The title of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is a mystery unto itself. Many fans have speculated exactly what it means ever since the title was revealed at the end of the first trailer. After all, there are no more Skywalkers left that we know of, so the possibility that one will rise is pretty confusing. Sure, the title could be referring to Kylo Ren, but the chances of that are slim to none. This is especially true since he renounced his family name and also hates his uncle. However, a fresh new theory suggests that the title may actually be referring to none other than Anakin Skywalker.
Warning! Speculative spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker below.
Redditor u/TROAnakinSkywalker suggests that Anakin will rise to ensure the completion of “his story arc by fulfilling the Chosen One’s prophecy and actually bringing balance to the force.” Yes, Anakin is technically dead. The man known best as Darth Vader converted to the Light Side of the Force before dying in Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi. So, how exactly could Episode IX’s title be about him?
Well, there’s always a possibility that Anakin could come back as a Force Ghost just like Luke is supposed to. And the title can’t be referring to Luke, who’s already supposed to be dead in Episode IX (and won’t have a large role). Plus, he had his shining moments in The Last Jedi so there’s no need to focus as much on him anymore. Besides that, there’s actually some pretty significant evidence that may actually work to prove this theory.
One of the first pieces of evidence is Hayden Christiansen’s appearance at this year’s Star Wars Celebration. This event happens every year, but it’s the first time Christiansen has actually made a public appearance at Star Wars event in years (that didn’t involve a surprise panel appearance, anyway). The actor tends to avoid anything having to do with the franchise if he can help it and the fact that his appearance was announced in advance has to mean something, right?
There’s also Kevin Smith’s visit to the Episode IX set. Though the director obviously couldn’t reveal what and who he saw while there, he described one Star Wars actor giving “a career-best performance.” Could he be referring to Christiansen?
“Somebody I’ve seen in these movies before,” he continued. “I rolled a tear, it was so darn powerful.”
Seeing Christiansen return as Anakin to deliver a powerful speech (even as a Force ghost) would be a powerful moment. Then again, there’s plenty of other characters that fit those criteria. So who knows what Smith was referring to.
Additionally, Kylo’s obsession with his grandfather’s legacy may not have anything to do with the Dark Side or the First Order taking over the galaxy at all. Per a Darth Vader comic series, the entire reason Anakin turned to the Dark Side was to save Padme, so perhaps the reason Kylo has been speaking to Darth Vader’s helmet is to maintain the connection for when he returns.
So the foundation is there for Anakin to come back. But even if he could, how would he be able to return? Well, the Darth Vader Star Wars comic series has that all figured out, too. Prior to his death, Anakin had built a door that is capable of bringing people back to life. So Kylo could reconfigure that very door to bring Anakin back, making it easier for the Skywalker to “rise”.
Though the likelihood of Anakin’s return isn’t high, Christensen reprising his role as the famous Skywalker could turn out to be one of the best-kept secrets of Episode IX.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters December 20, 2019.