Should Star Wars: Episode IX have a happy ending?


Production of Star Wars: Episode IX is underway and there are only so many ways the movie could end.

Rumors abound about the plot of the next and (possibly) final installment of the Skywalker Saga. Regardless of the validity of those leaks, a question lingers over the entire film. Should JJ Abrams end Star Wars: Episode IX with an optimistic, happy view of the galaxy far, far away?

Let’s take a look at possible endings and why they may or may not work.

More from Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker

A Definitive Ending

Episode IX must close all the loops of the original, prequel and sequel trilogies. Regardless of whether the ending is happy or depressing, it must give a definitive ending. The conclusion may be that there are two sides of the force and this type of battle will go on forever.

On the contrary, Return of the Jedi appeared to give a thorough finale. The Emperor and Darth Vader died. Luke Skywalker overcame the temptation of the dark side. All seemed well. Even if Episode IX ties up all the loose ends, it does not mean it cannot be untied by a filmmaker in 30 years. Some fans theorized this trilogy is actually a prequel to another trilogy down the road.

First Order Cannot Win, Sweet Victory

No, this is not a rallying cry of the rebellion. As much as the filmmakers may want us to believe, the First Order will not win at the conclusion of Star Wars: Episode IX. The rebellion will find a way to take down General Hux and all of his cronies.

In this ultra happy finale, Ren turns from the dark side and helps Rey bring justice to the galaxy. Perhaps, a desired romance between the two finally blossoms.

Though it’s not likely as this type of last installment reads more like fan fiction than a serious movie. All lovers of rainbows and unicorns would be pleased with a film like this.

Happy But Sad

No fan wants to see Rey perish on screen but it is a very real possibility. Rey raises a rebellion, defeats Kylo Ren and saves the galaxy only to lose her own life. This ending works for two reasons. One, an ending that kills the two biggest characters in the story (Rey and Kylo Ren) helps Lucasfilm end the Skywalker family drama. Two, it will shock the viewers to see the beloved Rey meet her demise. For fans who complained The Force Awakens was too predictable, this definitely would change things up.

This ending also does not work for two reasons. First, the big-wigs at Lucasfilm will want the option to make a follow-up trilogy in the future. Even if moviegoers have ‘Star Wars fatigue’, it makes financial sense to keep another trilogy in their back pocket. Second, after The Last Jedi backlash, would JJ Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy risk another by knocking off this generation’s version of Luke Skywalker? Not likely.

photo cred: Lucasfilm

Just Depressing

Kylo Ren kills Rey, Poe, Finn, Chewbacca and his mother, Leia. He reigns supreme over the galaxy and the rebellion’s spark is snuffed out. Sad face emoji.

This extremely dark movie would compare to Revenge of the Sith. It may work if another trilogy is in the works. However, after the fail of Solo: A Star Wars Story, throwing another three films to the cinema might not be a good idea.

This conclusion would not sit well with fans or even casual moviegoers. After all, Star Wars is for adults and kids alike.

Many fans will not be satisfied by the ending. Star Wars is an entire universe of creatures and stories that people feel deeply about. Even though fanatics may care deeply about the characters like Rey and Kylo Ren, their on-screen happiness is secondary to doing what the story demands.

In almost every Star Wars film, tragedy and sadness befall the characters in some form. In A New Hope, Luke blows up the Death Star and saves the rebellion. However, hours earlier, his mentor and father-he-never-had Obi-Wan Kenobi died in a lightsaber duel with Darth Vader. Therefore, the story demands a hopeful and optimistic outcome with a hint of melancholy for the fallen or defeated.

Star Wars: Episode IX is scheduled to come out in December 2019.