Ten Things I Want to See in Star Wars Episode IX
As the very divisive The Last Jedi continues to gather enough cash to make Scrooge McDuck’s money bank look like one of the plastic coin slots your grandparents had, thoughts have begun to turn to the next chapter in the Star Wars saga. Due out in December 2019, Episode IX begins filming this June with J.J. Abrams (The Force Awakens) at the helm. Fan theories have been prevalent since Star Wars movies began. After The Force Awakens debuted in 2015, the ensuing two years had fans theorizing on all topics, everything from Rey’s parentage, to Snoke’s identity, to Luke Skywalker’s lost years, to what Kylo Ren’s favorite emo band was. Then Rian Johnson’s film came along and subverted all expectations. Johnson’s movie made it pretty clear about how he feels about Star Wars nostalgia and catering to fanboys. Which is to say not much and not his job.
Personally, I think The Last Jedi was brilliant and moves the franchise in bold new directions. Originally, I was going to write an article doing a deep dive on the film’s themes and nuances but at this point so much has been written, that I really don’t think I have much to add. In any case this article pretty much sums up my feelings. Consequently, I thought it would be more interesting to write about what I’d like to have happen in the next film. The key word is “want” not “expect.” I think fans expecting certain things (i.e. the movie they’d already made up in their head going in) is what caused so much disappointment. If The Last Jedi proves anything, it’s that Star Wars does not care about what you want or expect. So even though it may be an exercise in futility and none of the following may occur, it’s still fun to speculate. Obviously if you haven’t seen The Last Jedi, the following will have lots of spoilers so….
1. LUKE AS A FORCE GHOST
I feel like this one might be a foregone conclusion. Those who saw the film know that after giving the Resistance time to escape from Krayt, Luke’s efforts to project himself across the galaxy resulted in his own death. He chose to become one with the Force just like Obi-Wan and Yoda before him. I would be shocked if Mark Hamill doesn’t show up as a Force Ghost in Episode IX. The biggest indicator that this is likely to occur is the fact that Mark Hamill continues to sport his beard where he’s said before he hates having one. Why keep it if you’re not going to appear again?
2. BRING THE PORGS BACK!
For the life of me I don’t get the Porg hate. I thought they were perfectly utilized, hilarious, and cute as Hell. If they existed in real life I would totally get one. While I don’t think the movie will return to the planet of Ahch-To, I hope the Porg Chewbacca brought aboard the Millenium Falcon will come back. Provided of course that Chewie doesn’t eat him.
3. BEGIN THE FILM WITH A TASTEFULLY DONE FUNERAL FOR LEIA
Just over a year ago the world lost Carrie Fisher way too early at the age of sixty. Her Princess Leia will go down as one of the more iconic roles in cinema history. Although the character of Princess Leia survived The Last Jedi, Disney has decided (rightly I believe) not to recast the role or CGI the character. I feel like doing some cheap explosion scene to kill her off diminishes the character as a whole. It makes more sense to have some kind of a state funeral at the beginning of Episode IX and examine the transition of leadership from there. And speaking of leadership…
4. MAKE POE DAMERON THE HEAD OF THE RESISTANCE
Although he didn’t make much of an impact in The Force Awakens I liked the character immensely. Johnson made the right choice to expand his role in The Last Jedi and he’s arguably the one who grows the most in the film, from shoot-first flyboy to level-headed potential leader. I can see Commander Dameron easily becoming General Dameron. However, I will admit that not dropping him into an X-Wing at some point would be a waste.
5. CLARIFY IF KYLO WAS LYING TO REY
One of the biggest revelations in The Last Jedi was that Rey’s parents were essentially no one, addicts who sold Rey for drinking money. Or were they? I’m not the only one who raised this question either. Kylo could be lying and Rey’s parents could surely be significant. It would explain how Kylo seemed to know who she was when he was first informed of her in The Force Awakens. My only concern is if Kylo did lie what was his motivation behind it? Furthermore, if Abrams and company do decide to make Rey someone significant, they’ll have to do so in a way that doesn’t feel contrived and self-serving. I honestly hope they keep it the way it is. Not everyone has to be related in this movie franchise.
6. A RETURN TO CORUSCANT
Although the prequels are often met with quite a bit of derision, one of the cooler things about it was the planet Coruscant, home of the Jedi and also The Republic. The amazing city planet was a technological wonder. I could definitely see The First Order returning to occupy the planet just as the Emperor and his acolytes once did. Perhaps Rey may even find something of significance or usefulness in the Jedi Archives at the Jedi Temple.
7. GIVE ME SOME LANDO LOVE!
That came out wrong.
Soooo many of the original cast members made a return for the new trilogy: Han, Leia, Luke, R2D2, C3PO, Admiral Ackbar, even Nien Nunb for Hoth sakes! Yet missing among them is the debonair rogue and Rebellion General, Lando Calrissian. Disney and Johnson have made it clear they aren’t about fan service, however it would be a delight for them to work in Lando in some manner. It doesn’t even have to be a large role. A scene or two would suffice. Again however I don’t want it to feel forced so if it doesn’t feel natural Abrams and company should probably leave it out.
8. A POE AND REY ROMANCE
At this point you may be thinking, “Ugghhh no! The heroine doesn’t have to have a love interest! Luke never did!” (His sister doesn’t count sickos.) Here’s the thing: The Last Jedi tackles head on that the old way led to the destruction of the Jedi. Specifically, Jedi are not allowed to have attachments, romantic relationships, or children. It is that draconian thinking that led to the downfall of Anakin Skywalker and the rise of Darth Vader. Anakin kept his relationship with Padme a secret because of the Jedi taboo and because of that, the galaxy suffered for the next two decades. What I’m saying here is that if the Jedi are to survive, they have to evolve. To deny oneself the beauty of love, a spouse, and children is just straight madness. If Rey is to be the first of the New Jedi, then that’s one of the laws that has to be erased. Poe as a romantic partner makes the most logical sense especially in light of Finn and Rose’s budding relationship and Poe and Rey’s brief scene at the end of The Last Jedi. It very much had a Han/Leia vibe to it.
9. A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF TIME NEEDS TO BE BETWEEN THE LAST JEDI AND EPISODE IX
The Last Jedi made the unprecedented move of picking up immediately after The Force Awakens left off. Previously, the shortest time between two episodes was between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, which was only one year. While Rian Johnson’s choice worked, it doesn’t make sense for the same thing to occur for the next episode. The First Order has been significantly damaged due to the destruction of StarKiller Base and the depletion of their fleet thanks to the heroic act of Admiral Haldo. The Resistance only has about forty members left. Both sides are hurting. Consequently they both need time to rebuild their forces. This will also give Rey time to learn more about the Force and the Jedi. Furthermore, it will give her a chance to perhaps train a new group of Jedi. Personally, I’d love it if it’s a full decade between TLJ and Episode IX. Then we can cast an older person to play Broom Boy from the final shot in The Last Jedi. (I’m only half kidding there.)
10. THE KNIGHTS OF REN
Seriously bruh…where are these dudes??? They were shown in a flashback in The Force Awakens and Snoke mentions that Kylo is the leader of the Knights of Ren. There’s also the implication from The Last Jedi that when Kylo destroyed Luke’s new Jedi school and took a few of Luke’s acolytes with him that THEY then became the Knights of Ren. Other than that we’ve gotten bupkiss. I need the Knights of Ren in my life. Also if Rey does train a new order of Jedi Knights, it makes logical sense for them to be pitted against the Knights of Ren. Can you imagine the epic lightsaber battle that would ensue between the Knights of Ren and the New Jedi Knights. EPIC.
So that’s my two Republic credits on the topic. As I said this is mostly just wishful thinking. Literally, nothing I thought would happen in The Last Jedi happened so there’s little reason for me to think that any of my above desires will actually happen.
Unless I Jedi mind trick J.J. Abrams and Chris Terrio of course…..
You can follow me on Twitter at @DarthGandalf1