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Are We Ready for the End? The Rise of Skywalker Will Pack an Emotional Punch

Only 13(ish) days until The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters December 19th, which means we are being flooded with cast interviews, TV spots, teasers, and more. We’ve been throwing around theories and making predictions for almost two years. The title reveal of Episode IX at Celebration stoked the most incendiary theory of all – Bendemption.

Many fans believe the Skywalker to “rise” will be Ben Solo, known by most as Kylo Ren, leader of the First Order. It would certainly follow the themes of the original trilogy, which saw the redemption of Darth Vader – at least, in the eyes of his son. Others want the villain to stay a villain, believing he has gone down an irreversible path.

What does the man himself have to say? Today on Good Morning America, Adam Driver was asked for his thoughts on Kylo’s potential redemption path.

“What does he need to be redeemed for?…He feels like he’s in the right, so what does he need to be redeemed from?” Driver asks. He makes a point; from Kylo’s point of view, all his actions have been for the right reasons. He isn’t working towards any sort of redemption, or atonement. He is doing what he thinks is best for himself. Yes, he sometimes feels a pull to the light, but as we know from The Last Jedi, Ren renounces all factions of the Force – the Sith, the Jedi, all of it. Only something – or someone – of great importance could make him change his mindset. Some think it will be Rey, others think it will be the influence of his mother, General Leia Organa, and yet others think the machinations of Palpatine will make him see the danger and error of his ways.

According to Richard E. Grant, Episode IX holds “a big character plot twist” that made “total emotional sense and story sense,” which he told Kevin Polowy of Yahoo! Entertainment, according to Polowy’s Twitter earlier today. Grant will portray Allegiant General Pryde, an important member of the First Order. Could he be referring to Ben Solo seeing the Light once more? Or perhaps something concerning the character with the mysterious background, Rey?

Grant also mentioned the risk of the movie suffering from “Game of Thrones” syndrome, where no matter what ending you have, there will also be a subset of fandom that will be disappointed. There are so many fan theories and dreams, I tend to agree with him. With such a highly anticipated film, the end of a 42-year-old saga, it is simply impossible to please everyone.

Fox 5 DC interviewed multiple cast and crew of the film, including J.J. Abrams himself. He speaks of the logistics behind shooting scenes around Leia’s character while honoring Carrie Fisher, and how there are several emotional, intimate scenes with her throughout the film. Could one of these be with Kylo? Knowing they used recycled footage from The Force Awakens, I don’t see how it could be, but never say never. More than likely these scenes are with Rey, as we know Leia will be helping her understand the Force.

Who’s to say the character with the plot twist isn’t Rey, after all? We know virtually nothing about her, or where she comes from. Even though The Last Jedi leads us to believe she really is nobody, many fans still theorize her to be part of some important bloodline, be it Kenobi, or Palpatine, or Skywalker.

At this point, there have been so many theories and predictions that it feels like nothing can truly be a plot twist. Honestly, what haven’t we thought of? We know that whatever the end brings, it will be epic – the cast reactions to their first viewing of the film can attest to that.

The only thing we can do is wait until The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters, when we can finally bring our favorite saga from a galaxy far, far, away, to a close.

(But write down all your theories now. Just in case you need bragging rights later.)

Start the discussion by clicking on the link to our Discourse forum below or select “forum” via the menu bar above. May the Force be with you!

Jamie Binegar
"You cannot stop change any more than you can stop the suns from setting.” — Shmi Skywalker

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