‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ Review

The Rise of Skywalker did some characters dirty but had solid plot twists and explanations.

The movie clarifies where Supreme Leader Snoke came from, the villain in the first two films of the trilogy. When Kylo Ren visits Emperor Palpatine, there is a shot of clones of Snoke in tubes, who was defeated by Rey and Kylo Ren working together. As for Emperor Palpatine, he was believed to be dead after falling from an extreme height, but as the Jedi never searched for his body, that’s their fault. Because of their assumption, he was able to use Snoke to persuade Kylo Ren to join the Dark Side and speak to his mind.

Meanwhile, the Resistance receives news from a spy that Emperor Palpatine is alive. Needing to locate the planet Palpatine is hiding on, Rey learns from Luke’s research notebook that they need a Sith Wayfinder. This event connects to the first two films, where they required Luke’s knowledge to defeat the First Order. They sent out a squad and discovered a dagger covered with Sith text. As usual, there is comedic relief with C3PO, who cheerfully announces he is unable to translate it as he is a Jedi droid. 

While Rey and her friends search for the Wayfinder, one character is noticeably absent. Rose Tico, a member of the support crew for the Resistance’s fighter jets, was given a significant part in the previous film of the trilogy but had few lines in the latest installation. Despite having saved Finn’s life, she was reduced to a minor character who was barely seen during the battle at the climax of the film and had few lines. Their excuse was that someone needed to stay behind and help General Leia, but she could have given a more substantial role.

Although that was disappointing, a significant plot point was finally uncovered. The first two films showed Rey screaming while a ship flew away in the sky, supposedly her parents abandoning her. The Rise of Skywalker clarifies that the ship seen flying away as a young Rey cries to the Sith and that Emperor Palpatine is taking her parents. Kylo Ren tells Rey that Emperor Palpatine is Rey’s grandfather, who plotted to murder her. After slaying his child, one of Rey’s parents, he urges Rey to channel her rage into annihilating him to become the leader of the Sith and to absorb his spirit. As the last living member of the Sith, he holds the power of all the deceased members and underestimates Rey despite knowing she is the last living member of the Jedi. Unsurprisingly and almost expectedly, Rey and Kylo Ren battle on the same side at the end of the film like its predecessor. Palpatine informs her that the only way to save her friends during the battle is to become Empress of the Sith. (This scene parallels when, in the Return of the Jedi, Palpatine tried to make Luke give into his anger). Rey ultimately decides that for the sake of the greater good, she will not betray the Jedi. When all hope seems lost, the Jedi manage to win. Citizens all over the galaxy with loyalty to the Resistance overwhelm the First Order’s fleet and obliterate it. The theme of loyalty is perfect for this scene. 

As the last living member of the Jedi and having eradicated evil, for the time being, Rey places her lightsabers in the sand by Luke’s childhood home in Tatooine, implying that one day a Jedi will need them.