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Wednesday 21 February 2018

Star Wars: The Force Awakens: 8 big questions fans can't wait to have answered

Film character BB-8 arrives at the world premiere of
Film character BB-8 arrives at the world premiere of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" at the TCL Chinese Theatre on Monday, Dec. 14, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Rebecca Hawkes

Speculation and rumour surround The Force Awakens. We've compiled a list of some of the biggest, burn-iest questions sizzling away in our brains.

Obviously, we've not yet seen the film, so there aren't any definite spoilers in this. We have, however, included some of the latest fan theories, so if you prefer to know nothing at all about a movie before watching it, this might not be the Star Wars article you're looking for.

1. Where's Luke?

The trailers so far have given us plenty of Harrison Ford's Han Solo and a few glimpses of Carrie Fisher's General Leia - but, brief shot of a hand aside, Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker has been glaringly absent. The juiciest internet theory around is that he's abandoned his Jedi goodness ("hello Dark Side my old friend") and gone Sith. Another suggests he's exiled himself, unable to manage his powers. Either way, we can't wait to see what Luke's been up to in the 30 or so years that have passed since the events of Return of the Jedi.

Actor Mark Hamill arrives at the premiere of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" in Hollywood, California December 14, 2015. REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian

2. Who's going to be the new Jedi?

Runaway stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega) has been seen brandishing a lightsaber in some trailers, suggesting he could be a Force Sensitive who goes on to develop Jedi powers. But some fans suspect this may be a red herring, and that Daisy Ridley's Rey, the film's protagonist, is the real Jedi-in-waiting.

Stars in the ascendancy: Daisy Ridley, Lupita Nyong'o and John Boyega

3. Will Yoda get a mention (from Maz)? Or even a cameo?

we haven't seen or heard much about Lupita Nyong'o's character, a 1,000-year-old alien space pirate named Maz Kanata.

But at a recent press conference, JJ Abrams teased his audience by revealing a significant fact from the character's past - Maz, it transpires, has "crossed paths" with Yoda.

Will Yoda get a mention from Maz in the new film? A scurrilous anecdote about his younger days, perhaps? Or could he even turn up as a Force Ghost?

The Jedi Master Yoda, introduced 'The Empire Strikes Back,' continued Luke Skywalker's training.

4. Is a major character going to die?

Last summer, a particularly upsetting Star Wars rumour suggested a key character would be meeting his/her end in The Force Awakens. We're praying it's not true.

5. How is everyone related?

While scavenger Rey has been described in cast interviews as an orphan, very few Star Wars fans are convinced by this (Luke Skywalker spent years believing his father was dead, and look how that turned out). Popular theories have suggested Rey definitely has Skywalker blood, and is either the daughter of Han Solo and Leia, or the daughter of Luke.

Many fans also suspect the film's main villain, Adam Driver's Kylo Ren, could be Rey's brother.

Path to the dark side: Kylo Ren and stormtroopers in The Force Awakens.

6. Just how important is BB-8?

When the super-cute orange-and-white rollerball droid BB-8 appeared in the very first Force Awakens trailer, the predominant reaction from Star War fans was a sort of collective "aaw", mingled with some over-excited squeaking. We depleted our bank accounts and snapped up the miniature Sphero replica as soon as it hit the market, and celebrated when we learnt that the adorable astromech was striking a blow for equal robot representation by apparently being female.

US StarWars_20.jpg
Film character BB-8 arrives at the world premiere of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" at the TCL Chinese Theatre on Monday, Dec. 14, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Sources close to the film-makers have said the droid plays an "integral" part in the film and acts as a buddy to Rey. The key question is whether Rey and BB-8 meet by chance or whether the droid has been programmed to find and befriend the orphaned scavenger.

7. What is Snoke up to?

While we've been informed that Andy Serkis' Supreme Leader Snoke will be the key antagonist throughout the next three Star Wars films, we actually know very little about what the character will be doing in The Force Awakens. However, a new piece in People Magazine confirms that the First Order leader, who is over seven foot tall and "very, very thin", will appear in scenes with Kylo Ren.

8. Will there be Ewoks?

Sadly, almost certainly no. (There's also no Jar Jar Binks.) But until the film hits cinemas, those of us who still harbour a soft spot for the furry, stormtrooper-guzzling inhabitants of a certain forest moon can dream.

The furry Ewoks team up with the rebels against the empire.


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