Betting Predictions for Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker

Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker Custom Artwork

This winter, the Skywalker saga will officially come to a close. The ninth and final iteration of the saga, known as Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, is set to hit theaters worldwide on December 20. As is the case with each and every new Star Wars film, the movie is sure to break or challenge all sorts of long-standing box office records.

The ninth film in the main Star Wars storyline will be directed by J.J. Abrams, who also directed The Force Awakens back in 2015. The Rise of Skywalker is set to take place around a year after the events of the most recent film in the series, The Last Jedi, which was released in 2017. That film was directed by Rian Johnson.

While the upcoming ninth film in the series will reportedly mark the end of the Skywalker storyline, this certainly won’t be the final Star Wars film. Disney purchased the rights to the Star Wars franchise for over $4 billion back in 2012. They will surely milk this cow for all it’s worth.

Star Wars remains as popular as ever. Fans are going to flock to theaters to see the newest film once it’s released in about a month’s time. Entertainment betting sites will also happily take advantage of the furor. SportingBet.com is one of those sites currently offering Star Wars-related prop bets in anticipation of the ninth installment of the saga. Let’s try and identify some possible betting value, shall we?

Will Adam Driver be Nominated for an Oscar?

  • Yes +700
  • No -2000

Adam Driver, who made his Star Wars debut in The Force Awakens as Kylo Ren, has since become one of the most-respected actors in Hollywood. The 36-year-old New York native already has a number of nominations and awards on his resume, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role in BlacKkKlansman earlier this year. Driver wound up losing the award to Mahershala Ali, who won for his role in Green Book. 

While Driver likely has an Oscar in his future, it is fairly unlikely that he’ll actually take home the coveted trophy for his work in Star Wars. For one, Star Wars films don’t typically receive a ton of love when it comes to award nominations. Sure, they may get a few nominations for special effects and musical awards, but the actors themselves haven’t earned much recognition.

Alec Guinness, who was the original Obi-Wan Kenobi, is the only Star Wars actor to have earned an Oscar nomination.

Driver is great, but many believe he’ll earn a Best Actor nomination as the lead man in the upcoming film Marriage Story, which will be released a couple of weeks before The Rise of Skywalker. While it’s not impossible for an actor or actress to earn nominations for two different awards, the Academy is very unlikely to let that happen.

As much as I’d love to see Kylo Ren pick up an Oscar, betting the “no” side of this bet at -2000 is the only realistic option.

The Verdict: Driver will not earn a nomination for Star Wars.

Will John Williams be Nominated for Best Original Score at the Academy Awards?

  • Yes -167
  • No +120

John Williams is arguably the most recognizable musicians in Hollywood. The legendary composer has 5 Academy Awards sitting on his mantle for his work in Fiddler on the Roof, Jaws, Star Wars, E.T. and Schindler’s List. The American Film Institute selected Williams’ score for the original Star Wars film in 1977 as the greatest American film score in the history of cinema. High praise, indeed.

The 87-year-old has also secured Oscar nominations for his musical work in The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. He has been brought back to make new music for The Rise of Skywalker, so it’s safe to assume some more accolades will follow.

Williams has accrued 51 Oscar nominations over the course of his illustrious career, which is the most for any living person. Somewhat ironically, he trails only Walt Disney (59) for the most individual Oscar nominations in history.

This one looks like a very obvious “yes.” The Academy is always happy to recognize Williams for his work, and there is little reason to believe the 2020 Oscars will be any different. Whether Williams wins another Academy Award remains to be seen, but betting “yes” on a mere nomination looks like very strong value at -167.

The Verdict: Williams is a near-lock to earn another nomination.

Will Star Wars be Nominated for Best Visual Effects at the Academy Awards?

  • Yes -333
  • No +220

As mentioned, Star Wars doesn’t have a great record when it comes to winning Academy Awards. However, the Oscars they have won have largely come on the behind-the-scenes side. Star Wars has won Best Visual Effects, Best Film Editing, Best Production Design and Best Sound Mixing Oscars in the past.

The Best Visual Effects win came back in 1977. Considering the original Star Wars film was seen as an amazing technological achievement, that’s hardly a surprise.

While the Star Wars franchise has just one Best Visual Effects Oscar under its belt, the series does have a total of 7 nominations in the category. In fact, all 4 Star Wars films that have been released since Disney acquired the rights back in 2012 have been nominated for this award. It’s pretty hard to argue with a 100 percent success rate when it comes to Oscar nominations.

As is the case with Williams’ nomination, it seems as though Star Wars is a very good bet to earn another Best Visual Effects nomination based on a strong track record. There isn’t nearly as much betting value on this one as there is with Williams at -167, but it’s hard to bet against it at this point.

The Verdict: Star Wars will earn another Best Visual Effects nomination, but the -333 odds don’t bring much betting value.

Will J.J. Abrams be Nominated for Best Director at the Academy Awards?

  • Yes +600
  • No -1429

J.J. Abrams is one of the more well-known directors on the Hollywood scene these days. He earned a number of Emmy nominations for his work in television on renowned series like Lost and Alias before making the switch to film. He became something of a mainstream name in the industry for his work on the Star Trek reboot that was released in 2010.

While he was nominated for a number of awards for Star Trek, the Academy Awards was not among them. He was able to parlay that into a gig directing the first in the latest Star Wars trilogy, The Force Awakens, but he didn’t receive any love from the Academy that year, either. That said, Disney liked him enough to bring him back for Episode IX.

While Abrams may earn an Oscar nod at some point, the competition for the upcoming Academy Awards is stiff.

Martin Scorsese is a fairly heavy Oscar betting favorite for this point for The Irishman, while Quentin Tarantino is expected to receive strong consideration for the award thanks to this summer’s smash hit Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Bong Joon Ho, Noah Baumbach and Jordan Peele are other directors garnering some buzz.

The odds are strongly in favor of Abrams failing to earn a nomination, and understandably so. I think you can take a flier bet on “yes” at +600 considering the profit potential is extremely high, but the Academy remains reluctant to reward Star Wars directors. George Lucas was nominated for the original Star Wars back in 1977. He’s the only Star Wars director to earn an Oscar nod to this point.

The Verdict: The odds are intriguing, but Abrams is unlikely to get much Oscar consideration.

Will Star Wars Win at Least One of the Acting Awards at the Oscars?

  • Yes +700
  • No -2000

Driver is among the most decorated actors set to appear in The Rise of Skywalker, and I’m not overly bullish on his chances of earning much recognition for his role. Needless to say, the other actors in the film will face an uphill climb just to earn a nomination, too.

You would think that Star Wars would’ve earned more actor/actress Oscar nominations based solely on the quality of those that have appeared in the films over the years. In addition to Driver and Guinness, the likes of Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, James Earl Jones, Liam Neeson, Samuel L. Jackson and Ewan McGregor are among those that have appeared in Star Wars films over the years.

However, Guinness is the only Star Wars actor to have earned a nomination for Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor or Best Supporting Actress to this point. His work as Obi-Wan earned him a nomination for the original Star Wars film. Everyone else has been snubbed. It’s hard to believe, but it’s true.

Lupita Nyong’o, Billy Dee Williams, Oscar Isaac, Daisy Ridley and John Boyega will join Driver and Hamill in The Rise of Skywalker, but I just can’t overlook the history when it comes to these awards. As much as Star Wars fans would love to see one of these actors recognized, it’s hard to see any of them breaking through in 2020.

Bet “no” here at -2000.

The Verdict: Unfortunately, the 2020 Oscar field is too strong for any of the Star Wars actors to emerge as a realistic betting option.

Will Star Wars be Nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards?

  • Yes +900
  • No -5000

I’m starting to sound like a broken record. Despite being one of the most popular film franchises in the history of cinema, Star Wars has largely come up empty when it comes to earning Best Picture recognition at the Oscars. The original film is still the only such movie to have earned a Best Picture nomination. Annie Hall wound up winning that year.

While nobody remembers Annie Hall, the Academy is notorious for taking a snooty, high-brow approach when it comes to film appreciation. Even if The Rise of Skywalker manages to break every box office record in the books, there is almost no chance the ninth film in the main Star Wars storyline manages to secure a Best Picture nomination.

The Verdict: The betting value on the “no” side is obviously severely lacking at -5000, but I don’t really see any other option.

Will Star Wars win Best Picture at the Academy Awards?

  • Yes +6600

Star Wars won’t be nominated for Best Picture, so it’s going to be pretty difficult for them to manage to win it.

The Verdict: No.

Will The Rise of Skywalker Earn More on its Opening Weekend than The Last Jedi?

  • Yes -300
  • No +200

While Star Wars may be lacking when it comes to Academy Awards recognition, there are surely enough dollars in the bank accounts of everyone involved in the series to where it hardly matters to them. Disney forked over $4 billion for the rights to the franchise because Star Wars is a moneymaker. In addition to the 4 new films that have already been released since 2015, Disney has also added an entire Star Wars-themed land to both the Disneyland and and Walt Disney World resorts. The Mandalorian, a new Star Wars series recently released on the company’s new streaming platform Disney+, has also received rave reviews.

As you may expect, Star Wars is well-represented on the list of highest-grossing film openings of all-time. 2015’s The Force Awakens amassed $528,966,675 on its opening weekend, which set a new all-time record. It has since been surpassed by Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War and, regrettably, The Fate of the Furious. 

The Last Jedi did not fare as well as its immediate predecessor at the box office, but it still ranks a respectable eighth on the list of highest-grossing opening weekends ever. The series’ eighth installment hauled in nearly $451 million on its opening weekend.

The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters just a few days before Christmas, which means many will be out of school and off from work just in time to catch the film’s release. With this possibly being the last time we ever see the original Luke Skywalker in a Star Wars film, I think fans are going to jump at the opportunity to see the movie as quickly as possible.

I like the upcoming film to surpass its predecessor in terms of opening weekend box office earnings. The value isn’t amazing at -300, but I think it’s clearly the superior betting option.

The Verdict: The Rise of Skywalker will earn more than The Last Jedi on its opening weekend.

Taylor Smith / Author

Taylor is a sports writer based in Southern California. While he primarily specializes in basketball, baseball and football, he will also dabble in things like soccer and politics from time to time. He has lived in just about every corner of the United States at one point or another, and he has been covering sports and sports betting for the better part of a decade. Taylor currently lives in Long Beach with his fiancé and their two cats.