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Several questions about Star Wars: The Force Awakens were closed because they weren't answered by that film, but people thought that sequels might answer them. The sequel The Last Jedi is now out and some people have seen it already. What should we do with all those questions now?

Should we reopen each of them, hoping that The Last Jedi might answer them, then after many of us see the film and read the novel and other supplementary materials, close them again if it seems that the answer will likely be given Episode 9?

I don't know what the best solution is. But please don't keep questions closed just because they don't seem to be interesting enough and it's easier to leave them forgotten in the cracks in the "future works" state. That's not how we want to manage our site!

Here are some questions that might be closed this way.
For a few of these, it's unclear if they're closed because we expect a future work to answer, or for some other reason.

The following questions were listed in this question but are now reopened:

  • Some (and I'm tempted to randomly guess more than half) of those questions shouoldn't have been closed in the first place. UPDATE: of the first 5, IMHO, only one legitimately fell under future works policy. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Dec 18 '17 at 14:30
  • As an FYI, I voted to close C-3PO question but NOT under future works policy but because it's not even based on solid concept. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Dec 18 '17 at 14:32
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Our future works policy is to close questions which are unanswerable now but will be trivially answerable from future works. We don't close questions for not having a canon answer at all, or for having the answer unknown - only questions which are essentially asking people to make guesses or speculation about things which will be known canon when some future work is released.

When deciding whether or not to reopen a question, judge it as if it had been asked today. Does it still rely on future works such as Episode IX? If yes, leave closed. If not - even if the answer is "we don't know" based on Episode VIII, but there's clearly no future canon which will resolve it - then no reason to close it as future works (it may still be closable for some other reason, of course).

In many cases it may be hard to judge whether or not a question should be reopened without having actually seen Episode VIII. There should probably be a fair amount of Skipping in the review queues in the next while, by people who haven't seen the new film yet and aren't sure how to review a post related to it. But in the end, everything should (hopefully) shake out, and questions will end up in the correct open/closed state, even if it takes a meta discussion to get them there.

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I'm all for reopening questions... provided they now have answers. The problem is, I think we're jumping the gun here. Take, for instance, How did C-3PO's golden arm get to Maz Kanata?

There's now a canon comic that explains the origins of the red arm. But having read the comic, it doesn't explain what happened to the arm after it was taken, only that C3P0 had a good reason to still have the red arm attached in TFA. Maybe some explanation is forthcoming on that, but simply reopening older questions because a sequel came out isn't good policy in my book, especially since there is a scheduled Episode IX that may yet still hold answers to some of these questions.

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    That specific question is iffy (for reasons having nothing to do with Future Works); but it shouldn't have been closed as "future works" in the first place. Not having answers isn't a reason to close. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Dec 18 '17 at 14:35
  • @DVK-on-Ahch-To Possibly, but it's a pretty big plot hole to leave unaddressed. My bet is on an answer still being forthcoming – Machavity Dec 18 '17 at 14:42
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The "future works policy" says that we should close questions that are unanswerable now but will be trivially answerable from future works.

Once the future work is released, the question should indeed be able to be "trivially answered". It could be reopened and then provided with an answer that just about everyone familiar with the work already knows. Is that useful?

In my opinion, the vast majority of questions closed under the future works policy were never useful questions, they were attempts to start opinion based discussions on what would be included in the future work. As such, they were never appropriate for this site and should not be reopened.

I think such a question should only be reopened if it seems that it would be of use even after the future work has been published.

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    We no longer close questions based on usefulness or triviality (aka General Reference), not reopening them based on a similar metric goes against that. That's what downvotes are for. – phantom42 Dec 19 '17 at 16:08

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