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questions that arise before Episode IX, “The Rise of Skywalker”

And new. “The Ascension of Skywalker”, which hits theaters on Wednesday December 18, officially concludes the third trilogy of Star Wars. Worn by director JJ Abrams since 2015, these episodes sealed the start of the Disney era for a saga that had previously predominantly existed in two trios of films directed by George Lucas (the first canonical trilogy, with episodes IV, V, and VI released between 1977 and 1983, and the “prelogy” of episodes I, II and III, released between 1999 and 2005).

After “The Force Awakens” in 2015 and “The Last Jedi” in 2017, “The Ascension of Skywalker” should give the conclusion of the adventures of Rey, Poe, Finn, or the dark Kylo Ren, who have crossed paths with the destinies of Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa. If you are not sure where you are, here are the main questions that “The Skywalker Rise” should answer:

  • Is Emperor Palpatine alive?

This is one of the most striking elements of the first trailer for episode IX: we can hear the very recognizable laughter of Palpatine, the emperor and Sith lord whose plots and intrigue form one of the axes of the first six episodes.

The emperor, however, is all that is officially dead. At the end of episode VI, “Return of the Jedi”, as he confronts Luke Skywalker, Palpatine is killed by Darth Vader, who throws him in a sheath leading directly to a sort of molten nucleus.

Completely absent from episode VII (“The Force Awakens”), the emperor was presumed dead. But the fact that Princess Leia was able to survive, in episode VIII (“The Last Jedi”), an extended stay in the intergalactic void, suggests the possibility that the characters maintaining a close link with the Force could deceive the death. Palpatine was also the pupil of Darth Plagueis, a powerful Sith master with whom he sought the secret of immortality.

If the most observant fans believed to guess his silhouette from the back and even the fleeting appearance of his hand in the second trailer for episode IX, it remains possible, however, that the emperor does not appear “only” under the form of a spectrum, in the same way that several Jedi masters do in the previous eight episodes.

Endowed with particularly impressive powers that she exploits in a natural way, without ever having followed the teaching of the Jedi, Rey is the main mystery still unsolved of this trilogy.

Rey, played by actress Daisy Ridley, in a scene from “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”. JONATHAN OLLEY / AP

The logic of the universe Star Wars would like her origins to be the key to her powers, and that everything she knows about her parents, poor scrap metal workers on the planet Jakku who have abandoned her, is false. Many theories, partly fueled by the title of episode IX (“The Ascension of Skywalker”), hypothesize that Rey is linked, directly or indirectly, to the emblematic family of the series – a thesis reinforced by the psychic bond that unites him to Kylo Ren.

  • Will Kylo Ren be entitled to a redemption?

This is the classic arc, spread over six episodes, which crosses the first two trilogies Star Wars : fall and redemption. Seduced and corrupted by the dark side of the Force, Anakin, who became Darth Vader, will eventually switch back at the last minute and save the life of his son Luke by killing Emperor Palpatine. This redemption was short-lived, since he succumbed to his injuries a few minutes after his gesture.

Kylo Ren, played by Adam Driver.
Kylo Ren, played by Adam Driver. AP

Kylo Ren has already gone through the main stages of Anakin's scheme, killing one of his relatives and surrendering to the dark side, before killing his master Snoke. But it is difficult to speak of redemption for Kylo Ren, since he calls himself the new supreme leader and seems determined to continue to follow the path of the dark side of the Force.

The last living representative of the Skywalker family with her son Kylo Ren, Leia Organa is expected to play a major role in this last episode. But the sudden death in 2016 of actress Carrie Fisher turned part of the filming plans upside down. However, the film crew have announced that they have shot enough scenes beforehand to be able to direct the ninth episode as planned, and without having to resort to computer-generated images of the actress.

In the last trailer for episode IX, some spectators thought they recognized a plan of episode VII, whose decor and costumes were allegedly made up by computer. Theories also evoke the probable death of the character, after that of Han Solo and Luke Skywalker in the two previous episodes.

Read also Carrie Fisher, Princess Leia from Star Wars, will appear in episode IX
  • Origins of Supreme Leader Snoke

“Big bad” in episodes VII and VIII, the leader of the First Order, who flourished on the ruins of the Empire, died at the end of the “Last Jedi”. But many unknowns remain about this enigmatic character, endowed with powers similar to those of the Sith masters, without him being one, starting with his real identity and the reasons for his physical deformations.

  • Can balance be restored in the Force?

This is the challenge of the triple trilogy Star Wars : a Chosen must restore balance in the Force, by destroying the Sith. Who is this mysterious Chosen One? In episodes I, II and III, the Jedi Order places its hopes in Anakin Skywalker, who betrays him. In episodes IV, V and VI, which became Darth Vader, he fulfilled the prophecy, turning his back on the dark side and killing the emperor, before succumbing to his wounds.

But episodes VII and VIII proved that the balance has not yet been restored, and that the heirs of the Sith are still running. Should we expect Anakin to return in one way or another? Or will we discover that there is a mistake, and that the Chosen One of the prophecy is actually another character, potentially Rey?

An excerpt from the trailer
An excerpt from the trailer “Star Wars: The Ascension of Skywalker”, which hits theaters in France on Wednesday, December 18. Lucasfilm / AP

Whatever happens, episode IX, if it is supposed to mark the end of the Skywalker's family history, will in no way be a conclusion to the saga. In addition to various parallel projects in various formats, three new films are already planned by Disney for 2022, 2024 and 2026.

Read also The (very) many films “Star Wars”, “Avatar” and Marvel planned until 2027

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