The official title and trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has sent the Star Wars fandom into full-on tinfoil hat mode. "The Rise of Skywalker" is a very loaded term, which could have any number of applications to the storyline of the Sequel Trilogy thus far - as well as this pivotal climatic chapter that's on the way.
Aside from the idea of fans who can't accept that Luke Skywalker is truly gone after the events of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, one of the most popular theories about Episode IX is that it will finally feature the redemption of Sequel Trilogy villain, Kylo Ren!
As we found out in the Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Kylo Ren is actually Ben Solo, the son of Princess Leia and Han Solo. The Last Jedi got deeper into the notion that Ben/Kylo is still being pulled toward the light side of the Force, even as he tries to embrace more of the dark side. In many ways, the Sequel Trilogy has been echoing the events and character arcs of the Original Trilogy, and in Kylo Ren's case, becoming like Vader may be the very thing that gives "The Rise of Skywalker" its title!
Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi saw the Rebel Alliance's last stand against the Galactic Empire, while Luke Skywalker had to face his father, Vader, and the temptations of the dark side, spurned by Emperor Palpatine / Darth Sidious. In the end, it was Vader who completed his arc of reawakening his connection to the light side, defying the Emperor and saving Luke, at the cost of his own life. With The Rise of Skywalker trailer revealing the return of Emperor Palpatine, there's a chance now in front of us for history to literally repeat itself, if "Kylo Ren" finds himself having to defy Darth Sidious and embrace his destiny as a Skywalker by defeating the dark side's most powerful agent.
Obviously, this isn't the only theory in play, at this point: There's the aforementioned theory that if Palpatine returns, Luke could also find some way to cheat death - or that we will find out that Rey's parentage is in fact connected to the Skywalker bloodline, after all. However, with Episode IX poised to complete the entire nine-film "Skywalker Saga," having Kylo make his way back to Ben seems like the most fitting arc of all.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on December 20th.
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