Star Wars fans are eagerly waiting to learn something, anything about the upcoming Star Wars: Episode IX. The finale to the Star Wars sequel trilogy has been wrapped in so much secrecy that we don't yet even know the official name of the film; however, we do know one of its main goals. It's already been made clear in official announcements that Episode IX will serve as the ending to the nine-part "Skywalker Saga," which began in the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy, and ends here.
Since it was made clear that the Skywalker Saga is coming to an end in Star Wars 9, fans have been speculating like crazy about how J.J. Abrams and Co. will tie-off the threads of the franchise's past, while also setting Star Wars up for a bold new future. Now, thanks to some intriguing new Star Wars: Episode IX rumors that have dropped, a theory about how the Skywalker Saga could play out is now taking more solid shape!
No Galaxy for Gray Jedi
During production on Star Wars: The Last Jedi there was a (popular? Infamous?) theory that the film would introduce the concept of "Gray Jedi" - i.e., Jedi who were in tune to both the light and dark sides of the Force. It was speculated that either Rey (Daisy Ridley) or Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) would achieve this balance, by adding some counterbalancing darkness or light to their respective personas. A lot of fans had a major problem with that notion, (correctly) pointing out that "Gray Jedi" were inherent contradiction within the established lore of the franchise.
After all: how could the light and dark sides of the Force balance in one person, when the rules of Star Wars clearly established that Sith and/or Jedi who fell to the dark side were inherently in a state of imbalance? Jedi were said to be the spiritual counterbalance to the dark side's imbalance of the Force - which is exactly where Star Wars: Episode IX comes in...
A Rule of Two
By now Star Wars fans are all too familiar with the Sith "Rule of Two", which states that there can only be a Sith Lord and his/her apprentice at any given time. However, the Skywalker Saga has always been built around the theme of balance, and in wrapping that story up with Episode IX, there may be a very different 'Rule of Two' that's actually the true focus of the story: the Force power union of Rey and Kylo Ren.
Star Wars fan theory has been building this case ever since the The Force Awakens was released, but it basically says that in order to end the conflict and bring balance to the Force and the universe, Rey and Kylo will have unite in some way. That theory has bent and changed with each subsequent Sequel Trilogy film and the new information it brings, and The Last Jedi crushed a lot of the early theories that Rey would turn out to be a Skywalker, etc. However, The Last Jedi also went out of its way to lay groundwork for how Rey and Kylo can ultimately come together, in a true "Yin and Yang" pairing of the light and dark sides of the Force. The pair of powerful Force users had a meeting of the minds that was engineered by Snoke - but the effect of that meeting was very important dual discovery:
Kylo Ren/Ben Solo was forced to acknowledge the light inside him, even while committing to be a servant of the dark side. While training with Luke on Ach-To, Rey had to confront the call of the dark side, even as she discovered the power of her light. This unique blend - a powerful dark side pulled toward the light, and a powerful Jedi lured by the dark - could be revealed as the true balance of The Force that has always been part of the Skywalker destiny. All that's needed is a good enough reason to make said union happen...
A New Threat
The reason this Rey and Kylo Yin/Yang theory is now taking a more solid shape is the fact that a new report about Star Wars: Episode IX points to the film introducing a new threat to the galaxy - one that threatens The Resistance and Fist Order, alike.
Making Star Wars dropped the rumor that this threat would emerge from "The Beyond," a likely re-branding of the "Unknown Regions" from Star Wars expanded lore. It's an ominous vague expanse of the galaxy which basically serves as fertile ground for any big new threats that Star Wars creators wanted to introduce - and according to canon, it's also where Luke's hideaway on Ach-To is located.
This threat from The Beyond doesn't have a specific name - though the initial rumor does say it could involve The Knights of Ren. The details aren't nailed down, but what's being floated is one of two scenarios:
- The Knights of Ren have been off in "The Beyond" this whole time, and come back with warning of the threat that's approaching from the region.
- The Knights of Ren come back as the threat from The Beyond, having obtained some kind of power they sought out (Sith power?) and return to take out Kylo Ren and his First Order, as the last Skywalker is the only threat to their power.
The latter case would be a great way to tie the Sequel Trilogy finale back to the vision of the Knights of Ren that Rey saw in The Force Awakens - but whatever the threat from The Beyond turns out to be, it would have two big desired effects: forcing Rey and Kylo to unite their Force powers, and set the franchise up for a conflict that continues after the Skywalker Saga.
In fact, that could be exactly what The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson could be working on right now...
What are your theories for Star Wars: Episode IX? Let us know in the comments!
Star Wars: Episode IX hits theaters on December 20th.