6 Big Things We Hope To See From Star Wars: Episode IX

What’s left of the Resistance, as we left them at the end of The Last Jedi. (Image: Lucasfilm)

In little over a year, we’ll be seeing the third and final chapter of Star Wars’ latest trilogy, Episode IX, hit theatres. Unsurprisingly, we barely know a thing about it yet, other than it exists and some people we know and love are in it.

But that just gives us more reason to make a list of hopes about what we’ll see when the JJ. Abrams-directed film drops.

Beyond a mandate for new things to add to the great pantheon of Star Wars—new characters, new worlds, new creatures, new stories to tell — here’s just some of the things we’re hoping to see in Episode IX that would really help tie off this latest chapter of the Star Wars galaxy’s perpetual story of good and evil.


It’s time for the Skywalker twins’ story to come to a fitting end. (Image: Lucasfilm)

A True Conclusion to the Skywalker Saga

Early marketing material for Episode IX has dubbed the film as the end of the “Skywalker Saga”, the pan-generational tale that has occupied the drive of all eight mainline Star Wars movies so far.

So basically, it damn well better live up to that promise. With Luke gone, and with Leia potentially to follow given the tragic passing of Carrie Fisher, the Skywalker family bloodline is already petering out (give or take one certain angry young man, who we’ll get to later) — and maybe it’s time for it to do so, and bring its battles and turmoils to an end.

Episode IX needs to conclude the Skywalker family’s tale not just to give it the farewell it justly deserves at this point, and offer closure to Luke and Leia’s journeys, but to put a definite demarcation point on the fact that this is indeed the end of this particular Star Wars story — because there are plenty more to tell.

Remember when like, an entire star system of planets got lasered and we didn’t really... follow up on that? (Image: Lucasfilm)

The Intergalactic Fallout of The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi

The Star Wars sequel trilogy has been so far surprisingly introspective for a duology of films that have shown us the cataclysmic eradication of the center of galactic power and the apparent total invasion of the galaxy by a new totalitarian order.

Rightfully, these events have been primarily framed through the lenses of the character we’ve been following, like Rey, Finn, and Poe. But it’s also meant that we don’t really get to examine the tumultuous effect these events have actually had on the wider galaxy — something that Star Wars has typically struggled with, outside of showing the scale of the Clone Wars in Revenge of the Sith and the reach of the Empire’s miserable control in Rogue One.

Now that our heroes are left in so few numbers, it’s almost like Episode IX can’t help but have to take a step back and explore the ramifications the destruction of the New Republic’s command structure (and most of its fleet) and the First Order’s sweeping presence across the galaxy. It arguably should’ve happened sooner, but hey, there’s no time like the present.

This moment was really good, but imagine if we got moments like it more often among our heroes. (Image: Lucasfilm)

Heroes United

Yes, yes, The Last Jedi, like Empire Strikes Back before it, separated its key trio for much if its runtime. It’s like poetry, it rhymes, and so on and so forth. But it’d be really nice now that Rey, Finn, Poe — and now Rose — are all aboard the Millennium Falcon together, they actually get to spend some time like that for a bit.

The hasty timeframe of these films (they’ve all taken place over the course of, at most, a week or so?) mean that it sort of makes sense that they don’t yet know each other on the level that Han, Chewie, Leia, and Luke did across the original trilogy.

But they’re all such fascinating characters—played by immensely charismatic, delightful actors — that it’d be almost criminal to not have them bounce off of each other as much as possible in this movie. If you’re going to ape Star Wars’ past by having a heroic quartet, you should actually show them getting to be that quartet.

It’s time to see if Kylo Ren can live up to those lofty legacies he’s been chasing. (Image: Lucasfilm)

The Reckoning of Kylo Ren

Ah, Kylo Ren. The YouTube comment section on a video about whatever those dastardly “SJWs” are supposedly ruining now, made flesh. The Darth Vader cosplayer with daddy issues so daddy, they transmogrified into granddaddy issues. He’s been one of the most fascinating aspects of the sequel trilogy to watch, as his rage carves a messy, haphazard path through the story.

The symbolism of what he represents casts a long critical shadow, from the resonant fear of toxic masculinity to what Star Wars’ own fascination with legacy and its past can represent. Which means in Episode IX, it’s time to finally see what fruits these symbolic overtones will bear.

It’s not certain, but at least easier to speculate what paths our heroes are going on, however, Kylo Ren remains intriguingly cryptic and no doubt will to the end—especially as it is he (give or take a few Star Wars-ian surprise sibling reveals that could crop up) that marks the true end of the Skywalker lineage at this point. Is there redemption for Ben Solo, like his grandfather before him? Or will he let the past die, and his bloodline with it?

Broom Boy: The future of Star Wars already has a face. (Image: Lucasfilm)

The Next Next Generation

Star Wars is a saga of generations — not just in direct relation to the Skywalker bloodline, but in the way different generations have inherited the conflicts of their predecessors, the fire of war sparking across familiar frontiers time and time again.

We already have the next generation beyond the original Star Wars heroes, and as we mentioned earlier, we still really need to get to know them better. But Episode IX is not going to be the last Star Wars film (I know, surprising).

It’s probably not even going to be the farthest point in the timeline. We’ll almost inevitably explore beyond the conflict between the Resistance and First Order at some point, so the groundwork needs to already start being laid beyond Rey, Finn, Poe, and Rose.

The Last Jedi already started to slowly but surely lay the building blocks for this — out of the ashes of the Resistance, a new rebellion is born on Crait. Learning from both the failures of an icon and the ancient teachings she scurried away with, Rey sets herself on a path to bring the Jedi out of the dark, in a form that we’ve never really seen them before.

And whatever happens to Kylo Ren aside, the dark side of the Force has awoken to meet the Jedi’s light, outside of just Ben and Rey’s intertwined paths. It also subtly established that these new beginnings are much more encompassing of a wider range of people than just the Skywalkers and their immediate surroundings, with the potential for anyone across the galaxy to rise up and be a hero, or fall to villainy. The stage is being built, but Episode IX has a chance to really blow the doors open on Star Wars’ future.

The Supreme Leader is dead. Long live the Supreme Leader. (Image: Lucasfilm)

The End of Empires and Republics

As mentioned before, Star Wars is a generational story—but it’s also a weirdly cyclical one, for better or worse (remember the poetry and the rhyming?). The conflicts and tales we’ve seen emerge over the course of the prequel, original, and now sequel trilogies all have parallels across each other, which fosters bonds as much as it does breed a level of homogeneous sameness. Darkness rises, and light to meet it.

Empires clash against Republics, give or take slightly different names. Good and evil are pit against each other in a fight where victory is only temporary because there’s always another foe to fight on the horizon.

If, presumably, the First Order is shattered by the climax of Episode IX, the Star Wars galaxy is going to once again find itself where it did at the climax of Return of the Jedi: a defeated evil and a rebellion ready to rebuild a new order. But maybe this time Star Wars doesn’t have to reconstruct a state of the galaxy we’ve already seen built and shattered across two prior generations of film.

Maybe we don’t need a New New Republic, or the rise of another hollow Empire in all but name. Maybe, just maybe something truly new can emerge from the ashes of the now-failed attempt to restore the past.

The Last Jedi’s opening skirmish was good, but not nearly enough. (Image: Lucasfilm)

A Big, Lovely Space Battle

OK, this is me just being selfish, but man, has the sequel saga been lacking in really good space action or what!? Like, a lot of this has made sense — the Resistance doesn’t exactly have a mighty fleet on its hands beyond a few fighter squadrons, and even they get chewed through in The Last Jedi’s opening skirmish with the First Order. So unless Lando’s got himself a fleet of cruisers hiding out there somewhere, the idea of a big, grand space battle is probably less likely than I want it to be.

Can’t stop me from hoping, though, because space battles in Star Wars are always lovely, from the wild chase Anakin and Obi-Wan go through in Revenge of the Sith’s opening, to the legendary Battle of Endor in Return of the Jedi, to even Rogue One’s glorious modernisation of it all with the Battle of Scarif.

It would be nice to see something on that scale, a truly titanic clash of whatever’s left of the New Republic and Resistance to muster against the military machine of the First Order. But that’s mainly because I think spaceship pilots are cooler than lightsaber wielders, from a purely childish standpoint.


Comments

    from the resonant fear of toxic masculinity
    Lol, really? Somehow I don’t think this is a plot point worth considering...

    It'll be impossible for them to wrap the Skywalker Saga up because these films haven't been a story of Skywalkers. Yeah, some have been in them, it's not their story.

    Kylo Ren, what can they possibly do? We have no idea at all what motivates him, his grand daddy issues have not been explored. Why he went to the dark side, what he wants etc. They can only wrap him and any Skywalker legacy in him by introducing the start of his story for the purpose of wrapping it up. Having some conflict does not make you sympathetic, the guy is a genocidal monster, there's no redemption. Before you say, "but Darth Vader was redeemed.." No, he wasn't. What was left of Anakin was saved. Vader died, the last bit of Anakin survived because he saved his family, he saved Luke. Which was the motivation for his path to the dark side. Before you say, "but that's bringing in the prequels when the original trilogy was new." We already knew Vader was motivated by his son, he didn't want to kill his son in TESB. His path was set up. Kylo, there is nothing.

    As to the next generation, pushing off the story of what originally happened after ROTJ to Rey rebuilding the Jedi is just "meh" her character lacks the legacy and her very existence undermines any importance to this role. Luke was to rebuild the Jedi, train the Jedi, be a mentor, it's hard and there's the risk of the dark side. Rey shows that this continuation isn't needed. She didn't need training, even the guidance away from the dark isn't needed. Inclusions like broom boy using the force with ease to move things undermine any importance of Jedi teachings or the threat from doing down the path to the dark side. Whatever Kylo's path to the dark side is, it's only been explained as "Snoke did it." It's changing it from being giving into natural desires to a path someone must set you on, someone must infect you with.
    Otherwise, in this galaxy where people can just use the force willy-nilly, there'd be a bunch of dark force users doing evil constantly.

    The cyclical nature of the Empire and Republic is a new development. The republic lasted for a 1000 years? A thousand generations? It was around for a long time. The cyclical approach makes no sense in the history of Star Wars. The introduction of The Empire and Republic being opposition parties undermines the threat and nature of the Empire. There maybe was a point about the failure of the Republic post the end of The Empire. However nothing has been explored, it's all pointless. Nothing is explained. Except apparently, it doesn't matter for most of the Galaxy who rules, which once again undermines the plot of the previous trilogies, it also raises serious questions about what the Resistance/Rebels are fighting for. The previous film ended with someone inspired to rebel, who is living under the exact same system, with the exact same life they were living in under the Republic, under the system the Resistance/Rebels were fighting to protect.

    The plot is a jumbled mess and while I hope they can do something good out of it, I fear many of the issues I mentioned here and ones I didn't will become worse. Episode IX basically needs to tell the story of what happened post-ROTJ leading up to TFA, then actually explain the story or the sequel trilogy, the wider importance. Then it will need to wrap it up. That's too much, they won't be able to do it and so will probably ignore it, it'll all be a vague mess. The lack of story means we'll probably just get a new threat, a new bad guy and they'll come together to defeat that, the threat will probably cause a civil war in The First Order, because in this galaxy no one has fighters or warships besides them.

    As for a cool space battle, sure, lets hope. However, it will undermine the current plot if the Rebels are now just rebuilt with a fleet. Did they go to the arms dealers on Canto and buy new ships? This is why it makes logical sense for a First Order civil war. Hux on one side, Kylo on the other. His version of the evil Empire was one that does good. The problem is that Hux was a buffoon in the last film, so they need a new bad guy manipulating him. Or just undead Snoke, but that also runs into the problem of then explaining what the story is with him. There are too many pitfuls because nothing is set up story wise and so how can it conclude in any decent manner?

    Also, if we get a big space battle, we also should have a big battle that is on the land or something new. Not just a bigger version of what we've seen. Rogue One is probably the pinnacle of final battles, we need something a bit more unique.

    I hope JJ finishes what he started, but the story went nowhere in the subsequent film, which is where it needed to develop to allow a final chapter. Let's hope they have a good idea and that "another death star" rumour about Ep IX really is just someone trolling the fanboys to get upset about.

      The idea that they 7 and 8 are part of a trilogy just seems more and more strange the more you think about them. They seem so unrelated to each other thematically and stylistically. It will be interesting to see what JJ does with it considering everything he set up in 7 was mostly ignored.

    The last episode was such a huge misstep for me that I just can't bring myself to care at all about the next one. The OT will go down, for me, as one of the greatest stories ever told. I'd struggle to tell someone what the plot of this new "trilogy" is other than laying foundations for more half assed content.

      I second this. The Last Jedi simply poisoned the well as far as I'm concerned. When IX comes out on Netflix and I've got nothing better to do, I'll watch it. I'm certainly not going to spend extra money on it.

        Yeah. The Disney streaming service will be in play buy then, so just wait for the $9.99 DVD at JB's.

    All I want is a coherent plot, logical character decisions and individual arcs that aren't completely at odds with what's come before it. So, like the anti-TLJ.

    Episode 8 was a grand failure in just about every respect. And even Lucasfilm admits it - and the box office numbers certainly back it. I mean, we're talking 3 quarters of a billion in lost earnings. New character Rose is thrown in for no particularly good reason, you have Poe sidelined for most of the movie for no good reason. You have multiple chances to give Poe a good storyline and instead you hamper him. You have a stupid storyline that goes nowhere and adds nothing except run time. You have the chance to give Leia an exit and you dont. You kill off the big bad and Luke without some epic battle. Episode 8 will go down as a huge disappointment for fans.

    I’m hoping my expectations with be subverted and it’ll be watchable.

    Nah, I’ll give it a miss anyway

    It's going to be a big mess. I've got an idea let's make a new Star Wars Trilogy but forget about character arcs and let's throw everything out the window for the second movie..... hmmm ok

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now