Domhnall Gleeson says he was surprised General Hux survived Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Introduced in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Gleeson’s Hux character played a major role in Rian Johnson’s sequel. And it seems Hux will be back for a third go-around when J.J. Abrams takes back the director’s chair for Star Wars: Episode IX.
In Force Awakens, General Armitage Hux (yes, that’s his first name) was an officer of the First Order who commanded the organization’s super weapon Starkiller Base. Although the Resistance blew up the base (never tell the Resistance the odds), Hux himself managed to survive… because going down with the ship apparently isn’t a thing with the First Order. But that allowed Hux to return for The Last Jedi, still locked in a power struggle with Supreme Leader Snoke’s apprentice Kylo Ren. In the original Star Wars trilogy, generals like Hux had the tendency to die at an alarming rate – sometimes by getting Force-choked by Darth Vader – but The Last Jedi subverted expectations by allowing Hux to avoid such a fate.
In an interview on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Domhnall Gleeson admitted that he expected Hux meet an untimely demise at some point in The Last Jedi. But, for whatever reason, Hux managed to live to fight another day. Gleeson said:
“I’ll be honest, I was very surprised that [General Hux] survived. I kind of imagined myself getting blown up in a ship pretty early on. …There’s also this moment when [Kylo] Ren is on the ground, and it looks like maybe I’ll finish him. It’s like, what state would the franchise be in if Snoke and Ren are gone? And it’s just Hux going right. Can you imagine how annoyed people would’ve been?”
As previously mentioned, killing Hux would have been kept with Star Wars tradition, but perhaps that’s the reason Rian Johnson elected to let Hux live to sneer another day? Or perhaps Johnson thought it would be more dramatically interesting to keep Hux alive, so that he and Kylo Ren can continue their tense relationship in the next movie. Johnson certainly shook up the First Order power dynamic by having Kylo Ren kill Snoke. And things got even wackier when Ren and Rey grabbed their lightsabers and took down the ominous Praetorian Guards, together.
The third installment of the current trilogy will presumably sort out the implications of all this. Johnson himself won’t be part of that, as he’s jumping ship to begin his own separate trilogy. Abrams, however, is returning for Episode IX, and he’ll decide what Hux and Ren’s fate. At the end of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, it certainly seemed that Ren was ready to take up Snoke’s role as Supreme Leader. But does Kylo Ren really have what it takes to lead an evil galactic organization? Or will he eventually steer back to the light side, perhaps with a little help from Rey? Could Hux end up running the whole galaxy before it’s over? Now that would be a twist.
KEY RELEASE DATES
Solo: A Star Wars Story release date: May 25, 2018
Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX release date: Dec 20, 2019