We’re about to be in for a year of minor news about Star Wars: Episode IX. Although director J.J. Abrams likes to keep things as secretive as possible, he also has to meet the meet the demands of the marketing machine, which means letting small items slip out in the leadup to the film’s release. Today, we’ve got the exciting item that Episode IX will take place about a year after the events of The Last Jedi according to John Boyega in the latest issue of Empire:
— Star Wars Stuff (@starwarstuff) December 22, 2018
This time jump makes a lot of sense when you look at where The Last Jedi left off. If that film is all about “the spark” that will lead to a rebirth of the resistance, then you can’t go right back in and see them trying to rebuild the resistance. While that’s a good story for a comic book or a novel, a film has to jump right into the action, and it’s better for the story if the resistance is already built so it can take on the First Order.
Additionally, if Episode IX wants another way to distance itself from The Last Jedi, then it would probably be better not to copy that film in where it picks up. The Last Jedi literally includes a moment from The Force Awakens where Rey meets Luke, and now it’s time to create some spacing between stories.
Finally, it’s just more interesting to see where these characters are one year later. What’s the relationship like now between Rose and Finn? How has Kylo Ren been as a leader for the First Order? Has Rey looked at the sacred texts to improve her Jedi training? When you move forward like this, it creates both a sense of familiarity and discovery, and I’m eager to see where these characters are when we see them again.
Star Wars: Episode IX also stars Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Kelly Marie Tran, Anthony Daniels, Domhnall Gleeson, Lupita Nyong’o, Billie Lourd, Dominic Monaghan, Matt Smith, Richard E. Grant, Naomi Ackie, and Keri Russell, and Joonas Suotamo and hits theaters on December 20, 2019.