The Pete Fletzer Treatment for Star Wars Episode IX
Updated: Jan 30, 2020
My treatment for Episode IX is just as possible as the Trevorrow one, so I thought I'd share it...
EPISODE IX – BALANCE OF THE FORCE
Darkness has risen. Nearly every system in the galaxy has submitted to the FIRST ORDER under the brutal reign of SUPREME LEADER KYLO REN.
Small pockets of defiance, having heard stories of the return of the Jedi, have sought out and joined the burgeoning rebellion led by an alleged master known as REY.
Meanwhile, a small group of RESISTANCE fighters put their faith in an unlikely ally that could bolster their ranks and restore hope to the galaxy....
The camera pans down from the crawl over the planet Lothal. From overhead rushes the Tantive IV, pursued by a classic Imperial Star Destroyer – almost identical to the opening of A New Hope, but without a volley of laser fire. After the Destroyer has passed over, we see a handful of other capital ships. A ragtag fleet led by an aging and withering but still proud war hero: Leia.
The Tantive IV lands on the grassy world and Leia Organa emerges from the underbelly of the ship with Poe, Rey and Finn. Rey is wearing Jedi robes. They are met by a horde of surly looking characters: space pirates from every world in the galaxy. A new character called Jhanna steps to the front of the crowd and offers Leia a meeting with her father, the Pirate King. But, he’s not easy to find.
Kylo Ren, in the meantime, has taken up residence in his grandfather’s castle on Mustafar and made it a refuge from where he can lead the First Order. He sits on Darth Vader’s throne when his servants, the Knights of Ren, return with another Vader artifact: the Japor Snippet Anakin gave Padme. (This, of course, implies these ghouls exhumed Padme to get it). He performs a Sith ritual believing that artifacts from Darth Vader could return Darth Sidious from the dead. He would finish what his grandfather started: serving Sidious to bring an infinite Sith reign. The ritual fails but his vision tells him he still needs the kyber crystal from the lightsaber he has been seeking. He dispatches the Knights of Ren to capture Rey and bring back the Skywalker saber.
The First Order have taken over the shipyards of Corellia under the command of General Hux. They have had to increase their security around the planet as increased pirate activity has led to a number of raids. We see this in an action sequence as a pirates hi-jack a capital ship just after it is commissioned by Hux. They barely escape and we see the pirate captain get the orders from the Pirate King to deliver it to him on Bespin.
As the Resistance continues to negotiate with the pirates, Rey continues her Jedi training. She wanders away from the core group and is visited by Four force ghosts:
- Qui-Gon tells her that the Jedi born of the Force and sworn to protect the galaxy from Sith. When he met Anakin, he knew the prophecy was about to be fulfilled.
- Obi-wan tells her of the fall of the Jedi due to their refusal of the call to address the mystery of the Sith shrouded by darkness.
- Luke shows her that there is still hope in the galaxy thanks to their belief in the light (inspired by his and her heroics on Crait).
- Yoda warns that Sidious is behind the darkness. He reveals that Kylo is being used by Sidious to become his next host – but none of them can reach him. Like Palpatine before he was destroyed by Vader – Kylo Ren – a Skywalker - would make a powerful vessel for the ancient Sith lord. But he is trapped in the last missing Skywalker artifact: Vader’s lightsaber which was lost in the Death Star at the hand of Luke Skywalker. Ren has been obsessed with the wrong weapon. She must destroy Vader’s saber. It remains among the wreckage of the last Death Star. Luke pleads with her to “Finish what was started – bring balance to the Force.”
Rey tells Leia about her vision and Leia reluctantly agrees to letting her take on the mission after Luke appears to her. Leia also tells her that the Pirate fleet will be what they need to plan an attack on the First Order. It may not destroy them, but if they can cripple them and show they are vulnerable, it will give the galaxy hope... the only thing they need.
Jhanna, Rose, Finn, Poe and Chewie take the Falcon to find this pirate King in the outer rim. Leia stays on Lothal with the rest of the Resistance (and with the pirates as a “collateral” for the Pirate King’s daughter) while Rey leaves for Endor with a new character, an old friend of Leia’s named Hera Syndulla, on her ship called the Ghost, to find Vader’s saber on Endor.
Hux contacts Ren on Mustafar to ask for more defensive support around Corellia. After a little back and forth, Ren reluctantly agrees to send reinforcements. Hux tells Ren he has dispatched a ship to recover the stolen ship and snuff out this pirate scum. The conversation is cut short by a communique from the Knights of Ren: they’ve found Rey. She’s just landed on the Forest moon of Endor. He tells them he wants her alive. “Ready my ship!” he commands and prepares to join them.
Hera and Rey land the Ghost and walk toward the wreckage of the Death Star II. “I haven’t been here since we took this thing down,” says Hera. She proceeds to tell Rey that she doesn’t understand the Force or the Jedi, but her son's father was one of the few Jedi who survived Order 66 and her son showed the occasional sensitivity. Hera tells Rey that she’s seen so much good in a bad universe, that she’ll do whatever she has to to make sure darkness doesn’t take hold.
Upon exploring the Death Star wreckage, Rey uses the Force to find Vader’s saber. When she touches it, much like the Skywalker saber, she suffers a vision – this one of Darkness. She is watching Luke destroy Vader on the Death Star (from RotJ), but as he continues to hack at his father he doesn’t stop as he did before redeeming his father. He is overtaken by Dark Side hate and brutally kills Vader with a thrust of his saber before the Emperor who cackles joyously. When Luke turns to Palpatine amid shards of Vader’s armor it is revealed that it is a vision of Rey – not Luke – who destroyed and murdered Sidious’s apprentice.
Jhanna, Rose, Poe, Finn and Chewie arrive at the planet Miser in the Bespin system only to learn the base has been found by the First Order. Jhanna uses a private channel to try to contact her father but she learns he’s been taken captive. She convinces her Resistance friends to rescue him. “No better way to get him on your side than to save him from the First Order,” Jhanna tells them. Turns out the Pirate King is on the Star Destroyer sent by Hux.
They intentionally get captured and plan to break him out.
Meanwhile on Endor, Kylo senses Rey and lands his TIE near the Ghost. His Knights are already there and he tells them to keep the pilot (Hera) alive and wait for him. He tracks Rey down and confronts her. She tries to explain what the Force Ghost visions shared with her, but, of course, he won’t listen. He ignites his blade and they begin an epic lightsaber battle. At one point, the Skywalker legacy saber is knocked from Rey’s hands and she is forced to ignite Vader’s. Red-on-red lightsaber action!
Back on Lothal, Leia, the Resistance and the Pirates learn that more forces are being brought to Corellia and while the enemy military is strong, this target would be the critical blow they would need to rally more support. Suddenly, Leia excuses herself to meditate in the Force.
Rey is vicious with the Vader saber ... and powerful. She is being drawn to the darkness as she overcomes Kylo fairly easily. Just like Luke in her vision and in ROTJ, she has Kylo on his back in a prone position when she catches herself before the killing blow. Leia's voice whispers in her head and we see inside Rey's mind. In some plane of the Force, Leia takes Rey's hand and tells here "there is no room for darkness in your mind." Rey steps away as Kylo recuperates from the brutal attack. Rey lifts the Vader saber hilt with the Force in front of her and Ren. He makes a sudden move toward it then Rey uses her mind to destroy it. It shatters into a million pieces and suddenly Kylo is released from the grasp of Sidious who has been speaking to him through the artifacts he has collected. He is confused and weakened by the attack from Rey. They look at each other and smile. She helps him up back to his feet.
The Force Ghost of Anakin appears to Ren – now Ben Solo. Ben mutters, "Grandfather," and Anakin says:"Welcome back." Ben tells Rey that all the remaining Vader artifacts are on Jakku in a vault Snoke created allegedly at the command of Sidious himself. Rey grabs the Skywalker saber, they head back to the Ghost.
Jhanna, Rose, and Poe are taken to the detention block on the Star Destroyer. Finn and Chewie remain hidden in the smuggler floorboards of the Falcon and, upon being put into their cells, Rose contacts Finn and Chewie to come get them. Finn puts on an old First Order stormtrooper uniform he had on the Falcon (makes some “never thought I’d put this on again” comment) and takes Chewie in claiming he found the wookiee on the ship. Chewie breaks his friends out and Jhanna says she has made contact with her father. They find his cell and Chewie rips off the door. From the shadows of the cell we hear “Chewbacca? Is that you?” It’s the Pirate King: Lando Calrissian. They share a huge wookiee hug. The crew fight their way back to the Falcon (where Lando taps L3 on his way to the cockpit) and escape, returning to Lothal to meet with General Leia.
Rey and Ben Solo return to the Ghost in a downpour of rain. They begin to fight their way through the Knights of Ren and in an effort to save Hera, Rey is knocked to the ground. A Knight gets the better of the situation and is about to kill Rey when, just like her vision at Maz's castle, Ben Solo runs him through with his lightsaber saving her. The scene is identical but Ben doesn't wear the helmet. Together they finally destroy the Knights of Ren. The two of them and Hera head to Jakku.
On Jakku, they find the Sith Temple. They do some sleuthing and once inside, they begin to destroy every artifact they can find then burn the temple down. Again, it is something from her vision. What the audience thought was the Jedi Temple is the Sith one. Then, the cackling spirit of Sidious echos throughout the landscape and the disembodied voice thanks his apprentice, Kylo Ren, for completing his purpose and bringing the most important piece to complete his mission to him: Rey. Sidious tells her that she is the second coming of the Chosen One, created through the Force years after the Battle of Endor. Rey (and the audience) believe she was deceived by Kylo/Ben who pleads his innocence. “Soon, once I possess her, the most important Sith artifact, I will become more powerful than you can imagine and you, Kylo, will complete your training,” he tells Kylo.
Jhanna, Poe, Finn, Rose, Lando and Chewie return to Lothal. Lando decides to lead the full massive pirate fleet to Corellia for “the biggest raid this galaxy’s ever seen.” The pirate fleet drops out of hyperspace to attack Corellia’s shipyards. The battle is on.
Back on Jakku, Ben realizes that the reason Sidious is still speaking and has a presence is because of the last remaining remnant of Anakin: the Japor snippet he Is still wearing around his neck. He destroys it and the spirit of Sidious escapes the trinket and jumps into Rey. In the body of Rey, and through her voice, he promises to rid the galaxy of the last of the last of the Skywalkers, Ben’s mother – the only one who can stop him. A conflicted Ben draws his saber. “Don’t do this, Ben,” says the possessed Rey. “You will join me when we are done. I am your only hope” A lightsaber battle ensues.
Through their established Force connection, Ben tries to get into Rey’s mind. He professes his gratitude for saving him. “There’s no room for darkness in your mind, Rey.” Her mind is a cacophony of heinous evil and conflict. They fight across multiple locations/planes in the Force while also battling in the physical world. There are two battles happening – one on Jakku and one somewhere in the Force realm. They flash through Kylo’s memories, Palpatine’s and Rey’s. After multiple attempts to push against Palpatine in her mind, a scream for help to Ben clearly returns to Solo’s mind – it is Rey’s voice.
The Pirate fleet accompanied by the Resistance target the war factory on Corellia. A huge space and atmospheric battle begins. Finn and Poe fly their own x-wings into the battle along side the Falcon and other ships.
Back at the battle with Rey and Ben, Solo is stunned from the scream of help from Rey in his mind. The physical/Sidious possessed Rey takes advantage of the moment of lost concentration and strikes him down. She is shocked by what she did, and then laughs like Palpatine once did. We cut to inside the planes of the Force and Rey stands over a dead Ben Solo in tears. Sidious appears behind her and coos his classic “gooood.” Suddenly, Force-realm Ben rises up from the dead, ignites his light saber and slashes through Sidious. The Sith lord screams and disappears. Unable to possess Rey any longer as Ben's death has flooded her with light, with physical Kylo Ren/Ben Solo dead and no relics remaining to possess, Sidious is banished forever.
We return to the physicial realm, where Rey drops to her knees and sobs on Ben Solo’s lifeless body.
On Corellia, the Pirate fleet and remaining Resistance fighters strike a crushing blow on the war machine factories and claim victory.
Rey returns to Leia after the battle and defeat of the First Order and tells her that Kylo is dead. This is a teary embrace. Then Leia tells Rey that she has fulfilled her destiny. Leia tells Rey that she carried her and gave birth to her but “there was no father.” She only knew she was from the Force. Han was out of her life at the time. Rey IS a Skywalker and she has fulfilled the Prophecy of the Chosen One by bringing balance to the Force. There are no more Jedi. There are no more Sith. There is finally balance in the Force.