The latest ‘Star Wars’ movie, The Rise of Skywalker, is worth a watch if you’re a committed fan interested in staying up to date with the franchise. Otherwise, all you’re missing is a movie unsure of what it’s supposed to do, and ends up doing too many things as a result.
MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD
One thing I found notable was Rey’s identity as Emperor Palpatine’s granddaughter. Viewers had expressed some consternation when the film’s trailer was released in April this year because it seemed to suggest Rey was a descendant of the Skywalker line. To quote from an older post:
… if she turns out to be the new Skywalker, then the franchise’s writers will finally have completed their betrayal of the infinite purpose of the fantasy genre itself. They will have been utterly lazy – if not guilty of a form of creative manslaughter – if Rey turns out to be biologically related to the Skywalkers, broadcasting the message that either you’re royalty or you’re not, much like the Gandhis themselves have.
In The Rise of Skywalker, Rey turns out to be a Palpatine but identifies as a Skywalker as a token of her allegiance to the Resistance. But this isn’t very far from Rey simply being yet another Skywalker because the franchise is still seemingly preoccupied with two important families: the Skywalkers and the Palpatines. Instead of persisting with one dynasty or, better yet, abolishing the franchise’s obsession with inheritances altogether, the film’s writers have simply created another dynasty.
Perhaps the only solace is that with the end of this trilogy of trilogies have gone all of the last biological remnants of the two lines, so whatever new production starts from this point – whether a TV show or yet another film – will have a great opportunity to take the franchise in a new direction.