4 Ways Star Wars: Rogue One Could Actually Address Episode VIII Mysteries

We’re in the midst of Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ total domination of the box office. While Episode VII continues to steamroll through the record books, there is still a lot to talk about on that front, but considering we’re getting a new movie in the franchise every year for the foreseeable future, our thoughts have also, understandably, turned towards these upcoming installments.

The Force Awakens left us with a number of questions about where the characters will go in future Episode movies, but before we get to Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII in 2017, we’ll see Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the first of the standalone spinoff movies. Though these films are supposed to exist separately from the main Skywalker-centric narrative, everything in the Star Wars universe is connected, and a new theory on Reddit poses some interesting ideas about how Rogue One could address some of the mysteries of Episode VIII and beyond.

Just a reminder, these are theories, nothing more. Most of them are pretty off the wall, but they’re also intriguingly possible, and we love speculating about Star Wars, so what the hell? Also, there are SPOILERS beyond this point. Tread lightly.


A Max Von Sydow/Mads Mikkelsen Connection

The rumor floating around is that Mads Mikkelsen plays a character named Galen in Rogue One. That’s really all the information we have about his character right now, and it’s not much to go on—though the actor insists that he’s not playing a villain. In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Max Von Sydow’s Lor San Tekka has an obvious connection to the larger narrative that belies the fact that he only shows up for one scene before being cut down by Kylo Ren. This theory supposes that Mikkelsen’s character is an earlier version of Lor San Tekka. This wouldn’t be the first time there’s been misdirection as far as character names go—remember when we were all calling Rey Kira?

Though Mikkelsen hails from Denmark and Von Sydow from Sweden, both are Scandinavian in origin, which could provide a clue that there is some connection. Given the time frame of the films, their ages also line up. Rogue One takes place prior to the events of Episode IV and revolves around the theft of the plans for the first Death Star more than 30 years before the events of The Force Awakens. As Mikkelsen is 50 and Von Sydow is 86, the age difference would certainly make sense.

We don’t know much about Lor San Tekka, but he has obviously been around the block, familiar as he is with Ben Solo, saying that Leia will always be royalty to him. He is an experienced traveller, someone who has proven his worth to the Rebellion numerous times, and a member of the Church of the Force, a group that shows deference to the Jedi, despite having no powers themselves. Depending on who abandoned Rey on Jakku, it’s possible he was sent there, or took it upon himself, in order to keep a watchful eye on her as she grew, like Obi-Wan Kenobi did with Luke Skywalker on Tatooine. It could explain why he and the map are on the desert planet in the first place.

Rogue One

A Felicity Jones/Daisy Ridley Connection

There’s no denying that Daisy Ridley and Felicity Jones, the stars of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Rogue One respectively, have a striking physical resemblance. In real life, if you told me they were related, I wouldn’t say you’re wrong. Though John Boyega, a fellow Brit who plays Finn, spoke with an American accent in Episode VII, Ridley’s Rey maintains her natural enunciation. Perhaps the most likely reason for this is that she’s related to Obi-Wan Kenobi (he’s the most prominent member of the canon with a similar accent, and this is one prevalent rumor), but this latest theory posits that she could have a link to Jones’ character.

We don’t know if Felicity Jones will speak in her normal manner, but if she does, this could be the case. Aside from the fact that she’s a Rebel soldier we don’t know much about Jones’ role, though the latest reports indicate her character may be named Lyra Erso. While that sounds very Star Wars-y, it doesn’t tell us much. There aren’t any existing characters with the surname Erso that we’re aware of, not to mention the fact that we don’t know Rey’s last name anyway, so there’s not much to go on here.

The Star Wars Story movies like Rogue One are reportedly not going to focus heavily on the Force, and as those abilities are usually passed down from one generation to the next, if there is a family connection here, it seem likely Rey got her aptitude from her father’s side. Which, if Lyra Erso also turns out to be a badass pilot, could bring us to the next point.


The Battle Of Jakku

Though they’re not entirely clear right now, there are a lot of connections running throughout the Star Wars universe. The Force Awakens hinted at some of these, but one of the most widely held beliefs is that Luke Skywalker is in fact Rey’s father. That would explain her ability with the Force, why Han and Leia take such an immediate shine to a strange urchin from a backwater planet, and that awkward scene at the end when she and Luke stare at each other. If that’s the case—and lets be honest, it’s been 30 years since Return of the Jedi, plenty of time for Luke to get a girlfriend—the question remains, who is Rey’s mother?

In Rey’s home inside the ruined remains of an AT-AT on Jakku, she has what looks like homemade doll of an X-Wing pilot, and she even has her very own helmet. Odds are, this was salvaged from the Battle of Jakku, which took place sometime after Return of the Jedi—there’s wreckage all over the place. But the helmet belonged to a female Captain named Dosmit Raeh, an X-Wing pilot with the Tierfon Yellow Aces, and this theory wonders if this was more than a random find, perhaps a keepsake from an absent parent.

As we well know, Luke Skywalker is a gifted pilot, and after the Battle of Endor, there were skirmishes and battles all over the galaxy. Perhaps Luke and Raeh crossed paths, became romantically entangled, and had a child. There’s also the possibility that Felicity Jones’ Lyra Erso could turn out to be Dosmit Raeh—again, we’re never sure about names until we get pretty close. Especially if she proves herself to be handy at the controls of a spaceship in Rogue One, the Rebellion needs pilots. She would certainly be in the same age range as Luke, and it seems likely they could run into one another along the line.

As far fetched as this may be, it’s possible that Dosmit raised Rey on Jakku, or that, due to some unforeseen circumstances—like Kylo Ren going rogue and slaughtering his fellow Jedi students—when they had to deposit her somewhere for safe keeping, they chose Jakku. There’s also the possibility that Luke may not know about such a child, though I suspect he could sense it (though Darth Vader didn’t for a long time), and perhaps Rey’s mother kept her hidden, away from the influence of the Force. There are a million possibilities following this line of thinking.

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Why Rogue One Is Coming First

Though future installments of the Star Wars Story movies will feature fan favorite characters like Han Solo and Boba Fett, Rogue One, at least as we know it now, doesn’t have any recognizable names at the forefront. With those movies on the way, and The Force Awakens’ heavy reliance on characters and plot points from the past, Star Wars appears to be skewed towards nostalgia and connecting the new movies to what came before. While stealing the plans for the Death Star certainly illuminates a part of the past of that far, far away galaxy, it doesn’t have as much immediate appeal. One possible explanation for why Lucasfilm and company went this route right out of the gate is that perhaps Rogue One will shed some light and offer fresh information about the new additions to the canon.

If any of the earlier theories pan out, they could provide answers to questions we have following The Force Awakens and as we build towards Episode VIII. Perhaps we’ll find out a bit more about Rey’s parents and history, maybe we’ll hear some familiar names, it’s possible we could find out some information about Lor San Tekka, or learn about any number of other elements. Lucasfilm is taking the whole idea of an expansive, interconnected cinematic universe to heart, so no matter how Rogue One shakes out, we’ll get some links and connections and Easter Eggs for fans to obsess over, but we’ll likely be left with just as many questions as we get answers.

Brent McKnight