When Lucasfilm finally announced that the title of Star Wars: Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker, fans wasted no time speculating intensely about what it could mean. Questions of who is rising, which Skywalker the title refers to, and whether one of the trilogy's main characters would be confirmed as a member of the Skywalker family swirled through the Star Wars fandom. Fans won't get the answers to their inquiries or have their theories validated until December 20th, but Star Wars legend Mark Hamill has already thrown in his two cents.
Hamill, whose character Luke Skywalker seemingly died at the end of The Last Jedi, took to Twitter to respond to all the conjecture. The actor absolutely loves that fans are going wild with their Rise of Skywalker theses, and even offered up his own ideas about who the titular Skywalker might be. He tweeted:
"It's time for the 8 months of speculation to begin. Is that Skywalker KYLO? LEIA? ANAKIN? LUKE? A previously unknown SKYWALKER? Is REY a Skywalker? #CoolTitle."
As soon as Hamill pressed "send" on that tweet, he effectively opened up another floodgate for fan theories to pour through. Thousands of people responded to Hamill's post, sharing predictions about how the film's events tie into the title.
One fan theorized that the final battle of The Rise of Skywalker will be between Rey and Kylo Ren, with some familiar force ghosts jumping into the fray. Maybe Darth Vader, Anakin Skywalker, will appear and aid Rey, thus becoming the Skywalker who rises, according theory.
Another fan responded to that idea with a minor revision: In a moment reminiscent of Return of the Jedi, the ghost of Emperor Palpatine, who is seemingly heard cackling at the end of the Rise of Skywalker trailer, pops up behind Kylo, while the ghost of Luke Skywalker appears behind Rey during the duo's battle.
One theorist suggested that The Rise of Skywalker isn't about Anakin Skywalker, but about Kylo Ren, a.k.a. Ben Solo, who has Skywalker blood thanks to his mother, Leia. Their response to Hamill's tweet was,
"It's about Ben's redemption! Ben is the last Skywalker! He will rise from the dark and ask Rey out!"
Kylo Ren could drop his dark side moniker, return to the light, and reassume his given name of Ben Solo in The Rise of Skywalker. That isn't too wild an idea considering he's the only other known Skywalker apart from the apparently fallen Luke and his mother Leia. He wasn't always the First Order-leading baddie who wanted to follow in his grandfather Darth Vader's footsteps.
"A call to the light."
One other popular theory about who the nominal Skywalker is that it isn't a single person at all. Some fans believe that "Skywalker" will be a new name for the Jedi, and that Rey will lead them to bring peace to the galaxy.
Twitter user Dan Sandler suggested that the Skywalker name might be included in the ancient Jedi texts Rey took from the mystical Force tree just before Yoda burned it down in The Last Jedi. The books contain all that Rey would need to teach a new generation of Jedi. But as Sandler speculates, there may not be Jedi anymore. The Skywalkers could be a combination of Jedi and Sith.
This idea connects pretty seamlessly to the title of the most recent Star Wars film: The Last Jedi. Many assumed that the title referred to Luke Skywalker, and perhaps Luke really is the last person in the galaxy who will be known as a Jedi, with future Force-sensitive individuals called Skywalkers.
For every Star Wars fan, there's a different theory about The Rise of Skywalker. It would be too great an undertaking to try to pick apart every idea, but director J.J. Abrams himself has revealed this about the film:
"This movie is about the new generation. What they've inherited, the light and the dark, and ask the question about facing the greatest evil: are they ready?"
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