We're in the midst of a Star Wars renaissance, people. While the release of Episode IX is still over a year away, fans have already looked to the future of the Skywalker saga and come up with some eagle-eyed theories. We have all the time in the world to figure out what's next, so until then, here are some of the most mind-boggling theories!
1. The Millennium Falcon Will Be Destroyed
The Millennium Falcon will take one final, rattling breath like the "piece of junk" it is and be lost for good in the struggle against the First Order. The reasoning behind this theory has to do with emotional toll rather than anything truly relevant. This new trilogy has been slowly eroding the relics of the past, doing away with Han, Luke, and possibly Leia as well as a myriad of fan expectations and tropes.
With the exception of R2-D2 and C-3PO, the only characters to appear in every single main franchise film, the Falcon is the last bastion of nostalgia we have for the original films. So let's kill it. But then again, Rey seems quite attached to the ship and its connection to her only real father figure, and if anyone can fix that thing up, it's her.
2. There Will Be a Time Jump
The film will be set after a time skip of at least a year, if not several, from the end of The Last Jedi. This is for logistical reasons as much as it's about impact. After all, Carrie Fisher drowned in moonlight after a tussle with her own bra back in 2016, leaving the film saga without one of its most important characters.
Rian Johnson chose not to edit the final cut of his film to reflect her death, which leaves us with the big question: how does J.J. Abrams explain the absence of an otherwise alive and kicking Leia in Episode IX? A time jump would give him the ability to give a brief offscreen death explanation. It would also give Rey, who had only just begun to study the Force and managed to make off with the sacred Jedi texts at the end of the film, time to actually hone her abilities for the final confrontation with Ren and the First Order.
This wouldn't be the first time jump in the saga. Attack of the Clones takes place a decade after The Phantom Menace and Revenge of the Sith begins three years after that.
3. We'll Get the Truth About Rey's Parents
The topic of Rey's parents was probably the most hotly debated item coming out of The Force Awakens. Fans defended their theories on this like a religious text with several camps forming, the most popular of which said that Rey would be the child of Luke and some unnamed woman.
Kylo Ren seems to crush that dream when he tells Rey he saw a vision of her parents, nameless drunks who traded her for more drinking money. But fans didn't immediately jump on board, claiming that Ren's version of this story greatly served his own purposes and neither Rey nor the audience got to see his revelatory vision.
Furthermore, we find out minutes later that Snoke has been manipulating them both, so the possibility that he's faking this little vision is high.
Things also took a turn when the novelisation of The Last Jedi hit the internet, revealing that Luke once had a wife. It turns out this was a vision of a version of Luke's life where he never came into contact with R2 and C-3PO. Fun fact for the casual fan: the wife in this dream sequence, Camie, is actually a character who appears in a deleted scene from A New Hope as a teenage sweetheart of Luke's and has only lived on in canon novels.
4. Snoke Will Return
It seems no one can truly get past how jarring Snoke's sudden and unsatisfying death is in The Last Jedi. This has lead many fans to speculate that he'll come back in some way that includes things as far fetched as him possessing General Hux. It's not entirely unheard of. In the original Star Wars Extended Universe (now known as Legends), the Emperor hangs around to cause havoc in the form of a clone. But that's also no longer canon. It seems most fans are more interested in Rian Johnson's own Star Wars trilogy, granted to him by Disney after his success here, which they believe might be a Snoke-centred subseries of the franchise.
5. Phasma Is Still Alive
She's probably one of the most popular characters to come out of the new trilogy, and her minuscule amount of screen time in The Last Jedi concludes in a quick and apparent death abroad the Supremacy. That kind of irritated people. We watch her fall, but we don't see her die on screen. There's plenty of wiggle room to convince me that she's still around and ready to serve, especially since Disney just recently published a Phasma novel, giving her years of character backstory that seemed to be leading to something big.
There are dozens of other theories out there, but beware the rabbit hole!