The Road to Star Wars: Episode IX

In my last Star Wars-heavy article, I put forth an honest and complete review of The Last Jedi. I can’t fully comprehend the level of hatred the film is getting; but I think it’s mainly based on what I referred to as “broken nostalgia” and perhaps a little bit of good ol’ fashioned butt-hurt over not getting the story they had been picturing in their mind’s eye for 2 years. But you can go check out my full review in due time.

This article is going to be about what to expect going forward, because I think I’ve got this whole messy thing figured out. Cocky, I know. And part of me fully expects to be wrong on this…but bear with me. Just go with it.

1.gifTwo things have been revealed to the public since the release of The Last Jedi. The working title of Episode IX in development right now is “Black Diamond.” Working titles are place-holders for a film’s final title, sometimes an inside joke, sometimes an element of the story. For instance, the “working title” of the upcoming Han Solo stand-alone flick was “Red Cup.” Red Solo Cup. Get it?

The other nugget that has been revealed was a little bit more information about Supreme Leader Snoke, an ominous and mysterious evil character whose life (and body) was tragically cut short in the latest trilogy installment.

What we learned, from an official LucasFilm tie-in magazine called The Souvenir Guide to the Movie Star Wars: The Last Jediwas that aside from Kylo Ren, Snoke has trained at least one other apprentice. Now, what could this mean? Maybe something, maybe nothing. But I’m willing to believe that either he is Darth Plagueis and his “other apprentice” was Darth Sidious…or this information is just another meaningless mislead.

Here’s where you need to go on this little ride with me, because it’s going to be intense, and maybe a little unbelievable…but if I’m right, Episode IX is going to explore some very interesting themes.

Screen Shot 2017-12-21 at 5.51.18 PMbelieve that Star Wars: Episode IX is going to focus on the character of Supreme Leader Snoke. His origins, his fate, and his ongoing presence in this Universe. “Black Diamond” almost has to refer to the ring Snoke wears.

The black “diamond” ring is actually a piece of Obsidian from the catacombs beneath Darth Vader’s Mustafar Castle. It is inscribed with Dwartii lettering. According to canon, the Sages of Dwartii were philosophers from the old Galactic Republic. Darth Sidious’ master, Darth Plagueis, had statues of the Sages of Dwartii in his possession. When Sidious “murdered” his master, he took the statues and put them on display in his own quarters.

So now we have a link to both Darth Vader, The Emperor, and Darth Plagueis. I don’t think your Snoke theory” was bullshit after all. Either Snoke is Darth Plagueis himself (which would make him the being who created Darth Vader as a virgin birth in the Force) or he is simply a new character with all of the packaging and characteristics of Darth Plagueis.

Furthermore, Luke Skywalker mentions Darth Sidious in The Last Jedi. Why use that name? Why not say “The Emperor”? Luke never knew The Emperor as “Darth Sidious,” so why include that line in the film? Because there is a connection to the prequels through Snoke. So let’s say for the sake of the next argument I’m going to make that Snoke isn’t Darth Plagueis…but he is still the timeless Force User/Prime Jedi who used the Force and the midi-chlorians to create Darth Vader. He can transcend death and be one with the force, but when he is in a body, he is confined to that body. So now that he is “dead” he can become more powerful.

And as we know, the only thing in this universe more powerful than Mary Sue Rey… is Snoke.

Now, you’re going to have to strap seat-belts to your brain because I’m about to take it on the ride of its life…

Let’s move on to new-trilogy creator JJ AbramsJJ kicked off this whole sha-bang with The Force Awakens and has been tasked with helming/writing Episode IX as well. JJ Abrams is a talented writer and director who is known to explore similar themes in many of his projects. Why not? He’s interested in mythology and he sticks with certain ideas.

Well, way back in September of 2004, JJ Abrams premiered a television phenomenon called…LOST. According to the mythology of LOST that many people found confounding and difficult to follow, the ISLAND was a sort-of birthplace of good and evil. In order to keep the evil confined to the ISLAND, the good guy killed/buried him. The ISLAND then acted as a sort of “cork” to hold the evil in place.

The evil took a very familiar form: Smoke.

In The Last Jedi we get a very similar mythology. An ISLAND where good and evil coexist, a birthplace of the Jedi. Luke attempts to keep Rey’s attention away from one specific location on the island…a mysterious hole; a hole where it looks like something has broken free.

The ultimate evil: Snoke.

If you recall the shape and appearance of this hole in the Island (Ahch-To), it bears a very striking resemblance to a certain symbol:

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Familiar? Coincidence?

Another clue to Snoke’s possible connection to the island of Ahch-To is an interesting symbol we catch several glimpses of in The Last Jedi. It depicts the Prime Jedi, the one who started the First Jedi Order. The Prime Jedi is even defined by the Star Wars: The Last Jedi Visual Dictionary as “the first of the order.”

What happens when you take the Jedi out of the “First Jedi Order”?

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The First Order. Is Snoke the FIRST Jedi?

The Jedi knew that Snoke was too powerful as he was well-versed in both the light side, and the dark, and as all Jedi know…if you strike him down, he will become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.

So–like the Smoke Monster/Man in Black in LOSTSnoke was imprisoned and confined to the Island. There, he communicated with Kylo Ren. Luke was attempting to keep the cork in the bottle, but Kylo Ren was too powerful. Kylo Ren released Snoke from his prison, bringing the Darkness back into the Galaxy. THIS was Luke’s failure…this is why Luke felt so responsible.

But because all of this was a Jedi secret, Kylo Ren only knew that Luke was some bastard keeping a prisoner locked up…a prisoner who promised Kylo Ren that he could be more powerful…and that Luke had been holding him back. So Snoke and Kylo Ren flee and create the First Order, not as Sith Master and Sith Apprentice, but something new.

Because Luke never told Kylo Ren about the nature of Snoke or why he was being confined to the Island, Kylo has no idea that killing his new Master will make him even stronger. This is how we get Snoke back in Episode IX. And all of these flashback plot details will be revealed to the audience then.

As for the rest of the plot of Episode IX, my best guess is that–similarly to The Last Jedi–the other characters don’t really matter all that much. We’ll get a complete wrap-up of Darth Vader’s story, ending with the reveal that his “father” was Snoke. All of the original cast members are dead, and the Skywalker Saga is over. This is also why it doesn’t really matter who Rey’s Parents are, but I’d still really like to know. I don’t think they’re “nobody.”

So here’s what I believe will happen in Episode IX, with all the hypothesis I’ve just laid out…

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Luke will appear to Rey, informing her that she is the Galaxy’s last hope. He’ll tell her that Snoke is still “alive” and more powerful now. And he’ll explain his failure to keep Snoke contained…and the effects of what Kylo Ren has done. Essentially as a “god” now, Snoke can destroy the Resistance pretty easily. He must have some limitations, but who knows?

Luke will say that even he has no idea how to stop Snoke. There was only one place to find those kinds of answers, and they were the ancient texts he protected in the tree back on the island…but stupid YODA had to go and burn them all up! OH WAIT–Rey saved the texts! We saw this at the end of The Last Jedi when Finn goes to get Rose a blanket (the only thing Finn did throughout the whole movie to serve the plot, interestingly enough).

So now Rey has to do some studying. Good, keep her occupied for a while. She’ll find out something along the lines of: the only way to kill a Force Ghost is to sacrifice your life, or to kill another force ghost, or to give up something special, whatever…you get it.

Throughout this series, Rey has only been vulnerable once so far. And she is saved by Kylo Ren. Because he felt a connection to her, because of Snoke. But Snoke kept some information from both of them…he convinced Kylo Ren and Rey that her parents were “nobody.” Because if Snoke allowed Kylo Ren to access the true information, he would definitely join Rey–since he’s weak and conflicted and all. Kylo Ren and Rey are brother and sister. They were kept separate on purpose (like Luke and Leia).

Screen Shot 2017-12-21 at 5.51.18 PMKylo Ren learns this little tidbit and it leads to him sacrificing his life to both kill Snoke (like Vader kills the Emperor, but a ghost this time) and save Rey’s life one last time. So, in a sense, he finally fulfills his destiny and becomes the new “Darth Vader.” Happy ending.

Meanwhile, we will get another Finn & Rose subplot that will have no connection to the main story.

In this installment of the Adventures of Finn & Rose, the Resistance has to regroup. Everyone is sort of tasked with gathering reinforcements to build the Resistance up to Rebellion levels. Finn and Rose have a discussion about loss/family. Finn will explain that he never knew his family and he was taken by the First Order as a baby.

This grinds Rose’s gears because family is super important to her, remember?

So Finn & Rose go looking for Finn’s family. But where do they start? Maybe someone who has access to things that are locked or missing? BOOM–we bring back Benicio Del Toro’s mysterious “Don’t Join” character. This will also re-up Finn’s hesitation moment about the Resistance not being as pure and perfect as he’d imagined.

So as the Resistance/Rebellion grows, Finn, Rose and “DJ” go Family huntin’. Through records and First Order/Empire activity in various areas, they’re led to Bespin only to find out that Finn’s father is….dun dun dun…come on, it’s totally Lando Calrissian.

We get a solid excuse to bring Lando back into the movies, and we get a closing to the trilogy that’s all about family, loss, revelation, and peace. With Snoke destroyed and the New Rebellion a success at wiping out the rest of the remaining First Order, The Galactic Republic can start anew…but Finn can go “but this time, we do it the right way” because of all the shady stuff he learned from “DJ.”

What about Poe Dameron? He’ll be doing whatever he does with the Resistance. Maybe they’ll bring Maz Kanata back and we can figure out how the fuck Poe knew who she was in The Last Jedi.

So there’s your movie. Will it all turn out that way? Maybe. Maybe not. Based on all the clues available to me, this is what I came up with–and, frankly, this is actually a movie I’d really like to see. And I think it would be a fitting end to the Skywalker Saga.

No need to continue on Rey’s story for another trilogy. The Jedi are over, the Darkness has been destroyed, we’re done!

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