Episode 9 is almost here, and before it premieres I wanted to write a little about what I’ve enjoyed from the sequel trilogy, and where I think The Rise of Skywalker has some heavy lifting to do. Beyond hoping that it’s fun, feels like Star Wars, and does justice to all that has come before (to the extent that is possible!), my specific hopes for the movie:
- that Rey’s coming-from-nowhere parentage isn’t undone (this is the point on which I most expect to be disappointed);
- that Luke’s ‘the Jedi don’t own the Force’ speech from TLJ isn’t undone;
- that the explanation for Palpatine’s survival is satisfying and not stupid;
- that the movie does some retroactive worldbuilding to explain how the galaxy got from the end of ROTJ to the start of TFA, because that has been sorely lacking in the sequel trilogy so far;
- that the movie ends with a different status quo than Return of the Jedi; things need to be resolved in such a way that what happened between Eps 6 and 7 can’t just happen again ad infinitum. We got enough resurgent-dark-lords-building-superweapons from the old Expanded Universe, and two trips to that well are quite enough for the canon universe.
Having just rewatched Eps 7 and 8 in prep for 9, one of the things I’ve enjoyed most is that each movie has added to the Force. TFA gave us invasive mind-reading, paralyzing enemies, and stopping blaster bolts in mid-air, but TLJ went bonkers (in a good way) with the projection of self across space, both for Rey and Kylo and amazingly for Luke at the end. I love it that the ‘contact’ scenes between Rey and Kylo are shot in such a way that it’s hard to tell whether the projection was purely mental or also possibly physical. When Kylo squeezes the water off his glove, is that just sweat from his forehead, or rain from Ach-to? The movie doesn’t make it clear, and I think that ambiguity is really cool. Ultimately, the new movies have made the Force powerful, mysterious, and unpredictable again, in a way that nothing after ROTJ (and arguably, nothing after ESB) had done. I hope that TROS builds on that.
Also, the scene in TLJ of Luke teaching Rey to reach out with her feelings, and the conversation between Luke and Yoda’s Force ghost, are among my favorite scenes in all of Star Wars. I’d love to get something that moving in the new movie, but that’s a big ask. We’ll see.
Anyway, I’m wary but still stoked. What do you hope for from the new movie?
Previous posts on the sequel trilogy, starting before the release of Episode VII: