‘Star Wars’: Rey’s Final Scenes in Each Movie Are More Significant Than Fans Realized
The ongoing “The Rise of Skywalker is actually good” debate continues, as fans try to make the case that the final film of the Star Wars Skywalker saga should not be sold short. In fact, the point to the final scenes of the final film as evidence.
Many people thought one of the reasons Rise didn’t connect was because it seemed to go out of its way to repudiate and contradict The Last Jedi, which many people hated. Not every fan sees it that way, however.
‘The Last Jedi’ deconstructed Star Wars
One of the reasons that The Last Jedi proved to be so controversial was that it constantly upended fans expectations, particularly in regards to Rey’s parents being nobody’s. Fans took particular offense to how writer-director Rian Johnson portrayed Luke as sullen and ready to give up until the 11th hour.
Some people thought that was why The Last Jedi was so powerful with one Slashfilm piece entitled “The Last Jedi’ Doesn’t Care What You Think About ‘Star Wars’ – And That’s Why It’s Great.”
Author Jacob Hall wrote:
“A wise and noble Luke is easy. A Luke with regrets? That’s hard. That’s tough to swallow. That’s what elevates The Last Jedi beyond a simple retread – it asks you to take these characters seriously in a way that other Star Wars films have not, to acknowledge them as something beyond a vessel for escapism.”
So when Rise of Skywalker came out, many fans wondered how much it would retcon The Last Jedi. Many observers thought the final movie tried so hard to undo Episode VIII that it fell all over itself and became ineffectual as a result. A widely circulated image accused the film of being “Written and directed by Reddit.”
Maybe ‘Rise’ supports ‘Last Jedi’ after all?
It just so happens that Reddit has been the source of many posts seeking to redeem The Rise of Skywalker. On one post the topic starter points out the final scene of The Force Awakens had Rey handing a lightsaber to Luke. The Last Jedi continued the scene by having Luke throw the lightsaber away, and that angered many fans.
In Rise, Rey tries to throw the saber away herself, and Luke’s Force Ghost grans it and intones “A Jedi’s weapon deserves more respect.”
Some interpreted that as a direct shot against Last Jedi.
On Reddit, however, one fan quoted a tweet that said, “Rey’s last scenes of each movies perfectly illustrate the whole point of the trilogy, especially through her lightsabers: TFA glorifies the past and myths for Hope. TLJ Deconstructs the myths to move forward. TROS tells you to learn from your past to build your own future.”
Another fan responded, “Where TLJ we focus mostly on Luke and Ben’s past and history together and shows how Luke specifically learns from his past to build toward the chance at a better future – TROS takes that lesson/theme and applies it to Rey having to fundamentally grapple with her own past and/or lineage and growing beyond it.”
No one faults the actors in the sequel trilogy
The debate will probably never be definitively settled, although if the prequel trilogy has been rehabilitated to some degree, so may the sequel trilogy.
At least with the latter, no one faults the actors, whereas in the prequel trilogy, the performances of Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman and Jake Lloyd came in for considerable scorn. Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver have not faced the same withering put-downs.
Ridley herself professed to be dismayed by the reaction to Rise of Skywalker, saying in an interview with Entertainment Weekly: “It’s changed film by film honestly, like 98% it’s so amazing, this last film it was really tricky …It was weird, I felt like all of this love that we’d sort of been shown the first time around, I was like, ‘Where’s the love gone?’
Some of it went to Reddit.