Filmmaker and Star Wars superfan Kevin Smith theorizes that the Millennium Falcon could meet its bitter end in Episode IX as the franchise transitions to a new era. Moviegoers are still processing Rian Johnson's The Last Jedi as that film works its way up the box office charts, but Lucasfilm is moving full speed ahead to the sequel trilogy's finale. With director J.J. Abrams and co-writer Chris Terrio in tow, Star Wars 9 is aiming to start production this June so it can meet its December 2019 release date. Plot details, of course, are under lock and key.
Episode IX will find the galaxy far, far away in a very different place, as storytelling decisions (the deaths of Han Solo and Luke Skywalker) and real-life tragedy (Carrie Fisher's passing) mean this film could rest squarely on the shoulders of the younger stars without any legacy cast members along for the ride. There are a few original trilogy stalwarts still with the new generation (Chewbacca and the droids), but Smith believes an iconic vehicle could bid adieu to audiences when the Skywalker trilogy reaches its conclusion.
On an episode of his Fatman on Batman podcast, Smith shared his Episode IX hypothesis, saying it would be a very emotional moment for viewers:
"I think it’s the Falcon. That would really rip all of our hearts out. And, at the same time, the legacy cast is gone, maybe they don’t necessarily — if it’s a big enough story beat, I bet you that’s what goes."
Smith is right in qualifying that this should only happen if it services the story and not just for cheap manipulation. As tough as it was to watch Han and Luke die in back-to-back films, those moments were key cogs their respective narratives, paying off character arcs the movies had been building towards. They were earned and ultimately made the sequels more resonant, making the pills easier to swallow. If Leia is written out of Episode IX, the Falcon will be one of the few "characters" left with strong ties to Kylo Ren's tortured history. Seeing that his mission is to let the past die, the former Ben Solo could try to vanquish the ship himself. He had no qualms ordering an entire squad of TIE fighters to blast it out of the air during the Battle of Crait, so nobody should put Kylo destroying the Falcon (and Chewie, possibly) out of the realm of possibility.
Even if Abrams makes the choice to blow the Falcon up, it doesn't mean Star Wars would be done with it completely. Solo: A Star Wars Story actor Alden Ehrenreich is rumored to be on a three-picture deal, meaning this year's spinoff could spawn sequels if it's successful. Additionally, the Falcon will potentially be showcased at Disney's Galaxy's Edge theme park that's opening in 2019. It's true Lucasfilm has Rian Johnson's new trilogy on the horizon, but you can't blame them for trying to take full advantage of some of this iconography. The Falcon is instantly-recognizable, so we should expect it to stick around in some capacity.
Source: Fatman on Batman
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019