9 Crucial Questions 'Star Wars Episode 9' Must Answer

Let's get this Force balanced.

Darth Vader was standing next to his secret daughter for two-movies-in-a-row and didn’t figure out who she really was until he read his son’s mind by accident in the third movie. For all you Star Wars fan theorists, this is important to remember because nobody saw the twist of Leia being Luke’s sister coming in Return of the Jedi. That shit came out of nowhere! Were Star Wars fans not asking the right questions back in the eighties? Maybe, maybe not. But in a year from now, a certain kind of Star Wars story will be over when Episode IX finally hits theaters. Right now, we don’t have many answers, but we do have nine essential questions the film has to answer. Only after 2019 will we learn about the questions we didn’t know we had. Until then, here’s what we must know by the time the credits roll on the “final” installment of the Skywalker saga.

Knights of Ren, remember these guys?
Knights of Ren, remember these guys?

9. Who are the Knights of Ren?

Okay, I bring this up every week and it’s getting old. I understand. You’re tired of me asking this. But you’re also tired of dreaming about those dudes standing in the rain, chilling behind Kylo Ren, all wondering if they will ever be allowed to get their own lightsaber, too. Until Episode IX is released and we see some faces under those helmets, this will remain the greatest and most important question no one seems to every be asking. (My money is on Matt Smith being one them!)

8. Is Kylo Ren Actually 100 Percent Evil?

This one is easy. Since his first appearance, we’ve wondered about whether or not Kylo Ren will go back to being a good guy. In many ways, he’s both the reverse Luke Skywalker and the reverse Anakin Skywalker at the same time. In some ways, he’s more like Anakin, but that’s mostly the fact that he took his shirt off a lot in the last movie. The point is, if Kylo doesn’t swing one way or the other in terms of this light side/dark side flip-flop he seems to be doing, Episode IX will fail. Other than Rey, the only real main character of the new trilogy — who seems to have the ability to change — is Kylo Ren. (To be clear I love Finn and Poe Dameron. But if you think either of those guys will have huge character arcs or big changes in Episode IX, I would say you’re gravely mistaken.)

"Where's my boyfriend?" - Maz Kanata talking about Chewbacca in 'The Force Awakens.' (I ship it and you love life, you do too.)
"Where's my boyfriend?" - Maz Kanata talking about Chewbacca in 'The Force Awakens.' (Ship it!)

7. Is Anybody Going to Make Out?

This seems a little crass, but unless we count Rey and Kylo Ren’s mind-flirting in The Last Jedi, the new trilogy is almost completely devoid of romance. This isn’t a bad thing, or wrong or anything like that, but considering the rest of Star Wars, it is…odd. Right now, the current trilogy seems to have three possible couples: Finn/Poe or Rey/Kylo Ren and Chewbacca/Maz Kanata. Will any of these people hook-up? Or will making out only occur in Star Wars prequels for the rest of time?

6. Can Luke’s Ghost Talk to All the Other Jedi Ghosts?

When Yoda tells Obi-Wan they’re going to talk to Qui-Gon Jinn (off camera!), Obi-Wan is stoked. And in Return of the Jedi, we see the ghosts of Obi-Wan, Yoda, and Anakin all hanging out with each other. They all look at each other, too, which totally establishes they can “see” each other. In The Last Jedi, the only ghost we saw was Yoda, but will that change in Episode IX? Because this is supposedly the end of the Skywalker saga, it would be nice to know, once and for all, what these ghosts do when they’re not shimmering into view and giving advice. We know Mark Hamill is in the movie. We know he became one with the Force. So, will there be a big ghost party?

5. Will the Millennium Falcon Be Destroyed?

This seems like a random one, but because the Millennium Falcon is such a big deal in the vast majority of the Star Wars movies, it makes sense that everyone should be nervous that it might get blown-up. To be honest, it’s sort of shocking it hasn’t happened already. If Abrams is smart, he will totally blow-up the Falcon. After all, Star Trek has blown up their most famous spaceship — the Starship Enterpriselike half a dozen times. And, every single time, the audience is in tears. Imagine how you’ll feel when the Falcon blows up!

4. Where is Leia?

Because General Leia Organa was last seen aboard the Millennium Falcon consoling Rey about the future of the Rebellion/Resistance in the closing of The Last Jedi, the next movie will need to answer the question the most basic question a sequel answers: what happens to Leia next? But, because Carrie Fisher tragically died in 2016, Lucasfilm had to entirely rethink the approach to Leia’s role in Episode IX. Meaning, the saddest question Episode IX will have to answer is, where is Leia if she’s only in the movie a little bit? We know from official statements from J.J. Abrams and Lucasfilm that archival footage of Leia will be used for her scenes in Episode IX, and whatever happens in those scenes will need to answer the question of why she’s not in the movie all that much.

3. What Has Lando Been Doing Since Return of the Jedi?

Another missing character quandary in Episode IX is the reverse of the Leia question. Instead of asking why someone is missing from the film, this question is all about why someone is suddenly here. Lando Calrissian was fully ensconced in the military of the Rebel Alliance in Episode VI, better known as 1983’s Return of the Jedi, but we haven’t seen or heard from him — at least not chronologically — since then. Even Admiral Ackbar and Nien Nunb— Lando’s co-pilot at the Battle of Endor — managed to show up for The Force Awakens, so Lando better have a pretty good story as to where he’s been keeping himself.

I hate my parents.

2. Are Rey’s Parents Really Dead? And If So, How Did They Die?

This seems like no-brainer, and in some ways, the question has already been answered: Rey’s parents were drunks who died on Jakku a long time ago. But, because the only person who says this “fact” out loud is Kylo Ren, it’s still a little tricky. Obviously, Episode IX doesn’t need to retcon The Last Jedi, but because The Force Awakens made such a big deal about Rey waiting for her family, it seems like Episode IX needs to at least address the circumstances of her parent’s death. If Rey knew her parents were dead in The Force Awakens it makes her behavior pretty weird. If Rey is experiencing cognitive dissonance about her parents being dead, to the point where she lies to Finn and Han about needing to go back to Jakku to wait for them, then it seems like the audience should be given a tiny little bit more about those circumstances.

One popular fan theory suggests that when Rey was a little girl, and her parents sold her off to the junk traders, she lashed out in anger and used the Force to bring down their ship, thus, killing them. (The flashback in The Force Awakens would support this idea.) I like this theory. It’s really tragic, but it would explain perfectly why Rey couldn’t admit her parents were dead; the pain of the guilt would be too much for her.

Anakin and Padme
Excuse me m'lady, I'm just trying to balance this Force.

1. Did Anakin Bring Balance to the Force or What?

If you put on your George Lucas goggles for a second, you might find yourself wondering why the Force woke up in The Force Awakens. The prequels tell us that Anakin Skywalker (“The Chosen One”) was supposed to bring balance to the Force by destroying the Sith. Lucas explained how this works back in 2005: “Even when Anakin turns into Darth Vader, he is still the Chosen One. The prophecy is that Anakin will bring balance to the Force and destroy the Sith…Darth Vader does become the hero. Darth Vader does destroy the Sith, meaning himself and the Emperor. And he does it because he is redeemed by his son.”

The opening moments of The Force Awakens gave us a random old dude Lor San Tekka (Max Von Sydow) telling Poe Dameron that “without the Jedi, there can be no balance in the Force.” This implies that because Luke’s new Jedi Academy failed, and Luke went into hiding that pretty much everything that happened with this Force balance boloney has been totally undone. It’s not clear what is more confusing about this: the fact that it happened at all, or the fact that it happened off-screen. So, if Episode IX doesn’t address it at all, it would almost render the title of The Force Awakens utterly pointless.


Star Wars: Episode IX will be out on December 20, 2019. Which means, this time next year, we all will be losing our minds.

Media via Lucasfilm, StarWars.com