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Things We Saw Today: This Shocking Star Wars Episode 9 Rumor Isn’t That Shocking

Kylo Ren and Darth Vader's helmet in The Force Awakens

While we appreciate a good suspenseful headline as much as anyone, something touted as surprising should probably be surprising.

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The folks over at Movieweb scooped up some of the rumors that are already coming out of J.J. Abrams’ Episode IX, which commenced filming a few weeks ago. The article is titled “Star Wars 9 Rumor Reveals Shocking Return of Iconic Villain?” So of course, I clicked.

(Potential spoilers herein if you want to stay totally unspoiled as to supposed things that could be happening!)

First off, Movieweb says that the film is rumored to be the longest in the franchise, so long that it might be split up a la Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows or The Hobbit Parts 1-7 for Some Reason. I’ll take this one with a grain of salt considering shooting just began so there’s no way to know how long the movie is going to run or if it already necessitates a split release.

But the shocking shock here is the rumor that Episode IX is going to see Kylo Ren somehow conversing with not just the Force ghost of his grandfather Anakin Skywalker but also that of Anakin’s alter-ego Darth Vader.

This makes no sense, you say? Well, we are talking about Force ghosts in space already here, so logic doesn’t really play a huge role, but technically, after Vader saved Luke we saw his Force ghost join up with Obi-Wan and Yoda as Anakin, no longer Vader. So, in the highly technical world of Force ghosts, Vader shouldn’t exist any longer. Which is perhaps why seeing him would be a shock.

According to Movieweb:

It is believed that Darth Vader will return in one of these Force Visions, experienced by Kylo Ren as he grapples with his family legacy. Here is a description of the heartbreaking scene that finds Kylo Ren, Anakin and Darth Vader sharing the screen together.

“(It shows) Kylo Ren standing in what appears to be a new throne room for himself. In front of him is a window, a wide window looking out to space. In the window is a reflection of what seems to be a hybrid Force ghost of Anakin’s face – half of which is Anakin, half of which is Vader.”

There is concept art floating around that reveals this scene, but a lot of concept art created for the various Star Wars movies is never used. The source of this concept art also leaked Luke’s final moments on his meditation rock, on the planet Ahch-To, which was leaked before the movie came out. The official companion book for The Force Awakens shows that J.J. Abrams wanted to use the hybrid Darth Vader Anakin Force Ghost in that first sequel, but the idea was abandoned. If we’re to believe this latest hype, he’s going back to some of his original ideas in creating this new story.

So all of this sounds very plausible, and also like it could be complete bunk coming out of the Mousehouse to throw fans off the right track or from someone claiming to be a source but isn’t. Still, based on The Force Awakens and Abrams’ prior plans, it’s not too far out there to envision a scene where Kylo Ren converses with both Anakin and Vader while tripping on Force mushrooms or something.

Kylo is highly unstable, and I can totally see him having this conversation all on his own while we get to see it manifest. Plus it plays in with the whole Light/Dark sides of the Force dichotomy they’ve been setting up with Kylo and Rey. That Force split is also exemplified in Anakin/Vader so there’s no reason why they couldn’t show up in their very own Two-Face form, representing Kylo’s murderous emo angst and alleged inner conflict.

I was actually more surprised by the absence of Anakin or Vader in The Last Jedi, so pardon while I remain unmoved by this news. I will, however, delight in watching Kylo Ren get yelled at by his dead grandfather in any way shape or form.

(via Movieweb, image: Lucasfilm/Disney)

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What’d you see today, Skywalkers?

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Kaila Hale-Stern
Kaila Hale-Stern (she/her) is a content director, editor, and writer who has been working in digital media for more than fifteen years. She started at TMS in 2016. She loves to write about TV—especially science fiction, fantasy, and mystery shows—and movies, with an emphasis on Marvel. Talk to her about fandom, queer representation, and Captain Kirk. Kaila has written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.

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