Now that Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has been released, we break down what the finale of the third trilogy did right, and where it went wrong.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker concludes the third trilogy with a fun-filled adventure, but the end of the Skywalker saga has already divided fans. The film is far from perfect, but that doesn’t mean it has nothing going for it. Some would argue the positives outweigh the negatives, but, depending on your social media algorithm, you may see that the overwhelming consensus seems to be the opposite.
The film strives to rectify the problems of Star Wars: The Last Jedi while progressing the story of the main leads. Since there are opinions flying across hyperspace, this is a good time to take a step back and break down where the film succeeded and how it failed.
Here is the best and worst of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Be warned, there are spoilers ahead.
Best: Leia’s Legacy
Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia has been an icon for generations of female fans. Many were concerned that Fisher’s premature death would mean that Leia would not feature in The Rise of Skywalker, but her family gave the creators permission to employ unused footage for the film. This meant that Leia had the chance to become Rey’s Jedi mentor – Rey even refers to her as “Master”, thereby giving Leia one of the highest titles in the Jedi Order. It isn’t Leia’s Jedi training – that fans weren’t aware of going into this film – which makes her an ideal mentor. Her leadership and charisma imbue an unwavering faith in Rey, enough for her to eventually overcome the odds and save the galaxy. Better still, Leia even left Rey her personal lightsaber, which Rey uses to fight the Emperor. Despite her curtailed screen time, Leia’s presence looms large over the entire film.
Worst: Leia’s Death
The new trilogy would end the stories of the original Star Wars leads. We all knew that. Unlike The Last Jedi, in which Luke Skywalker’s character arc took precedence over that of the new characters’, Han Solo and Leia’s stories were catalysts to propel the plot. It’s understandable that the creators had to scramble to put together Leia’s story, but she deserved better than to die for her son, Kylo Ren. We once again see a female character give up her life for a male character she loves – it’s meant to be the end of a cycle since Leia’s mother, Padmé, gave up her will to live because she didn’t want to live without Anakin. Though Leia died giving her apprentice the chance to kill her son, because he was irredeemable, a general and an icon like Leia deserved to go out with a bang.