Written by robotical712, all views are my own.
Marketing for The Rise of Skywalker is due to start in earnest this week. In preparation for a full plot prediction, I layout where I think the movie will be going.
Note: I’ve followed the leaks for The Rise of Skywalker’s entire production and have come to strongly suspect the production has been managing them from the beginning. While there are likely to be some legitimate leaks or details that will show up in marketing to ‘legitimize’ the plot ‘leaks’, it’s impossible to distinguish them from the rest. Therefore, I will not be using them from here on out.
During the run-up to The Last Jedi, I had taken a stab at putting a plot prediction together. By its final iteration, it had become fairly detailed. Alas, it wound up being fairly off the mark even if I got the overall flow of the movie largely correct. It was, however, a fun and instructive exercise that I learned a lot from even in failure. With that in mind, I will be working towards a predictive outline for The Rise of Skywalker.
Up to this point in its development, The Rise of Skywalker has been a very different animal than The Last Jedi. I completed the first iteration of my outline for that movie at the end of July. At that point, I had a decent idea of how the movie would be structured and what the characters were doing at the start of the movie (being set immediately after The Force Awakens helped). From there, I could try to trace the paths through the movie. For TROS, it’s a very different situation. Currently, we’re missing an enormous amount of key information.
While I think I have a decent idea of what Rey and Leia’s overall stories through the film will be, I can’t say the same for almost everyone else. Poe will of course be trying to lead the Resistance under Leia, but Finn’s role at the start of the film is opaque. I have some ideas of what Kylo Ren will be doing in the film, but his goals and disposition towards Rey are unknown. With the old characters we at least have two films to draw from, but the same cannot be said for the new characters. We know Zorii will likely play into Poe’s story somehow and signs point to Jannah being important for Finn’s, but what they’ll actually do is impossible to derive from the official information. Throw in Palpatine, the “Sith” fleet and Knights of Ren and the challenge becomes even greater.
In light of the current unknowns, I won’t attempt a full outline until at least after the trailer. Instead, I’ll summarize what I think the main themes and story threads will be and then loosely outline through the midpoint of the movie. I apologize in advance for any omissions, particularly for Finn. His story will be vital to TROS and any shortchanging here simply reflects the current paucity of information.
General Themes and Story Threads
The Skywalker Family
- The main theme and story of the trilogy remains the Skywalkers dealing with the legacy of Darth Vader and their struggle to define themselves. With a third generation of Skywalker fallen to the dark side, the family faces a bleak future. Do they control their own destinies or will it forever be ruled by the dark side?
- Through two movies, Rey has remained ignorant of her place in the Skywalker family’s struggles. Now, she will finally face the knowledge Luke had tried to protect her from. Will she be able to overcome it, or will it doom her to the same fate as her cousin?
- October 7 Update: In the Journey to TROS material, Rey is having significant issues calming herself and connecting with the Force.
- For decades, Leia tried to ignore the knowledge of who her father was and avoid acknowledging what she had inherited from him. Now, she faces the fall of her own son and must help another Skywalker deal with the horror of learning who she is. Perhaps in finally confronting her own demons, she can save at least save her niece and finally confront her son.
- Despite his best efforts, Kylo will still feel the pull exerted by his family and the light, especially in regards to his mother. It remains to be seen whether he still thinks Rey can be brought to his side or whether he needs her for something. What his ultimate goals are, remain a mystery.
- While they’ve been busy trying to recruit to their cause, the Resistance is still completely outmatched by the First Order. They’ve managed to foment local resistance through the galaxy, but these ‘sparks’ have yet to turn into a general conflagration. In TROS, the light in the galaxy finally rises to meet the dark.
- Finn is committed to the fight and will now to turn that into inspiration for the galaxy as a whole. Yet, his focus is still on his friends.
- Judging by what we know of the Resistance’s state and activities at the start of the movie, it appears Rey, Finn and Poe have mostly either focused on securing support for the Resistance or trying to foil Kylo’s plans.
The First Order
- Kylo Ren became Supreme Leader after killing his master, Snoke. A year into his reign, his perch likely remains precarious. Those leaders from the former Empire are unlikely to welcome the young grandson of Vader as their leader and follow more out of fear than loyalty. If Kylo is to fashion the First Order in his own image, these elements must be forced into line or eliminated.
Observations and Speculation
I think the first half of the movie will visit go roughly something like this:
- Unnamed Jungle Planet – It appears to be the site of the main Resistance base at the time of the movie and, based on what JJ said, where the movie begins for the heroes (it’s entirely possible it will open with the villains). We’ll get to see what everyone has been up to since we last saw them. The heroes will hear Kylo is after something on Pasaana and off they go.
- Pasaana – As laid out here, I suspect the object Kylo is after will be Anakin’s podracing helmet. Grabbing it will prompt the chase scene. Towards the end of our time here, Kylo Ren and the Knights of Ren will pay the heroes a visit. The heroes will be shocked to learn Kylo was after a podracing helmet and even more surprised when it triggers some remnants of Threepio’s wiped memories. Recovering the memories is what leads the team to traveling to Kajimi.
- Kijimi – This will be where the heroes meet Zorii, D-0 and most of Threepio’s
- relevance will be here. Babu Frik (described as a ‘Droid Maker’) will be the person they see to restore Threepio’s memories. The most important memory will be of Anakin kneeling in front of the graves on the Lars’ moisture farm which Rey will recognize (“Pauper’s graves”).
- The heroes will be located and forced to flee before the First Order uses one of the superlaser equipped vessels to destroy the workshop.
- Ocean Moon of Endor – The heroes travel to this world to pay a visit to the second Death Star remains. Either they’re looking for Vader’s lightsaber or Rey comes across it while exploring the remains. Either way, when she touches it, it will trigger a vision mirroring TFA.
- I think the vision will confirm her father is Luke, but lead her to believe he abandoned her because he thought she would turn out to be a monster like Vader. This will set up her principal conflict of the film – did being a Skywalker doom Ben to the dark side and will it in turn doom her? (The vision will later turn out to be incomplete – Luke did not abandon Rey.)
- After this vision, will be the Death Star II fight with Kylo, which she will lose.
- This brings us to or just after the film’s midpoint and what happens next, I have no idea.
- I think ‘Rey’s family’s ship’ will turn out to be the one Lando is using in the film.
- Keri’s statement that she’s from Poe’s past makes it highly unlikely she has anything to do with Rey’s story (Lando on the other hand…).
- I’m thoroughly convinced the third act will take place on Jakku. Everything ties back to this world and its secrets.
- It’s possible Passaana was conceived, in part, to cover for scenes intended to be set on Jakku.
- At some point, the Resistance will be on the verge of giving up; Finn will be the one to rally them. This act will precipitate those on the side of light throughout the galaxy to rally to the aid of the Resistance.
- Finn will also be faced with a seemingly important mission and going to Rey. He will choose to go to Rey and it will turn out to be the most important thing he could do.
- The attention Palpatine is receiving is suspicious if defeating him is the main conflict of the film. I think it will turn out Kylo has anticipated Palpatine’s attempt at returning and has been preparing for it (hence the interest in Sith knowledge). Stopping Palpatine will not be the main conflict of this film (I anticipate beating him will turn out to be a false climax in fact), it will be a battle over the future of the Skywalkers and the Force itself.
- It will turn out Kylo was directly responsible in some way for Rey’s abandonment.
- I hate to say it, but I don’t see Leia surviving this film, but she’ll become the first female Force ghost.
- The Sithtroopers existence suggest Kylo Ren is circumventing the First Order’s normal leadership and creating his own personal army.
- In SWSC’s ‘way too early predictions‘ we predicted Rey would go back to Ahch-To in TROS. With the information we now have, it’s increasingly difficult to see how that would fit. If it takes place after DS II, it removes Rey from the other ongoing plot threads right when the story should be ramping up.
- Anything not mentioned above (ie: Poe, Kylo’s helmet, Finn’s story for most of the movie, Jannah, Luke, the Sith troopers/fleet, Hux, the FO, General Pryde, etc.) I’m still thinking about.
I will add to this as I go and intend to do a full plot prediction in the next two months. Of course, I especially hope to add more to Finn, Jannah, Poe and other non-Skywalker story threads. Let us know your predictions in the comments!