Star Wars: Episode IX will conclude the new trilogy of films, and director J.J. Abrams says he’s thinking of it as the end of the Skywalker saga. But unlike The Empire Strikes Back before it, The Last Jedi did not conclude on a cliffhanger that would lead us directly into the next installment.
That being said, that doesn’t mean the movie doesn’t set up anything at all for the next episode; there are plenty of things we can infer about the upcoming movie based on the events of The Last Jedi. Here are some of those things The Last Jedi suggests about Episode IX.
1. It will follow Kylo Ren as the Supreme Leader
- Kylo Ren has a new job title.
The Last Jedi features a major change to the new trilogy’s status quo, with Kylo Ren murdering Supreme Leader Snoke and taking on this role himself.
This opens up so many possibilities for Episode IX, which will presumably begin years in the future with Kylo Ren having ruled for some time now. What does Ben Solo look like after having been Supreme Leader for some time? What are his actual goals? Is Ben fully committed to the Dark Side now, or does he still have doubts? Episode IX will surely answer these questions in a major way.
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2. Rey has the Jedi texts and can start a new order
- Did you miss this moment at the end of the film?
The theme of The Last Jedi was not actually to let the past die, as Kylo Ren proclaims. After all, it’s Luke Skywalker who saves the day at the end precisely because he embraces the past and becomes a legend.
In addition, although there’s a scene where it appears that Yoda has burned the old Jedi texts, we later find out that they were never actually in the tree that Yoda set on fire; Rey stole them and has them aboard the Falcon at the end.
This means that in Episode IX, Rey can learn more about the Jedi and can potentially start a new Jedi Order.
Next: This character will likely get a promotion.
3. Poe is ready to become the next Resistance leader
- Leia Organa’s successor is likely Poe Dameron.
In The Last Jedi, Poe Dameron’s arc involves evolving from a cocky flyboy to a more level-headed leader who is capable of seeing the bigger picture when making decisions. By the end of the film, Leia has recognized this evolution, at one point telling members of the Resistance, “What are you looking at me for? Follow him.”
Because Leia will almost certainly die off-screen between The Last Jedi and Episode IX, this sets the stage for Poe Dameron to be the new leader of the Resistance.
Next: We’re excited to see more of this storyline that The Last Jedi set up.
4. Hux is looking to betray Kylo Ren
- The conflict between Kylo Ren and General Hux will be a lot of fun to watch.
Although Kylo Ren will be the Supreme Leader in Episode IX, his job is hardly secure. After all, there’s a small moment in The Last Jedi where General Hux finds Kylo Ren passed out after his fight with Rey, and he reaches for his weapon, only to stop himself when he realizes Kylo is awake.
Clearly, this is setting the stage for a conflict between General Hux and Kylo Ren in Episode IX, with Hux looking to betray Kylo Ren and seize power for himself. He might need some help doing so, though.
Next: The movie contains this subtle clue about a possible Episode IX subplot.
5. The Knights of Ren, likely Luke’s old students, can return
- The movie may give us a subtle clue about the Knights of Ren.
There’s a crucial line in the movie that some have overlooked, and it comes during the scene in which Luke describes what happened to his Jedi Academy. He notes that Kylo Ren “vanished with a handful of my students.”
You’ll recall that The Force Awakens introduced the Knights of Ren, a mysterious group of dark side users that Kylo is seen with during Rey’s vision sequence. This is a major lingering plot thread that will almost certainly be brought back up in Episode IX in some form.
Many fans have the theory that the Knights of Ren, who will be revealed to be the Jedi students who fled with Ben, will return after being off on some mission in The Last Jedi. And perhaps Hux can get them to turn on Kylo Ren, maybe after they discover that he was the one who killed Snoke.
Next: Could Luke actually do this in Episode IX?
6. Force ghosts can use their powers now
- The rules surrounding Force ghosts have changed just in time for Luke to become one.
The Last Jedi featured the return of Yoda, and his great scene established something fairly important: Force ghosts can apparently still use their powers even after death. We already knew that Force ghosts could interact with the real world. But The Last Jedi takes this a step further, with Yoda actually summoning lightning to burn down a tree.
This implies that when Luke returns in Episode IX (and that seems like a when, not an if), he could theoretically get involved in the actual action rather than just serving as a mentor.
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7. Rey is finished trying to save Kylo Ren
- She has severed the connection between them.
Breaking from the format of the original trilogy, The Last Jedi surprisingly revolved heavily around Rey trying to turn Kylo Ren away from the Dark Side. But unlike Luke in Return of the Jedi, her efforts failed, as Ben Solo was presented with an opportunity for redemption, only to reject it.
The final scene between Rey and Kylo Ren strongly suggests that Rey is finished trying to save him. This is apparently confirmed by the novelization, which describes this moment by saying, “There was no hatred in her eyes, as there once had been. But there was no compassion, either.”
The novelization also confirms that Rey has severed the connection between herself and Kylo Ren, suggesting we won’t see them communicate remotely in Episode IX.
Next: The status quo has dramatically changed.
8. The galaxy is ready to fight against the First Order
- The Resistance should be able to find some new recruits between films.
Things are looking pretty dire for the Resistance at the end of The Last Jedi; there are only a small number of them left, with almost everyone being able to fit into one shot on the Falcon.
However, there’s hope for the future. The final scene suggests that Luke Skywalker’s sacrifice was indeed the spark that reignited hope around the galaxy. So it would make sense that when we pick things up in Episode IX, the Resistance has amassed far more forces and stands a better chance against the First Order than they do at the end of this movie.
Plus, the boy sweeping the floors on Canto Bight exhibits Force abilities, suggesting that there are plenty more children out there just waiting to be trained in the ways of the Force, which Rey can do in Episode IX.
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