Star Wars Episode IX will conclude the Skywalker saga, but we have no idea what that might look like. What happens if light doesn’t triumph over dark? What if the First Order wins the war?
At the end of the Star Wars prequel trilogy, everyone expected the Empire to win. It had to, considering Luke Skywalker would eventually lead the Rebel Alliance to victory against it years later.
The end of the current trilogy, however – the conclusion of the Skywalker saga – could go either way. We’re all expecting the good guys to win. But what if that doesn’t happen the way we’re expecting?
Let’s be honest: the First Order is a mess. Its Supreme Leader literally went down without a fight, Hux is trying way too hard to follow in his father’s footsteps, and Kylo Ren … well, he’s a grown man with the temper of a youngling, and his leadership skills are blatantly non-existent.
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Also, the fact that the First Order built a planet-destroying megabase pretty much proves they either never bothered to learn from the Galactic Empire’s mistakes or are arrogant enough to believe their weapon – their Order – will somehow be better.
Which seems like it might all point to the regime’s ultimate destruction by the end of the third trilogy. Except for the fact that only one Skywalker remains. And he may not be capable of letting darkness win.
But what if he can bring balance to the Force while keeping the First Order intact?
Regardless of whether you liked The Last Jedi, it made some important points about the Force and Luke’s deeper understanding of what balance might actually mean.
Up until now, we’ve seen the Force only as two extremes: light and dark. But maybe we’ve been looking at it all wrong. Maybe the Force is fluid, and there’s light and darkness in everyone; finding balance is simply a matter of bending to its will and determining what’s right and what isn’t in the moment.
If the Resistance remains small enough to fit inside one ship, the First Order is really the only power left in the galaxy. But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing, if those in charge of it recognize that ruling by fear is not the will of the Force.
At the end of the story, Ben Skywalker will either return to himself or cease to be. But can he stand at the helm of the galaxy, the Supreme Leader of it all, and lead with the good still so prevalent inside him?
Perhaps this will become the First Order of a new era – one that reigns over the galaxy not fueled by anger or fear, but instead by trust, honesty, and balance. If evil is no more and the galaxy needs somehwere to turn, why can’t Skywalker’s Order be their lifeline – in a good way this time?
There’s no way they can end this story – a story that has now spanned over four decades – on anything other than a balanced conclusion. But that doesn’t mean it has to end with the Resistance conquering the First Order. We expect that. It’s Star Wars cliché, now.
That’s what we all WANT to happen. And something tells me J.J. is going to find a way to give us something we aren’t expecting, while still providing the “happy” ending we all desperately need.
Expect the unexpected. Star Wars isn’t what it’s always been – and that might just be a good thing.
Star Wars Episode IX hits theaters in December 2019.