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Star Wars Episode IX: Did John Boyega Reveal A Time Jump?

Details on the saga-concluding Star Wars: Episode IX are few and far between, but star John Boyega might have filled in a few blanks during an interview.

Speaking to, of all places, Yahoo Finance UK, the once and future Star Wars star let slip that he is having to make a change to his usual look prior to filming for the sequel.

"I can't wait to start shooting the next and final leg of the franchise," he said. "The first step is growing out my hair, so you can wait for the trailer to see why."

Fans of the franchise immediately perked their ears up at the interesting comment, which would seem to imply a plot-specific reason for Boyega to let his hair go wild. 

The simplest explanation that fans can come up with for why Boyega would need longer hair is that Episode IX will involve a time jump of some significance.

Plot-wise, it's a completely plausible idea, considering the anti-cliffhanger ending of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. That movie's conclusion, focusing on the return of the Force to the regular folk of the galaxy, left very few hints as to how the franchise would be moving forward, with many plot threads from the seventh and eighth episodes being more-or-less concluded by the time the credits rolled.

With that in mind, it would make sense for the story to pick up some months or years into the future, allowing for new conflicts to emerge in the wake of The Last Jedi's resolution. 

Casting reports for the new movie have suggested that the production is seeking at least two women to take on lead roles in the sequel, those being a young and strong-willed woman called Caro and a 40-50 year old woman called Mara. 

Some have speculated that the latter character could be a reference to the Expanded Universe character of Mara Jade, a Force user, Jedi Master, and teacher in the ways of the Force. The reports are fueling speculation the the sequel may focus on Rey and the remaining Resistance members training up a new generation of Jedi following Luke Skywalker's sacrifice.

A jump in chronology would also serve the practical purpose of allowing the late Carrie Fisher's character, Leia Organa, to have the most graceful off-screen exit possible. Disney and Lucasfilm have previously stated that Leia will not appear in the ninth movie, neither recast nor reborn through creepy CGI.

As Boyega mentioned in his comment, we might have to wait for the trailer to see why Finn needs the longer locks for the film. In this interconnected and highly leak-prone era of 2018, though, we're betting we'll have it figured out before then. Either way, we'll let you know.

Written and directed by J.J. AbramsStar Wars: Episode IX will be out in theaters on December 20, 2019.