Star Wars Episode IX: Will there be an Episode IV style twist?


Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back had one of the most surprising twists in cinema history. Will Episode IX attempt to rival it?

If you’re of my generation, the historical Empire Strikes Back twist was never really a twist to you; the iconic line delivered from Darth Vader to Luke Skywalker was already quoted so widely that you saw it coming from a mile away on your first watch through. Your entire Star Wars viewing experience ahead of that reveal, whether it began with The Phantom Menace or A New Hope, was spent in anticipation of it. But no matter where or when you started watching Star Wars, the magnitude of Darth Vader’s words in Episode V was huge.

The closest twist the sequel series has to match that is the reveal in Episode VIII where Luke Skywalker played an integral role in Ben Solo’s turn to the dark side. But even that didn’t stack up with the most iconic moment Star Wars. Will IX—or should IX—try to shock Star Wars’ fans all over again?

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Why not to compete with the original trilogy

The sequel trilogy has done well in paying obvious homage to the original trilogy without necessarily trying to outdo it. The sequels haven’t strictly stuck to a predefined line laid out by the original trilogy, to be sure, but it hasn’t tried to compete with it.

A major twist, especially if it were related to a main character’s parentage, would appear to do that. We’ve already heard one version of Rey’s past. Kylo Ren’s story may or may not be true, but anything drastically derivative of that would be bound to rub some fans the wrong way. But there hasn’t been a Star Wars since 1977 that didn’t irk some Star Wars fans.

What a comparable twist could be

The short answer is there’s really not a comparable twist available with what’s been laid out so far in the sequel trilogy. Unless they toy with Luke, Han or Leia’s background, which would be extremely controversial and nonsensical, the next closest thing is Rey’s lineage.

Rey’s parentage has been one of the hottest Star Wars topics since The Force Awakens. While many took Kylo Ren’s words in The Last Jedi as fact, many also took the casting of Keri Russell—who does have a similar appearance to Daisy Ridley—as grounds to spark back up the discussion. Not to mention the novelization of The Last Jedi included scenes in which Luke Skywalker had a wife.

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Whatever lies ahead for the conclusion of the Skywalker saga, don’t rule out an attempt to shock Star Wars’ fans like they haven’t since Episode V.

Star Wars: Episode IX is scheduled to hit theaters in December 2019.