They saw a villain redeemed in Kylo Ren (or, more appropriately, Ben Solo). They saw old heroes like Lando Calrissian, Leia Organa, Luke Skywalker, and Chewbacca get one more moment in the spotlight. And they saw new beloved characters like Finn and Poe Dameron get a nice showcase as well.
One thing that confused some fans, however, was the opening scene of the film. Here’s why it left people scratching their heads.
The plot of ‘The Rise of Skywalker’
At the outset of The Rise of Skywalker, our heroes (and even our villain, Kylo Ren) are dealing with the fact that Emperor Palpatine has returned. Palpatine was one of the main villains of the Star Wars original and prequel trilogies.
Through forces that are left largely unexplained, he returns and reveals himself to be the puppet master behind the rise of the First Order. It’s later revealed Rey is his granddaughter, and his plan is to lure her to him so she can strike him down, absorb his essence, and lead the Sith.
The goal of the characters is to find Palpatine. Rey is looking to get to him to bring him down, while Kylo Ren wants to bring Rey to him so they can both take him down and rule the galaxy together.
In the end, Kylo Ren disavows his evil identity and Ben Solo returns to the light. Rey finds Palpatine, and with help from Ben and many of the Jedi from the past, destroys him and the Sith once and for all.
Sounds simple enough, right? Well, not everyone thought so. There was one scene in particular that confused many Star Wars fans.
The confusing opening scene of ‘The Rise of Skywalker’
Star Wars films are known for their iconic opening scenes in space. Each one of the nine Skywalker films opens by focusing on a starship. In this film, we open on Kylo Ren’s ship before moving to a planet where Ren and stormtroopers are fighting against an unnamed army.
He eventually claims what turns out to be a “Sith wayfinder” that will lead him to the Emperor.
A Reddit thread dedicated to discussing this scene revealed that many fans didn’t quite understand where Ren was. One poster summarized their confusion:
“I honestly find all the intro scenes across the saga incredible in their own way . . . except this one. It’s just a frustratingly uncomfortable watch. You can tell there’s something awesome there too, which makes it even more irritating.”
Other fans in the thread point out the fact that Ren is on Mustafar, which is the planet where Darth Vader battled Obi-Wan Kenobi and became Darth Vader. It’s also where his castle was located. Ren claims the wayfinder from among Vader’s possessions.
Why ‘Star Wars’ fans were frustrated by the opening scene
This scene is likely frustrating for Star Wars fans for two reasons:
- As noted above, it’s confusing.
- It also seems like JJ Abrams left an opportunity for an even better scene on the table. For Kylo Ren to be in his grandfather’s castle and to not look around or attempt to communicate with him in any way is a missed opportunity.
It’s not surprising fans would disagree with this narrative decision. Not only do they not entirely understand where they are, but they also didn’t get to see any indication that Darth Vader had been there.
One thing the sequel trilogy was missing was a stronger connection to Darth Vader. Having Kylo Ren see a vision of his grandfather to provide exposition would have reintroduced a classic character in a way that made sense.