Live Action Appearance by Grand Admiral Thrawn (and Ezra Bridger)

Episode IX Surprises
Could we see Thrawn and Ezra in Episode IX? (Image: Disney/Lucasfilm)

In the final episode of Star Wars Rebels, purrgils whisked Thrawn and Ezra away into space. Greater canon has been hinting at threats from the Unknown Regions for some time, notably in the Timothy Zahn Thrawn novels. Likewise, the Aftermath series established the Unknown Regions as the First Order’s rally point. Lastly, even some Episode IX rumors have pointed to a threat coming out the Unknown Regions.

Could all of this herald Thrawn’s return, or Ezra’s? Matt Smith (Doctor Who) has been coy about his role in the film, claiming he doesn’t even know if he’s in it. His portraying Thrawn would be welcome among any Episode IX surprises to come our way.

An Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader Hybrid Force Ghost

Episode IX Surprises
It’s almost a given Anakin/Vader will appear, but how? (Image: DIsney/Lucasfilm)

Again, rumor has Anakin and/or Darth Vader appearing to Kylo Ren. Both Rebels and the Star Wars comics have already set the stage for dead Sith to commune with the living. As JJ Abrams has said, this film will tie all eras of Star Wars together. Thus, it won’t be too big of a shock to see an Anakin or Vader return. What may be one of the biggest Episode IX surprises, however, is how they do it.

Episode IX Surprises: Rey’s Parentage

Could Luke be Rey’s father after all? (Image: Disney/Lucasfilm)

At this point, it seems that no matter what happens with Rey’s parentage, it will be a surprise. Either her parents are indeed nobodies, as Kylo Ren declared in The Last Jedi, or they’re not. Granted, if they are truly nobodies, it might perhaps be more of a disappointment for many fans than a true surprise. On the contrary, any reveal that proves Rey’s parents to be somebodies is going to be some kind of surprise. Whether she still may be a Skywalker, a Kenobi, or even a Palpatine descendant all remain viable options for one of the major Episode IX surprises.

And the big one….