An Explanation Of That ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ Fortnite Clip That Was Important To Understand The Beginning

It’s common for Star Wars to weave in previous lore and information from past movies and canon media like shows and books into the bigger picture. Star Wars is built on its universe, and those things all make up the backbone of the franchise. However, the series has never included a minute detail from a promotional gaming event in their films before. And now with The Rise of Skywalker, they have. The popular game Fortnite debuted a special message from the villain of the franchise, yet you wouldn’t have known that if you didn’t play. MAJOR SPOILERS for The Rise of Skywalker ahead!

Views of the Fortnite sign at the 2019 Fortnite World Cup on July 28, 2019.
Views of the 2019 Fortnite World Cup on July 28, 2019 | Johannes EISELE / AFP

Fortnite held a special ‘Star Wars’ event, which had a critical Palpatine Easter egg

On Dec. 14, the video game Fortnite had a Star Wars event in the game; they added exclusive skins and objectives that coincided with the franchise. Also, fans were treated to an exclusive clip from The Rise of Skywalker before its Dec. 20 premiere. 

Interesting enough, Emperor Palpatine made an announcement while the players were gaming. “At last the work of generations is complete,” Palpatine said. “The great error is corrected. The day of victory is at hand. The day of revenge. The day of the Sith!” As CNET pointed out, people at the time didn’t think much of this PSA. They thought it was just a gaming detail, but in actuality, it was a vital piece of information that lead right into the opening sequence of The Rise of Skywalker.

The opening crawl in ‘Episode IX’ references this Palpatine message 

The famous Star Wars opening crawl for Episode IX mentions this message. CNET wrote that it indicates the announcement, but it’s never played in the film. This is, of course, referring to the Fortnite clip. 

Fans have mixed emotions about this, but they’re leaning more towards the negative side. Twitter user @Bee_Kirby wrote, “Star Wars hiding an event that is vital to the plot of the movie within Fortnite is making me feel several different emotions all at once.” User @DAIROCKETTO wrote, “that star wars fortnite thing has to be a prank right.” And lastly, Nerdist contributing editor Lindsey Romain put it simply: “we live in hell.”

What did this message mean?

Why all the backlash? Well, for one, it’s a massive franchise that’s taken decades to form. Fans take it pretty seriously, and even though it’s fiction, the lore carries a bit of reverence to it. So to include such an essential piece of information in Fortnite and not even play it again for the viewers, seems cheap. Also, if you watch the film, it feels incomplete and out of nowhere. This makes the story feel like it starts midway through something, even though it’s been a year since The Last Jedi

Fans in Turkey at a private screening of 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,' dressed up as Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Fans in Turkey at a private screening of ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,’ dressed up as Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi | Salih Seref/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

And considering the majority of moviegoers probably don’t play Fortnite, this message is lost on a lot of people. To top it off, it didn’t even give a verbatim account of what Palpatine says in the game. It just mentions that he’s back with said announcement. 

Regardless, the message he gave kicks off the struggle against Rey. As the movie shows, Palpatine has been orchestrating the creation of a massive army all these decades and pulled strings on Kylo Ren’s journey to the Dark Side. His revenge is against the Jedi, and he’s determined to kill them off once and for all. 

So while the Fortnite Star Wars message was vital in the beginning, it is eventually laid out for fans to understand. Even though it still affects the way the movie feels for fans at the getgo, it doesn’t leave a hole for viewers who didn’t play the event on Fortnite.