After The Last Jedi split the fanbase, how can J.J. Abrams bring the it back together with Star Wars: Episode IX?
With the Star Wars fanbase being split into two factions, one that loved The Last Jedi and one that hated it, Star Wars: Episode IX now becomes a very important film for the franchise. Can J.J. Abrams make a film that will make both sides of the fanbase happy? More importantly can he make a film that ties the sequel trilogy’s loose ends without sacrificing the story telling.
Rey can’t be a nobody, tie her into Star War’s vast history.
The first loose end Abrams can tie up is answering the question of Rey’s lineage. Whether it’s by giving Rey parents who are tied to Star Wars vast history of Force users, or by going the Anakin Skywalker route (a child born of the force) it will help alienate the complaints of Rey being a Mary Sue. It will help explain her power in the force and how she seems to be quite natural at it.
Photo credit: Lucasfilm.
If Rey does have parents then Abrams can look to the animated series for a character to tie Rey to. Could she be related to Ezra Bridger? Would that be a story arc that fans can live with?
It it seems however the best way to eliminate the Mary Sue complaints is to make Rey Star War’s second immaculate conception. Another child of the force would allow Abrams to keep Rian Johnson’s back story for Rey’s parents, and explain her “uncanny” abilities at the same time. Episode IX can bring together this story line while also setting up the future of the Star Wars cinematic universe.
Finn’s Fate should include a noble and selfless death.
The next step would be to give Finn a noble and purposeful death. I know this seems like a move that may go to far to satisfy Finn haters, but sacrificing for the greater good can be a satisfying way for Finn to go out. And whether it was Obi Wan Kenobi giving his life in A New Hope, or Anakin’s inability to push his feelings aside in ROTS, a character’s ability to make a sacrifice has always a central theme of the franchise.
Photo Credit: Lucasfilm
Finn’s entire existence in the franchise so far has consisted of his search to find his purpose. He needed a reason to fight and he found it in The Last Jedi. To have him meet his maker while fighting for the Resistance and possibly saving one of his new found friends in the process seems just right.
Poe becomes the new leader of the Resistance.
Much was made of the conflict between Poe Dameron and Vice Admiral Holdo. A lot of fans insecure with their masculinity saw the entire episode as a knock against men. What I saw was a superior officer handling a brash, risk-taking pilot in a way she thought was best. Lost in the mix of all these things is that Poe ignored a direct order from General Leia that cost the Resistance a large portion of their forces.
Photo Credit: Lucasfilm
So for those whose couldn’t understand the friction between the two characters, Poe’s ascension to leader of the Resistance will be a real crowd pleaser. After learning what it means to lead, General Leia will hand over the mantle of Resistance boss to Poe. Poe naturally will have learned from his mistakes and become the great Commander we all knew he would be.
Kylo Ren dies, but there’s no redemption for Ben Solo.
If Episode IX is truly the end of the Skywalker Saga then the man who is the last tie to the family must perish. Kylo Ren dies, but not before wreaking the kind of havoc we’ve been waiting for from a Star Wars villain. He’ll almost take out the Resistance, and end the Jedi Order. The key word is almost.
Photo Credit: Lucasfilm
In this story arc we should also get more back story on Snoke. It would be great to find out he had another apprentice, one hiding in the Shadows who eventually replaces Kylo Ren as the new Supreme Leader. Maybe Kylo Ren dies by the hands of this character rather than Rey’s. It would be a compelling arc that would set up the continuation of Star Wars in this timeline without a Skywalker present.
In other words let’s find a reasonable solution to The Last Jedi’s main complaints.
Addressing everything that was “wrong” with The Last Jedi in a way that can satisfy both those who loved and loathed is a daunting task. It is however a task I believe J.J. Abrams can tackle creatively. A trilogy should be judged by all it’s installments, and hopefully this last one will tie together and enhance the sequel trilogy.
If all else fails we could always travel back in time to bring Luke back. We’ll all be holding our breathe until the release of Star Wars: Episode IX.
Star Wars: Episode IX is scheduled to come out in December 2019.