‘The Rise of Skywalker’ Flying Stormtrooper Line Doesn’t Make Sense If You Watched ‘The Clone Wars’

The Rise of Skywalker wasn’t unanimously liked by all Star Wars fans, but that’s to be expected with a finale (of sorts) for a massive franchise. In writing the movie, J.J. Abrams and Chris Terrio tried to callback to a lot of aspects from previous movies, which is part of the reason they brought Palpatine back. But a small line in the movie about Stormtroopers actually overlooks a major Clone trooper feature shown in the animated series The Clone Wars. And everyone’s favorite ex-Stormtrooper, John Boyega, called it out during the press tour too. 

Clone troopers pose at the premiere of 'Star Wars: The Clone Wars' on August 10, 2008.
Clone troopers pose at the premiere of ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ on August 10, 2008 | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

‘The Rise of Skywalker’ had a line about flying Stormtroopers, but it’s not the first time we’ve seen them 

Rey, Poe, Finn, and Chewbacca venture to a desert planet called Pasaana in an effort to find the planet, Exegol. They come during the Festival of the Ancestors and it’s a pretty lighthearted moment in the movie at first. However, the First Order does track them there and a fight ensues.

During this scene, the gang encounters Stormtroopers in a heated vehicle chase. And to make matters worse, the Stormtroopers have jetpacks and start soaring high above Rey, Poe, and Finn. Incredulously, C-3PO, Finn, and Poe all shout, “They fly now?!” It’s kind of funny until you remember that these characters should really know they fly now since they’ve been flying since the Clone Wars. 

While flying Stormtroopers aren’t seen often, they have a long history in Star Wars. From the 2002 series Clone Wars to the longer-lived 2008 series The Clone Wars, Clone troopers have had the ability to fly with jetpacks. In the 2008 feature film that started The Clone Wars, Anakin leads his 501st Legion troopers on a mission on Christophsis and his squad has jetpacks. 

The Clones don’t just get their genetic makeup from Jango Fett, but also his Mandalorian armor. And as we’ve seen in The Mandalorian, The Clone Wars, and Star Wars Rebels, jetpacks are a privilege for their people. While Jango Fett didn’t prescribe to the typical Mandalorian way of life, his armor had a jetpack. His son, Boba, also has a jetpack later on too. 

John Boyega proved he knew his stuff when he called out the line

In an interview with POPSUGAR, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, and Keri Russel answer questions while playing Star Wars Pictionary. Boyega gets a question about how the Stormtroopers can fly now, and he and Isaac make fun of the line a little bit. 

Boyega jokingly said, “He forgot, he forgot,” referring to Finn who should have known they fly because he was a Stormtrooper in The Force Awakens. Isaac tries to make sense of it a little, saying, “What if that was the first time they used them?” To which Boyega said, “They were using them since the Clone Wars.” 

Fans applauded him as a ‘true fan’ and called the bad writing 

Boyega and Isaac both pointed out some flaws with this line, and the biggest is the fact that trooper jetpacks aren’t new by any means. And fans on YouTube and on Reddit dubbed Boyega a “true fan” because of it. Reddit user u/rimmhardigan wrote, “He said that in the same way you talk about having an argument with your dad about politics. He was embarrassed he had to point that out. John Boyega is one of us.” And user u/EZesquire called him an “actual fan,” among many others praising his comments. 

User r/Genus-God took it a bit further, sharing how they felt “really bad” for Boyega, who was clearly a fan beforehand and had to go through on and off-screen obstacles like either faulty writing or abusive fans. Boyega had some fun on social media after his time with Star Wars ended, but it’s hard to tell how he actually feels about the writing in the movie. But, it’s probably safe to say that this “Stormtroopers can fly now” line isn’t one of his favorites.