Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was the epic ending of the Skywalker saga in the Star Wars story. But was it good enough?
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker had the borderline-impossible task of closing off one of the greatest stories ever told. Unfortunately, it fell massively short.
It’s rarely fair to go into a Star Wars experience with preconceived notions or expectations of the way the story should be told, but Episode IX was different.
J.J. Abrams, who directed the film, pulled out all the stops and hit on most every emotional level fans were hoping for in this film, but this movie took one too many wrong turns at lightspeed.
Here are three reasons The Rise of Skywalker was the wrong ending for this saga.
1. The discovery of Force healing
Although Force healing is extremely cool, it diminishes so many other parts of the Star Wars story.
Why didn’t Obi-Wan Force heal Qui-Gon Jinn if he was able to do so? Why didn’t Anakin wait for his dream of Padmé dying to come to fruition and use the Force to heal her, even if it meant sacrificing his own life to do so?
Ben Solo and Rey found a number of ways to use the Force that have never been seen before in Star Wars (namely passing things through the Force like a necklace or a lightsaber). But the use of Force healing — by both of them — was an unfortunate way for the Skywalker story to end when it could have been used so many other times throughout the nine-chapter series.
Why didn’t Anakin heal his mother? Why didn’t Luke heal Vader? There are so many examples that could be brought about that don’t make sense and make this unique power for Rey and Ben Solo (and The Child from The Mandalorian) such a curious inclusion in the final episode.
2. Palpatine was a clone?
According to the novelization of The Rise of Skywalker, Palpatine — the one from Episode IX — was a clone.
It certainly makes sense that Palpatine was a clone. Him not dying at the end of Return of the Jedi was already a strange (albeit fun) plot twist in the final installment of this saga, but why make the fact that he was a clone almost completely unknown in the film?
This was a huge mistake by the film crew and something like this should have undoubtedly been expounded on in the final film of the Skywalker saga. The fact that it was not revealed until the novelization of the film three months after the fact is a massive mistake, no matter how much sense it makes.
3. Rey was a Palpatine? Rey was a Skywalker?
The fact that Rey — whose yellow lightsaber indicated complete balance in the Force both in knowledge and combat abilities — was ultimately the one to restore balance to the Force and not Ben Solo was a huge problem.
Rey and Ben’s heroic acts at the end of the film cheapened the sacrifice Anakin Skywalker made to save Luke. And to make matters worse, Rey was the daughter of a clone that Palpatine made who was considered a failure.
Essentially, a Palpatine restored balance to the Force. But Star Wars is about Anakin, right?
Rey simply claiming the name “Skywalker” at the end of the film isn’t going to cut it. This, arguably, was the wrong call to make, and it should have been Ben Solo — the one with Skywalker blood — restoring his family’s legacy, if anyone.
Overall, this film fell short in so many areas, none more so than these three. It was entertaining, visually stunning, and exciting, but it fell short in terms of being a really good Star Wars story.