4 Reasons ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’ Has to Return to Tatooine

J.J. Abrams and the gang basically don't have a choice. They must face Tatooine again! 

How many new Star Wars movies has it been since anyone set foot on the most pivotal planet in that faraway galaxy? Well, that sort of depends on your definition of pivotal. In 2016, the nostalgia-fest of Rogue One revisited not only Mustafar (arguably the true birthplace of Darth Vader) but the Rebel Base on Yavin 4, too. Other than that, however, none of the other new Star Wars movies have set foot on familiar planets, specifically, the backward desert world in a binary star system that started it all: Tatooine.

As Episode IX wraps up the sequel trilogy and the entire Skywalker saga at the same time, it seems impossible we won’t see Tatooine again. After all, it’s been 14 years and four new Star Wars movies since we’ve even glimpsed that old dust ball! Here are four reasons why revisiting this iconic Star Wars planet is almost certain to happen.

Alec Guinness in 'Star Wars: A New Hope.'
Obi-Wan chilling on Tatooine in the original 'Star Wars'

Abrams Has to Bring It Back to the Beginning

After news broke that Abrams was taking over directing of Episode IX from Colin Trevorrow, Abrams gave a few quotes about the general direction he planned for the film. The most telling of these comments came in 2017, when Abrams mentioned he wanted the concluding film to “unite the trilogies.” Both the original and prequel trilogies started on Tatooine. So it stands to reason Abrams knows it all has to end there, too.

Lando Calrissian
Lando Calrissian

Where’s Lando?

Both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi featured a signature Star Wars motif — a crime planet which allowed our dashing heroes to get hooked up with some information and/or services they wouldn’t be able to get through official channels. Though to be fair, visiting Maz Kanata on Takodana in The Force Awakens mostly resulted in Rey getting kidnapped, and the Casino Planet in The Last Jedi was all about Finn and Rose getting a parking ticket and then freeing some abused space horses.

All of this is fine, but neither are as cool or memorable as Mos Eisley Cantina or Jabba’s Palace on Tatooine, and neither of these new crime planets brought back any familiar criminals. Even though everyone wants to see Lando in Cloud City, it feels way more natural for Finn to have to go recruit him in that old bar on Tatooine. Come on. I just got chills thinking about this hypothetical scene. Something like this needs to happen, and putting Lando on Tatooine would be perfect.

Phantom Menace Qui-Gon Anakin Tatooine
Qui-Gon Jinn meets Anakin on Tatooine.

The Force Practically Lives There

If the Force were a person without a place to live and was sleeping on the couches of all of its friends until it found an apartment it could afford, Tatooine would be the place it decided to crash the most.

A lot of important mumbo jumbo has happened on Tatooine, and not all of it has been depicted on screen. Anakin Skywalker was born on Tatooine, presumably without a father. Recent Star Wars comic books have all-but-confirmed the idea that Palpatine used the Dark Side to knock up Anakin’s mom, but the fact of the matter is, this probably happened on Tatooine. After Anakin’s birth, he was obviously discovered there by Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn, which, at the time, was believed to be “the will of the Force.” Plus, Tatooine is where Luke pretty much completed his own Jedi training by building his second lightsaber. AND, Tatooine is the place where Obi-Wan Kenobi learned how to communicate with Qui-Gon Jinn’s ghost through the Force. If Episode IX addresses any of the mysticism surrounding the Force again, it almost certainly must visit the place the Force seems to love the most.

J.J. Abrams and Daisy Ridley in 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'
J.J. Abrams and Daisy Ridley in 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'

There’s Real World Evidence to Support It

It’s already common knowledge that Episode IX has filmed in Jordan, which certainly could stand in for Tatooine in the film. (Tatooine was filmed in Tunisia for A New Hope, Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith. In Return of the Jedi, Tatooine was filmed in Yuma, Arizona.) But, recently, a Reddit leak revealed the cast and crew of Episode IX were given gifts highly suggestive of a return to Tatooine: jars of sand and references to “the sacred place.” Cleary, that sacred place is Tatooine.

Star Wars: Episode IX hits theaters on December 20, 2019.


Related video: 9 Possible Titles for Star Wars: Episode IX

Media via StarWars.com, Star Wars, YouTube / Star Wars