In the vacuum of information about Star Wars Episode 9, rumours abound. One point of contention with Star Wars fans is how director Rian Johnson handled The Last Jedi (aka Episode 8). In a recent interview with MTV, however, Johnson has finally responded to one Episode 9 rumour – and now fans are asking one key question.
What is the meaning of retcon?
Retcon – or retroactive continuity – is a literary device in which previous events are adjusted or ignored in a break in continuity.
In practice, this is when a piece of new information that imposes a different interpretation on previously described events, typically used to facilitate a dramatic plot shift or account for an inconsistency.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary: “Retcons are often encountered in serial formats such as comic books or television series, where they serve as a means of allowing the work’s creators to create a parallel universe, reintroduce a character, or explore plot lines that would otherwise be in conflict with the work.
“Essentially, a retcon allows an author to have his or her cake and eat it too, as it enables the return of dead characters, the revision of unpopular elements of a work, and a general disregard for reality.”
Retconning could have a major impact on the upcoming Star Wars film if JJ Abrams does what many fans want him to do regarding Rey’s parentage.
Actor Simon Pegg said JJ Abrams’ ideas for the contemporary trilogy had been “undone slightly” by The Last Jedi, which has led to fans presuming Abrams will retcon Rey’s parentage.
In the Last Jedi, Kylo Ren explicitly tells Rey her parents were nobodies.
Of course, Kylo Ren may have his own reasons for wanting Rey to believe her parents were simply junk traders – whether it is true or not.
Over the weekend, Rian Johnson was asked how he would feel about Abrams retconning Rey’s parents.
Johnson said: “I want to let go of all my expectations. I want to sit back. I want to be entertained. I want to be surprised. I want to be thrilled.
“I want him to do stuff that I wasn’t expecting him to do and just go along for the ride.
“For me, that’s why I go to the movies, you know?”
Despite the mixed feelings over The Last Jedi, Rian Johnson is helming another trilogy of Star Wars movies separate to the Skywalker saga.
Episode 9 will be the last in the long line of Skywalker-centric films but there is plenty of more Star Wars content in the future.
Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have their own series of Star Wars movies scheduled for development.
Not to mention the potential for further origin story spin-offs, like Solo: A Star Wars Story.
The plot of Episode 9 is still under wraps, as is the title.
However, many suspect the title and trailer will be revealed at the upcoming Star Wars celebration in Chicago.
Until then, you can peruse plenty of fan theories and rumoured leaks in all corners of the Internet.
Star Wars Episode 9 is out in UK cinemas on December 19, 2019.