If Domhnall Gleeson returns for Star Wars: Episode IX, he hopes he gets to tackle even more comedic beats. Gleeson's sequel trilogy character, the First Order's General Hux, went in a rather unexpected direction in The Last Jedi, as he was the subject of much of the film's polarizing humor. Whether he was being put on hold by Poe Dameron or flung against a wall by Kylo Ren, audiences had plenty of chances to laugh at Hux - which seemed to fly in the face of his status as a villain. Some felt Hux's comedy undercut the character and made him more of a parody than intimidating threat.
Still, an argument can be made Hux's Last Jedi portrayal was in line with traditional franchise tropes, as he became the latest in a long line of incompetent officers bested by scrappy underdog heroes. It appears Gleeson himself is a fan of the way Hux's portrayal went in Episode VIII, and should he come back for the grand finale, he hopes that direction is continued under J.J. Abrams' watch.
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While speaking with Radio Times, Gleeson was asked about his Star Wars future. Since he hasn't read the (now completed) script, the actor couldn't confirm if he is in Episode IX, but he hopes Hux's comedy is a key aspect of the story:
"I wasn’t expecting [Hux’s comedy] to be the way it went in VIII, at all. It really surprised me. And I’d say rather than played for laughs, it was written for laughs. We did it with an eye on the comic elements of it... I have no idea what direction he’ll [Abrams] take it in, or even if he’ll use me. So I’m hoping that if I’m in the next one, I’ll get to do [some more comedy].”
It would be surprising if Hux isn't a part of Star Wars 9. After the deaths of Supreme Leader Snoke and Captain Phasma, he and Kylo Ren are the only main villains remaining in the trilogy. Given the events of Episode VIII, there should be plenty of fascinating ways to take their dynamic. The bickering rivals are poised to be in a power struggle to assume command of the First Order, with both having ambitions of being the one in charge. Kylo's failure at Crait cost the First Order a golden opportunity to wipe out their enemies, a development that will surely come into play in Episode IX. After seeing the compulsive and highly emotional Kylo get bested by a Force projection, the First Order subordinates may feel Hux is better fit to be Supreme Leader - exacerbating Kylo's insecurities. This thread is begging for proper resolution in the last episode.
Rian Johnson said he made Hux more comedic in Last Jedi as a counter to the heavier dramatics of Snoke and Kylo, so that approach could work for Episode IX as long as it's handled effectively. As the former Ben Solo becomes more consumed by his hatred and anger, it would be nice if the antagonists had some balance and Hux was allowed to be a funnier character. Nobody's arguing his sole purpose should be telling jokes, but Star Wars has always had humor - even on the dark side. If Abrams plays his cards right, Kylo and Hux's evolving relationship should be interesting, and entertaining, to watch.
Source: Radio Times
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019