Star Wars might be one of the most beloved movie franchises of all time, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not without its fair share of plot holes. In fact, since Disney has designated all the extended universe material as non-canon, the series now has more unexplained mysteries than ever. Of course, keeping the audience guessing has always been a part of the fun. Fans who saw the original trilogy in theaters can probably remember the wild speculation surrounding what really happened to Luke’s father before the release of The Empire Strikes Back three years later. And while the prequels provided answers to a few outstanding questions, such as the origins of the Force, they also opened the door to a host of other mystifying facets. These are 12 of the most prominent Star Wars puzzles that have yet to be solved.
12. Why Didn’t Leia Become A Jedi?
We first learned that Leia was Force-sensitive when she was able to hear Luke calling out to her telepathically, but it wasn’t until Return of the Jedi confirmed that she is Luke’s twin sister that the full implication of this scene became apparent. While it looked doubtful that Leia would follow in her brother’s footsteps and become a full Jedi Knight, there was some expectation that she would have honed her abilities over the years. However, The Force Awakens seemed to confirm that Leia never really bothered to unlock her full potential when it comes to the Force, as the only ability she displays is being able to sense Han’s death from far away. Perhaps we just haven’t had a chance to see Leia truly harness her abilities but with The Last Jedi being Carrie Fisher’s final franchise appearance, time is running out for Star Wars to offer a valid reason for why Leia never followed in her family’s footsteps.
11. Why Doesn’t Vader Sense That Leia Is His Daughter?
Another question relating to Leia is how come Darth Vader, ostensibly one of the most powerful Force users in the galaxy, isn’t able to sense that his own daughter is standing right in front of him? The logical, real world answer is that George Lucas and company wrote the original trilogy as they went along and the thought of having Vader and Leia be father and daughter probably hadn’t even crossed their minds when they were writing the original movie. However, in-universe, things fall apart pretty quickly considering there are several examples throughout the original trilogy of Vader being able to sense Luke and his connection to the Force. We hear him remark during the Death Star run that the X-Wing pilot in front of him (a.k.a. Luke) is strong with the Force, and the pair briefly converse telepathically near the end of The Empire Strikes Back. Admittedly, Anakin was under the impression that Padmé only gave birth to one child and didn’t know about Luke’s twin sister until their duel aboard the second Death Star, but this doesn’t quite feel convincing enough to explain why Vader couldn’t sense Leia as his own flesh and blood prior to this.
10. How Did Maz Kanata End Up With Luke’s Lightsaber?
We should get an answer to this question in The Last Jedi given that film’s increased focus on Luke Skywalker, but it was still a little odd to have The Force Awakens introduce us to a character we’d never seen before who also happens to be in possession of a weapon not seen since The Empire Strikes Back. Luke’s original lightsaber, which he inherited from father (by way of Obi-Wan Kenobi) was lost during his duel with Darth Vader on Bespin, plunging to the depths of Cloud City. Luke didn’t even bother trying to retrieve it and went to the trouble of building a whole new lightsaber, which should serve as some indication of just how difficult it would be to find a lost item on a gas giant planet. But apparently Maz (or whoever she attained the lightsaber from) was able to recover the weapon and we’re never given an explanation as to how. This probably has a lot to do with the fact that much of Maz’s footage was cut from The Force Awakens, but this is one plot hole that still needs to be filled.
9. Why Doesn’t Obi-Wan Show Any Recognition of R2-D2 and C-3P0?
We can understand Vader not showing any recognition, since he likely made an effort to sever ties with everything that connected him to Anakin Skywalker. But Obi-Wan? That’s just cold, man. It’s true that the droids had their memories wiped at the end of Revenge of the Sith, but shouldn’t Obi-Wan still be at least a little surprised and happy to see them together and functioning after all those years? This also extends to Darth Vader, who doesn’t seem to recognize the droids he spent considerable time with in his formative years. Granted, Vader is a husk of his former self when we first meet him in Episode IV, but you’d think he would at the very least remember C-3PO; after all, he’s the one who built him! The most logical explanation is that George Lucas probably wasn’t thinking about the continuity of his prequels while shooting the original trilogy.
8. How Long Did Luke’s Jedi Training Last?
This is an issue that always crops up in discussions of Star Wars anomalies. Luke’s Jedi training on Dagobah with Yoda seems to take several weeks, whereas events occurring simultaneously with Han and the gang on Bespin only seem to take a few days.
It’s also unknown how much time Luke spent training in between the The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. However, since it’s thought that only a year passes between the two movies, it would mean that Luke only received a fraction of the training compared to other Jedi in the prequels, who become Padwans as children and are only inducted into the order of Jedi Knights when they become adults and have passed many trials.
7. Where Did Vader Go After Episode IV?
UPDATE 09/22/2017: It turns out that there is an answer to this question after all. According to the official Star Wars Wiki, Darth Vader made an emergency hyperspace jump to the planet Vaal soon after the Battle of Yavin IV. His ship was damaged by small asteroids in Vaal’s orbit, forcing the Sith Lord to make a crash-landing on the planet’s surface. After being rescued by the Empire, Vader ordered that his damaged craft be recovered, repaired, and docked on his personal ship, the Executor.
Original Post: The last time you see Darth Vader in A New Hope is when he’s careening off into space in a damaged Tie Fighter. Since the Death Star was destroyed and no other Imperial forces came to its defense when the Rebels attacked, it’s safe to assume that there weren’t any nearby outposts for Vader to run off to and reorganize his plans for the Rebels. On top of that, Tie Fighters are short-range ships used for scouting, defence, and intercept missions. They’re not equipped for interstellar travel. Which begs the question, where did Vader go, and what did he do in the time leading up to The Empire Strikes Back?
6. How Did The Prophecy of the Chosen One Originate?
One of the Jedi’s favorite stories is the prophecy of ‘the one’ foretold to bring balance to the Force. After The Phantom Menace, it seemed pretty clear that Anakin was the one the prophecy spoke of, but even after the conclusion of Return of the Jedi, it would seem that the Force is still left unbalanced. So where did this prophecy come from that the Jedi place so much faith in? Was it a person who said it? Or did it mysteriously become known to multiple Jedi through the mystical visions they’re so prone to having. There’s no question that it’s deeply embedded in Jedi lore and seems to have a connection to the Skywalker lineage. Hopefully the The Force Awakens and subsequent movies will be able to shed a little more light on the subject.
5. What’s the Real Story of Darth Plagueis?
Part of Emperor Palpatine’s plan to lure Anakin to the dark side in Revenge of the Sith was to divulge a story about the Sith lord Darth Plagueis. He explains to Anakin that Plagueis was obsessed with eternal life and that his mastery over the Force was such that he had found the power to cheat death. Though it remains unclear whether or not this aspect is true, it would be nice to know a little bit more about the person who is perhaps most directly responsible for the formation of the ruthless Galactic Empire.
4. Why Do Some Jedi Disappear When They Die and Others Don’t?
Chronologically, the first Jedi death we see in Star Wars occurs in The Phantom Menace when Qui-Gon Jinn is killed by Darth Maul. His body remains tangible and is later burned in what appears to be a formal Jedi ritual. Later, in A New Hope, when it comes time for Obi-Wan to meet his end, we see his body mysteriously vanish just as Vader is delivering the killing blow. And the vanishing act is seen once again when Yoda dies on Dagobah. But when Vader dies after he succumbs to the injuries he sustained saving Luke from the Emperor, his body remains present, like Qui-Gon’s, for Luke to give a proper Jedi cremation ceremony. All four of these Jedi apparently learn how to become one with the Force and manifest themselves in way Luke can recognize, as evidenced by the final scene in Return of the Jedi, so why did only Obi-Wan and Yoda’s bodies disappear? Maybe we’ll find out more if we see Luke Skywalker’s death in Episode IX.
3. What Happened to the Rest of Yoda’s Species?
The Star Wars universe is full of otherworldly alien creatures of both a repulsive and loveable nature. For the most part, the customs and planets of origin representative of the most prominently featured races are well-established. For example, everyone knows that the Hutts are a race of seedy crime lords, and that Wookiees are prone to rip the arms off of people who defeat them in leisure games. But there’s one famous Star Wars character who we know practically nothing about, save for their mastery over the force and skill with a lightsaber. We’re talking, of course, about Yoda. No information is ever given about Yoda’s life before he became a Jedi and George Lucas himself has been notoriously tight lipped about the green-skinned Grandmaster’s species origins.
Although the prequels did introduce us to Yaddle, another character of the same race, she didn’t actually do anything, or even say a word. So where the hell does Yoda come from and why is he so adept at wielding the Force?
2. How Was the Force First Discovered?
Just who exactly was the first Jedi or Sith? Did someone one day simply have the sudden realization that they could gain super powers by searching their feelings and focusing their thoughts. A backstory about the discovery of the Force and the rise of the Jedi and Sith could be one of the most fantastic Star Wars stories ever told.
Maybe at some point in the distant past something threatened the midi-chlorians, causing them to gather together in a single individual who was then imbued with the power to combat the menace. Perhaps later, that individual had two offspring who inherited his ability to use the Force. But, as the children grow, their mindsets and ideals diverge until they find themselves at opposite ends of the philosophical spectrum, and thus, the first Jedi and Sith are born. Something along those lines would be nice.
1. Why Didn’t Obi-Wan Give Luke A Different Last Name?
For a Jedi Master, sometimes Obi-Wan’s decision-making process seems pretty questionable. If his aim was to hide Luke from the Empire, then why would he take him to live with family on Vader’s home planet? Furthermore, why didn’t he change his last name to something other than Skywalker so it would be harder to trace his heritage? Maybe it’s because Star Wars would never have achieved such monumental status in the realm of science fiction and fantasy if the hero of the story was named Luke Peterson or something like that.