An Explanation of The Extra Special Cameos In ‘The Rise of Skywalker’

By now, The Rise of Skywalker probably takes up a lot of space on your timelines on social media. It has a special place in the Skywalker saga as the finale in this era of Star Wars and the film has sparked a lot of discourse, good and bad. There were a lot of theories going into the movie, especially involving who might come back in a cameo.

For fans of the saga, they were lucky that one of the theories was true, and brought back a lot of familiar voices in a climactic scene. MAJOR SPOILERS for The Rise of Skywalker ahead!

Darth Vader at the European premiere of 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.'
Darth Vader at the European premiere of ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ | Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Disney

The final showdown was very similar to fan theories prior to the film

Going into The Rise of Skywalker, We Got This Covered and a few other rumor-based sites posted that Hayden Christensen could return in the role of Anakin Skywalker. He portrayed the troubled Jedi in the early 2000s prequels. At the time, the theory revolved around Rey’s final battle with Palpatine where she needed help from past Jedi in order to defeat him once and for all. 

This is exactly what happened in the film. But instead of Force Ghosts like seen in Return of the Jedi and how Luke shows up in this film, the Jedi that comes back to Rey are in voice-form only. This is similar to Rey’s vision in The Force Awakens, which Ewan McGregor came back for. This, of course, doesn’t make the scene any less meaningful. 

Rey tries to connect to Jedi of the past throughout the film, and finally succeeds

From the time The Last Jedi ended till now, Rey has been training and preparing to face Kylo Ren again. She’s studying with Leia, running through the old Jedi texts that Luke left behind, and following Jedi obstacle courses. But Rey’s very first scene in Episode IX shows her trying to connect to other Jedi through the Force. 

She’s levitating and calling out to them, yet hears nothing. This frustrates her, but Leia tells her not to give up. She doesn’t try again in the film until her final battle with Palpatine. He’s trying to coerce her into killing him so Rey can become the host body for the Sith. Ben Solo comes to her aid, giving her hope and bolstering her resilience. 

She and Ben almost lost, and Rey’s left to fight Palpatine alone, or so she thinks. She calls on the Jedi one last time and they flood her consciousness with encouragement and she defeats Palpatine. It’s reminiscent of the World Between Worlds scene in Star Wars Rebels, which is fitting because a couple of characters from the animated series were a part of this massive Jedi cameo. 

Here’s a list of Jedi cameos

Ewan McGregor, director George Lucas, Anthony Daniels, Ian McDiarmid, Hayden Christensen and Kevin Baker at the 'Episode III: Revenge of the Sith' premiere.
Ewan McGregor, director George Lucas, Anthony Daniels, Ian McDiarmid, Hayden Christensen and Kevin Baker at the ‘Episode III: Revenge of the Sith’ London premiere | Yui Mok – PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images

The Jedi that came back includes Obi-Wan Kenobi (McGregor and Alec Guinness) from both the prequels and original trilogy and Anakin Skywalker (Christensen). The Clone Wars characters included Anakin’s former Padawan Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein), Luminara Unduli (Olivia d’Abo), Aayla Secura (Jennifer Hale), and Adi Gallia (Angelique Perrin). Kanan Jarrus (Freddie Prinze Jr.) from Star Wars Rebels has a line or two and so does Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) from The Phantom Menace. Samuel L. Jackson’s Mace Windu is there as well as Frank Oz’s Yoda. Lastly, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) has a big part of this vision.

According to a YouTube comment by SongPlease, the voices start with Obi-Wan saying “These are your final steps, Rey. Rise and take them.” Anakin, Ahsoka, and Kanan all say her name, then Anakin tells her to “Bring back the balance.”  It goes on like this until Luke ends it and says, “Rey, the force will be with you, always.” It really is an emotional moment for fans, and Rey, of course. And it’s a fitting end that ties up all trilogies in the Skywalker Saga.