The Star Wars: Episode IX title has been revealed as The Rise of Skywalker, but what does that mean exactly? In their Disney era, Lucasfilm has become renowned for their intense levels of secrecy, but even by their standards, they were keeping a pretty tight lid on Episode IX details. When director J.J. Abrams wrapped principal photography back in February, he announced the occasion with a photo of Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Oscar Isaac embracing and posted a message thanking the cast and crew. In contrast from when Abrams finished shooting The Force Awakens, there was no grand title unveiling.
In a move similar to Avengers: Endgame, Lucasfilm saved that for the first trailer, which debuted during the Episode IX panel at Celebration Chicago. Though the thrilling return of Ian McDiarmid as Emperor Palpatine overshadowed just about everything else, the title reveal was massive and got several people talking immediately. Star Wars titles tend to be fairly on-the-nose descriptions of the films' thematic arcs and story beats (i.e. The Empire Strikes Back), so what could The Rise of Skywalker mean? Here are a few possibilities.
Rey Is A Skywalker - Or Takes On The Name
Rey's heritage has been a sticking point of the sequel trilogy, with The Last Jedi revealing her parents were two degenerate drunks that sold her off for drinking money. Instead of being a descendant of a legendary family, Rey genuinely is a nobody. It's entirely possible Abrams retcons this plot point and makes Rey a Skywalker by blood, but that honestly wouldn't line up with all that's been established in the sequels and be a little disingenuous to Last Jedi's message. It would be more likely if Rey chose to adopt the Skywalker name as her own by Episode IX's end - making it more of a title that gets passed down (see the title card "Every generation has a legend") to the most heroic person deserving of it. It would almost be like the "Darth" moniker for light side users.
Rey Creates An Order Called The Skywalker
The Last Jedi confronted one of the most glaring issues in the Star Wars saga so far: the Jedi Order is actually kind of bad. Twice over, their teachings spawned ultimate evil in the galaxy, so Luke Skywalker felt the galaxy would be better off without their involvement. As he later found out, the Jedi simply needed to evolve, learning from past failures to lay a stronger foundation for new generations. Rey was in possession of the old Jedi texts, but she also has her lessons from Luke - detailing how damagingly dogmatic the old ways were. Perhaps, she's going to start something new called The Skywalker Order, molded by what she took away from her time with Luke. It'd be a natural progression of The Last Jedi's themes.
Kylo Ren Is Redeemed
Barring any last-minute retcons, Ben Solo is the only member of the actual Skywalker family among the younger characters in the sequel trilogy. The prequels were Anakin's story and the originals were Luke's; even though Rey is the protagonist, the sequels could be Ben's story. The topic of his redemption has been discussed since The Force Awakens, so it's possible he goes back to the light, rises as a Skywalker once more, and helps defeat Palpatine once and for all. Of course, we've seen this arc before with Darth Vader, and Kylo Ren seemingly opted to stay in the dark during The Last Jedi. Even Leia, of all people, lost faith in her son, so it'd be a left field twist if Kylo Ren turned into a hero.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019