The Bones of Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker

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The Bones of Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker

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We’ve finally arrived at the conclusion of the Skywalker Saga!

Considering the rocky road we’ve been down, I’m pleased the movies got this far.

Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker

If you missed any of the previous installments of Good Bones, you can find them here:
Episode I
Episode II
Episode III
Episode IV
Episode V
Episode VI
Episode VII
Episode VIII

Let’s get to it!

Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker

Click HERE to see my initial review of the film.

In a nutshell, I enjoyed this film, but it was forced to cover too much ground to undo the dumb things that happened in Episode 8.

The Bones:
Reveal the big bad.
Resolve the conflict between Rey and Kylo.
Have the good guys win.
If this is the Skywalker Saga, which Skywalker is Rising?
Is there balance in the Force?

Reveal the Big Bad

This happened in the first trailer for the movie, long before it came out. Palpatine’s laughter clearly echoed in the background. Somehow Darth Sidious is still around.

Personally, I think they did this so the fans wouldn’t think the filmmakers were trying to shoehorn in a new big bad.

After watching the entire series from start to finish again, I have to say that it wasn’t a terrible choice. Palpatine (Sidious’ clone) had been meddling since Episode I. Why not have the real Sith Lord manipulating things for longer than that?

After killing Snoke in Episode 8, I wasn’t sure what they’d do. It’s hard to say if this was their plan from the beginning of the sequels. If so, they could have given us a few clues throughout episodes 7 and 8. If not, where were they going with the big bad?

Resolve the Conflict Between Rey and Kylo

These two looked like they were heading straight for the typical light side vs. dark side conflict. I’m pleasantly surprised to say that wasn’t the case.

Rey
Kylo spills the beans (again) on Rey’s heritage, this time revealing that she’s a Palpatine. Naturally this hits Rey hard, especially after she rips a ship apart when she loses control and thinks she’s killed Chewie.

Kylo asks her to stay be his side and together kill the Emperor, er, Sidious. Like Luke before her, she refuses, and jumps.

Even through her little excursion through Palpatine’s chambers on the Death Star, Rey never really wavers. She sticks to her guns, so to speak, and makes it her goal to help Kylo see he’s better as Ben Solo.

Kylo
Between Rey and his mother, Leia, Kylo doesn’t have a chance.

Okay, he chooses to turn from his dark ways, but the people in his life are very…persuasive. I loved seeing Han again, even just for a second.

Kylo and Rey finally have it out on the remains of the Death Star, and Rey prevails, stabbing Kylo!

But wait, Leia uses that last of her life force to send her son one last push to come back to the light. Leia had been training Rey, so Rey feels the woman’s death as well.

In that moment of pain, Rey comforts Kylo, and heals his wounds, basically bringing him back from the dead. Kylo gets a ghost visit from his father, and finally decides to turn away from the whisperings of Sidious and once again be Ben Solo. (Did anyone else notice that Rey healed his scar?)

I am not going to lie to you, the scene when Ben comes to Rey’s rescue on Palpatine’s planet may be one of my favorite Star Wars scenes ever.

The bonding between the two force users was sometimes clumsy, but it was there. Him running recklessly in to help her is what Star Wars, and heroes, and friendship is all about.

I didn’t love Kylo’s end. I found him easily the most interesting character in this film, and was sad they gave him the easy way out. I’m a jerk. I know it.

Who is the big bad guy?
Can Rey defeat Kylo and the big bad guy? Even if she’s “no one?”

Have the Good Guys Win

Of course the good guys are going to win. This is Star Wars, for crying out loud! And the third film in the trilogy, to be exact.

Poe, Finn, and Chewie spend a lot of time running around the galaxy trying to keep this film moving. And it moves. Much to fast in some places, but that’s the product of having to not only pack so much in, but also fixing the mistakes of the past.

Lando is a pleasant addition to the finale.

The battle over the Sith planet is impressive. I thought the horse-things on the hull of the Star Destroyers was a bit much, but it did look cool. I loved the new characters, and hope to see them again soon.

Episode 8 left the rebels with no friends. Episode 9 brings them all back and then some.

For me this is actually a plot hole. Their arrival is timely, and awesome, but as a watcher, I had no idea people would come. Why would they? We have no indication that anyone supports Leia or the rebellion.

Sidious’ force lightning attack on the fleet was amazing! My inner fan girl squeed, and my writing brain said, “good show of just how much more powerful he is than anyone else.”

In the end the rebels finally get the control tower (why did they need the horses for that again?) and Rey bests Sidious. Not without sacrifice on all fronts.

If this is the Skywalker Saga, which Skywalker is Rising?

Uh, Rey adopts herself into the Skywalker family at the end. So it could be her. It could also be Ben, because he’s a Skywalker too.

I actually feel like the name doesn’t connect well to the movie, but that’s probably just me.

Is there balance in the Force?

This is the question they presented to us way back in Episode 1. The force is out of balance. Why?

I don’t think they actually addressed this in the film, but I could speculate that Sidious had been keeping things out of balance by being alive for so long and pulling so many strings. However, Rey is still around, and her powers seem to go both ways, so who knows?

As usual, I think this is the biggest thing they left hanging.

Maybe it’s in the comics.

As far as bones go, this film had more to do with covering the old bones than making new ones. Which works for the end of a nine film saga. I’m still disappointed that the final Star Wars film had to shoehorn in so much stuff, but they did a decent job.

I might have to watch this one again soon.

What about you? Did you like the end to the Skywalker Saga?


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