STAR WARS EPISODE IX
Empire’s James Dyer on the nine questions J.J. Abrams must answer after The Last Jedi
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?
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.