When a big new movie comes out, people take notice. When a genre movie comes out, people start speculating. When a Star Wars movie comes out, apparently people become ravenous beasts who want to pick it apart until it's a bleeding carcass of bantha meat.
It comes from the mystery. Star Wars movies mean a lot to people, and this one holds a lot of promise. The filmmakers of Star Wars: The Force Awakens are saying all the right things, from "Practical effects" to "respecting the history." They've brought the principal players like Han, Luke, and Leia back, supporters like R2-D2, C-3PO, and Chewbacca, and introduced newbies like Poe Dameron, Rey, and Finn and villains Kylo Ren, Captain Phasma, and the mysterious Supreme Leader Snoke and General Hux. And those newcomers? Man oh man are they endearing.
There's also the mystery of J.J. Abrams. He is well known as a writer and director who loves to obfuscate. Sometimes it pays off, and we get some real surprises, but his months of denying that Benedict Cumberbatch was in fact Khan in his second Star Trek film beat fans down, and they're not as willing to take his "mystery box" mentality with nearly the grain (or pound) of salt they used to. (Correction: We originally had "Khan in his second Star Wars film." We had Wars on the brain!)
And that means theories. Lots of theories, about Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Here are some of the biggest, and the odds of whether or not they're even possible, let alone probable. Please keep in mind, even our odds, while coming from a knowledge base higher than that of your average fan, are in the end arbitrary speculation. Possible spoilers follow if any of these crazy theories wind up being right.
Luke Skywalker is Kylo Ren
Probability: 0% - Look, that's cute, but these are not the same characters, nor will they ever be. Kylo Ren is played by Adam Driver, and we can clearly see in the new trailer, Kylo charging at Finn without his helmet on, Driver's hair (and imposing, tall yet lanky frame) flowing free.
Luke Skywalker is the leader of the First Order
Probability: 5% - He could be the "guy behind the guy behind the guy," but Kylo is clearly the leader of the Knights of Ren, a mysterious order that houses the First Order's elite soldiers, while Captain Phasma and General Hux are leaders in the traditional military ranks. As far as the head of the First Order, well, we do have a character named "Supreme Leader Snoke" and Supreme Leader certainly sounds like "top dog" to me.
Luke Skywalker is Kylo Ren's Master
Probability: 10% - Okay, here we'll give a bit. This could happen, and in a couple of ways. Either Kylo Ren (and maybe even the whole group of Knights?) was a student of Luke's, who was trying to train a new generation of Jedi, then went off to have a Dark Side Party, or sure, what the heck, we'll even say maybe Luke's just flat-out evil in this. A couple things hold that back, though - Luke still has R2-D2, and Artoo is clearly a freaking hero, and the whole point of the end of Return of the Jedi, as explained by Dave Filoni and Lucasfilm Story Group member Pablo Hidalgo at New York Comic Con, was showing Luke Skywalker bringing his father back into the light, and also showing himself going into the dark and coming back. He's already had his fall and redemption story, and repeating that wouldn't add much to his story.
Probability: 50% - Honestly, we'd put any of the legacy characters at just about a coin flip in whether or not they die. This largely stems from a very dark shot that might show a furry body with Rey crying over it. Except the way it's positioned, it'd be missing a head, and there's also what looks like leather (which, while Chewie would look bitchin in a leather jacket, we haven't seen him wear). The coin flip comes from him being A) a legacy character and B) a strain for his particular actor to play.
Probability: 50% - Again, all legacy characters are a coin flip. The leather that Rey is crying over could be Han - maybe he and Chewie go down together. Harrison Ford has been (oft mis-quoted) said to have originally wanted Han to go down in a blaze of glory, too. Still, from later scenes in the trailer, who knows?
Finn's the New Jedi!
Probability: 75% - He's using that lightsaber, and well. He looks like he has an instinctual ability with it. Also, right when Han Solo says "Jedi" in the new trailer, it lingers on a shot of Finn. He is wielding the lightsaber that belonged to Anakin and Luke, and in trailer two was handed to Princess Leia. There's definitely something important about this guy.
Rey's the New Jedi!
Probability: 50% - She's certainly something special, but whether she goes full on telekinesis and impossible shots is up for debate. Still, after seeing Leia get in touch with her Force side just a little bit in some of the new canon Marvel Comics, it would sure be cool to see a badass like Rey light up a laser sword and force push her way into our hearts.
Poe's the New Jedi!
Probability: 5% - Probably not. He's more the new Han if anything, the pilot with a cavalier attitude and a born charisma. Although that scene of Kylo Ren torturing him does sneak this into the tiniest realm of possibility.
Kylo Ren Is Trying to Turn ___ To The Dark Side!
Probability: 100% - This is what Dark Side users do, they try to turn other people to the Dark Side. It's how it spreads, like a virus. We're not giving individual odds, though Rey and Poe are the safest bets, and Rey seems - just pure speculation here - seems like the more likely Force-sensitive candidate.
Luke Won't Appear Until the End of the Movie!
Probability: 60% - We're giving this slightly higher odds for a few reasons. He hasn't shown up in the trailers outside of what's almost certainly his robed back and his robotic hand (and his voiceover, of course). The Jedi and the Force have a new "legendary" status, which Han has to tell the kids is real. That makes for nice setup for a third act entrance as the mysterious Jedi Knight who brought balance to the Force returns once more - in what capacity? Who knows? But don't be surprised if you don't see Luke for the first 90 minutes or so.
Rey is Han and Leia's Daughter!
Probability: 60% - We'll give this one a higher-than-even split mostly because we want it to be true. There is a female hand giving the lightsaber to Leia, Rey crying over something awful, and Leia crying over something awful. Combine this one with the theory that Rey is struggling with possible Dark Side leanings and you have more interest. The only problem is, when we've seen her interact with Han, there isn't necesarrily a deep familial vibe there.
Kylo Ren is Han and Leia's Son!
Probability: 30% - Going lower than average on this one. Not everyone has to be someone's kid. There's a whole galaxy of people out there, and it would be strange for every major character to have a direct connection to the principal players of last generation's war. Poe Dameron, for example, has a completely unique set of parents who were fairly everyday soldiers in the Rebel Alliance.
Rey and Kylo are Brother and Sister!
Probability: 15% - we'd need both of the above to be true, for starters. Ultimately, this would be too close to the stories of the old Expanded Universe, now called "Legends," where Leia and Han married, had twin kids named Jaina and Jacen, and Jacen turned to the Dark Side while Jaina had to fight him. They expunged the EU from the record for a reason, and that reason wasn't to retread it.
That's what we have for now. Post any others you have in the comments, and we'll update with more, or another round. And we'll of course revisit this in two months! May the Force Be With You!