snoke the line, "I watched the Galatic Empire rise and fall"; indicating he may actually be some sort of ancient being. Fans seem pretty convinced that means he's Darth Plagueis, a character mentioned in Episode III: Revenge of the Sith as, "a Dark Lord of the Sith so powerful and so wise, he could use the force to influence the midichlorians to create life."Really, though, will this new trilogy bring midichlorians back into the picture? And, most pressingly, wasn't Darth Plagueis supposedly killed by his apprentice Darth Sidious/Emperor Palpatine? The real issue here is that there doesn't seem to exist any convincing figures from the past for Snoke to take the identity of considering all our major, past villains are thoroughly dead by this point. So, perhaps it's more likely Snoke has had a hand in past events, but may be a character who has so far remained in the shadows. Well, that's if you discount this 100% convincing theory that Jar Jar Binks is secretly an ultra-powerful Sith Lord controlling many of the events of the prequels. How did Maz Kanata get hold of Luke’s lightsaber?

There are a couple of pretty mundane answers that spring to mind for this: Maz Kanata could either have just been a trusted buddy/Yoda replacement for Luke, or she just came across it in her travels. Or maybe that room was just a lost property section for her palace? What makes this question of particular intrigue for fans is the fact that there's a clearly missing scene inserted into the trailers and TV spots, in which we see Maz Kanata hand over Luke's lightsaber to General Leia. This never happens in the final cut. Why so? Wouldn't this scene have naturally hinted at where Maz could have obtained such a prized item?According to J.J. Abrams, it appears scenes were indeed filmed in which Maz travelled to the Resistance base, "But we realized that she really had nothing to do there of value, except to have her sitting around… Lupita did film scenes on set for that sequence, but it felt like going right just to go left, and it was unnecessary. So we ended up leaving those things out.”According to /Film, a pivotal opening shot also got cut; the film was originally meant to open with the lightsaber tumbling to Earth (presumably from Cloud City after Luke gets his hand severed off in Empire Strikes Back); with it eventually making its way to Maz's fortress as an artefact of some sort. Hopefully, Abrams will release these deleted scenes so we can solve this little mystery. Who are the Knights of Ren?

Cast and crew have been fairly tight-lipped on the identity of this sinister collective; the most that appears to have slipped out is Adam Driver (who plays Kylo Ren) mentioning to the LA Times, "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."What is unclear is whether Kylo is all that remains of the Knights of Ren. /Film points out that Finn refers to him solely as "Ren", suggesting he's indeed the only one left, yet Snoke refers to him as the master of the Knights. It's certainly a little odd that neither of them makes reference to any surviving members; though, considering Ren is the only Knight seen wielding a lightsaber, it may be the rest of the group lack any sort of Force sensitivity. Would they actually be any threat to our heroes? Or were they merely a crutch for Ren's own ego?