Alrighty Starfighters, it’s 2019 and you know what that means…Episode IX is finally nigh!
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We’ve just got a few short months before Kylo Ren, Rey, Finn, Poe, and the incomparable BB-8 return to our screens and finish out the Skywalker saga and I am just SO READY!!! Star Wars and that galaxy far, far away have been a part of my life since before I can remember and after 29 years together the Skywalker’s, the Kenobi’s, and all the rest definitely feel like family at this point — a dysfunctional, dramatic-ass family that has like zero chill but hey you know, family is family.
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Like most Star Wars fans, I have great expectations for Episode IX. 2015’s The Force Awakens was thrilling and heart-pounding, it gave us so much but also took something precious in turn. The next generation of heroes and villains breathed new life into the galaxy and seeing them fight alongside and against the original trio was just mesmerizing. The Last Jedi was sweeping, epic, and mysterious in all the best ways, revealing so much but leaving countless more questions in its wake. For the first time, hero and foe fought back to back, reaching across the cosmos and darkness to understand…to connect.
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And now it’s time to deliver on all that’s been promised over the past two films – if not the entire saga – and there are things I’m just so ready to finally see! Obviously no two fans want the same exact things, we all see the movies and characters differently, but I figured I’d go ahead and share with you guys the things I MOST want to see in this final Skywalker movie! So, without further ado…PUNCH IT CHEWIE!!!
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1) Let’s start with Finn – who is the heart and soul of this new era!!! – I would love to see this stormtrooper-turned-resistance-hero inspire his old troops to abandon the First Order and ultimately lead them to revolution Mockingjay style! We see a hint of this in the deleted scenes for The Last Jedi, but it really needs to be shown on screen. Finn is undeniable proof that these troopers are just people, people who Hux admits were trained and programed from BIRTH to follow orders, so if Finn can reject his training and strike out on his own, why can’t he help the others to follow suite? Alongside this, I’ve long had the theory that the troopers are comprised of stolen Force sensitive children, so what better way to symbolize the freedom of the galaxy and beginning anew than to have these stolen conduits of the Force be released into the cosmos to discover for themselves which path they wish to tread.
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2) I would also love to see him reconnect with his family in some way. Perhaps it’s just the dramatic writer in me, but the idea that Finn’s family have searched the galaxy over for him since he was taken by the First Order just makes my heart hurt! There are so many ways to introduce his family – they could be nameless like Rey’s parents, or could connect to some other characters we’ve already met, for instance Lando Calrissian, Mr. King of the Capes himself, is coming back into play in this film, perhaps Finn is a relative of his. I’ve also heard rumors that Lando may be accompanied by a daughter (?) so maybe they’ve come in search of a missing son/brother?! I don’t know, stranger things have certainly happened in this galactic universe. Personally, I like the idea of Finn being the son of Ciena Ree and Thane Kyrell, the two leads of Claudia Gray’s Lost Stars novel, which was released before The Force Awakens. It would make his parents vague enough for non-readers to not question but throw an interesting loop in there for those who are familiar with the book! And I mean, how awesome would it be to meet a child of these two star-crossed pilots and to know that their story truly connects to the sequel trilogy!
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3) Speaking of Lando, I desperately want to see him interact with Kylo/Ben! We’ve already seen Ben and his Unca Wanwo in Daniel Jose Older’s Last Shot novel and their relationship was ADORABLE. I mean Little Starfighter…no more needs to be said. But really, could Kylo turn to his Uncle for help or advice, seeking paternal figure now that he’s finally freed himself from Snoke or maybe Lando himself can initiates the contact. Either way, putting these two together is a powerful reminder of the horrors of Kylo’s past, it would force him to confront what he’s done and what they both have lost WITHOUT causing him to panic like he does whenever Luke is present.
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4) Another reunion I’m hoping to see is Leia and Kylo/Ben’s. I think the movies kind of skip over how long it’s been since Leia has actually seen Ben, but Bloodline by Claudia Gray establishes that she was trying to get in contact with her son and Luke YEARS before the First Order officially arose. So, we’re probably talking about a good ten-year separation by the time The Force Awakens even begins…bring that boy home! Ideally, I would have loved to see them together on-screen but under the circumstances, it would still be highly emotional and cathartic to have a reunion planned offscreen perhaps with a message being received by Ben that his mother is on her way. That way we know it happens and the reunion can take place however the viewer wants it to. And as others have pointed out, the Skywalker downfall started with Anakin having to leave his mother, it should be resolved with Kylo coming home to his.
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5) And since I took it back to the prequel era for a moment, I would totally like to return to Naboo for the final act of the saga. It’s the place the story truly began, it’s the legacy and home of Ben’s ancestors, and it’s just downright gorgeous. I can picture no more beautiful or meaningful an ending than to have Ben and Rey start a life in that lush, peaceful place, surrounded by sunlight, glimmering water, and the gentle hues of healing green.
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6) For this happy ending to occur though, (and what I am most excited about and desperately hope to see!) we need the REYLO REVEAL!!! More than anything else, I want to see these two lost souls come together and fully admit their feelings for one another. The Force Awakens pitted them together as adversaries and the The Last Jedi brought them together as allies (albeit still with unresolved issues) but now it’s time to see them fully acknowledge and accept that there is something between them. These two belong together, they are the living representation of the Force and it’s need to find balance and the films have been dropping hints like crazy that this is the endgame but now I want confirmation people! (And if we’re putting it all out there, I would LOVE to see the balance of the force represented in a child of theirs, preferably a daughter!)
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7) I also want there to be a defined Reylo score in the film, I mean Across the Stars and Han Solo and the Princess (aka Han and Leia) are ICONIC. They are some of the most memorable and sweeping songs in the entire franchise, evoking so much emotion and truth each time you hear them and dammit I am ready for a Reylo equivalent!
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8) But for this great Reylo ending to be possible, we need to see Rey acknowledge that the Jedi order and its strict ass teachings were flawed and dangerous, just as much as the Sith teachings were, and have her (and Kylo) comprehend that the middle ground (or Grey Jedi) path is the one that is needed. Kylo already wants to get rid of both the Sith and the Jedi, and even though most categorize him as the “villain” I actually think it’s going to be Rey that has a hard time letting go of the Jedi teachings. Being all light or all dark is not realistic, it’s not healthy, and if the prequels taught us anything it’s that not allowing yourself to see both sides of a story is lethal. I don’t want to see a resurgence of the Jedi order, I think their time has passed, and the galaxy is all the better for it. Let Rey and Kylo find a middle ground together, let them live their lives with love and compassion and understanding and flexibility. He needs to recognize the light within himself as valid and move towards it and she needs to recognize the darkness inside and accept it.
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9) And finally, I want to see Anakin reach out to his grandson and truly connect with Kylo so that for better or worse, Kylo can understand Anakin’s truths. I think because so much was kept hidden about Vader/Anakin after the fall of the empire in this canon timeline (which Claudia Gray’s Bloodlines touches on) that Kylo has no real concept of who is grandfather actually was. Snoke uses Vader to influence Kylo and push him to be the type of person that Snoke wants him to be, but is he ever told of Anakin? What better way to demonstrate that there are always two sides to every story and to have Kylo confront and accept his past and actively move towards a more hopeful and forgiving future than to have him come face to face with Anakin Skywalker himself?! This interaction would tie the story together perfectly, merging the beginning of the story with the ending, and for those that believe that Kylo is Anakin reborn it offers up some mighty intriguing ideas!
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And there you guys have it, a breakdown of those moments that I’m most looking forward to and hoping to see on screen this December when we venture once more into that galaxy far, far away! It was surprisingly hard to narrow everything down and put into words all that I hope to see, but wow was it fun! So now, what about you, are there any moments that you’re looking forward to that I didn’t list? Are there things on my list that you’re looking forward to as well? What are you most looking forward to seeing in this final installment of the Skywalker saga? Let me know down in the comments and as always: May the Force be with you!