The biggest mysteries surrounding Star Wars: The Last Jedi

In a digital age where spoilers spill out faster than you can say, "I haven't seen it yet!," it's understandable why television and film creators would want to keep things under wraps. That's especially true for the new canon of Star Wars flicks, which have garnered quite the reputation for secrecy. And the next Lucasfilm movie to roll out is no exception. You've all seen and speculated about the first look at Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and though it promises that the next installment will seriously melt your brain, you likely have more questions about the film now than ever before. (Hey, join the club.) From Luke's foreboding final line to unsettling uncertainties about characters' true intentions, here are the biggest mysteries surrounding The Last Jedi.

Rey's lineage

It's long been speculated that the seemingly Force-sensitive heroine is actually a Skywalker…or a Solo…or a Kenobi. In any case, fans are gung-ho in believing that Rey (Daisy Ridley) is the daughter of a legendary Star Wars figure, but confirmation still hasn't been given. At Star Wars Celebration 2017, Ridley did dish up a bit of information on Rey's background. Still slightly ambiguous in nature, her statements reveal that Episode VIII will center on Rey's origins more so than The Force Awakens did. "What I can say is, in The Last Jedi we go deeper into Rey's story," she said.

Could this mean finally figuring out who her biological parents are? A fan favorite father figure is Luke Skywalker, whom Ridley calls one of Rey's "heroes," but her interaction with him isn't what anyone would expect. Ridley revealed that "Rey has a certain expectation as to what she might be getting from Luke." She continued to say, "It's difficult when you meet your heroes. It's not always quite what you expect." This could indicate that Rey is hoping she's his daughter, and finds out she isn't, or vice versa. Contrarily, it could have nothing to do with familial ties and Ridley could just be hinting that Rey is disappointed to find out Luke is kind of a jerk.

Gray Rey

Regarding Rey's roots, we've been totally left in the dark, and the teaser trailer for The Last Jedi only adds another layer to the complex mystery of Rey's real identity. There's a moment in the trailer that flashes a set of books (we'll get to those later), and one book in particular that very well could be the Journal of the Whills. In Star Wars lore, the Journal is a collection of writings that discuss what's known as "the gray Jedi," a Force-user who isn't pulled toward either the light or the dark side. One passage states:

"First comes the day. Then comes the night. After the darkness/Shines through the light. The difference, they say/Is only made right/By the resolving of gray/Through refined Jedi sight."

That particular passage has an eerie link to Rey's own dialogue in the trailer. When Luke asks her to breathe, reach out, and tell him what she sees, she answers, "Light…darkness…and balance." Could this mean that Rey feels both the light and dark sides of the Force? And if she's physically pushing her hands and arms forward, as if using the Force on something or someone, is she striking a balance? Signs seem to point to Rey being the gray Jedi, but the truth remains unknown for now.

Finn's battle between light and dark

In The Force Awakens, John Boyega stole a hefty amount of hearts as FN-2187, more commonly known as Finn. Finn will undoubtedly be present in the new film, a fact Boyega reiterated more than a few times during the Last Jedi panel at Star Wars Celebration 2017, but he looks to be in a compromising state and has a difficult choice to make: Will he embrace his rebellious side and join the Resistance, or will he continue hiding from his Stromtrooper roots?

"Finn definitely stood up for himself at the end of The Force Awakens," Boyega said of his character's determination and where it might lead him in Episode VIII. "[And] in The Last Jedi, it's a test for all the characters, but specifically for Finn. He wants to find his place now." What is this ominous test, and what will Finn have to do to finally belong? As Boyega explained, the former First Order fighter may finally make the once-and-for-all choice between light and dark in The Last Jedi. Boyega proposed, "Is he going to be part of the Resistance, or will he keep running from the First Order?"

The teaser trailer only clouds our judgement more. We're only granted a short glimpse of Finn, where he's shown presumably unconscious in what appears to be a bacta tank. (Perhaps a reference to Luke's recovery chamber in The Empire Strikes Back?) Of course, Finn is encapsulated as he recovers from the injuries he sustained in The Force Awakens. Based on what little evidence we have to go by, Finn will make his life-changing decision once he's back on his feet. Finn choosing light or dark is a coin-flip calculation, but let's just hope that of the two roads he faces, he chooses the one less traveled by.

Will Poe and Finn be more than just friends?

Oh, Poe and Finn. A 'shipper's delight. Fans have often theorized that the pair aren't just pals, and that the "romance" part of their "bromance" is what will bubble to the surface in The Last Jedi. We can't exactly comment on the validity of that speculation, but what we can confirm is that the devilishly handsome duo will share some screen time in the upcoming film. John Boyega said, "Poe's my boy. There's always a new adventure for us to go on." Ever eager to take an inch of a statement and turn it into a mile of rumor, fans zeroed in on the gray area in Boyega's comment. Does he mean Poe, played by Oscar Isaac, is his friend who is a boy? Or was he trying to hint that the charming X-Wing pilot is his boyfriend?

While Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams went on record to say that the Star Wars series will "of course" have gay characters, Boyega seemed to shut down the idea that Poe and Finn are among those Abrams referred to. Speaking with ShortList, he said that the romance rumors are "so not true," confirming that "it's a brotherly love." However, Boyega did mention (possibly as a joke) that Isaac wishes the relationship would be more intimate than "best buds" status. Assess all the could-be facts, and you're left with a typical case of will-they-won't-they. Just another mystery we hope to see cleared up in The Last Jedi.

Kylo Ren's destroyed mask

We'll be the first to agree that Kylo Ren's got a little bit of a temper, and that's putting it nicely. Force Awakens hissy fits aside, something's up with the dark-sided leader in The Last Jedi. Exhibit A is his smashed-up helmet shown in the first teaser trailer. Broken to bits and clearly smoking, his mask looks irreparable, which raises three questions: 1) Who broke it?, 2) Why was it broken?, and 3) What will the wannabe evil mastermind do without his signature voice-altering headgear?

The Force Awakens saw Kylo barely flee Starkiller Base after a battle with the untrained Rey, in which she brutally bested him. This could definitely catalyze an epic tantrum on Kylo's part, so maybe he's the one who sabotaged his standard visage out of pure rage. After all, he isn't the most stable person in the galaxy. One thing's a definite, though: without his mask, Kylo will be sporting a pretty gnarly scar across the face. Physical evidence of a fight might be just what he needs to up his space cred, and that could be another reason he's going sans-mask this time around.

Who's flying the Millennium Falcon?

There's a trio (well, a duo if you really think about it) of bonafide pilots who've flown the Millennium Falcon: Han Solo, Lando Calrissian, and Rey, who surprised us all with her knack for navigation. Our scruffy-lookin' nerf herder took a fatal blow in The Force Awakens, and his smooth-talking scoundrel-in-crime Lando Calrissian won't be showing up on the big screen any time soon, as original actor Billy Dee Williams nixed any hope of him returning to the role. So, does that mean Rey is helming the iconic ship in the trailer? It's unlikely, as she's preoccupied with Luke Skywalker out in the middle of the galaxy, learning the ins and outs of what it means to use the Force and become a centered, skilled Jedi.

Technically, Chewbacca could take the mechanical reins and captain the ship. He definitely has the experience, too. You'll recall that at the end of The Force Awakens, the bellowing beast flew in to rescue Rey from being blown to bits by a Starkiller Base. But that leaves Chewie doing the work of two people. He'd need a co-pilot for a successful space journey, but who? With the three major Millennium Falcon operators scattered in different states (both physically and symbolically), it's pretty undeniable that someone new is inside the ship. Who that someone is remains a total mystery.

The burning building

A ton of intense moments took place in The Force Awakens, but try to remember the sequence in which Rey has a vision involving Luke Skywalker and R2-D2. She looks on as Luke reaches his metal-plated hand out to touch his robot companion. R2 and Luke are illuminated by a soft, warm light most fans assumed to be a campfire or something just as harmless. However, that doesn't seem to be the case. The Last Jedi teaser takes us back to the same scene, where we get the bigger picture. Luke and his beeping buddy watch as a building burns to the ground—the exact moment shown in Rey's vision, just pulled back to grasp the full story.

But what's more interesting (and thus, more confusing) is that extended look seems to hint that it's a Jedi temple that's ablaze. The perpetrator could be Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) and her gang of Stormtroopers, since they're shown walking through the burning wreckage. Did Phasma have a hand in the destruction? Or were her sights more set on ruining the Resistance directly through, say, Poe, whose X-wing explodes earlier in the trailer? It's probably fair game to say that Phasma was responsible for one of the two tragedies, but we'll have to wait and see which it turns out to be when we finally feast our eyes on The Last Jedi.

The books on the shelf

Just because he's been in exile long enough to grow a thick, grizzly beard doesn't mean that Luke Skywalker can't enjoy the simple things, like diving into a good book. In the trailer for The Last Jedi, a slow-zoom shot centers around a bookshelf inside Luke's cave. Eight or so books sit neatly along the ledge, lit by a single beam of sunlight—which is, as we all know, the universal sign for "this thing is important." We may know that the books are something to pay attention to, but we don't know what the books are about.

An emerging theory is that the penned collection is actually the Journals of the Whills (we told you we'd revisit that name) that reference Jedi, specifically the gray Jedi. Now let's piece together the puzzle: Luke has books that could contain information on Jedi. Luke himself is a wickedly strong Force-sensitive fighter. He's training Rey, who may or may not be able to feel both light and dark sides of the Force, just like the gray Jedi. Overall, the books' existence and relevance is a tangled web of unknown parts, and we can't wait for it to be unraveled.

The study material

Someone, probably Luke, is shown running their fingers along a worn page of text that features the Jedi Order symbol. (Squint a little, and you'll see the wing partially imprinted in blue ink.) This moment opens up a world of mystery. Is Luke reading a page from one of his books? Maybe he's brushing up his knowledge of the First Order to prepare Rey for battle, or perhaps he's recalling the sting of his troubled past. The page could even be a map, but that also begs inquiry on where the map leads and what lands are printed on it. All we know right now is that whoever's reading it (again, probably Mr. Skywalker), it seems important.

What's the deal with Rose?

Kelly Marie Tran joins the Star Wars fold as the "biggest new character" in The Last Jedi. Tran plays Rose, a humble maintenance worker who's (allegedly, we can never be too sure) a part of the Resistance. Director Rian Johnson described her as the antithesis to a so-called leading lady, born from "the notion that anyone out there, any one of us, can step up and turn into a hero." During the Last Jedi panel at Star Wars Celebration on April 14, he explained, "She's not a soldier. She's not looking to be a hero."

Though she seemingly lacks the drive to step into the spotlight, Johnson promises that we'll adore Rose. "I can't wait for you to meet her," he all but gushed. Admittedly, these linger along the lines of nondescripts, leaving us questioning Rose's place in the film. If she isn't a soldier, and doesn't exactly want to be a hero, what will she get up to in The Last Jedi? Johnson revealed, in an equally enigmatic statement, that Rose will "get pulled [in] a very big way into an adventure in this movie with Finn." Given that Finn is battling his own internal struggle between light and dark, Rose's involvement with him could be either sinister or space-saving in nature. After all, she could switch sides and become a hero for the First Order. That'd certainly be the kind of "unlikely" behavior Johnson mentioned. For now, though, Rose's chapter in The Last Jedi remains tightly closed.

Just how "mysterious" will Luke be?

One of the greatest Jedi masters in the entire galaxy didn't speak so much as a single word in 2015's The Force Awakens, and when fans finally saw him after so many years, they knew Luke Skywalker had become a man of mystery. Luke's newfound furtive aura will carry over into The Last Jedi, too. According to Hamill, there's "a lot of mystery" about Luke, "even in the film." This is made doubly confusing when considering Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy's comment that Luke is "significantly important" to The Last Jedi.

As explained by the insiders, Luke will be both secretive and pivotal, a major player shrouded by mystery. Secrets and unknowns cling to the Force-sensitive fighter in the upcoming flick, but fans don't yet know the extent to which those secrets will affect him and those around him. Some have speculated that Luke's hardened visage, which likely built up after years in exile, will turn him to the Dark side—a notion that Hamill himself stated is entirely possible. If proven true, perhaps the training Luke gives Rey is far more dangerous than any of us believed. Perhaps the real mystery behind the leading man regards his true intentions with his powers and with Rey's. But, as with the other conundrums on this list, there's simply no telling at this point.

How will Leia fit into the story?

You're not alone in longing to see the late Carrie Fisher as Leia Organa once more. Though she won't be making an appearance in Star Wars: Episode IX, despite reports from her brother that pre-shot film footage would be used to continue Fisher's legacy, she will play a key part in The Last Jedi. According to Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, Fisher shows up "a lot" in the film, but we still don't know how she'll tie into the new installment's plot.

Around 46 seconds into the flick's first trailer, a silhouette of someone assumed to be General Organa is shown. The figure looks down at a holographic map, which Fisher herself was seen doing in behind-the-scenes set photos unveiled by director Rian Johnson. The link is made stronger when you listen in close. You can faintly hear Leia saying, "Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope." It's a clear callback to Fisher's oft-quoted A New Hope line, and we hope we'll see the significance in the film. All this appears to confirm that Leia will be organizing some type of galactic charge led by the Resistance, and will need someone's assistance to do so. We'll have to wait and see.

Why does Luke think the Jedi should end?

Are things truly coming to a close? Luke hasn't had the easiest, most carefree experience as a Jedi, what with his father and his nephew turning to the dark side. But Luke has to realize that he won't make the transformation out of the blue, right? Maybe not. Some have postulated that Luke's insistence on ending the Jedi stems from the temptation he feels. Perhaps he, too, is finally feeling the pull toward darkness that took two of his once-good kin. It could be that he's simply worried he might make the shift sometime in the future, and wants to nip nefariousness in the bud before things get out of hand. (No pun about his missing appendage intended, we promise.)

Other theories stick Rey at the beginning of the end. Has she turned sour and joined Snoke, thus discouraging Luke from ever training another Jedi? On the other hand, Rey's newly tuned skills could be strong enough to secure her as the best Jedi in the galaxy. In turn, the "end" Luke speaks of may be a single, self-referential statement. Perhaps Luke is really saying he should end his work as a Jedi. Then again, the apparent need to cease the Jedi could be down to something even bigger: perhaps ending one force is necessary to breed one that's powerful, structurally sound, and whip-smart enough to dismantle the First Order for good. There are a million and one different reasons why Luke could want to break up with the Jedi, and we'll likely cycle through considering them all before December 15.

Can we trust anything Mark Hamill says?

Marky-Mark's quite the trickster, and that will definitely breed ambiguity around The Last Jedi. During the exclusive film panel at Star Wars Celebration in Orlando on April 14, Hamill admitted that he's the Pinocchio of social media, as he's constantly spouting falsehoods on Twitter. "I've lost all credibility with the public on social media, because I lie all the time," he said, recalling just how often he fabricated statements about his role in The Force Awakens. Though his lies were necessary to keep the magnitude of his appearance a secret, thus leaving fans shocked at the end, his habit has tarnished his reputation. Now, anything Hamill spills about The Last Jedi could be a total fabrication. Fans would be wise not to trust a word Hamill says about the Last Jedi crew, especially Luke and Rey, and turn their cheek to any and all Hamill-announced Episode VIII news. Bummer.