As The Force Awakens hits theaters, fans are flooding the Internet with rumors. These are different than fan theories in that rumors just state what might happen in the movie. They’re not trying to piece together plot elements.
In the face of the Internet hype around The Force Awakens, it is easy to forget that fan rumors have been a constant part of the franchise. Here are 10 old Star Wars fan rumors, including one about The Force Awakens that started when Lucasfilm announced it.
10 Christopher Walken Playing Darth Bane
Casting rumors are always out of control when a new movie is coming out, but few have gained as much hype as the rumor that Christopher Walken would play the fan favorite character Darth Bane in Attack of the Clones. Most people outside the dedicated fandom have never heard of this character.
Darth Bane is a Sith Lord in Star Wars books, comics, and video games. In the Star Wars universe, Darth Bane initiated the rule that there could only be two Sith at one time, a master and an apprentice. When the prequel movies came out, fans were clamoring to get this character on the silver screen.
The rumor began when entertainment website Ain’t It Cool News (AICN) posted an article supposedly confirming that Darth Bane was in Attack of the Clones and played by none other than famous actor Christopher Walken. AICN did not reveal their source but claimed that they had seen the cast sheet with their own eyes.
In the early days of the Internet, this news spread like wildfire, and the rumor soon spread to radio and entertainment shows. Nobody knew whether the rumor had any credibility. It may have originated from an early draft of Attack of the Clones, but it’s also possible that AICN didn’t have a credible source. The rumor continued during the buildup to the movie. Of course, history shows that Christopher Walken never appeared in that role.
9 Mick Jagger Will Score The Empire Strikes Back
In the days before the Internet, it was difficult for people to verify rumors or speculate on what would be happening in a movie without a large public forum. Thus, rumors were not as prolific for the original trilogy, but a few fun ones did pop up. One of the weirdest was that Rolling Stones front man Mick Jagger would score The Empire Strikes Back instead of composer John Williams.
The rumor began when a Hollywood trade newspaper reported that Jagger was on call to score the film. Starlog magazine pushed the rumor and gave it traction with the public. Eventually, Lucasfilm came forward and stated that they had no clue where the rumor had come from.
When the movie came out, Williams did the score, but the influence of the Rolling Stones on the Star Wars franchise was not over. The night before filming the scene in Empire where the Millennium Falcon arrived at Cloud City, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford had a late night of drinking with the Rolling Stones. According to Fisher, they quit drinking only two hours before the shoot. In the final cut of the film, both actors appeared buzzed in the scene.
8 Jet Li Playing Boba Fett
Although he does almost nothing in the original trilogy, Boba Fett is one of the most popular characters in Star Wars fandom. However, when the prequel trilogy was under development, rumors swirled around Boba Fett and whether he would appear in the movies. One of the most persistent rumors was that he would be played by martial arts master Jet Li.
There was almost no support for the Jet Li rumor. Even so, every time a new movie was announced, the rumor resurfaced from fans who hoped to see some more action from the bounty hunter. Nobody knows where the rumor originated, but it was probably created by entertainment magazines and shows to increase ratings for their productions.
Of course, Boba Fett did appear in Attack of the Clones, but he was a little kid who was the cloned son of bounty hunter Jango Fett. Fans got a little taste of Boba Fett’s backstory and some excitement out of seeing Jango Fett in the movie, but it was nothing as exciting as having Jet Li play the fabled bounty hunter.
7 Han Solo And Darth Vader Merge Into One Life-Form
Persistent rumors swirled around Return of the Jedi, especially when it was unclear if Harrison Ford would return for the movie. Due to lack of clarity about Ford’s contract, people began to spread crazy rumors about what was going to happen to the character of Han Solo. One of the weirdest rumors was that Han Solo would pick up a lightsaber at the end of the movie and have a lightsaber duel with Darth Vader.
According to the rumor, when the two characters crossed blades, an energy reaction would cause Han Solo’s “life force” to merge with Darth Vader’s. With Han Solo’s soul inside of Darth Vader, Luke would then be forced to kill his best friend to kill Darth Vader.
Fans believed this rumor all the way up to the release of Return of the Jedi and were probably a little disappointed to find that the movie went with a more traditional climax without much weird metaphysics. It is unclear whether this was actually a possibility that Lucas was debating, but it is certainly one of the weirder rumors about the Star Wars movies.
6 Boba Fett Is Luke’s Mother
After the shocking reveal in The Empire Strikes Back that Darth Vader was Luke Skywalker’s father, fans were expecting an equally shocking reveal in Return of the Jedi. Due to Luke’s uncertain parentage, fans believed that the new movie would reveal who Luke’s mother was. They turned to the only other constantly masked character, Boba Fett. Rumors swirled that Boba Fett was actually Luke’s mom.
Shockingly, this rumor had a bit of traction in that Mark Hamill, the actor who played Luke Skywalker, also believed it. In an interview at the time, Hamill stated that he would not be surprised if Boba Fett took off the helmet to reveal that it was Luke’s mother all along.
Hamill seemed to have put a good deal of thought into this theory because he stated to Spin magazine that the twist would actually make sense if Luke’s mother had the mission to protect and watch over Luke during the events of the trilogy. Unfortunately for fans, the prequel trilogy revealed the origin of Boba Fett and the fate of Luke’s mother, so the full-fledged fan theory did not come to fruition.
5 Leonardo DiCaprio Would Play Anakin
This is a fan rumor that was based partly on facts. After Jake Lloyd played Anakin Skywalker in The Phantom Menace, George Lucas was looking to cast a young actor to play the teenage/young adult Anakin. Entertainment magazines reported many possibilities, but one of the most persistent rumors was that Lucas had short-listed Leonardo DiCaprio for the role of Anakin Skywalker.
Lucasfilm never confirmed the rumors, but many entertainment websites ran stories supporting the DiCaprio-as-Anakin theory. Supposedly, paparazzi spotted DiCaprio traveling to Skywalker Ranch. He even discussed the possibility of playing Anakin in an interview. However, Lucasfilm is known for their strict nondisclosure agreements, casting doubt on whether DiCaprio was actually in talks for the role or just promoting himself.
Ain’t It Cool News posted about meeting Ewan McGregor in a bar where he discussed meeting with DiCaprio about the role. As it turned out, DiCaprio did meet briefly with Lucas but was never in serious talks. Hayden Christensen got the role instead.
4 Pussy Riot Will Appear In The Force Awakens
The first audiences to see the new Star Wars movie are leaving the theater around the same time this list is being published. (We haven’t seen it yet!) Before a film is released, it’s impossible to say which rumors are crazy and which are not. Ever since Disney announced production on the new movie, websites have run “leaks” about plot elements like Kylo Ren secretly being Luke Skywalker and Han Solo flying a Star Destroyer. But one of the most unlikely rumors is that Russian punk band Pussy Riot will appear in the new movie.
Pussy Riot gained international notoriety after being jailed in Russia following a controversial performance. When the new Star Wars movie began production, the band stated that they were in talks to appear in the new movie in an unspecified role that was presumably attached to a musical performance. Internet speculators assumed that the band would appear as a cantina band at some point during the film, but for now, nothing is confirmed.
Having a well-known rock band rumored to appear in Star Wars would not be too out there. Before Attack of the Clones came out, fans believed that ‘N Sync would appear in the new movie. It would be interesting for Disney to include such a controversial band in their movie, especially since modern blockbusters must make profits around the world. For now, it seems like Pussy Riot will have to be content with their appearance in the Netflix show House of Cards, but if you’ve seen the movie and Pussy Riot is in it, let us know!
3 Obi-Wan Kenobi/Padme/Anakin Love Triangle
One of the main story arcs in the prequel movies is the burgeoning love between Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala, which eventually leads to Anakin turning to the dark side. However, after the first prequel movie came out, fans speculated that something more interesting would happen between the leads. In many fan theories, Anakin’s fall to the dark side would be propelled by a love triangle with Obi-Wan and Anakin both vying for Padme’s affections.
The fan theory went on to speculate that Obi-Wan was Luke and Leia’s father due to his sexual relationship with Padme. Although this seems far-fetched, there have been rumors that this plotline was the original idea for the prequels. Some elements stayed in the final script, such as Anakin’s distrust of Obi-Wan Kenobi for no clear reason.
Regardless of whether the rumored love triangle existed in the early script, fans continue to use the theory to explain events in the prequel movies, except now the sordid love affair supposedly occurred off camera.
The most interesting version of the theory comes from YouTube movie critic Belated Media, who made two videos highlighting how he wished the prequel movies had turned out. A key part of his hypothetical plot is mutual jealousy between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin over Padme’s affections.
2 Obi-Wan Is Killed By Anakin But Is Cloned
When the trailer for Attack of the Clones came out, eagle-eyed viewers noticed a split-second clip where Anakin beheaded a cloaked figure. For some reason, fans believed that the cloaked figure was Obi-Wan Kenobi and that he would die in the new movie.
But that caused some problems. Obi-Wan is clearly in A New Hope, so he could not die in Attack of the Clones. Instead of realizing that the theory would not work and going with the obvious explanation that it was another character, fans created a crazy theory about a cloned Obi-Wan.
The rumor stated that Anakin would kill Obi-Wan, but since the events took place during the Clone Wars, cloning technology allowed the Republic to recreate Obi-Wan. The theory further stated that the name Obi-Wan became the alphanumeric OB-1. Thus, the character that we see in A New Hope is actually the clone of the original Kenobi.
Obviously, the movie turned out differently. But the rumor still persists that Obi-Wan died offscreen during the events of the prequel movies. This explains why Obi-Wan seems to have forgotten many of the events of the Clone Wars and even gives Luke false information about the identity and life of his father. The Kenobi clone was not around to experience those events and so had no firsthand knowledge of the Clone Wars.
1 Natalie Portman’s Nude Scene
In the lead-up to The Phantom Menace, fans had little knowledge about what was going to happen in the film, and rumors spread like wildfire. Beyond casting rumors (like Liam Neeson as Yoda), fans also spread a creepier rumor about the new cast.
Nobody knows exactly where it started, but fans became convinced that Natalie Portman would appear nude in one of the scenes in The Phantom Menace, giving the movie an R rating and breaking Star Wars tradition by showing nudity in one of the films.
One of the problems with this theory was that Natalie Portman was only 17 years old when filming The Phantom Menace. This would run contrary to the industry standard of not letting minors appear nude in movies. It would have also been an odd detour for the Star Wars franchise, which usually focused on kid-friendly action and adventure.
In mid-1998, the rumor was so persistent that Parade magazine ran a small article disproving it. Fortunately, Star Wars did not delve into underage nudity, but it is still kind of creepy to think of how widespread this rumor was.
Zachery Brasier is a physics student who likes to write on the side and is a lifelong Star Wars fan.