Okay, before we get started, we need to make one thing massively clear. We love The Last Jedi, it’s brilliant. We’re not part of that rogue Sith gang of Star Wars ‘fans’ who are still taking great pleasure from throwing handfuls of force lightning at Rian Johnson’s film whenever they get within cackling distance of a tweet about it.
So, we’re not saying The Last Jedi is problematic because of the film’s quality. But, there’s no getting away from it, JJ Abrams has a whole host of narrative problems to deal with when it comes to crafting the story for Episode IX, thanks to The Last Jedi. And they can all be solved with a time jump.
And, going by John Boyega’s recent comments, that’s exactly what’ll happen. Here’s all the stuff the inevitable time jump will fix.
1. Princess Leia’s absence
It feels a bit churlish to list this as a ‘problem’ but Carrie Fisher’s tragic death has brought an early end to the planned plot for Princess Leia. If The Force Awakens was Han’s movie, The Last Jedi was Luke’s movie, then The Resistance Rises (or whatever IX ends up being called) was intended to be Princess Leia’s movie – you can see it being set up in The Last Jedi, with Leia set to be Rey’s next mentor.
If JJ cuts straight to the next scene, it’s going to be fairly awkward when Leia’s missing. A time jump will allow for Leia to have already trained Rey, with the next Jedi mourning her loss in a funeral scene that pays tribute to Fisher’s franchise legacy.
2. Kylo Ren’s petulance
One of the complaints some fans had about The Last Jedi was that Kylo Ren was too immature and petulant to lead the First Order. Leaving aside the fact that this was the point of the character, a time jump would allow Kylo to mature into the proper villain the fans crave, a cross between Darth Vader and The Emperor, if either of those two people had emo hair.
We predict Episode IX will centre around a battle-hardened Ren who’s more in control of his emotions – until Force Ghost Luke trolls him back into the tantrum side of the force.
3. Resistance decimated
If Episode IX follows directly on from Episode VIII, it’s going to be a reaaaaally short movie. With only a handful of resistance fighters left and Luke Skywalker dead, Kylo Ren could probably take down all of the survivors without breaking a sweat.
So, it’s probably best if they go into hiding for a few years, recruiting as many force sensitive people as possible (such as broom boy, who’ll be old enough to be an interesting new character by that point), before making a grand return to battle – taking down the First Order once and for all. Until the next trilogy, when they’ll be rebranded as ‘The Big Meanos’ or whatever.
4. The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi were shot nearly back to back
This doesn’t sound like a problem on paper, but in reality, it means that our main cast will be noticeably older in Episode IX – something that only a time jump or some of the most sophisticated special effects in the galaxy will be able to fix. We’re leaning more towards the former than the latter on this one.
5. The whole epic story will take place over the course of a week
The events of The Force Awakens take place over the course of a few days. Then, we immediately go into The Last Jedi, which restages the first film’s final scene so it can play out slightly differently. The Last Jedi could have taken place across any time span, but everything in it also happens in the space of a few days. If the Episode IX does the same, we’ll have witnessed the most exciting week in the history of cinema.
Unless you’re able to time jump, you’ll have to wait until December 2019 to find out the truth, as that’s when Episode IX is released.
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