Star Wars: Episode IX may be another film in the franchise featuring a super weapon, out of necessity given director J.J. Abrams' plan. After kicking off the sequel trilogy a few years ago with The Force Awakens, Abrams is back to finish what he started and Episode IX is in production. In typical Lucasfilm fashion, plot details are being firmly kept under wraps, though the studio has been transparent about certain key aspects. After the passing of Carrie Fisher, many fans wondered how (or if) General Leia Organa would factor into Star Wars 9 and as filming started, Lucasfilm announced old footage of the actress from Force Awakens and Last Jedi would be repurposed.
While it's great Leia will help end the story she began more than four decades ago, there are still lingering questions that need to be answered. Obviously, when Abrams and Rian Johnson shot those aforementioned scenes for their earlier movies, they were never intending them to be used down the road after the Star Wars family was hit by tragedy. In all likelihood, Abrams would not have gone down this route if he wasn't 100 percent confident in the idea, but it'll nevertheless be interesting to see what they come up with. And based on what he has to work with, an infamous series trope might make its return - but not in the way fans would think.
There's a new Episode IX rumor going around suggesting Kylo Ren is going to be overseeing the construction of a new super weapon for the First Order, which brings to mind Return of the Jedi parallels viewers are already making jokes about. However, there's nothing concrete to back this speculation up, as there are only a handful of set photos from Star Wars 9 available to the public. While it's questionable the villains have a new big gun, the rumor might not be far off. The Resistance may be building something for themselves.
Prior to the release of The Force Awakens, there was a plot leak eerily close to what the finished film resembled. A chief thread that wasn't even mentioned was the Resistance having a super weapon of their own called the Warhammer, which could cut right through star destroyers. If old Episode VII footage of Fisher is being recycled, then chances are Abrams is going to revisit this development. The wizards at Lucasfilm are definitely capable of manipulating Fisher's deleted scenes and changing their context, but there are probably some limitations they have to contend with. Leia's Episode IX arc was likely written with the cut footage in mind, which would make it easier to include in the movie. Odds are Leia and the Warhammer wouldn't have huge roles, but they'll still factor in some capacity.
Some fans might roll their eyes at Star Wars using yet another massive weapon, but the Warhammer wouldn't be a total retread of previous movies. There's never been an instance where the heroes are the ones with a super weapon; they're usually the ones stealing Death Star plans and blowing stuff up. So in that sense, the Warhammer could be a fascinating angle if executed properly - particularly in regards to the themes. The Resistance is eager to win the war, but how far would Leia be willing to go? Unleashing a powerful weapon to turn the tide is a move out of the Empire's playbook, though desperate times do call for desperate measures.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019