With the Star Wars sequel trilogy, Lucasfilm has proven that it has no problem killing off beloved characters. Between two movies, we’ve already seen the deaths of heroes like Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and Admiral Ackbar. New characters have also been killed off left and right, from Supreme Leader Snoke to Amilyn Holdo.
Episode IX is the end of the trilogy, which is traditionally when we would expect a lot of deaths to take place. So if Lucasfilm has killed so many characters already, just how much of a bloodbath will the next film be?
Here’s a look at the characters who we think are on the chopping block. To be clear, Episode IX probably won’t kill off all of these characters. But if any major characters are to die, we feel confident predicting that they’ll be the ones on this list.
1. Leia Organa
Sadly, this one is almost a given. Episode IX must deal with the real-life death of Carrie Fisher, and there are really only two options, considering Lucasfilm has ruled out recreating Leia digitally: killing her off, or keeping her off-screen for the entire film.
The latter is theoretically possible. Leia could just be on some other Resistance mission, and we don’t see her during the movie. But this sounds like it would ultimately be unsatisfying. Some fairly crucial events are going to transpire in Episode IX. Why wouldn’t Leia be there for them?
Instead, it would be a better choice to just kill Leia off, giving her a hero’s death. This would probably have to occur between movies, with the audience before informed of Leia’s death in the opening crawl or in the first few minutes of Episode IX. It’s guaranteed to leave us wanting more — we’ll never get one final scene between Kylo and Leia in the films — but sadly, Lucasfilm doesn’t have much of a choice.
Next: There is virtually no chance that this bad guy actually makes it out alive.
2. General Hux
Kylo Ren will probably be redeemed in Episode IX, and if that’s the case, the First Order villain he would need to turn on — the same way Darth Vader turned on Emperor Palpatine — would be General Hux.
The Last Jedi already set up a conflict between Hux and the new supreme leader at the end of the film. When Hux nearly pulled out his weapon to kill Kylo, it became pretty apparent that one of these men would wind up murdering the other. Kylo killing Hux can be the moment when he finally turns from the Dark Side for good; perhaps he kills him and then fights the Knights of Ren in order to aid the Resistance.
Either way, the movie needs a big villain death at the end as the main characters defeat the First Order. With Kylo’s redemption likely, and with Snoke having been cut in half, Hux is the only real option.
Next: The most important character of the sequel trilogy will probably die at the end of it.
3. Kylo Ren
Speaking of which, Kylo Ren himself will probably die, too. After all, if he turns from the Dark Side but is left alive, the consequences of his actions must be dealt with. He’d need to stand trial for his war crimes and would presumably be locked up for the remainder of his life. It would all be rather messy, especially since Lucasfilm would want us sympathizing with him at the end.
Instead, it seems more probable that Kylo Ren will die heroically, saving Rey and maybe even the whole Resistance. Sure, this would basically be exactly what happened to Darth Vader. But in this case, repeating history feels like the right choice, and the circumstances surrounding his death will obviously be a lot different.
Some fans theorize that Kylo Ren and Rey will end up together. But it’s a little hard to believe that Rey will have a clean, fairytale-style happy ending with a guy who has murdered billions of people.
Next: We think this character will return from apparent death, only to die again.
4. Captain Phasma
You might be confused to see Captain Phasma showing up on this list since she seemingly died in The Last Jedi. But there’s a pretty good chance that Phasma actually lived.
Rian Johnson has said that the future of the character is in the hands of J.J. Abrams. Johnson jokes that she’s like Kenny from South Park, a character who keeps dying only to return. Phasma’s death was hardly definitive; she fell into a pit of fire, but while wearing armor that, moments earlier, was established as being nearly indestructible. And after fans have complained about Phasma being underutilized in two movies straight, Abrams can use Episode IX as a way of rectifying that. Plus, Gwendoline Christie wants to come back.
But in Episode IX, she’ll probably die once and for all, having one final confrontation with Finn that ends with her actually dying for real.
Next: We’ll be incredibly sad to see this charismatic hero go.
5. Poe Dameron
So will any of the main heroes new to the sequel trilogy die in Episode IX? Rey probably won’t; she’s a character of such great importance that Lucasfilm will likely want to keep her around for a potential fourth trilogy or at least an animated TV show set after IX. Finn seems safe, too; it would be weird if he died now after his near-death scene in The Last Jedi.
So if any of the main heroes is to die, we think it’d be Poe Dameron. The reason for killing him would be for basically the same reason Harrison Ford wanted Han Solo to die in Return of the Jedi: this roguish hero had basically served his purpose, and he could do more good from a storytelling perspective by sacrificing himself at the end of the trilogy than by living on. Besides, Poe was originally going to die in The Force Awakens, and J.J. Abrams — the guy whose idea it was to kill Poe — is back directing Episode IX.
Poe will likely be the leader of the Resistance in Episode IX, so killing him off would also open up more possibilities for Finn, who could take on an increased role in the third act.
Next: This iconic character from the original trilogy could be the next one to say goodbye.
6. Lando Calrissian
It would be a missed opportunity if Lando Calrissian doesn’t make an appearance in Episode IX. We’re about to get a reminder of how much we love him in Solo, and we still don’t have any explanation of what he’s up to during the events of the sequel trilogy; the last time we heard from him in canon was when he sent a message of support to Senator Leia Organa about six years before The Force Awakens in the novel Bloodline.
Episode IX could feature the triumphant return of Lando, who comes to aid the Resistance in their ongoing battle against the First Order. It would make sense to have him die since Billy Dee Williams is 80 years old, and this is likely the last time he could ever play the iconic character.
Lando doesn’t even need to be that big of a part of the story; he could basically be the equivalent of Admiral Ackbar in The Last Jedi: a classic character from the past who has a small amount of screen time only to be killed off. But hopefully, Lando actually has some lines, and his death really leaves an impact.
Next: Weirdly, this could actually be the saddest death in the whole movie.
7. The Millennium Falcon
While not a living thing, the Millenium Falcon is essentially a character at this point, and it may have the most emotional death in Episode IX. J.J. Abrams has talked about Episode IX as being the end of the Skywalker saga. It seems that either there will be no more episodic installments after IX, or if there will be, they will be part of a new era beyond the Skywalker storyline.
Han, Luke, and Leia will already be dead. With them gone, it would make sense to end the Skywalker era of Star Wars by saying goodbye to another iconic element of it: the Millennium Falcon. The Falcon could be destroyed during battle, with a character like Poe potentially going down with the ship. Some fans speculate that R2-D2, C-3PO, or Chewbacca might die, but it’s difficult to imagine Lucasfilm getting rid of absolutely everyone from the previous movies.
Destroying the Falcon would be quite a gut punch and an effective way to signal the end of an era while not having to actually kill everyone from that era. By doing so, Episode IX can let some of the past die while allowing other aspects of it to continue into the future, achieving balance and leaving us feeling emotional but fully satisfied.
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