With The Rise Of Skywalker now out for release, The Star Wars Sequel Trilogy has come to an end.
Throughout this, we’re gonna be breaking down everything that you need to know about the movie and giving our theories on some of the things it leaves unexplained.
We’ll also be discussing the ending, our thoughts on the film overall and whether it’s worth going to see. So if you wanna know whether the movie is the chosen one or if it ends up going to the dark side this is the video for you.
There will be Heavy Spoilers here, so if you haven’t had a chance to see the movie yet then I highly recommend that you turn off now.
With that out the way I just wanna give a huge thank you for clicking this video, now let’s get into our breakdown of The Rise Of Skywalker.
Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker: Plot Breakdown
Ok so The Rise Of Skywalker basically revolves around several MacGuffins in order to drive the plot. It’s a Maguffin Russian Doll and the opening of the movie centers around Kylo Ren searching for a device known as The Wayfinder that will guide whoever has it to a Sith Palace on Exogol.
Kylo finds it during the introductory scene for the film and travels to Exogol in a moment that was shown heavily in last week’s TV spot.
Upon arriving there, not only does the character discover that Supreme Leader Snoke was a clone, but he also discovers Darth Sideous or rather Emporer Palpatine who has been reduced to a frail and weak old man.
How Palpatine Is Alive
Now the film doesn’t ever explain how Palpatine survived the destruction of The Death Star, however, if you cast your mind back to Revenge Of The Sith you’ll remember that Palpatine in the film discussed with Anakin that there was a Jedi known as Darth Plagues the wise who had a special ability.
Have I ever told you the story of Darth Plagues the wise?
Well he could control midi-chlorians to create both life and even avoid death and personally I think this is a method that Palpatine used for his resurrection.
This is giving a nod to by the line that some consider the methods unnatural which is the same thing that the character uttered in the scene during Revenge Of The Sith.
We also discover in the film that Palpatine is Rey’s grandfather and I doubt he was getting it on due to his pasty looking butt head so he likely created her father and then after turning his back on destiny the character went on to father Rey.
It Is Your Destiny
Star Wars has a big motif in the lore that says that every character has a destiny and those that choose to run towards it will go on the path of their destiny whereas others that turn their back will avoid it. Rey’s father clearly did this and spent the majority of his life on the run from his father’s wishes.
This ties into the overall aspect of family and destiny that is rampant throughout the movie that I’ll get into in just a bit.
Palpatine has likely been controlling Snoke and sending out duplicates and this is why the scars on the characters head looking slightly different in The Force Awakens to how they do in The Last Jedi.
I may be giving JJ a bit too much credit here but that’s just what I thought.
Retroactively he has been behind the entire thing and controlling things from the Shadows which yeah, lazy and desperate writing.
The opening crawl tries to cram all of this in in one go to make it feel like it had some setup at least but I think it’s clear that Palpatine wasn’t really ever supposed to be a part of this Trilogy.
How Luke’s Lightsaber Was Fixed
Another thing that they don’t really explain is how Luke’s lightsabre was fixed after it was torn in two in The Last Jedi.
We do know from behind the scenes images that Rey used a binder to join the pieces and this can be seen at certain parts in the film such as when Leia hands it over.
Basically, it’s like tape when you break your spectacles.
The Theme Of Identity
When the film is not blasting through scenes in order for the characters to go from item to item that they need to unearth in order to find the location of Exogol and The Sith Stronghold, it’s tackling identity and this is seen throughout pretty much all of the main characters.
Finn is a Stormtrooper turned Resistance hero and he finds kinship in characters like Jannah who were stripped away from their families. Though it’s never out and out stated in the movie, originally it was revealed in the supplementary material and leaks that Lando was her father and that the two were separated on Pasana by the First Order. The former remained on the planet, living an almost hermit lifestyle whereas Jannah was forced into combat before she eventually put down her arms and proceeded to fight back.
Mirroring this Poe is trying to hide from his past, not really accepting that he used to be a spice runner. However after he reconnects with someone that he used to do jobs with, he seems much more accepting of what he’s been through and how it’s shaped him into the person that he now is.
Hux is a spy, working within the First Order. C-3PO loses his memory and though he eventually get’s it back upon his ‘death’ scene it does feel like we are losing a big part of what made him…well, him.
Above all of this the true conflict of Identity comes with both our two main players, Rey and Ren or Reylo if you’re into that kind of thing.
Since killing his father, Ren has been torn between the light and dark side and though he tends to veer more towards the latter, trying to turn Rey at every chance he gets, it’s actually he who ends up swaying back to the light.
This comes during the battle with Rey on the Death Star 2 wreckage in which his mother dies whilst trying to reach out to him one more time. After this Rey stabs him but she saves him, stealing his ship and heading to Ach-to to cut herself off from the force.
Left stranded, Ren’s father, Han Solo appears and the two pretty much have the conversation that they had on the bridge, except this time it has the added weight for Ren that he has lost all of his family, the ones that he cared about and that it’s foolish to continue on this dark path, especially when he cares for Rey.
The Return Of Han Solo
It’s probably the best part of the film and I doubt anyone had any trouble with seeing Han return and change his son in the way that he so desperately wanted to in The Force Awakens. This could have very easily been a turn like Daenerys in Season 8 of Game Of Thrones but thankfully, at least this moment is well-paced and has gravitas.
Mirroring this is Rey, who throughout the entire trilogy has been desperate to find her family, reconnect with her roots and discover who she really is. There’s even a point in the movie where she gets asked who she is and though I was hoping she’d turn round and say Bond, James Bond, it’s clear that she is torn apart by not really knowing.
It’s very much a case of be careful what you wish for as she learns probably at the midpoint of the movie that she is a Palpatine and that the Emporer has been hunting her throughout her life in order to bestow upon her what he sees as her birthright.
She is confronted by a dark version of herself that easily bests her and at several points during the movie she gives in to anger and rage, using force lightning at one point and also force pushing Finn. He had something to tell her as well but we’ll never know what it is.
Rey Vs Palpatine
Anyway, after jumping through hoops to get to Exogol, Rey finally comes face to face with her grandfather. Almost a husk he has the entirety of The Sith living through him and wants Rey to participate in the ritual of striking him down. This will cause the Sith and Palpatine to inhabit her and as the new Empress Palpatine…which still makes me laugh when I say it…she will rule the Galaxy.
At this point, Ben has become a Jedi again and he helps her with the finale centering on the two tackling Palpatine whilst the Resistance Fleet fights The First Order.
There are cameos from Wedge and almost an, on your left moment, from Lando that copies Avengers: Endgame a bit too transparently. At the center of it all though is Rey’s battle between her family and which choice to make.
Does she turn to the light, possibly dooming her friends or accept that she is the new One True Emporer?
Now you don’t have to be a genius to know which option she goes with but unwittingly due to their force bond, Rey and Ren combined have enough power that their life forces rejuvenate the Emporer when tapped into.
Ren tries to fight back but is cast aside but Rey stands strong and through the Jedi, her new family that now lives within her. The Jedi, most notably Luke and Leia knew her true identity but still, they trusted that she could bring balance to the force and trained her anyway, trusting in her the same way that Yoda and Obi-Wan trusted in Luke. She is able to destroy Palpatine doing to ol’ reflect the lightning back with a Lightsaber trick and the fleet destroy the first order, saving the Galaxy.
This has a massive cost on Rey and it actually kills her, however, Kylo who is still alive gives up all of his life force in order to force heal her, as we’ve seen teased in The Mandalorian and also through the movie and this allows her to come back to life. The two share a kiss and then Ben dies, fading away like the Jedi do when they pass away.
The Rise Of Skywalker Ending Explained
With the Final Order defeated, the Galaxy back in harmony, Rey journeys to Tattooine, most notably Luke’s home. Here she buries not only Luke’s lightsaber but Leia aswell, perhaps being a visual representation of the past finally being buried which was a big plot motif of The Last Jedi.
A passer-by says that no one has visited there for a long time and asks who she is…Rey pauses and looks out in the distance where Luke and Leia appear as force ghosts and she answers ‘Rey Skywalker’ finally accepting her identity and showing her allegiances and who her true family was.
She also sparks up a yellow lightsaber, which is the first time that we’ve seen one in a Star Wars film…don’t quote me on that, there was a lot in that fight during Attack of The Clones.
Yellow for me holds some symbolism as it’s a mix between Green and Red and this shows that Rey has both accepted her Sith Lineage and the Jedi side of her, which could be a nod to Luke’s green lightsaber and has now finally put in stone who she really is.
She stares out onto the twin sunset of The Planet, finally knowing who she is….and yep…a Palpatine still rules the galaxy.
Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker Review
Ok so what did I think of the film overall?
Well, what a mess.
From the opening crawl all the way to the end, this film feels like a Sarlaac Pit of death, sucking in all the goodwill that I had for the franchise and digesting it slowly over thousands of years in the most painful way possible.
The movie just wreaks of poor planning and though it tried to do a lot of course correction from The Last Jedi, I actually think it may have been better if they’d just went with that instead of trying to right all of the wrongs of the prior movie and thus not having enough time to develop their own moments.
They tried to change things so much that they’ll annoy The Last Jedi fans and also the people who hated The Last Jedi will be annoyed with how underdeveloped this story is because it tries to focus on that so much. They didn’t set up any of this film in the last movie so now they have to set it up as fast as possible and it just feels so rushed.
I don’t know why there’s been some big thing set in stone now where Star Wars films have to be divided into Trilogies because this needed a fourth movie in order to tell a complete story. Like, remember when Infinity War was announced, everyone was like ‘it’ll be the end of the Avengers trilogy’ however, they couldn’t tell the full story so they just made another movie which would have been the smart thing to do here as well.
I think it’s very obvious that Palpatine wasn’t supposed to be in the movie and there were even a mass of rumors that were flying about that said Matt Smith would be the villain but I guess this was changed in the reshoots.
This movie it just, it exemplifies all of the mistakes in Lucasfilm. There was no creative direction from the off from Kathleen Kennedy and no plan and because of this it’s all over the place.
They didn’t have the foresight to map out the movie and now they’re trying to use a Wayfinder to get there. The movie really suffers and whilst I don’t think it’s as bad as The Phantom Menace or Attack Of The Clones, as far as Satisfying Conclusions go, this is a complete dud. This exemplifies the difference between Marvel and Lucasfilm. You have Kevin Feige who has everything planned out, well thought out and he lays the groundwork and Kennedy just makes it up as she goes along. Yeah…it’s just a mess.
It’s crazy to think this was the end of the trilogy and with the controversy surrounding it, the huge plot leaks and so on I don’t know how there aren’t going to be a lot of big firings at the company.
So this is how Star Wars dies…to thunderous applause.
Disney brought Balance to the force, just not in the way they expected.
They tried to please everyone and ultimately ended up pleasing no one and that’s why the movie gets a…
I actually think The Last Jedi is better.
Now obviously I’d love to hear your thoughts on The Rise Of Skywalker so make sure you leave them in the comments section below!