The latest saga comes to a close soon… The Star Wars sequel trilogy will end with the as yet untitled episode IX in December of this year, and what a ride it’s been!

Since Disney took the reins and Force Awakens was announced there has been a deluge of movies games and comics set in the fictional galaxy far far away, maybe too much? However for die-hard fans like me you can never get enough so these last 4 years have been like some kind of dream! 5 movies?! Anyway im not here to wax poetic about a franchise we already know I have feelings for… Feelings some consider to be Unnatural… I’m here to talk about this next movie, and what I expect and hope to see.

So episode IX will out in December but things are still pretty quiet regarding the plot, sure there are plenty of “leaks” but these should either be ignored or taken with a sizeable hand full of salt. With its popularity and occasionally toxic fan base it’s hard to take anything from the Star Wars community seriously anyway. With that in mind everything I’m about to say and theorise should be seen as just my own ideas and opinions. I’ve definitely been inspired by a few leaked images though I definitely haven’t read any other fan theories.

So at the end of The Last Jedi things were looking pretty bleak, the resistance has gone from an army with bases and X-Wings to a small enough team to fit comfortably on the Millennium Falcon with enough blankets for all. Luke Skywalker is dead after using a never before seen force power to project himself across the galaxy to buy time for the resistance to escape from the First Order. Speaking of the Empire-Lite, tantrum enthusiast and daddy issue poster boy, Kylo Ren used his connection with Rey to trick the Supreme Leader of the First Order and with some fancy force powers separated the 10 foot tall burn victim’s lower half from his body all to usurp his…Throne? I guess and make himself Supreme Leader. So what are we left with? The greatest threat to the galaxy is being led by a man child who can’t control his emotions and thinks telling a girl she is “nothing” is a good chat up line, and the only people previously opposing his regime now look more like a inclusive marketing meeting rather than a combat ready force. Like I said, things are bleak. However, we did get some hope in the form of Rey taking the “Ancient Jedi Texts” and with a brief clip of a young stable boy clearly using the force to pull a broom into his hand and looking to the stars.

NOW LETS GET THEORETICAL! That’s my new catchphrase… Like it? Never mind, so what do I think will happen next, I’m certainly expecting a time skip of at least a couple of years. After the events of The Last Jedi all of the new leading characters have taken a pretty heavy hit to their egos, Rey isn’t unique or as special as she thought, Finn’s plan cost the Resistance most of its strength and Poe Dameron had to come to terms with what it means to be a real leader and not just an arrogant flyboy. This last point makes me think that, with the death of Carrie Fisher, Poe will be the new leader of the Resistance. Having learned from his experiences I imagine he’ll be more cautious than before which coupled with his clear talent and charisma will make him the figurehead the rebel group needs to maintain morale. Having seen concept art of his new costume it’s clear that Poe is going to be heading out on his own adventure this time around rather than just being a framing device for Rey and Finn. Of course this doesn’t mean that I don’t want to see more of Poe’s amazing flying skills! Who can forget that shot in The Force Awakens where Poe gets a solid 11 kill streak!

So how about Rey? I get the feeling that she’s going to fully embrace being a Jedi, but in her own special way. Hopefully not the aggressively rigid old Jedi way, but something new, hell maybe she could even have an apprentice of her own if the time jump is significant enough! She’ll also be needing a new lightsaber after her battle with Kylo, my hope is that she’ll be packing a double bladed saber similar to fan favourite Darth Maul which would tie together with the staff combat she’s been shown using effectively throughout the series. I’m also hoping beyond hope that they don’t bother with any romance subplots for her. Rey’s been shown to be a solid female lead who don’t need no man to flesh out her character, so why change that now! Of course as I said with Luke dead Rey has very quickly lost her Jedi Master similar to Luke himself, though I’m sure we’ll still see Luke in his Force Ghost form perhaps to give advice to his former apprentice! Death probably brings perspective after all!

Let’s talk about Kylo, and no that isn’t a heart-warming coming of age comedy drama, Last we saw of the Solo’s son he was screaming in rage at having missed his chance to completely annihilate the last pocket of the resistance. As the new Supreme Leader I’m looking forward to seeing what changes he will have made to his army if any, though I’m sure we’ll see the long await Knights of Ren perhaps taking the role of Kylo’s bodyguards similar to Snoke’s now decimated Praetorian Guard. The costume leak I mentioned before also shows Kylo with his old mask restored using some kind of red adhesive leaving massive read cracks across its face, this design looks amazing and I believe the return of the mask means that Kylo will be using it to mask his true feelings as he did before to play the role of a leader in control rather than a boy who’s been thrust into the limelight!

I’m really hoping for a return to the roots of the series similar to The Force Awakens, I did enjoy The Last Jedi but I can see why it was so divisive of the fan base. Doing something fresh is always welcome but let’s not make it ALL new, there’s a lot of lore there that needs to be respected but sure go ahead throw a couple of curve balls in there!