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Running Down THE LAST JEDI’s Biggest Potential Surprises

Star Wars fans know to expect the unexpected from the galaxy far, far away, but after hearing two of The Last Jedi‘s biggest stars talk about how much the upcoming film shocked them, we’re starting to think we could see revelations approaching the level of “No, I am your father.” This week Daisy Ridley said she “was more surprised” by the The Last Jedi’s story than she was by The Force Awakens‘, and Mark Hamill doubled down by adding that he “was stunned” when he read the script, even going so far as to say that the most important line in the movie is when Luke says, “This is not going to go the way you thought.” Obviously we are in for some huge twists.

But in era when we spend untold hours breaking down every second of footage, overanalyzing every piece of information we can find, and discussing every single theory no matter how insane, is it even possible for anything to truly shock us? What secrets could The Last Jedi reveal that would stun us the most? To answer that, we’re rating the most plausible theories about the film’s surprises using a scale of one-to-five shocked Luke Skywalkers.

Rey Will Turn to the Dark Side

There have been numerous clues that, rather than stay wholly good, Rey will become a Gray Jedi. That would be a complex enough turn in and of itself, but what about the possibility of Rey going full-on Dark? The idea has been thrown around, but we doubt a saga that has been about good vs. evil would take our newest hero and turn her completely in its middle chapter. That said, with Kylo struggling to stay faithful to his Dark leanings, we wouldn’t entirely rule out a double-switch. Still, seeing Rey actually go Dark would be genuinely shocking.

Kylo Ren Will Turn to the Light Side

Kylo’s reverse battle with the Light vs. Dark Side of the Force was one of The Force Awakens‘ best elements, but if he ever does come back to the ways of the Jedi like his grandfather once did, we bet it would be in Episode IX, not The Last Jedi. As such, we would be caught somewhat off guard by it happening in this chapter.

Luke Will Turn to the Dark Side

There are a number of variants on the Evil Luke theory. Some believe The Last Jedi will see him turn to the Dark Side for the first time. Some think he’ll be revealed as the secret villain of the movie. Others still predict that Luke is working with Snoke… or maybe even is Snoke! But could we ever be so cynical as to believe that our hero Luke Skywalker would go bad?

Luke, the man who once bravely faced Vader and the Emperor, did run off and abandon his friends and family while the First Order grew in power, so we know he’s a changed man. But going Dark entirely? Luke Skywalker? LUKE SKYWALKER?! This would be an instance of a new movie actually ruining our childhoods (as well as our adulthoods and any type of afterlife), and that’s why no matter how many people sign off on the Evil Luke theory, we would be totally stunned and devastated if any of these proved true.

Snoke is a Palpatine Clone

No character is shrouded in more mystery than Kylo Ren’s mentor Snoke, so much so that we’re all in the dark about who he really is. One theory posits he is actually a clone of Emperor Palpatine, which would be so incredibly lame enough to render us shocked. Shocked and appalled. To that end, we’re flipping our five Shocked Lukes upside down the way you fly the American flag as a signifier of extreme distress.

Snoke is Darth Plagueis

Now we’re talking. This theory has been popular since The Force Awakens, when a musical clue hinted at Snoke being connected to the famed Sith Lord who Palpatine told Anakin about in Revenge of the Sith. Granted, there has been evidence since then he is not the Sith who could manipulate death, but we expect Star Wars‘ new trilogy to bear a meaningful connection to the prequels at some point, and this would be a great way to do that. Great, but truly unsurprising considering how neatly this adds up.

Rey and Kylo Ren Will Team Up

Though final full trailer teased this unlikely alliance, the instance in question looks more like an editing trick than an actual scene from the film. With both Rey and Kylo Ren struggling to find their path with the Force, it’s not unreasonable to imagine a scenario where they end up in the middle together.

Kylo Ren is a Spy Who Never Really Turned to the Dark Side

Some people see Kylo’s struggle not as him trying to fight the urge to return to the Light Side, but as a double agent who is doing evil in the name of good. Counterpoint: He did kill his father. Something is up with Kylo Ren, and secret motives aren’t totally insane, but we’d be pretty stunned if the answer to defeating evil was patricide.

Rey’s Parents Will Turn Out to Be…

Rey’s parentage might be the most discussed mystery to come out of The Force Awakens, and there are so many possibilities we have to go into Speed Round mode. Remember, these movies are essentially the Skywalker family saga, so we’ll be far less shocked if she turns out to be one of them.


One of the most obvious answers makes him on of the least surprising, though it might be so obvious it would be somewhat surprising. That’s some Yoda logic right there.

Han and Leia

…which, of course, would make Rey and Kylo Ren siblings. Lucasfilm “borrowed” from the former EU for The Force Awakens, and it just so happens in that alternate dimension Han and Leia had twins, their son Jacen (who turned to the Dark Side) and their daughter Jaina (who was a Jedi). Literature aside, this theory would fit rather snugly with a lot of the beats seen in The Force Awakens. Surprised or not though, it would probably lead to an amazing final movie. (Not to mention how much emotional weight it would add to the trilogy.)


To reiterate, we’re still waiting for that major connection to the prequels. Could it be Rey (armed with her British accent) is really the secret daughter of Obi-Wan, who might have occasionally sought companionship all those lonely years on Tatooine?


We know from the trailers he’s extremely interested in her, but since we have no concrete idea who Snoke is we can’t really evaluate this possibility. Combine how unknown his role in all of this is with our young hero being the offspring of the most evil man in the galaxy, and this would stun us.

Qui-Gon Jinn

For all the same reasons Obi-Wan could be her father, she could also be the descendant of his former mentor Qui-Gon, who was not averse to breaking Jedi Council rules… possibly rules like a vow of celibacy. On a related note, Qui-Gon Jinn could turn out to be Rey’s godfather, which would still leave us without a clue as to who her parents are, but we still have Episode IX for that.

No One

According to Anakin’s mother Shmi, he had no father. He was an immaculate conception. Is it possible Rey too was birthed by the Force itself? Is the Force strong enough to bring a child to life without even one biological parent involved? If so, did she burst forth from an egg or something? Did she fall from the sky? Was she delivered to Jakku by Watto like a stork?

There are so many issues this would raise, but as Maz Kanata might say, those are good questions for another time. The one we’re concerned with now is how shocking this would be.

Literally Anyone Else

Who else would really make sense from a storytelling standpoint, unless Lucasfilm was okay with the answer to its biggest question being some obscure character most moviegoers won’t know? We’re not even going to give this an upside-down Luke ranking, we’re giving it the most shocked Star Wars ranking possible: Luke getting his hand cut off and then having Darth Vader tell him he is his father.

But what do you think? Which of these twists would shock you the most? Are there any possible surprises we didn’t discuss that you think we might see. We’d be stunned if you didn’t share your thoughts in the comments below.

Images: Lucasfilm

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