Over the course of forty-plus years and three generations, Star Wars has focused on the Skywalker family. As of Episode VIII, the only remaining heirs to the Skywalker lineage are Leia and her son, Ben Solo/Kylo Ren. When J.J. Abrams announced that he’d begun filming for Star Wars: Episode IX, he also confirmed that the film would bring the Skywalker saga to end. With only one episodic installment of Star Wars left, the lingering question now is how?
Anakin Skywalker died way back in Return of the Jedi, and The Last Jedi more recently ensured Luke Skywalker’s fate. Conversely, and sadly, it was real life that provided Leia hers. Carrie Fisher’s passing two year ago left Lucasfilm with the conundrum of how to address her death on screen. To that end, the studio and Abrams confirmed that they’d use never-before seen footage of Fisher from The Force Awakens. Those scenes will complete Leia’s final appearance in the Skywalker saga. (Scenes, according to Todd Fisher, Carrie’s brother, that are a natural fit in Episode IX.) As Carrie Fisher is gone, Leia most likely will not survive the events of the film. That leaves only Kylo Ren.
The Skywalker Saga, and Lineage, Must End With Kylo Ren
There is only one, true way to bring the Skywalker saga to a close. That is, of course, with Kylo Ren’s death. Granted, there are a couple of ways to go about it. In the end, however, Kylo Ren cannot survive Episode IX to finish what Vader started. So what are the choices?
The first is obvious: Rey must destroy Kylo Ren. She made her attempt to turn Ren back to the light. She even surrendered herself to Snoke in an effort to do so. And then he tried to coax her into ruling the galaxy with him. (Just say no to Reylo, Rey!) After that, he gave the First Order’s best effort to obliterate his uncle on the salt slicks of Crait. For me and many others, Kylo Ren is beyond redemption. His death by her hand, with the lightsaber that once belonged to his uncle and grandfather, is how the Skywalker saga should end.
Can Kylo Ren Be Redeemed?
Nevertheless, Disney did take over the franchise. That leaves open the possibility for Kylo Ren’s redemption in the end. Notwithstanding, in order for the Skywalker saga to end, Ren still needs to become one with the Force, like his grandfather, uncle, and presumably mother before him. Perhaps he’ll revert to the light and sacrifice himself for Rey. Or maybe the First Order murdering his mother is what it will take for him to turn and make the ultimate sacrifice for the Resistance. Time will tell.
However it happens, the Skywalker saga will end. Strong is the Skywalker lineage with the Force… but not that strong.
We’ll find out how when Star Wars: Episode IX hits theaters this December.