Now that we’re less than a year away from the release of Star Wars: Episode IX, an interview with any of the Star Wars actors will be dissected and analyzed by pundits and fans. And although 2019 is barely underway, the first clue has already arrived. Adam Driver recently revealed he seemingly knows how Kylo Ren’s story ends. More importantly, he’s known it for a long-ass time.
Is that a huge Star Wars: Episode 9 spoiler or just Driver dodging questions? It might sound like a nothing answer, but there’s more substance here than you might think. Here’s what it all could mean.
Possible spoilers for Episode IX ahead. Though, the following is purely speculation based on things people have actually said.
If you were a kid, reading all the countless articles about the different writers and directors making their own creative choices with Star Wars movies would be annoying, because, on some level, you want to just believe all of this stuff had been planned out way in advance.
In the old days, George Lucas was the master of this type of illusion. Even though the prequels brought in elements that were clearly not thought-out way back in 1977, Lucas would publicly insist these films represented his true vision. That he’d always planned to do this stuff with Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Jar Jar Binks. Any savvy fan knows there’s no such thing as one version of Lucas’ “original” vision for Star Wars, but the fact remains that, for the most part, the first six films were controlled by him.
Starting in 2015, however, this seemed to no longer be the case. Not only does Disney control the Star Wars franchise, but a plethora of writers and directors were all contributing their ideas to the saga. Prior to The Last Jedi’s release, nearly every single interview with director Rian Johnson mentioned his total creative freedom. When Inverse interviewed Johnson on the day the movie debuted in 2017, he insisted he wasn’t trying to make a movie full of crazy twists, but instead, that the plot was full of “honest choices.” This, above all, suggests that Johnson really did have a lot of control over where the story went, but is the same true for J.J. Abrams with Episode IX?
In a way, The Last Jedi feels isolated from the rest of the new Star Wars movies. Of the five new Star Wars movies released since 2015, The Last Jedi is the only one that was written and directed by one person. The Force Awakens, Rogue One, Solo, and now Episode IX all had multiple writers, and in some cases, more than one director. All this means is that Johnson’s relative autonomy in crafting his own Star Wars movie is unique to him and The Last Jedi.
There’s no way that Episode IX will only be the vision of J.J. Abrams. Unless, of course, the ending of Kylo Ren’s story is something Abrams had decided way back in 2014.
Here’s a quote from J.J. Abrams in 2015, when he was interviewed about Han Solo’s death and Kylo Ren’s journey by Entertainment Weekly:
“Long before we had this title, the idea of The Force Awakens was that this would become the evolution of not just a hero, but a villain. And not a villain who was the finished, ready-made villain, but someone who was in process.”
Now, take a look at this recent quote from Adam Driver. On January 12, Driver told Deadline:
“With Star Wars, I had one piece of information on where it was all going, and that’s where it has been in my head for a long time, and things were building towards that.”
Obviously, Driver didn’t divulge what that “one piece of information” was specifically, because doing so would likely ruin the conclusion of the entire sequel trilogy. But, this one single hint — taken together with the old quote from Abrams — seems to confirm that someone has been making major plot decisions regarding the story of Kylo Ren since 2014. Is that person J.J. Abrams? Kathleen Kennedy? George Lucas wearing a hoodie and hiding in the corner of big Lucasfilm Story Group meetings while dropping huge suggestions? Who knows. The point is, some kind of roadmap for Kylo’s journey over the three new films was floated during the formation of The Force Awakens.
What this could mean is unclear. Obviously, the idea that Kylo Ren will die in Episode IX could be the big takeaway, but Driver’s recent comment and Abrams’ old quote seem to suggest something more important than that. The Last Jedi introduced a new twist into why Ben Solo turned to the Dark Side of the Force; Luke Skywalker tried to kill him while he was taking a nap. This flashback stuff may not have been planned by Abrams, but it seems, very clearly, that whatever Kylo Ren does next, will have been his destiny since before the cameras even started rolling on Episode VII.
Will Kylo’s fate make everyone happy? We’ll have to ask C-3PO about calculating those odds…
Star Wars: Episode IX hits theaters on December 20, 2019.
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