Can You Watch ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ Without Watching Other ‘Star Wars’ Films?

Whether you’re a Star Wars fan or not, there’s a high chance you’ve heard of the upcoming final movie in the sequel trilogy, The Rise of Skywalker. Taking place one year after The Last Jedi, it’s the final installment in the Skywalker saga and truly an end of an era in the Star Wars franchise. It’s one of the most talked-about movies of the year and will be a culmination for one of the most beloved sagas. But can you watch The Rise of Skywalker without seeing any other Star Wars films?

Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford on the set of 'Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope.'
Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford on the set of ‘Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope’ | Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

It will be hard to follow ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ without seeing any of ‘Star Wars’ 

The simple, short answer is no; you won’t be able to fully understand The Rise of Skywalker if it’s your first Star Wars film. While this is probably the answer you guessed, it’s still a valid question! Whether you didn’t get into the movies growing up or your family didn’t show them to you, there are plenty of reasons someone might not have seen Star Wars. But, unfortunately, if you’ve never seen another Star Wars film, you might feel like there’s too much going on. 

After two whole trilogies, Episode IX is supposed to bring all major arcs to a close. From the prequels to the originals, little nuggets here and there will pop in for fans of the stories. While it’s not going to require you to be a galactic aficionado, you will need to know who Luke, Leia, Rey, and Kylo Ren are, and all of their backstories and intros happened in previous films. 

Rey might be the biggest reason you need to see previous episodes before this one. Rey’s arc takes a climactic turn in The Rise of Skywalker, with the question of who she truly is at the forefront of the narrative. 

You at least need to watch the previous movies in this sequel trilogy

But hey, if you have a date or friend who is begging for you to go with them, and you’ve never seen a minute of Star Wars, not all hope is lost. With what we said about Rey above, if you only have time for a couple of Star Wars films before you go to The Rise of Skywalker, make sure to put on The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. Those are the most important Star Wars movies to tie into The Rise of Skywalker since they start this era of the saga. 

Episode VII introduces you to Rey and shows her life on Jakku. It shows how Finn and Poe Met, and it shows Kylo Ren’s position in the First Order at the start of this all. The Episode VIII ramps up the drama and really highlights Kylo’s struggle with who his parents are and his desire to embrace the Dark Side despite his instincts fully.

‘The Rise of Skywalker’ will answer lingering questions

For those that know more about the film, or have seen previous ones, you can easily expect director J.J. Abrams to tie a lot of loose ends up since it is a final film. One aspect is the Rey/Kylo Ren situation. He told Entertainment Weekly that they “haunt each other,” but they’re essentially two sides to the same coin. And Daisy Ridley said that the movie would address their relationship in some way.

Fans will get to see how they added Leia into the story, even though Carrie Fisher passed away before she could film her role. And of course, viewers will be able to decide if The Rise of Skywalker does a good job of packing up the entire franchise in this ninth film.