'Star Wars: Episode IX' Will Subject Finn to the Passage of Time

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A medical pod malfunction could also explain Finn's long hair in "Star Wars: Episode IX."
A medical pod malfunction could also explain Finn's long hair in "Star Wars: Episode IX." Lucasfilm

Speaking with Yahoo Movies, John Boyega said he’ll be growing his hair out for Star Wars: Episode IX. This could mean Episode IX will take place quite a while after Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but it could also just mean Episode IX is a movie that depicts the passage of time, just like all movies and human experiences.

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

This has been widely interpreted to mean a time jump between Star Wars: Episode VIII and IX, or, as it’s more commonly known: “what most sequels do.” Stuff happened between Star Wars and Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back, just like stuff happened between that movie and its sequel, Return of the Jedi.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi was an exception, starting almost immediately after the events of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It’s even possible Episode IX will follow straight from The Last Jedi in the same manner, since Boyega’s long hair could be seen later in the movie, instead of at the beginning. In other words, the passage of time could occur over the course of the movie’s runtime instead of at the beginning, by doing that thing movies do, where lots of time is compressed into a smaller amount of time.

After the events of The Last Jedi, a time jump does seem like a probable scenario, even if Boyega’s growing hair isn’t perfect evidence for it. With the Resistance winnowed down to a bare handful of members, their entire army comfortably socializing aboard the Millennium Falcon, it might make sense to rebuild some of that strength off-screen. We could return in Star Wars: Episode IX to a Finn more certain of his place in the Resistance and a Rey more in control of her Jedi abilities after studying the ancient texts recovered from the tree on Ahch-To.

Star Wars: Episode IX is out in theaters Dec. 20, 2019.

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