Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is coming out THIS FRIDAY.
This is the long-awaited GRAND FINALE to the Skywalker Saga. Here are 9 things that we here at All Ears are hoping to see in the new film when it launches December 20th!
There’s been a lot of Star Wars media released over the past few years. The excellent Clone Wars cartoon, Rebels, Resistance, The Mandalorian… In this new, unified Disney canon, everything is interconnected.
But, aside from some small references, like Chopper from Rebels appearing in Rogue One, there’s not a lot of crossover between the films and the TV shows. Ahsoka Tano (pictured above) is one of the biggest characters in Star Wars TV canon, appearing in novels, comics, and more, but she’s never directly appeared in a film. There are even entire species, like Lasat, that haven’t made a cinematic appearance yet. A crossover would be brilliant, even if it’s a subtle one. Though if you want to give us Teenage Yoda I wouldn’t complain…
Speaking of Crossovers…
This might be a bit controversial as some fans could see it as product placement, but I’d love at least a passing reference to Batuu. We’ve already had one bit of Batuu lore in a Star Wars film: Dok-Ondar, owner of the Den of Antiquities, is mentioned briefly in Solo. However, as Galaxy’s Edge and Galactic Starcruiser are supposed to take place between Episodes 8 and 9, a passing reference to these attractions definitely wouldn’t hurt. Characters like Lieutenant Bek and Vi Moradi, who were created for the park, have every reason to also appear in the film as members of the Resistance. There’s also Hondo Ohnaka, who originally appeared in Clone Wars and Rebels, but could make his film debut aiding the Resistance. While we don’t need to actually go to Batuu, seeing some continuity in the films would cement the park’s status as a canon piece of Star Wars lore.
Okay, we are hoping to see cool starships (and the Millennium Falcon) in The Rise of Skywalker, but I’m not talking about those ships. I’m talking about relationships. “Shipping” is a term used in fan communities, where fans speculate on which characters could end up in a romantic relationship. It’s an endless source of discussion, fan art, and speculation… and also a bit of drama, from time to time. It’s also way older than the internet; during the original trilogy, fans fiercely debated one another on which characters in the main trio would end up in a relationship: Han and Leia, or Luke and Leia. That second one might seem weird now, but believe me; when Return of the Jedi came out and Luke and Leia’s actual relationship came to light, the fandom was thrown into chaos.
Since The Force Awakens, fans have been speculating on which members of the main cast would end up dating. One of the most popular (and controversial) ships is between Rey and Kylo Ren, also known as the “Reylo” ship. This one was teased heavily in The Last Jedi, and there’s an undeniable tension of some sort between the characters that, while not necessarily romantic, is something we hope is explored. Will it blossom into love? Will Kylo reject Rey’s final overture of redemption? Accept it at the cost of his death? Will they turn out to be related, causing another wave of panic as millions of people try to delete all of their fanfiction at once?
And what about other characters? Finn? Poe? Rose? Jannah? Shipping may be about romance on the surface, but based in an emotional investment in these characters and their arcs. If nothing else, I think every fan wants to see them come to a satisfying conclusion. And if there’s a dramatic kiss at the end, that’s a bonus!
A Unifying Arc!
Emperor Palpatine is supposed to play a major role in the film, and I’m dying to know what that is. Palpatine has been a phantom menace for the franchise since Episode 1, manipulating things behind the scenes before rising to absolute power as Emperor. His presence in the new film represents a chance to tie everything that’s happened into a unifying arc from Episodes 1-9. So far, Episodes 1-6 are a fairly tight story, following the rise, fall, and eventual redemption of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader. Episode 7 opens with Anakin’s grandson having chosen to follow in Vader’s footsteps, but we’ve never gotten an adequate explanation of why he idolizes Darth Vader so much, nor do we know definitively why Luke was driven to try killing him.
A definitive link between Kylo and Palpatine would create a unified arc from Episode 1-9, telling the story of one shadowy Sith lord, his manipulation of three generations of Skywalker, and his ultimate (and final) defeat. This especially makes sense if you consider the semi-canonical theory that Palpatine is actually Anakin’s father… in weird immaculate Force conception sort of way. Episode I was weird, okay?
It makes sense that the end of the Skywalker saga (and the Skywalker bloodline) would lead to his end as well.
Even if that doesn’t happen, tying together plot lines and character arcs started decades ago would make this a satisfying conclusion to the series. I’m looking forward to finding out the fates of Chewie, R2, Leia, and other characters that have been with us since the beginning.
The Knights of Ren!
We know about Kylo, and we’ve seen the T-Shirt, but who are the Knights of Ren? These mysterious, other dark side users mentioned in the first film and then just… forgotten about. We know they’re set to appear in the new film, but we know nothing about them. Are they Luke’s other students? Will they play a significant role as villains? Or will they just get tossed into the garbage like Phasma literally was?
We saw Yoda in The Last Jedi, and we know that Palpatine is going to show up, but… one thing that I’ve always found odd about Kylo Ren’s story is how he idolizes Darth Vader when Anakin Skywalker’s Force Ghost is shown at the end of The Return of the Jedi. He should, at least potentially, still be around in some form… why hasn’t he gone to smack some sense into his grandson?
That could probably be explained with Palpatine’s ghost messing with Kylo’s head, but it also opens up a potentially cool grand finale for the entire saga. Picture this… Kylo, possessed by Palpatine and wielding unimaginable Force powers. Rey is on the ropes, when the spirits of Luke, Yoda, Obi-Wan, Anakin… heck, maybe even Han Solo if we’re stretching canon a bit, all come to her aid and bolster her with the power of the Force. The legends of the past channeling their power into the future in one final clash to close off the saga once and for all.
…Plus I always want more Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan.
An Epic Battle Set Piece!
One of the reasons I reviewed Rise of the Resistance so highly is because it captures the essence of a Star Wars battle sequence. The same essence you see in A New Hope and Return of the Jedi’s Death Star sequences, the Battle of Scarif in Rogue One, and the attack on Starkiller Base in The Force Awakens. Individual heroes scrambling through dangerous territory to achieve a goal as an epic space battle rages overhead. X-Wings fighting, lightsabers clashing, a struggle on multiple fronts… There’s an energy to a real Star Wars battle that’s hard to replicate. For the finale of the saga, it’s gotta be big. The scrappy Resistance giving it their all against the First Order in a desperate gambit for survival.
The Fate of the Galaxy!
This is the end. The actual end. There aren’t supposed to be more Star Wars films after this. At least, not chronologically. Obviously, Disney will keep milking the bantha until it’s out of blue milk, but this part of the Star Wars universe is done. From here on out, it’ll be prequels, side stories, and new arcs taking place in entirely different chunks of the lore.
So with that in mind, I want to be able to look forward. I want to know what happens next. Maybe not a Happily Ever after, but something definitive… What will happen to the Resistance? To the First Order? To the Republic? I don’t know if I’ll be content with a medal ceremony or an Ewok dance party. I want to, at the very least, get a glimpse into the future… even if they never end up making a movie about it.
I guess what this all wraps up to is… I want answers! We have so many questions, and while it’s not realistic for Disney to answer them all, I want to at least leave the theater feeling satisfied instead of confused. Confusion and speculation is great for the second part of a trilogy, but being left wanting more at the end? Not a good look.
Well, there you have it. Nine things we’re hoping to see in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Stay tuned all week for more coverage of this upcoming film, and to learn more about the various celebrations taking place at Disney properties around the world! Don’t forget to comment, and may the Force be with you!
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