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Star Wars: The Force Awakens relaunched the Star Wars franchise for a new era, introducing us to a Galaxy Far, Far Away that's radically changed. The Empire may have fallen, but the First Order has risen from its ashes, plunging the Galaxy into darkness once again! The relaunched franchise has been supported by a range of canon comics and novels, but the intriguing thing is that those tie-ins have avoided showing us certain key moments. There's only one possible reason; with rumors of flashbacks in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, surely these three key scenes have to be reserved for the films?
1. Ben Solo Learns His Grandfather's Identity
It may surprise you to hear that Darth Vader's true identity was one of the Galaxy's best-kept secrets. During the days of the Empire, Palpatine liked to encourage the mystique of his dark servant, Darth Vader, and this was partly done by keeping him as mysterious as possible. As far as the Galaxy knew, Darth Vader appeared on the scene at the end of the Clone Wars, enigmatic and powerful. Only a handful of men and women (such as Tarkin) suspected who Darth Vader truly was; in Tarkin's case, that was because he'd worked with Anakin Skywalker during the Clone Wars, and knew his style.
After the Battle of Endor, Luke and Leia chose to keep their father's identity secret. Even the leaders of the Rebel Alliance weren't told the true story of the battle on the Second Death Star; Darth Vader's heroism and redemption were kept a secret. Incredibly, when Leia and Han had their son, Ben, they kept the secret even from him.
The novel Bloodline created a massive rift in this status quo. In the days just before the First Order took shape, one of Leia's political enemies discovered a message left for Leia by her father, Bail Organa. This was leaked to a Senator, who — outraged and believing he'd been deceived — exposed Leia in the Senate. The Galaxy was left reeling, as one of their most trusted politicians was exposed as the daughter of one of the Empire's greatest servants.
Here's the catch; because Bloodline focuses in on Leia, it deliberately avoids showing Ben Solo's reaction to this revelation. We know that he would go on to become obsessed with his grandfather, so it looks as though he didn't take the news well; will we see this moment in flashback?
2. The Founding of the First Order
Another curious mystery has been the founding of the First Order. Both the Aftermath series of novels and the wonderful Lost Stars have revealed that, in the dying days of the Empire, mysterious figures were moving war material to the Outer Rim. It was there that the First Order assembled its might, ready to launch an unexpected strike against the New Republic.
Bloodline sets the scene for the First Order's emergence, with Imperial sympathizers in the Senate manipulating events to their own advantage. As the novel closes, they learn that they're working towards the establishment of a new political and military power. But, even though Bloodline closes with the formation of the Resistance, at the novels end that power is still unseen.
What happened when the First Order made its first appearance on the galactic scene? What crushing and unexpected military defeats did it deal the Republic? How did it gain control of such a vast swathe of the Galaxy? These events have been deliberately unexplored in the tie-in comics and novels, suggesting that Lucasfilm may well be reserving that story for the films...
3. The End of the Jedi Order
These have been dark days for the Jedi Order, which has once again been brought to the brink of extinction — largely because of Ben Solo's betrayal. Seduced by the Dark Side, obsessed with his grandfather's legacy, Ben Solo became Kylo Ren — and the Jedi were slaughtered. Blaming himself, Luke Skywalker fled into seclusion.
We know all this, but the tie-ins have yet to explore it. Fascinatingly, the tie-ins have avoided any hint of the Jedi; the most we've heard was in Bloodline, where we were told that Luke had eschewed political power and settled in a remote corner of the Galaxy, training Jedi. The lack of focus on the Jedi has, frankly, been absolutely remarkable. In fact, barring the Shattered Empire comics — set immediately after Return of the Jedi — we've literally not even seen Luke in any tie-ins set between the Original Trilogy and The Force Awakens.
This has got to be deliberate. In a movie entitled The Last Jedi, there's simply no way Lucasfilm can not tell us how Luke became the Last Jedi! If there are indeed flashbacks, then this one is guaranteed to be a part of the film.
So there you have it! Three exciting scenes that have been mysteriously hidden from our view. Fans are eager to see these moments, and in a sense, it's not surprising that Lucasfilm have kept them out of sight for now. After all, these events have reshaped our beloved Galaxy Far, Far Away — they've transformed the lives of characters we've cared about for decades. The fact they've not yet been explored, in literally any medium, is a pretty remarkable thing — and surely sets us up to see them in The Last Jedi!