Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker will end the sequel saga, and after The Last Jedi shook the series to its core, nobody knows what to expect. With Luke Skywalker gone and the rebels on the run, it's up to director J.J. Abrams to bring this trilogy to a satisfying conclusion. Naturally, Star Wars speculation is rampant, and we wouldn't have it any other way. How will this era of the galaxy far, far away come to an end?
For this list, we're going to discuss the wildest Episode IX rumors and fan theories that the internet has to offer. Some of them sound quite satisfying, and others will probably stir up that typical Star Wars fan rage. As we examine these theories. we're going to look at their likelihood and all the evidence supporting them. None of these are spoilers, but if you truly want to know nothing going into The Rise of Skywalker, this is your chance to turn back. May the Force be with you otherwise.
How will the gang take on The First Order? What will happen to Princess Leia? Has the Emperor really returned? Let's dive in. Here are 5 Star Wars Episode 9 Fan Theories That Could Be True (And 5 We Hope Aren't).
Let's start with a fan theory that most fans have feared since The Force Awakens. Since the sequel trilogy has largely been about passing the torch from the legacy cast to the new cast, which characters are left to go? Well, besides Lando Calrissian, many fans argue that the only "character" left is the Millennium Falcon.
It's safe to say that the destruction of the Falcon could make for a hard-hitting emotional climax — the embodiment of Kylo Ren's sentiment about abandoning the past at all costs. Han Solo's iconic ship is the last real connection to the original films. Could this be its last flight? Although, the Falcon could be that metaphorical torch between the casts. It's already been passed from Han to Rey, so perhaps her new home is with the Resistance.
Despite his villainy, even Darth Vader redeems himself at the end of Return of the Jedi. Could Kylo Ren do the same? He has been torn between good and evil since his very first appearance. After all, he was originally Ben Solo, an aspiring Jedi, and a student of Luke Skywalker.
He hasn't always been evil, nor does he have any evil aspirations besides being free of those who control him. If he continues to parallel Darth Vader's life, Kylo Ren may have redemption in his future. Will fans take to it after he killed Han Solo, his own father? Probably not... but it does sound like a likely outcome.
The Force Awakens sets up mysterious new villains with the Knights of Ren. They first appear in Rey's Force vision standing alongside Kylo Ren, but they have not been mentioned since. They seem too important to simply abandon and forget, not to mention that the moment Rey sees — Kylo and the Knights standing amongst bodies in the rain — hasn't been revisited.
Was it a vision of the future or the past? The Last Jedi omits them entirely, which has fans wondering whether they're even worth mentioning at all. Whatever they are, hopefully they aren't insignificant despite what fans have been led to believe. The Knights are set to appear in The Rise of Skywalker and the first trailer suggests they may fight Kylo himself.
The first trailer for The Rise of Skywalker ends with two major reveals. The first is that Emperor Palpatine has returned in some form, indicated by his sinister laugh. The other reveal is that the young cast revisits the ruins of the second Death Star, now crashed in the waters of Endor. Leftover concept art from The Force Awakens reveals that a similar sequence was designed for that film. Is this idea being reused for The Rise of Skywalker?
With J.J. Abrams back at the helm, it seems likely. The initial idea has the gang fly the Falcon underwater to investigate the ruins, and even swim into the Emperor's throne room. Perhaps this is where the Emperor will return, haunting his resting place as an evil Force ghost.
There is no shortage of fans that feel Kylo and Rey are destined for love. Two broken people who share a connection across the universe — sure, it's certainly possible that they have feelings for each other. The Last Jedi seems to suggest they have a certain romantic tension between them as well. But is this rivalry supposed to end in romance?
As plausible as it sounds (and as many fans "Reylo" has), it doesn't seem like the most likely outcome of the story. Their sympathy toward each other might be misconstrued as romance, and it's quite difficult to see Rey forgiving Kylo Ren for hurting so many of her friends. It's a popular fan theory, but it seems more likely that they'll be unwilling enemies rather than lovers.
With the supposed return of Luke Skywalker and the evident return of the Emperor, it sounds like The Rise of Skywalker might be chock-full of Force ghosts. Coincidentally, an unused concept for The Force Awakens would fit right at home if this is the case. At some point, Lucasfilm toyed with the idea of bringing Anakin Skywalker back as a Force ghost.
He would not take the form of Darth Vader nor Hayden Christiansen, but instead a ghost that blends his personas together. If Luke and Palpatine can return (and it isn't a spoiler for fans to know that ahead of time), could this surprise be waiting in the final film? Perhaps Kylo Ren will see the monster his grandpa truly was, and this experience turns him to the light.
Naomi Ackie is one of the many newcomers to Star Wars, set to play a character named Jannah in The Rise of Skywalker. Aside from the fact that Finn and Poe will cross paths with Jannah, the character is still a mystery. Naturally, this hasn't stopped fans from theorizing that Jannah is the daughter of Lando Calrissian.
With Billy Dee Williams making a return as Lando, it makes sense to create a character with some connective tissue to the original cast. It wouldn't ruin the movie, but do fans really need a story about another person with an important lineage? Kylo Ren is a Skywalker descendant, and fans still feud over Rey's mysterious parentage. Maybe this is a beat that doesn't need repeating.
Luke Skywalker wanted to end the Jedi Order for good, but now that decision sits with Rey. One fan theory suggests that she won't just continue the Jedi, but that she'll reform it using Luke's teachings. Fans have long waited for the concept Grey Jedi to make it into the films — Jedi who knowingly dabble with both sides of the Force.
If the Jedi Order reforms under new rules; rules that follow Luke's philosophy of creating true "balance", then this might be the way to go. Some fans also theorize that the formal title "Jedi" will be replaced with "Skywalkers" in honor of Luke and his mythological status. It sounds like a tasteful way to conclude a trilogy that insists on letting go of the past.
Can we drop this already? This is the argument that the Star Wars fandom continues to have. Is Rey a Skywalker? Is she a Kenobi? Who are her parents?
Some think that The Rise of Skywalker will finally reveal her parents' identities. However, The Last Jedi suggests that their identities don't matter. If the next film were to backpedal on that revelation, it would be a slap in the face of the previous film. It's also a boring, predictable twist that appeals to nobody but the more entitled Star Wars fans. Rey is her own person with her own destiny, and it's much better to keep it that way than go for a cheap twist.
Now here is a theory that makes Rey's lineage interesting. What if it doesn't matter who her parents are, but what Rey did to them?
This fan theory suggests that Rey's parents never flew away, as seen in The Force Awakens. What if she pulled their ship down with the Force and repressed the traumatic memory? Kylo Ren tells her with certainty that her parents are in a grave on Jakku. Rey breaks down but acts as if she somehow knew they would never come back. Also, Snoke, Kylo Ren, ad Luke Skywalker all acknowledge her untapped potential in the Force.
This twist would create yet another parallel between her and Kylo Ren — and bring the mystery to a tragic end.
What do you think of these Star Wars theories? Share your thoughts in the comments and give us your own theory about The Rise of Skywalker!