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We're in the home stretch for the premiere of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and the speculation on what will go down in Episode IX is still going. Many are expecting big things from the final entry in the Skywalker Saga, as well as some potentially big exits for some major characters we know and love.
Honestly, many may be surprised if The Rise of Skywalker comes and goes without a major death considering how common they are in the franchise. There's a good chance someone we love is going to die, so why not just accept it and run down through this list of likely suspects who may meet their end before the sequel trilogy officially draws to a close?
If ever there was a death Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has been telegraphing with its footage, it’s C-3PO's. The protocol droid is seen in the thick of action on the desert planet, and later “taking one last look at his friends” as he’s hooked up to some heavy machinery. I'm sorry to say, but the trailers really make it look like C-3P0 will get shut down after Episode IX.
My assumption is that his exit will involve the much-talked-about red eyes he’s sporting and the wires coming out the back of his head. Perhaps he's needed to operate some machinery, and the resulting surge of power will disable him permanently or something like that. It'll be sad, but a fitting sendoff for actor Anthony Daniels and all he's done for Star Wars over the years.
We know Kylo Ren will be back and kicking ass in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and Emperor Palpatine ha surprisingly been thrown into the proceedings too. So then, with those two and so many main character stories to flesh out, how will things shake up for General Hux and his arc? Given his arc largely revolves around a jealousy of Kylo Ren and his ascendancy to the top of the First Order, it's hard to imagine it goes well.
If there's anyone that's going to die in the First Order, he seems like the easiest one to kill off with little to no consequences. His arc isn't really connected to anyone but Ren, and could literally end with a Force push off a moderately high cliff. With the Skywalker Saga coming to a close, it feels like a safe bet the First Order will fall in some way. If that's the case, is there really any reason story wise to keep Hux around?
Star Wars has a lot of heroes in the Sequel Trilogy, and it's hard to believe all of them will come out unscathed at the end of Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker. In a world where at least one of them has to die, it isn't hard to see Poe Dameron as the obvious choice for a character exit.
Poe has often been in the line of fire since the Sequel Trilogy began, and he seems like the type to sacrifice himself in some grand way to aid the Resistance. Perhaps he found some inspiration in Vice Admiral Holdo's sacrifice in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and we could see him go out in some similar blaze of glory. It would be devastating, but a great callback to the moment and an awesome way to conclude Poe's arc.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens featured a real close call with this world's favorite Wookiee, but Chewbacca was "very brave" and survived the blaster shot he took in the first film of the Sequel Trilogy. That may be the closest he gets to destruction in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, though it's hard to imagine this three-war veteran will suddenly take a seat when the going gets tough in the final movie.
Also, Chewbacca has been the co-pilot of the Millennium Falcon for ages. That's probably not going to change in the last movie, and with Kylo Ren's hatred of his father's ship, it will be a high profile target for the First Order to strike down. The good news is that if Chewbacca survives, he's only about middle-aged in terms of the known Wookiee lifespan of 400. There's a chance we may see him in a future trilogy, provided it's not beyond 200 years in the future.
Speaking of legacy characters tied to the Millennium Falcon, Billy Dee Williams is returning to Star Wars for the final movie of the Skywalker Saga. Why? Well, he may want the Falcon back now that Han is gone, though he seems like another old character who could make for an emotional scene if he were suddenly killed off during some scene.
From a story perspective, it makes sense that any Rebel who fought in the Galactic Civil War would return for this showdown with the First Order. From a franchise perspective, it makes sense to conclude Lando's arc and give him the sendoff so many other characters vital to the Original Trilogy have gotten already. Lando could get a happy ending, though I'm more inclined to think he and Chewie may go down in the Falcon in a blaze of glory.
Typically when an actor or actress dies before their role in a franchise is over, said franchise will write off their character. That has yet to happen with Carrie Fisher, whose Leia Organa is still alive and kicking in the Star Wars universe despite the actress; death in 2016. Fisher had not filmed any scenes from The Rise of Skywalker at the time passed, but J.J. Abrams incorporated unused footage from The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi to bring her into the story.
Still, after that, there's seemingly no other way to do any scenes with Carrie Fisher. It would be all too easy to kill her in some off-screen incident, and really make Kylo Ren's turn to the dark side complete. Or the death of Leia could be the event that sets him back on the path of good. Of all the potential deaths on this list, Leia's is one I feel fairly certain will happen.
We have no idea if Sheev Palpatine survived Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. With that said, if he is still alive, one can't imagine he will be much longer for this world with the Skywalker Saga ending. Hell, even with the power of the Force, he'd be pretty damn old at this point, so unless he has some grand plan for maintaining his youth, the Resistance might as well lie low until he dies of old age.
Of course, Sith can be really stubborn when it comes to death, so maybe confrontation is the only way here. If Emperor Palpatine is alive, chances are the Resistance wants him dead before he can come up with any more contingencies that allow his influence to spread throughout the galaxy. Could it really be possible the Emperor lives?
Do you have anyone you think will die in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker? Drop all picks in the comments below, and be sure to see the movie in theaters Friday, December 20. Stick with CinemaBlend for more on the movie, and for the latest news happening in movies and television.