I’ve been covering entertainment news for several years now, and the sheer amount of rumors/reports surrounding The Force Awakens were unlike anything I’ve seen before. Part of this is due to the fact that it’s so highly anticipated (many never thought we’d see a Star Wars movie on the big screen again), as well as the very secretive nature of the production and story.
As such, there were simply TOO many rumors to list them all here and break them down. I’ve omitted the more obvious stinkers (the tabloid ones that people could see through immediately) and tried to veer away from ones that were disproved or confirmed in the course of the film’s marketing. Instead, I’ve collected a handful of the more prominent/interesting rumors to come out of the film’s production and compare them to the reality of the movie.
It should go without saying, that if you haven’t seen the film yet (why not?!) then there are tons of SPOILERS below.
Kylo Ren and Rey are Related to…?
The Rumors: Since before casting was even announced, fans speculated on how the newcomers would be related to the original characters in the film. It only continued after the cast was revealed and when their names dropped. The rumors have run the gamut from Kylo and Rey being Solo twins (like in the original books), one belonging to Luke Skywalker (or both), and them being related to NO ONE from the original cast.
True(ish): Depending on the places you read, or rumors you chose to believe, at least one of these is true, though it’s funny to see how some theories went way off the deep end with it. Kylo is indeed Han and Leia’s child who fell to the dark side, but Rey’s parentage isn’t fully explored in this film. There are HINTS that she could be Skywalker’s daughter, but she’s certainly not Han’s offspring, and likely won’t be resolved until later in the trilogy.
Finn is Lando’s Son, No Wait, he’s HAN SOLO’s Son…Actually, he’s a Number?
The Rumors: Because some believe that all black people in the galaxy far, far away have to be related, the minute John Boyega was cast in The Force Awakens, many assumed he was playing Lando Calrissian’s son. When the canonical Star Wars comics revealed Han was once married to a black bounty hunter, people started assuming Finn was a Solo. THEN a silly Amazon listing (from a random seller) posted a Jigsaw puzzle saying Finn was a Calrissian…It’s gone back and forth.
False: We here at Cinelinx, actually exclusively revealed Finn’s history and origins back in October, but it’s always nice to have the film (and the Young Adult book that hit the same day) confirm it. So yes, you heard his correct backstory here from us!
Han and Chewie Traded the Falcon for a Star Destroyer
The Rumor: This came out pretty early in development, while the movie was still filming. According to Birth Movies Death (back when it was known as Badass Digest) Han and Chewie were no longer in charge of the Millenium Falcon (which is true initially), and were piloting a Super Star Destroyer instead.
False…Mostly: We know now, that Han and Chewie haven’t been helming the Falcon for a number of years, and were actually doing their best to try and find it (when Finn and Rey brought it right to them). Instead the smuggling duo have been in charge of a much larger vessel, but no where close to a Super Star Destroyer. Just a regular old freighter they’ve been using to make some money on after leaving the Resistance, before they’re thrust back into galactic events.
Hand In Space
The Rumor: Back in July of last year, shortly after filming started, bigger reports about the film’s story were starting to come in, as the script was done and filming underway. The report came from Badass Digest (BMD) and claimed that the start of the new film would be a bit grimmer than the others. As the opening crawl faded away, a hand clutching a Lightsaber would be seen floating through space. The hand and saber would be those that Luke lost in Empire Strikes Back, and it’s discovery would set in motion the adventure to come.
False: While the “hands in space” thing became something of a joke/meme with people online, the original report was fairly accurate in a few ways. It claimed Luke would be missing, and that the plot was specifically designed to mimic A New Hope‘s, right down to a solar system destroying superweapon. So they got quite a few things right, but the SPECIFIC floating hand rumor wasn’t to be.
In fact, Luke’s Lightsaber doesn’t even come into the story until about halfway through, and is the property of Maz Kanata, though she doesn’t explain how she came to possess it. The Lightsaber isn’t what gets the story moving, but rather a map to finding Luke Skywalker, who forms the ultimate MacGuffin of the story. Speaking of which…
Luke’s Jedi Order and Exile
The Rumor: One of the earliest reports about the plot for The Force Awakens claimed the Luke was in exile or missing for several years, and would serve as a MacGuffin of sorts for the new characters to track down for some reason. Over the last couple years, this rumor has evolved to the point where we were getting rumors about WHY he was in exile. Several reasons popped up, from him going insane after the events of Return of the Jedi, to him protecting an ancient temple from dark side forces (in which he still goes insane from listening to dead Sith lords).
One of the more popular theories to gain traction in the last year, however, is that Luke actually started a Jedi Academy (as he did in the old EU stories), but it was destroyed by evil forces. The loss of all his students drove him into exile where he’s remained for all these years.
True (The Last Part): While the ‘insane’ theories were among the first, and lasted the longest, they ultimately weren’t true. The final rumor to present itself, about the academy and such, turned out to be the accurate one. To be honest, I’m not entirely clear where this one originated. I’ve tried to track it down to the original report, but it seems lost amongst all the others.
Anyway, we know now, that Luke had indeed started a Jedi Academy where Kylo Ren (he was Ben Solo then) was training before he turned to the dark side and killed everyone else. After his apparent failure and the loss of his nephew to the dark side, Luke went into hiding.
Luke’s Turned to the Dark Side
The Rumor(s): Being the primary character in the Original Trilogy, it’s understandable that Luke was the source of so many rumors. People have been waiting decades to know what happened to our hero (canonically) after Return of the Jedi. Plenty of things were floating around, from him being in exile and going crazy (as mentioned above), to one of the biggest theories, about him turning to the dark side, and becoming this trilogy’s main villain.
Hell, despite having seen images of Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren unmasked, many fans continued to believe that Luke was actually the man behind the mask, offering up ‘proof’ in compared footage. Since Luke’s role in the new film was kept so secretive (his absence from all marketing has only fueled the rumors), this only encouraged the evil Luke rumors to prosper.
False: While Luke is still fighting the good fight, there’s actually a really good reason (initially anyway) for this rumor’s origins. It all stems from some of the film’s concept art, in which the artists used models of known/existing characters and actors to fill in their scenes. This meant Luke was inserted into scenes in the film for size comparison within concept art, that never actually happened.
Thus, he popped up in some artwork (so did Vader for that matter) early on that made it seem as though he WERE a villain in the new film. Ultimately, this report boiled down to misinterpreting accurate information and many sites corrected themselves later on when the truth was learned. It’s continued reporting, however, seems to have no real basis.
Max Von Sydow is a Character from the Prequels or Boba Fett
The Rumor: While everyone else who was initially included in the Star Wars cast image/list when production started got sneak peek images and name announcements, Max Von Sydow’s character remained entirely untouched. This spawned a number of discussions about how important his character must be since he was shrouded in mystery.
Reports were initially scarce concerning his role in the film, but a couple notable ones did come out. The big one came from MoviePilot (though it’s since been removed) in which they claimed Sydow was playing none other than Boba Fett. According to this report, he’d be covered in cybernetic enhancements, the result of his wounds from escaping the Sarlacc in ROTJ, and his ‘reveal’ would be a major part of the third act.
Another claim from 4Chan (reliable people there, I know) reported that Sydow was portraying a character from the Prequels, though it’s never specified who it could be. These two theories worked together, and soon many people were convinced of their accuracy.
False: It’s not true folks. Back in September, our buds at Making Star Wars revealed that Sydow’s character was named Lor San Tekka, a desert dweller on Jakku who’s in charge of a village there. Officially (thanks to the movie and release visual dictionary) Tekka is a former leader of a Jedi “church” that’s been around for a long time, and he has knowledge of Luke’s whereabouts. This is why Poe is sent to get information from him before the First Order attacks them. So no BIG reveal, nor is he (as far as we know) connected to the prequels. Perhaps a future book will put his story into more perspective down the road.
Inquisitors and Flashbacks
The Rumor: In the early days of production, plenty of rumors were floating around about who the villain(s) of the film would be. We heard reports about Sith Witches, Mandalorians, and Jedi Hunters (though technically the Knights of Ren could be considered as such). One of the bigger rumors came from Latino-Review, who claimed that the Inquisitors, introduced in Star Wars Rebels, would be the main villains in the movie.
But there’s more! Supposedly, they would feature in a flashback, in which they are shown to capture Luke Skywalker shortly after the events of Return of the Jedi, so new actors would be brought in to portray younger versions of Luke and Leia. This isn’t the only flashback rumor, either, and we heard about more of them happening even well beyond the end of production (including that Darth Vader might be present in one as well). These flashbacks would help explain some of the events that happened in the large gap between films.
False and False: While the Inquisitors are cool and give Star Wars Rebels some interesting villains, what happens to them after the Empire falls has yet to be explored. Some still feel they’re connected to the Knights of Ren, but The Force Awakens doesn’t acknowledge any of their backstory and we’re not likely to find out until later. There are no Inquisitors that pop up in the film, and no big flashbacks featuring younger versions of the OT characters.
While there is a brief “Forceback” when Rey first comes into contact with the Lightsaber, it’s disjointed and isn’t structured like a traditional scene. There are no Inquisitors abducting Luke, and the majority of the scene was connected to Rey and her own heritage, though nothing is made explicitly clear. Technically speaking, I guess you could say there is a flashback, but it’s not nearly as detailed as originally reported.
This isn’t really their fault, however, as this rumor likely sprang up from sources seeing concept art for the various Knights of Ren, and misinterpreting them as Inquisitors. There was a ton of concept art floating around LFL depicting various scenes with younger versions of characters, so it’s easy to see why some would take this
For all the rumors and questions The Force Awakens was able to put to rest, the film far from answers everything. There are plenty of unanswered questions, which will inevitably bring about more and more rumors until the trilogy concludes. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as some of these rumors were fun to speculate on, and certainly help pass the time as we wait for official information.
Which of these were your ‘favorite’ rumors to speculate on as we waited for the film to release? Which false ones were you convinced of back when they were first reported? Be sure to tell us in the comments below!