STAR WARS EPISODE IX

Em­pire’s James Dyer on the nine ques­tions J.J. Abrams must an­swer af­ter The Last Jedi

Empire (Australasia) - - Contents -

You can Ren, but you can’t hide: IX things that need an­swer­ing in Episode IX.

WILL WE SEE LUKE SKYWALKER AGAIN?

His life force hav­ing drained away by the ef­fort of pro­ject­ing his im­age across the gal­axy for one last, spec­tac­u­lar show of power, Luke Skywalker is dead. Of course, death is no bar­rier to a Jedi, so a Force Ghost Luke could still see the re­turn of Mark Hamill. His demise doesn’t bring an end to the Skywalker saga, though. As long as Leia’s son still lives, there is an­other.

WHAT HAP­PENS TO LEIA?

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Kath­leen Kennedy has (so far) ruled out a CG Car­rie Fisher, so it’s likely Leia’s fate will now be han­dled off screen. Leia may suf­fer an un­timely demise, but it seems more likely that her story will sim­ply di­verge from the main nar­ra­tive, see­ing her re­tire grace­fully or un­der­take mis­sions else­where. Her pass­ing the ba­ton to Poe Dameron at the end of The Last Jedi has al­ready set the stage for this.

WHO WILL CON­TINUE REY’S TRAIN­ING?

As the last Jedi, Rey has no-one left to teach her. But Rey has stolen the sa­cred Jedi texts (glimpsed briefly aboard the Fal­con at the end). Next: on­line uni?

ARE THE KNIGHTS OF REN STILL A THING?

Good ques­tion. They came close to be­ing Snoke’s Prae­to­rian Guards, but John­son thought that would com­pli­cate mat­ters. Now that we’re three films in and yet to en­counter them, Abrams will need to de­cide whether to qui­etly shelve the Knights or dou­ble-down and make them a sig­nif­i­cant ally (or threat) to Kylo Ren in the fi­nal chap­ter.

WHERE DOES THE RE­SIS­TANCE GO FROM HERE?

Judg­ing from the fact that they can now com­fort­ably fit into the Fal­con’s break-out area, The Re­sis­tance are on the back foot. How­ever, with Skywalker’s fi­nal dis­play hav­ing lit the spark, the gal­axy may rally to­gether and fight back, gath­er­ing their al­lies for a fi­nal of­fen­sive.

We’d start with the Wook­iees.

WITH SNOKE DEAD, HOW DOES HUX FIT IN?

Hav­ing missed his chance to blast an un­con­scious Ren, Ar­mitage Hux has a new boss; one with no com­punc­tions about Force-chok­ing. Will he fall into line? Does he even have a choice? Af­ter all, he didn’t choose the Hux life. The Hux life chose him.

CAN THERE BE A REDEMPTION FOR KYLO REN?

Hav­ing turned away from the light at the crit­i­cal mo­ment and em­braced the dark side, is there any way to bring Ben back? It’s to John­son’s credit that the an­swer to this is very un­clear. Whether he dies, is re­deemed or lives on in in­famy, any of th­ese fu­tures would ring true with how we left him in Episode VIII.

WHAT IS THE SIG­NIF­I­CANCE OF BROOM KID?

The Skywalker blood­line is not spe­cial, midi-chlo­ri­ans have been qui­etly brushed aside and The Force has spread across the gal­axy. When the daugh­ter of junk deal­ers and even a Can­ton­i­can sta­ble boy can master the Jedi arts, it’s fair to say that an en­tirely new gen­er­a­tion of Force adepts can emerge to re­pop­u­late the Jedi or­der. Or form some­thing else en­tirely...

IS THERE ANY WAY I CAN WORK IN AN­OTHER DEATH STAR?

No, J.J.. No, there isn’t.

STAR WARS: EPISODE IX IS IN CINEMAS FROM 19 DE­CEM­BER 2019

Above: Direc­tor J.J. Abrams Ri­d­ley some gives tips Daisy on han­dling the Mil­len­nium Fal­con. Be­low: Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) kneels be­fore no­body in the brave new world.

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