May the 40th be with you! Today marks 40 years of the iconic Star Wars saga and to celebrate, we're uncorking some of the most controversial fan theories from across the galaxy. Warning: contains Jar Jar Binks...
Snoke is Darth Plagueis?
One of the big talking points of The Force Awakens was the identity of the imposing new villain, Snoke (Andy Serkis), as yet only seen as a towering hologram.
With little to no introduction, it was down to the Star Wars super-fans to start discussing and speculating about his true identity. One of the most popular theories was that Snoke was in fact Darth Plagueis, a character first discussed between Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) and Anakin (Hayden Christensen) in Revenge of the Sith.
Palpatine describes how Plagueis met an untimely end at the hands of his apprentice, which is later revealed to be Palpatine himself! However, with his ability to manipulate life and his power over those much-talked-about midichlorians, could in fact Plagueis have brought himself back to life and rebranded himself as Snoke?
It certainly seems plausible (check out the clues within John Williams' score), but the speculation doesn’t end there.
One of the most popular theories was that Snoke was in fact the reincarnated Darth Vader. There’s certainly some believable evidence to back this one up, with some noticeable similarities between their facial scarring. However, as the last we saw of Vader was ablaze on his funeral pyre, we’re not too convinced on this one!
Another discussion following The Force Awakens was that of heroine Rey’s (Daisy Ridley) parentage.
With theories ranging from Han and Leia, to Luke Skywalker, and even the ridiculous notion that she was hatched out of an egg, there seemed to be no end to the galactic gossip. With no clear definitive answer though, and the likelihood that we will get the answers in The Last Jedi, this one does seem to still be open to interpretation.
In The Force Awakens we hear the voice of old Ben Kenobi speaking directly to Rey. Further evidence is evidenced by the fact they wear similar clothing, Rey speaks in an English accent, as did Obi-Wan, and she seems adept at Jedi mind tricks, just like her (possible) Grandfather.
The Force is strong with... Han?
Everyone’s favourite smuggler and scoundrel was undoubtedly one of the galaxy’s greatest heroes, but could he in fact have been Force sensitive?
Despite initially mocking the concept of the Force, and those who believe in it, there’s a couple of key moments which suggest Han is perhaps more in tune with it than he realises. Flying head-first into an asteroid field and fighting off the bad-guys on Tatooine whilst basically blind could just be sheer luck, but does seem a little too fortuitous to just be chalked up as lucky.
By the time we reach The Force Awakens, Han has come round to the idea of the Force but there isn’t anything to suggest he is anywhere close to being a fully-fledged Jedi. Perhaps the potential was there in his younger years, but he left it too late to complete the training.
Qui-gone to the Dark Side?
The kindly Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) met his untimely end in the closing moments of The Phantom Menace, but perhaps he had already succeeded in his mission.
Bear with us on this one, but there are many who theorize that Qui-Gon was in fact a Sith Lord. Whilst he may outwardly seem good and concerned with bringing balance to the Force, he is also something of a rebel, denied a seat on the Jedi council, and frequently going against their instructions.
This is most evident in his feelings towards young Anakin (Jake Lloyd). Going against the better judgement of the council that Anakin is too young to be trained in the ways of the Jedi, perhaps it was Qui-Gon’s intention all along to train Anakin, knowing that his youthfulness might work against him.
Anakin's inexperience and naivety possibly made him an ideal candidate to be seduced by the Dark Side. Could this have been exactly what Qui-Gon wanted, to train Anakin in the Force knowing he would go over to the Dark Side and throw the Jedi into chaos? Mind, BLOWN.
Darth Jar Jar Binks??
The galaxy’s most annoying Gungan embodied much of what fans disliked about the prequel trilogy, but could this gabbling goof perhaps have been a Sith mastermind?
There are plenty of fans who are willing to embrace the insane theory that Jar Jar is the evil genius behind the entire saga. The buffoonery could perhaps have all been a facade as he secretly worked with with Senator Palpatine (who also lived on Naboo) to manipulate events and help the Sith's rise to power.
Perhaps he was a Sith spy who aligned himself with Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan but was sharing Jedi secrets with the Senator? As we’re unlikely to see Jar Jar again in a future Star Wars movie, we’ll just have to speculate on this one, but imagine if it was true? "Wesa" hope so!
Sarah Buddery is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.