The Return of Super Weapons
It appears that Episode IX will not only depict lightsabers, but new super weapons as well. Prior to the start of filming, Lucasfilm announced that JJ Abrams will give Leia a proper send-off by incorporating unused footage of Carrie Fisher from both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. Thanks to MakingStarWars and The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we know that a lot of these scenes revolve around a cut subplot involving something called “the Warhammer." Leia intended to use this creation in the Resistance’s battle with Starkiller base, and whilst it was reportedly not on the same power level as the First Order’s weapon, it could reportedly "crush through Star Destroyers as if they were tinker toys."
It would be very fitting if this plot line does come to pass in Episode IX. Moreover, as we know, Return of the Jedi saw Emperor Palpatine overseeing the construction of the second, more powerful Death Star. Certainly, Star Wars threequels really do tend to enjoy unveiling the big guns. The last instalment of the prequel trilogy, Revenge of the Sith, showcased the first Death Star in its early stages during the movie’s closing moments.
Some fans may baulk at the inclusion of another space weapon in the main Star Wars saga, yet it’s appropriate given the series past. Plus, its undoubtedly a good way to raise the stakes in these closing chapters of the Skywalker story.
A Mentor Will Fall
Remember how in Return of the Jedi featured Luke bid farewell to Yoda, who slowly succumbed to his extreme old age? Well something similar is sure to occur in Episode IX.
The Sequel Trilogy was always set to be the passing of the torch, from our original heroes to a new generation. Each movie was planned to be handover from one of the golden trio. The Force Awakens was Han Solo’s farewell. The Last Jedi saw the passing of Luke Skywalker. And prior to Carrie Fisher’s untimely death, Episode IX was to be Leia’s, who would have had a far more important role than her two comrades did in the Sequel Trilogy.
We can now gather that Episode IX was set to capitalize on Leia’s growing closeness with Rey, which viewers last saw when they sat together in the closing moments of The Last Jedi. Moreover, it seems that she would have assumed the role of Rey’s mentor, and instructed the young warrior in the ways of the Force. Regrettably, with Fisher no longer with us, the true extent of that story can never be realised, but some sort of closure may still be gained.
As stated earlier, unreleased footage will ensure that Leia returns in Episode IX in some capacity. The veteran freedom fighter may embark upon a mission from which she never returns. Alternatively, General Organa could simply step back to allow Poe’s leadership to flourish, if she isn’t forced to retire, or doesn’t succumbs to her injuries beforehand that is. Whatever method is chosen, it seems safe to assume that Episode IX will contain some sort of sad scene where Rey – and Star Wars fans around the world – say goodbye to Alderaan’s princess for the last time.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019