No one just waits for movies to come out to see what happens in them anymore. If it’s in a well-known franchise and the previous films have set up cliff-hangers and ambiguous character traits and unanswered mysteries, then millions of fans across the world will share their speculations and predictions with the internet.
Since The Last Jedi received mixed reactions from devoted Star Wars fans and The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams is returning to helm the final chapter of Disney’s sequel trilogy, the as-yet-untitled Episode IX (Update: It's titled The Rise of Skywalker), fans are going rampant on Twitter and Reddit with their theories about how the stories of Rey, Finn, Poe, and Kylo Ren will come to an end. The confirmation that Billy Dee Williams will return as Lando Calrissian and the casting of Richard E. Grant and Keri Russell in mysterious, undisclosed roles has only thrown more fuel on the fan theory fire.
Like with all fan theories, there are some that are so ridiculous they couldn’t possibly be true, but there are some that do make sense, given the trajectory of the story arcs and the tendencies of the characters. Some theories are way off, but some could be right on the money. There’s no way for us to know before the movie actually comes out, but we can certainly speculate on which fan theories seem plausible and which don’t.
So, in anticipation of the movie’s December 20, 2019 release date, here are 17 Star Wars Episode IX Fan Theories That Definitely Aren’t True (And 10 That Could Be).
27 Definitely isn’t true: The Last Jedi was all a dream
This theory speculates that, since a lot of Star Wars fans were unhappy with the decisions Rian Johnson made with The Last Jedi, the movie didn’t actually happen. Episode IX will reveal that Finn imagined it in his coma while he was stuck in the medical pod and J.J. Abrams will retcon the controversial Episode VIII and use Episode IX as a do-over.
As fun as it is to imagine, this almost definitely won’t happen. While it may please a lot of fans, it would throw the whole arc of the trilogy out of whack and mess with the Star Wars formula even more than The Last Jedi did. It feels more like a Robot Chicken skit than an actual movie.
26 Could be true: One of Snoke’s other apprentices will turn up
We have to remember that Kylo Ren was just one of Snoke’s apprentices, and his others won’t be too pleased that Kylo Ren has killed him. One fan theory claims that one of Snoke’s other apprentices from the far reaches of the galaxy will turn up to avenge the Supreme Leader’s death.
This will add another dimension to the conflict of Kylo Ren’s fight against the Resistance as he gets involved in a fight against some other guy, a Starkiller type, so it’s not beyond the realm of possibility – and it would be really cool.
25 Definitely isn’t true: Rey eliminated her parents
The biggest question that fans want to be answered by Episode IX is Rey’s lineage. The Last Jedi technically answered it when Kylo Ren said there were nobodies, but no one really believes that.
One fan theory suggests that Rey eliminated her parents and that’s why she’s a loner when we meet her at the beginning of The Force Awakens and why she’s so touchy when the subject comes up. In The Last Jedi, Kylo Ren says, “They’re dead in a paupers’ grave in the Jakku desert.” This probably isn’t true, because Rey would be irredeemable if she actually did that to her family and buried them in the desert.
24 Could be true: Kylo Ren achieves redemption
Kylo Ren is the Darth Vader of the sequel trilogy. He’s leading the army against our heroes and he wears a black mask and he gets bossed around by a higher power who he eventually takes down. But Kylo Ren is more emotionally conflicted than Vader, as we’ve already seen from his debates with Rey.
Darth Vader achieved redemption at the end of Return of the Jedi and he had been straightforwardly evil right up until the moment he changed his mind and threw Palpatine down that shaft, so Kylo Ren will surely have a change of heart by the end of Episode IX. He very almost did before the end of The Last Jedi.
23 Definitely isn’t true: Ahsoka Tano is Rey’s mother
Kevin Smith proposed this one on his Fatman on Batman podcast. He relayed a conversation he had with his friend Brian Volk-Weiss in which Smith speculated that Keri Russell was either playing Ahsoka Tano to bring her into the movies, or Rey’s mother.
And then Volk-Weiss said, “What if it’s the same person?” which blew Smith’s mind. While it’s fun to think about, and it’s possible that Russell could be playing Ahsoka or Rey’s mother, it’s highly unlikely that she’s playing both and Ahsoka is Rey’s birth mother. For starters, Ahsoka is a Togruta and Rey is a human.
22 Definitely isn’t true: Snoke isn’t really gone
Whether he wasn’t really eliminated thanks to a Force projection or he can inhabit people as he did with General Hux, many fans think we haven’t seen the last of Snoke. Everyone expected him to be this scary villain who couldn’t be defeated and he was killed a little too easily.
However, the story is a little overstuffed as it is and bringing Snoke back in the form of other people would be a little too weird for a Star Wars movie. That’s more of a Lost thing. It is J.J. Abrams making this movie, but he knows he’s making a Star Wars movie and not a J.J. Abrams movie.
21 Could be true: There will be more flashbacks
Since The Last Jedi introduced flashbacks into the Star Wars world, one fan theory suggests the device will be used to give Han and Luke screen time together one last time and explain why Leia is suddenly absent from the story.
The theory proposes the Han/Luke flashback could see them arguing over whether or not a pre-Knights of Ren Ben Solo should be trained in the ways of the Force. It would add some emotional punch and also give Mark Hamill what he was disappointed The Force Awakens lacked: one final scene featuring himself and Harrison Ford in their iconic roles.
20 Definitely isn’t true: Rey and Kylo Ren will be together
A lot of fans want Reylo to happen, but it almost definitely won’t. They developed a close relationship throughout The Last Jedi, but it wasn’t headed in a romantic direction. Besides, John Boyega wants Rey to end up with his character Finn, not Kylo Ren.
Many theories suggest that Rey and Kylo Ren could be related, so it would be super weird for them to get together before figuring that out. Given all the jokes fans make about Luke and Leia’s kiss in The Empire Strikes Back, surely the Star Wars saga would want to distance itself from that kind of story for a while.
19 Could be true: Kylo Ren was telling the truth
While Kylo Ren seemed to reveal that Rey’s parents were insignificant nobodies who abandoned her in The Last Jedi, the fan theories about who her parents are haven’t stopped. That’s because nobody believes Kylo Ren and it’s assumed he was lying.
But what if he was telling the truth? It might not please fans who love a big reveal and want to see a couple of important Star Wars characters revealed to be Rey’s parents, but the movies shouldn’t be made with them in mind. It should simply be made with telling the best story in mind.
18 Definitely isn’t true: Han Solo is Rey’s father
This theory suggests Han had a relationship with a random woman who got pregnant with Rey, explaining the instant father-daughter relationship the two developed in The Force Awakens. It also explains the close Force connection shared by Rey and Kylo Ren – they’re half-siblings!
The theory goes that this woman stole the Millennium Falcon and abandoned both it and Rey on Jakku, which is how she knew it was a piece of junk and how she got involved with Unkar Plutt. It all adds up, apart from the fact that Han would never do that to Leia.
17 Definitely isn’t true: Richard E. Grant is playing Thrawn
Withnail and I and Downton Abbey star Richard E. Grant has been cast in Star Wars Episode IX in a mysterious role. Grant is no stranger to fanboys trying to pry information out of him about upcoming projects – he was in both Logan and Game of Thrones – so we can’t expect any hints from him.
One fan theory predicts that his role is Grand Admiral Thrawn from the Expanded Universe. While it would be fun to see him make the transition from animated television to live-action movies, this is probably just wishful thinking by Star Wars Rebels fans.
16 Could be true: Kylo Ren was lying about Rey’s parents
Fans have been theorizing about the identity of Rey’s parents ever since The Force Awakens first opened up the mystery. And even though Kylo Ren (supposedly) revealed that they were nobodies in The Last Jedi, those theories have continued coming in.
However, since that was blurted out in the heat of battle, one prominent fan theory that many people have taken as the truth claims Kylo Ren was lying about Rey’s parents and that they are actually significant characters. This may be wishful thinking, but the producers know how important Rey’s lineage is to fans – surely they wouldn’t do that to us.
15 Definitely isn’t true: General Hux will become the true villain
One fan theory claims that as Kylo Ren becomes closer to Rey and less evil, General Hux will swoop in and take over as the true villain. He’ll get tired of Kylo Ren pushing him around and letting his emotions get in the way of the First Order’s plans for world domination and stage a mutiny to overthrow him, then take over leading the charge against the Resistance.
However, Hux is far too much of a pushover for this to ever happen. Whenever he even questions Kylo Ren’s authority, he is quickly silenced with a Force choke or a stern look.
14 Could be true: Finn will rehabilitate Stormtroopers
One fan theory suggests Finn will rehabilitate Stormtroopers who, like him, need an opportunity to live life outside First Order protocol and find their purpose in the world. This could be true, because it would see him follow up on his promise to be a better person and make the galaxy a better place.
However, it would also mean taking an epilogue scene on the movie, sort of a “Where are they now?” type thing to show where everyone ended up, which isn’t the Star Wars way. Return of the Jedi just ended with the Rebels’ victory, peace across the galaxy, and a big party.
13 Definitely isn’t true: Kylo Ren will take over as Supreme Leader
We don’t know an awful lot about Supreme Leader Snoke. As Rian Johnson pointed out when he was asked how many questions about Snoke would be answered by The Last Jedi, “a story is not a Wikipedia page.”
However, we do know, from his title, that he is the Supreme Leader of something. Now that Kylo Ren has killed him, one fan theory expects him to take over the title of Supreme Leader. However, as powerful as Kylo Ren is, he doesn’t seem like a Supreme Leader kind of guy. In the words of Dr. Evil, he’s not evil enough.
12 Definitely isn’t true: Lando found happiness
Ever since it was confirmed that Billy Dee Williams will be the latest actor to reprise his role from the original trilogy in the sequel trilogy with the upcoming ninth chapter of the Skywalker saga, the fan theories about his involvement in the story have been flooding across the internet. One theory suggests he will have found happiness.
Unlike Luke, Leia, and Han, who are all sad when we catch up with them thirty years later, one theory proposes Lando will have found success and happiness by the time we get reacquainted with him in Episode IX.
11 Definitely isn’t true: Qi’ra is Rey’s mother
There are a few fan theories that pose Han Solo as Rey’s father and they suggest a handful of female characters as her mother. Of all the different theories on Rey’s mother, perhaps the most outlandish one is that its Qi’ra, Emilia Clarke’s character from Solo: A Star Wars Story.
While this would explain Rey’s Dark Side temptations and why Han might have cheated on Leia to be with his first love, the timeline might not work out and Qi’ra isn’t well-known enough as a character for it to be a bombshell. A lot of fans didn’t even see Solo: A Star Wars Story.
10 Could be true: Captain Phasma is still alive
When George Lucas was making the original trilogy, there was no such thing as Twitter or Reddit or Facebook, so he had no idea how popular Boba Fett became after The Empire Strikes Back. So, he gave him an unceremonious death in Return of the Jedi and fans were outraged.
But now, we do have social media, so the guys making the new Star Wars movies know exactly how popular Gwendoline Christie’s character Captain Phasma has become. That dumb “chrome-dome” joke can’t be how she goes out. Many fans believe she will return in Episode IX, based on a cryptic joke made by Rian Johnson: “Phasma is the Kenny from South Park of this series.”
9 Definitely isn’t true: Luke will come back as a Force ghost
At the end of Return of the Jedi, we saw the Force ghost of Anakin Skywalker reunite with the Force ghosts of his old master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and the little green man who was always dubious of him, Yoda.
While Luke Skywalker passed away a little early in the trilogy to follow his father’s story arc, some fans think he will return at the end of Episode IX to reunite with his old pals. However, The Last Jedi ended Luke’s journey in such a powerful way that it might ruin that to bring him back as a ghost.
8 Definitely isn’t true: The other Knights of Ren will appear
During the flashes in Rey’s mind when she stumbles upon Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber in Maz Kanata’s basement, there’s one widely circulated clip of Kylo Ren standing in the rain with the other Knights of Ren.
Apart from that one-second appearance in Rey’s brain meltdown, the other Knights of Ren have yet to make an appearance. Some fans think they’ll be showing up at some point in Episode IX, but there’s already a lot going on as it is. It’s best to save the Knights of Ren for the Expanded Universe.
7 Could be true: Lando Calrissian has a daughter
There are a few actors in the cast of Star Wars Episode IX whose roles have not yet been disclosed: Keri Russell, Richard E. Grant, Dominic Monaghan, even The Crown’s Matt Smith. Among them is relative unknown Naomi Ackie, but one fan theory suggests what her role might be – and it’s a big one.
A Reddit user named Temiriblagg1 wrote a post after working as an extra on the set of Episode IX and reported, “Naomi Ackie is here as Veranada (Vera) Calrissian,” suggesting Lando has a daughter and Naomi Ackie is playing her.
6 Definitely isn’t true: The Millennium Falcon will be destroyed
The sequel trilogy’s M.O. seems to be to kill off a significant character in every movie to give the audience an emotional gut-punch. Han was eliminated by his own son in The Force Awakens and Luke sacrificed himself in The Last Jedi.
So, whose passing will round out the trilogy in Episode IX? Lando isn’t a big enough character and Princess Leia passing on-screen would be insensitive, given Carrie Fisher’s real off-screen passing. The only person that would pack the oomph of Han and Luke’s deaths, according to this fan theory, would be to see the Millennium Falcon burn down. However, if the Falcon went, so would the merchandising possibilities, so the money men wouldn’t let that happen.
5 Definitely isn’t true: Snoke was controlled by Darth Plagueis
In Revenge of the Sith, Palpatine spoke of a Sith Lord named Darth Plagueis who was “so powerful and so wise he could use the Force to influence the midi-chlorians to create life.” Many people speculated that’s who Supreme Leader Snoke was before The Last Jedi killed him off without giving a definitive answer.
So, some fans think it will be revealed that Snoke was just a puppet controlled by Darth Plagueis, who will rise up as the true villain behind the whole story, sort of like the Mandarin/Trevor Slattery twist in Iron Man 3.
4 Could be true: Episode IX will begin with a time jump
The Force Awakens ended on sort of a cliff-hanger with a lot of unresolved conflicts still going on and the surprising reveal of Luke’s whereabouts, so The Last Jedi had no choice but to pick up right where it left off. However, The Last Jedi ended on more of a natural stopping point, looking out into the future with a sense of hope.
Storytelling challenges like dealing with Carrie Fisher’s death and digging the story out of the massive hole of the First Order winning and the Resistance losing could easily be fixed with a time jump of at least a year.
3 Definitely isn’t true: Anakin Skywalker’s ghost will return
The charred helmet of Darth Vader being among Kylo Ren’s personal effects hints at his grandfather being a big inspiration to him. But he is trying to be pre-redemption Anakin Skywalker, the guy who wanted to dominate the galaxy and kill all the Jedi.
He’s missing the fact that Anakin realized that was a mistake and sacrificed himself to save Luke to redeem himself in his son’s eyes and to do the right thing. If Anakin’s ghost appears to Kylo Ren in Episode IX, he can tell him to cut it out and be good, but it’s unlikely. Then again, Yoda did make a surprise appearance in The Last Jedi.
2 Could be true: Rey will train Broom Boy to use the Force
Remember that kid at the end of The Last Jedi who uses the Force to pick up a broom and then looks up at the stars? Well, we never got his name, so the internet’s just been calling him Broom Boy. It’s sparked a lot of debate about who does and does not have the Force and whether or not you can give yourself the Force by really believing in it.
Either way, he wouldn’t have been included as the final moment of the movie if he wasn’t important to the plot, so the fan theory that Rey will take the torch from Luke and train Broom Boy to use the Force could easily be true.
1 Definitely isn’t true: Episode IX won’t have a happy ending
This fan theory speculates that the Star Wars sequel trilogy we’ve been watching since 2015 is actually a prequel trilogy that will end on a dark note and set up another trilogy that will fix things.
So, Episode IX will end on a total bummer or a dark cliff-hanger with the Resistance failing and the First Order dominating the galaxy. But that’s all set up for a whole new trilogy where the Light Side of the Force will finally prevail. However, that definitely won’t happen, because this is fun, light, family-friendly Disney we’re talking about, and because it would infuriate fans even more than The Last Jedi.
Do you have any fan theories about Star Wars Episode IX? Let us know in the comments!