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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The Last Episode?

Updated on February 18, 2020
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"The Rise of Skywalker" poster at the Bow Tie Cinema in Reston, Virginia, December 21, 2019. The Rise of Skywalker theatrical release poster.
"The Rise of Skywalker" poster at the Bow Tie Cinema in Reston, Virginia, December 21, 2019.
"The Rise of Skywalker" poster at the Bow Tie Cinema in Reston, Virginia, December 21, 2019. | Source
The Rise of Skywalker theatrical release poster.
The Rise of Skywalker theatrical release poster. | Source

Basic Information

“The Rise of Skywalker” is Episode IX in the Star Wars saga. This is supposed to be the last Star Wars episode. That appeared to be the case for Episodes III and VI. The Rise of Skywalker cost about $200 million to make. That is almost 40% less than Episode VIII. It grossed over $177 million in its opening weekend in the United States.[i]

The film can be seen in IMAX 2 or 3 dimensions (3D), 3 dimensions, and 4DX 3 dimensions. I watched the movie on a regular screen in two dimensions at 10 AM. Despite being the first matinee, the auditorium was more than ½ full. The audience applauded at the end of the movie.

Many scenes should look spectacular in IMAX. There are a couple of sequences that were apparently put in the movie specifically for the 3D effect. This article contains some spoilers for previous Star Wars episodes.

Episode IX makes many direct, indirect, and passing references to previous Star Wars episodes. “The Rise of Skywalker” might be difficult for someone who has never seen previous episodes to follow or appreciate.

[i] International Movie Database,, last accessed 12/27/19.

The Plot

Rey (Daisy Ridley) is continuing her Jedi training with the assistance of General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher). The First Order and The Resistance inflicted serious losses on each other in previous battles. Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), who Rey defeated in previous encounters, is now being trained by Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid).

The Emperor has assembled a powerful armada of Star Destroyers. The First Order will become The Final Order. The Final Order will ruthlessly annihilate any resistance.

Poe Dameron becomes the leader of The Resistance by default. General Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) arrives and gives encouragement to Poe. An unknown mole inside The Final Order passes valuable information to The Resistance.

This sets up a major battle to determine the galaxy’s future. General Calrissian convinces Poe to use the, if you lead others will follow, approach. Will others join The Resistance? Will Rey defeat Kylo Ren, Emperor Palpatine, and the allure of “The Dark Side”?

Rise of Skywalker

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Themes and Thoughts

One scene is taken from the Aesop fable, “The Lion and the Mouse”. One meeting is reminiscent of the meeting in Episode IV[i]. As with the meeting in the original “Star Wars”, the “Rise of Skywalker” meeting indicates the high-ranking bad guys are vying for position. These and other scenes that are similar to previous episodes are either to remind fans of previous episodes or a case of sticking to a formula that worked in the past. The climactic battle involves simultaneous battles between spacecraft, a small commando force attacking a critical target, and a light vs dark side confrontation. The 3-venue battle is similar to the final battle in “Return of the Jedi”. Having an overwhelming force that can be defeated by taking out a single target has been used in Episodes I and VI. “Independence Day” and other movies have also used this premise. The “Rise of Skywalker” battle contains some elements reminiscent of “Avatar”.

The Episode VI premise that if Luke Skywalker killed Emperor Palpatine it would turn Luke to “The Dark Side” annoyed some fans. Episode IX gives a detailed explanation of the premise.

Episode IX, as with the original trilogy finale, is a story of redemption. Some fans didn’t like the redemption in Episode VI. Will fans accept the redemption in “The Rise of Skywalker”?

In previous episodes Storm Troopers tended to die quietly. In Episode IX they let out dying groans. Judging from the sounds roughly half of the Storm Troopers are women. Imperial Storm Troopers were clones.[ii] The First Order Storm Troopers are conscripts. They are humanoid. Many of the sentient beings in the Star Wars universe won’t fit into the one size fits all Storm Trooper body armor.

In many movies, nature rather than nurture, is what causes someone to excel. Episode I established the amount of Midi-chlorians a being has determines their potential capabilities in using “The Force”. Following this premise, Rey’s lineage explains her ability to excel in everything. Will fans consider this explanation adequate? Are some fans holding Rey to a different standard than Luke and Anakin Skywalker? Luke was a farmer with pilot skills who proved an expert fighter-bomber pilot on his first mission and without combat training? Anakin was a young boy who was also an expert combat pilot on his first mission.

[i] The episode numbers in Star Wars was in the “Star Wars” universe chronological order. The original “Star Wars” is Episode IV.

[ii] It wasn’t established until the second trilogy that it was revealed the Imperial Storm Troopers were clones.

Redemption in Episode IX

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Nature vs Nurture

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Is Rey juded different from Luke and Anakin?

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Robert Sacchi


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