5 "Mind-Melting" Ways 'Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker' Could Actually End

The final conclusion of the Star Wars Skywalker family saga might not be an ending we see coming.

Thinking about the ending of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker less than six months before it comes out is a little like trying to prepare myself for the moment in the night when my cat is going to sit on my head and wake me up. I know it’s going to happen, I’m aware the experience will be familiar, and yet, I’ll be startled and confused no matter what. We know the ending of The Rise of Skywalker will probably end like a lot of other Star Wars movies, but what if we still can’t see the specific weirdness of that ending coming? Last week, Kevin Smith claimed that J.J. Abrams almost showed him the last shot of the movie but was told by others that it was “mind-melting.”

So, with that in mind, here are five really nutty ways The Rise of Skywalker could end, that would be shocking, confusing and possibly even mind-melting.

'Mad Men' and 'The Sopranos' might share the same universe.
'The Sopranos' and 'Mad Men' both have crazy endings.

5. A Vague Sopranos-Style Ending

Other than Return of the Jedi, you could argue that most Star Wars movies have final shots that are a little open-ended; moments that scream “the adventure continues!” The Force Awakens even features a cliffhanger that happens on a literal cliff. (Star Wars is not subtle, guys.) But, even Solo and Rogue One very obviously lead directly into other stories, which is true for most of the endings of the episodic films.

The point is, even if The Rise of Skywalker is literally the ending, the final shot might be suggestive of something open-ended. So, yes, we’re talking about a Tony Soprano cut-to-black mid-sentence ending, which feels unlikely but could be amazing.

J.J. Abrams
J.J. Abrams

4. The Final Shot Sets Ups a Episode X

So, if we take the idea that Star Wars hates actually saying goodbye and wrapping things up, what if instead of a vague cliffhanger, the movie outright makes it clear that Episode X is coming and that everything about this being Daisy Ridley’s last movie is just a giant media stunt. If so, this would be mind-melting, because it would rip-apart our expectations of closure.

If the previous idea is a kind of mash-up between the Broom-Kid and a weird-cut-to-black ending, this would be an ending that actually telegraphed out a sequel. Sort of like Darth Maul appearing at the end of Solo or the Falcon flying off to Tatooine to rescue Han Solo in Empire. What if something happens in the movie that makes a sequel inevitable? If so, the last shot will naturally be a continuation of that idea.

Force Ghosts have been around in some form in the Star Wars galaxy since the very beginning.
Force Ghosts have been around in some form in the Star Wars galaxy since the very beginning.

3. Ghosts come back to life

This is a weird one, but if you think about it, it’s not that crazy. Here’s the theory: By mastering the power of the Force, Rey (or Luke) can finally do what Anakin was trying to do back in the prequels, specifically, bring dead people back to life. If so, you could actually see Han Solo in the flesh, or hell, even Natalie Portman as Padmé.

This idea actually predates Return of the Jedi, because one early script for that film did depict Obi-Wan Kenobi coming back in the flesh to help Luke fight the Emperor. Nearly every new film in the sequel trilogy has demonstrated something “new” people can do when they use the Force. (Kylo Ren reading minds in The Force Awakens, Luke’s astral projection in The Last Jedi.) So, having previously dead people come back to life in The Rise of Skywalker is certainly on the table. 

Rogue One
Rogue One

2. (Nearly) Everyone Dies

This feels very unlikely, but it could be amazing if done well. This ending would be like a Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows-style bloodbath in which the final battle is so hardcore that almost everyone, save for maybe Rey and Finn, are total goners. If so, the final shot could be something that gives us hope. Then again, the final shot could also be a beloved character saying goodbye for the final time. Plus, if you think a Star Wars movie won’t kill everyone off, do you remember this movie that came out a few years ago called Rogue One?

Galaxy
Galaxy

1. Everyone Departs the Galaxy

Part of the setting of Star Wars is one of the key ways in which its defined: a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. We know the Star Wars galaxy is not our galaxy, but presumably, it exists in our universe. (Unless it exists pre-big bang, which is, totally possible.)

So, if the Star Wars galaxy does exist in our universe, could the people who lived in the Star Wars galaxy eventually migrate to our galaxy? This kind of ending would give the whole of Star Wars a very Battlestar Galactica vibe. But, you’ve got to admit, the one thing you’d never see coming in a Star Wars movie is the entire Rebel fleet rolling up on the planet … Earth.


Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is out everywhere on December 20, 2019.

Media via HBO/AMC, https://www.flickr.com/photos/montclairfilmfest/23201281535/, Lucasfilm, StarWars.com, Dark Energy Camera Legacy Survey