With just two days left until The Last Jedi arrives in Cineworld cinemas, excitement has hit an all-time high. We’ll finally get to see the next chapter in Rey’s (Daisy Ridley) adventure alongside witnessing Mark Hamill reprise the role of Luke Skywalker.
Excitement for Star Wars shows no sign of stopping anytime soon as we already have a huge reason to look forward to the as-yet-untitled Episode IX (set to be released in December 2019). After an interview with BBC Radio 4, it’s reported that Episode IX director J.J. Abrams told one Reddit user that Episode IX "unites all three trilogies and brings everything together".
Although this is only rumoured, the idea that the final entry in this trilogy could connect everything in the series so far is extremely exciting and has got us thinking about some familiar faces we’d like to see in 2019. Here are five Star Wars characters we want to see return in Episode IX.
1. Jar Jar Binks
The idea of seeing this Gungan goofball again will be unappealing to many, but we think Episode IX could be the perfect opportunity for Jar Jar Binks (Ahmed Best) to redeem himself from being one of the most loathed film characters in recent years.
First appearing in The Phantom Menace, Binks cemented himself as an annoyance with his questionable accent, unintelligible speech, and childish antics. After becoming a senator in Attack of the Clones, he didn’t make things better by allowing Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) to become dictator and commence the Clone Wars by granting him emergency powers – nice going, Jar Jar.
Not much is seen of Binks after this, but we now know what became of him. In Chuck Weindig’s canonical novel Aftermath: Empire’s End, we’re told that Binks has become a lonely street performer; blamed for the rise of the Empire, he’s banished from his home and ignored by all except the refugee children he entertains.
A tragic fate for a senator, but hasn’t Jar Jar suffered enough for his "mistakens"? Episode IX could be the perfect chance for him to redeem himself once and for all. #JusticeForJarJar!
2. Lando Calrissian
Seeing what remained of Leia’s (Carrie Fisher) rebellion in The Force Awakens, we were left baffled when we realised Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) was nowhere to be found during the newest instalment.
He is of course returning in next year's Solo: A Star Wars Story, played as a younger man by Donald Glover, although that movie takes place, chronologically speaking, years before Episode IX. It would therefore be great to see Williams return as the older incarnation of the character.
Calrissian played a huge role in Return of the Jedi. Not only did he aid Leia, Luke, and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) stage a rescue mission to retrieve Han Solo (Harrison Ford) from Jabba’s Palace, but he was also the one who destroyed the second Death Star. Given his key role within the Rebellion, it’s strange to think he’d be forgotten.
Like Jar Jar, Calrissian’s story was continued in Empire’s End. After the Battle of Endor, he returned to Cloud City to discover it had been overrun by the Empire. He spent the next few months fighting his own war to retake his home and was so busy that he’d forgotten to get a gift for Leia and Han’s newborn son, Ben (who’d become Kylo Ren).
How much was Lando involved with young Ben, and could their relationship have something to do with his absence? We’d definitely like to find out from Calrissian himself.
3. Darth Maul
If there was one positive to come out of The Phantom Menace, it was the villain. Darth Maul (Ray Park) is arguably one of the best antagonists in the series. It was disappointing, then, that he was defeated by Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) on Naboo.
What you may not know is Maul survived his injuries and would go on to become a vital character in the spin-off series The Clone Wars and a mini comic series. His full story is too complex to describe here, so we recommend checking out this summary.
Unfortunately, it was recently revealed in the 2017 novel Ahsoka that Maul was finally bested by Kenobi prior to the events of A New Hope. With a story as impactful as Maul’s, it’d be a shame if it were to go unnoticed within the latest trilogy. Who knows, if he survived everything else that happened to him, he might have survived Kenobi yet again.
4. Rotta the Hutt
Being part of the biggest crime syndicate on Tatooine, the Hutts have been big players within the Star Wars universe with the big boss Jabba (Larry Ward) making appearances within the first two trilogies.
Although Jabba was defeated by Leia in Return of the Jedi, this was not the end of the Hutts. In 2008’s The Clone Wars animated film, it was revealed Jabba had a son named Rotta who’d go on to appear in The Clone Wars series. The reason we’ve never heard of Rotta is because Jabba sent him away to protect him from Darth Maul in Maul’s comic-book series. Could the Hutts reappear in Episode IX led by Rotta? We hope so.
5. Boba Fett
The last time we saw fan-favourite bounty hunter Boba Fett (Jeremy Bulloch) in Return of the Jedi, he took a fall straight into the Sarlacc Pit, so you might think seeing him again is unlikely.
Although he escaped in the non-canon comics, his canonical fate may have been hinted at within the first Aftermath novel. While scavenging Tatooine (the planet on which Fett met his end), two travellers stumbled across armour similar to Fett’s that had suffered extreme acid damage. Could this be a major hint that Fett made it out the pit?
A possible appearance in Episode IX may also tie in with a rumoured 2020 anthology film based on Fett’s origin. Well just have to wait and see with this one.
Click here to book your tickets for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and don't forget to tweet your responses @Cineworld.
Andy Murray is an Unlimited card holder who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.