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This Is The Key Inspiration For Star Wars Episode 9

What are the themes that make Star Wars resonate so deeply with its legions of fans?

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker screenwriter Chris Terrio has a few ideas, and he broke them down in a recent interview. Chief among them: redemption, a key theme of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, and one that we can probably expect to come into play in the new movie. (via Hypable)

Terrio made his remarks in explaining that Star Wars is at its best when exploring humankind's greater impulses, the ones that force us (no pun intended) to be at our best when things appear to be at their worst. He invoked the series' portrayal of the Light and Dark Sides of the Force in explaining that the movies can illustrate for us how nobody is beyond redemption, and no contribution is insignificant in the fight against the darkness.

"The idea of redemption is super important to Star Wars," Terrio said. "The idea that there is such a thing as light, even in the darkest times. The idea of defiance always would get me, when I would think about Leia standing up to Vader in that first scene... she's about four-foot eleven standing up against the almost literal Grim Reaper, and telling... off Vader in the first scene... So there's a sense of defiance against tyranny, that we could always go back to in our hearts and minds."

The scribe went on to single out another important theme that might end up spelling heartbreak for fans eager to catch Rise of Skywalker on opening day. "And then, of course, just the story of sacrifice... Vader sacrificing himself for his son... or the separation of [Luke and Leia]... the tragedy of the separation of the twins, and this almost fairy tale idea that one would grow up as a princess and one would grow up as a farmer. Whenever we get lost in the vast scale of it, we just go back and say those are the things that make Star Wars, Star Wars."

Will there be redemption for Kylo Ren in Rise of Skywalker?

Terrio's comments, especially those about redemption, might certainly give us a clue as to the arc of a certain character in Rise of Skywalker. Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), the former Ben Solo, has essentially been a stand-in (although a very interesting, complex one) for the original trilogy's Darth Vader throughout the sequel films, and we all remember how Vader's story ended. With the life of his son Luke Skywalker on the line, he performed a last-second heel turn, saving Luke's life by tossing Emperor Palpatine to his apparent doom down a bottomless shaft on the Death Star II.

It stands to reason that just such an arc might be in store for Kylo, although there is also something to be said for not repeating that particular story beat, which was so effective a conclusion to the original trilogy. Driver, in fact, has his own ideas about Ren and the notion of his redemption — ideas which don't square very well with a Return of the Jedi-style turn to the Light Side for the character.

In a recent interview, Driver was essentially asked if Kylo were beyond redemption at this point in the sequel films' story. His response was a bit shocking, as he answered the question with a question of his own: "What does he need to be redeemed for?"

Well, we could certainly think of a few things: the murder of his father Han Solo, for one, and his insanely dedicated effort to track down and kill Luke Skywalker, for another. But once Driver's interviewer picked his jaw up off the floor, the star offered a slightly more nuanced assessment of his character's view of the entire concept of redemption.

"[He] has a different identity, a different definition of what redemption is," Driver said. "He's already been redeemed in his story. I don't think there is a thought of redemption. He doesn't have an outside lens of the events, you know — you know what I mean? That's more of an outsider's view of his world."

That's fair enough, we suppose — although it could very well amount to a great, big, honking slice of misdirection on Driver's part. Consider that Redditor JediPaxis, a fairly reliable source for leaked Star Wars details in the past, has reported that Rise of Skywalker will absolutely feature a redemption arc for Ren — one which will see him symbolically reject the Dark Side by tossing aside his iconic red, hilted lightsaber after a near-fatal confrontation with Rey (Daisy Ridley) prompts a visit from the Force Ghost of none other than dear old dad.

That's right — supposedly, Han Solo, the father whom Ren murdered in cold blood, will return to tell his son that it's never too late to change his ways. Of course, we have heard absolutely nothing to indicate that Harrison Ford will appear in Rise of Skywalker — but if this leak is accurate, it does seem like the kind of thing that Disney and Lucasfilm would be extremely keen to keep a lid on.

At any rate, we thankfully don't have long to wait before we can end the speculating about, and begin the analysis of, Rise of Skywalker. The concluding chapter of the Skywalker Saga finally hits the big screen on December 20.