While still nearly a full year away, it’s hard not to already be getting excited about Star Wars Episode 9. While The Last Jedi remains one of the most divisive movies in recent memory and Solo: A Star Wars Story failed to make an impact, a new Star Wars film is certainly a big deal. Fans are eagerly anticipating what this trilogy’s final chapter will reveal.
One of the biggest questions around this film is which characters will be involved. The Last Jedi introduced and said goodbye to a fair amount of characters. While the return of Rey, Finn, and Poe is assured, who will be joining them is not. Let’s have a look at some of the characters who are confirmed to return and those who we’re hoping are involved.
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11 Confirmed: Snap Wexley
J.J. Abrams seems like a really good friend. For instance, if you’ve known him long enough, apparently you get to be in a Star Wars film.
Greg Grunberg is a childhood friend of Abrams and has popped up in some degree in all of his projects. Grunberg’s Snap Wexley was first introduced in The Force Awakens as a fighter pilot for the Resistance. Abrams decided to bring his friend back for this final film. We could see the role expanded a little though it’s still likely to be a relatively small part.
10 Want: Rey’s Mother
The Last Jedi caught a lot of criticism from fans who thought it threw out so much of the mystery set up in The Force Awakens. One of the main questions Rian Johnson seemed to answer was the truth about Rey’s parents. In short, they were nobody special.
It is an interesting idea that plays against expectations. But that doesn’t mean we can’t still meet her mother. With Keri Russell cast, many are hoping for that reveal. It doesn’t need to be a huge twist, but finding her mother would help bring closure for Rey as a character.
9 Confirmed: Maz Kanata
Maz Kanata was rumored to be the Yoda character for this trilogy. It’s true she too is wise and short, but she hasn’t played a very significant role up until now. However, she still has a few secrets that fans are eager to see revealed.
Lupita N’yongo provides the voice and some motion capture for the Kanata and she was included in the official cast list for Episode 9. Hopefully, the role will be expanded this time around and she can help fill some of those remaining gaps before the trilogy concludes.
8 Want: Obi-Wan Kenobi
Ever since Lucasfilm announced they would start making spin-off stories within the Star Wars universe, fans have called for a solo Obi-Wan Kenobi film. It was rumored to be gaining momentum recently with Ewan MacGregor returning, but that seems to have stalled. But it’s possible he could return in this trilogy.
MacGregor’s Obi-Wan has already been involved in the new trilogy, albeit in a very small capacity. But there have been whispers that he could make an actual appearance in this film. It doesn’t seem too far-fetched for him to appear and it would make sense for Luke to reunite with his old mentor now.
7 Confirmed: Rose Tico
Kelly Marie Tran’s character, Rose, was one of the more divisive aspects of The Last Jedi. Unfortunately, some of the reaction to the character exposed the worst aspects of the Star Wars fandom. With the backlash, there was some doubt as to whether the character would return.
Thankfully, Abrams and company are not letting that dictate their film. It has been confirmed that Rose will return in Episode 9. We’ll likely see a development in the romance between Rose and Finn, which we hope has a happy ending.
6 Want: Broom Boy
Despite the backlash to The Last Jedi, it can’t be denied it introduced some very interesting ideas to the Star Wars universe. One of the most exciting ideas came at the film’s end with a young stable boy is revealed to have the Force. This suggests the Jedi will go on and can really be anyone.
While Rian Johnson likely didn’t mean for people to look too heavily into who this boy was, this is Star War so naturally, the theories came fast. Even if he’s not revealed to be a significant character, it would be nice to bring him back and hint at his future as a Jedi.
5 Confirmed: Lando Calrissian
One of the few remaining original cast members yet to appear in the new trilogy is Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian. While maybe not as significant as Luke, Leia and Han have been, Lando is a memorable part of Star Wars and he deserves to be included in this new series.
Fortunately, fans will get their wish with Williams confirmed to be returning to the iconic role. It will be interesting to see what Lando has been up to all these years, how he’ll react to Han’s death and what kind of capes he's wearing these days.
4 Want: Knights of Ren
The Knights of Ren are another one of those set-ups that have yet to be paid off. We’ve only seen a brief glimpse at this order of elite warriors working under Supreme Leader Snoke. However, Kylo Ren remains the only member of the order we have met.
With Snoke gone and Kylo taking the title of Supreme Leader, it would seem he now leads the Knights of Ren. It has even been suggested that they will provide the film’s secretive title. It would be exciting to see them play a bigger role and show just how much of a threat they are.
3 Confirmed: Luke Skywalker
Luke Skywalker’s arc in The Last Jedi was another aspect that received mixed reactions. Some found it to be a great evolution for the character. Others found it to be a betrayal of the character. Even Mark Hamill had reservations. With his apparent death at the end of the film, it was unclear if he would return.
Hamill is now confirmed to appear, and some fans are hoping this means he’s not actually dead. What’s more likely is that he’ll appear as a Force Ghost providing guidance to Rey. It would be a nice way to bring things full-circle.
2 Want: Darth Vader
What’s Star Wars without Darth Vader? He is arguably the greatest villain in cinematic history and his presence still looms over this series. But how could they bring him back in a way that would make sense?
Vader as a Force Ghost seems unlikely as it would undo Anakin’s redemption at the end of Return of the Jedi and a flashback seems like a cheat. Perhaps Kylo Ren could embrace his Vader obsession and actually take up the mantle of Vader himself. It could give us a version of Vader witan a intriguing new twist.
1 Confirmed: General Leia Organa
Carrie Fisher was iconic in the role of Princess Leia. Fans were thrilled to see her return in the new trilogy (now as a general) and heartbroken when she passed away in 2016. Though she finished filming her role in The Last Jedi before her death, she hadn’t done any work on Episode 9.
There was a lot of speculation about how the film would handle her passing, but the official cast list revealed she would indeed appear in the film. It still remains unclear how they will achieve this, but we’re happy to have one last chance to say goodbye.