The trailer for Star Wars IX dropped a while back, revealing the film’s title and a few choice details; however, the reason I hadn’t yet posted about was because I’ve been obsessed with Avengers: Endgame and pondering the question, “What the Bantha poodoo does ‘The Rise of Skywalker‘ mean?”
What follows are the range of possible answers that I’ve been able to parse out. And yes there are possible SPOILERS for the entire stinking Star Wars franchise once you read beyond this point, so be warned!
Yes, we’re talking to you!
1. Kylo Ren.
In case you’ve been hiding out in the swamps of Dagobah with no cellphone service, Kylo Ren’s real name is Ben Solo. He’s the son of Han Solo and Leah Organa. Leah is Anakin Skywalker’s daughter. Luke Skywalker is Ben’s uncleand former Jedi Master. Rey keeps sensing light in Kylo, so it’s not inconceivable that Ben Solo could embrace his heroic Skywalker roots. A lot of fans would certainly like to see Rey and Kylo fighting side-by-side again.
2. Rey is a secret Skywalker
There has been a lot of speculation that JJ Abrams will retcon Rian Johnson’s horrid choice to make Rey’s parents a couple of “nobodys.” In fact, Mark Hamill suggested her as a candidate for the Skywalker family album in a tweet immediately after the film’s name was revealed.
This is one of the more likely scenarios, in my opinion, especially since JJ Abrams has said regarding Rey’s “nobody” parentage:
“There is so much more to that story than that.”
3. Luke isn’t done.
It’s possible that Force Ghost Luke could find a way to fight the Sith that transcends the limitations of a mortal body, like Yoda drawing down lightning. Of course, we have to admit that even if something like this occurs in the story, it doesn’t mean Luke is the Skywalker referenced in the title.
Alternatively, some have suggested a full-fledged resurrection. I found this theory unlikely until I ran across the fact that the Polish translation of the title is Skywalker Resurrection.
4. Princess Leia.
Leia Organa is Luke’s twin sister and if there is one thing that whole Space Mary Poppins thing in The Last Jedi reminded us of it is that Princess Leia is a powerful Force user in her own regard. While sources suggest that originally the first sequel was supposed to he Han Solo’s, the next Luke Skywalker’s and the last episode of the sequel trilogy was supposed to be Leia’s, I find it unlikely that she is the Skywalker being referenced in the film title. This is mostly due to the reality that her role will necessarily be reduced by the fact that Carrie Fisher is dead (still so sad) and there is only so much you can hope to do with unused footage and CGI.
5. Schmi Skywalker.
Only three persons have ever carried the Skywalker name: Luke, Anakin and Anakin’s mother. Someone suggested that the title could refer to Emperor Palpatine resurrecting her from the grav, but why would he do that?
The closest answer I’ve come up with has to do with the “virgin birth” of Anakin Skywalker. In The Phantom Menace, Schmi explains Anakin’s birth thus:
“There was no father. I carried him, I gave birth, I raised him, I can’t explain what happened.”
That answer didn’t sit well with a lot of fans. Fortunately, it’s not the final word.
According to the Marvel comic book Darth Vader #25, Darth Sidious (aka the future Emperor Palpatine) manipulated the Midichlorians in her womb to create the Chosen One (aka Anakin Skywalker). The comic is canon.
So yeah… the Emperor is Darth Vader’s daddy. And Luke? Palpatine is your grandfather.
In any case, while all of that is interesting, why would Palpatine raise Schmi from the dead? Fondness? Another try? And how would it serve the story? You can probably see why I find this scenario very, very unlikely.
6. Did Kylo have a twin?
This has been suggested simply because Luke and Leia are twins. There is an undeniable history of hiding away secret children in this film series. It’s definitely a apace opera. So it’s conceivable that Kylo had a twin.
That’s even one of the theories floating around Rey’s lineage, that Leia hid her away from even Han Solo’s knowledge to keep her safe, but from what? When Ben Solo was born, the galaxy was enjoying a time of peace. This possibility would create a Death Star-sized plot hole, so I find it improbable.
But maybe a clone?
7. Skywalker as the next generation of of Force users inspired by Luke’s legend.
This is actually the most likely scenario. There is a lot of good material on Reddit that makes tjis theory popular.
Keep in mind that in The Force Awakens, Supreme Leader Snoke warns Kylo Ren and General Hux:
“If Skywalker returns, the new Jedi will Rise.”
The Skywalker in question is undoubtedly The Last Jedi aka Luke Skywalker. Luke did in fact return from his isolation in The Last Jedi. It’s conceivable that Snoke’s warning will come true in the form of a new Jefi order calking themselves Skywalkers in Luke’s honor. Obviously, they’d be involved in whatever epic battle occurs at the end of the film.
8. Skywalker as a coincidental term for Force users.
Kevin Burwick covered this one in an article for MovieWeb:
Star Wars fans who are familiar with Timothy Zahn’s 2018 novel Thrawn: Alliances may already have a bit more backstory on the title than casual fans. In the book, it reveals a bit more information on what makes a Skywalker. The book reveals how the Chiss Ascendancy uses Force-sensitive kids to navigate through the Unknown Regions. The book also says these Force-sensitive children tend to have their powers dull with age. In a conversation with Darth Vader, Thrawn sheds more light on the Skywalkers. He explains.
“I told you the Chiss call this talent Third Sight. What I hadn’t yet spoken of is the title these navigators are given once they take their posts… The Cheunh word is ozyly-esehembo. In Basic, it translates to ‘sky-walker.’ You can imagine my momentary confusion when I first encountered General Anakin Skywalker.”
The Thrawn: Alliances novel, which is official Star Wars canon, reveals Skywalker is a name given to those who are Force-sensitive. This would mean Rey and a bunch of other “Skywalkers,” like Force-sensitive broom boy from The Last Jedi could be getting ready to fight in The Rise of Skywalker… but it isn’t clear if J.J. Abrams is going to go down this route.
While the character Thrawn has been introduced into Star Wars canon via the Rebels series (thank you,Ted Atchley for that catch), Thrawn has not yet been introduced to the big screen Star Wars Cinematic Universe (SWCU) and I don’t think they’ll introduce him in the third act of both the sequel trilogy and the Skywalker saga. Therefore, I find the idea of Force users being called Skywalkers in homage to the legend of Luke Skywalker more likely than a coincidental title.
9. A reborn Darth Vader.
If the Emperor back and he learned the sectets of Darth Plagueis, it’s not outside the realm of posSithbility that Anakin Skywalker could be resurrected by the Sith. Maybe even an all-evil version of Vader.
Okay, okay. Fanservice over. I doubt we’ll be that lucky but we might get a bit of Anakin Skywalker in this film.
Luke’s use of plural pronouns in the trailer (“We’ve passed on all we know.” “We will always be with you.”) implies that at least one other person is with him, potentially including a Force Ghost Anakin Skywalker. Which would have zero to do with the title mystery.
I predict that Skywalker becomes a title for a new generation of heroic Force users in homage to the legend of Luke Skywalker. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that it might also refer to Rey being a Skywalker.