Considering that The Rise of Skywalker is supposed to close off the Star Wars saga, expectations and pressure are both pretty high for the film. To be successful, it must accomplish more than the average film. I have comprised a checklist for what I hope to occur during the movie. Now, making checklists for movies can be a slippery slope because these kinds of expectations can lead to grand disappointment. This is largely the reason so many were disappointed with The Last Jedi, there were so many fan theories that didn’t come true that fans were left feeling unfulfilled. This is why my checklist will not deal with specifics, it will instead be general and how it pans out could occur in many different ways. Most will surround the idea of bringing closure to the story. They will also be ranked from least to greatest in terms of importance. After the movie comes out, I will revisit this checklist to see how it did!
7. NO PLANET KILLERS
I was already disappointed enough that Starkiller Base was introduced in The Force Awakens, so I hope there is no planet killer in The Rise of Skywalker. It’s been overplayed and creatively just doesn’t excite anyone anymore. That being said, it still does make some sense for the First Order or The Empire to rehash old plans. The trailer even hinted at this with a planet exploding, so I do expect a planet killer, but I just hope that it is not a main part of the plot as it has been in the past. It should instead just be a minor point in the film, if so, I will be satisfied.
6. An Awesome Lightsaber Duel
An awesome lightsaber duel is what the Sequel Trilogy is gravely lacking. In The Force Awakens, the duel consisted of both Finn and Rey who were both highly inexperienced. While I did enjoy Kylo toying with Finn, it was hardly a fight. The duel between Kylo and Rey is the best of the sequel trilogy, but it lacks the flair that the Prequel duels had to offer. You may be thinking that the throne room fight in The Last Jedi was pretty sick, but it was not a duel between two beings with lightsabers, so I am not counting it. In The Rise of Skywalker, I am hoping for a fight on par with Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan/Maul and Obi-Wan/Anakin. These are high expectations, but I think it is possible, especially considering that they are supposedly using lighter swords to film with to increase the intensity of the fight. So, an awesome duel is something I hope happens, but admittedly it does not have much to do with applying closure to the story. So, it is one of the things I want to happen most, but I don’t rank it high because there are more important concepts regarding the story.
Would it really be a The Rise of Skywalker article if Anakin was not addressed? I will not go into much detail here because other articles have already done it, but I do think that Anakin must at least be addressed in this movie. While it is likely to be through him as a force ghost, I would even be content if he was at least mentioned in a critical way. I’ll leave how Anakin is presented up to the writers and directors, but to provide closure for the entire saga the character featured in the first six movies should be mentioned in the finale.
4. 20-Minute Wrap-Up
Ok, this one is general and definitely aims towards closure of almost any kind. What I mean by a 20-minute wrap-up is after the climactic parts of the movie ends, I want about 20 minutes of screen time devoted to wrapping up loose ends of the story and firmly applying closure to the story. For a great example of this, I turn to Avengers: Endgame. The end of the movie was devoted to Iron Man’s funeral, Captain America, and returning the infinity stones. These parts of the story required time on screen to wrap up the story and the result made the viewer feel satisfied and it also answered many questions. I hope The Rise of Skywalker does something similar.
3. A Rebrand for the Jedi Order
There is some speculation that the title of Episode IX hints at a new order where instead of being called Jedi, new Knights will be called Skywalkers. I think this would be a great way to bring closure to the many mistakes the Jedi have made and give a reason for all the events that happened. This rebrand does not have to be as obvious changing their name, but I do believe there should be substantial changes to how the new Jedi operate. It should also be addressed because I believe a new Order must be established. We don’t need to see much into the future, just how Rey (I assume) will change how things are done.
2. Palpatine Must Reach Closure
Originally, I titled this section Palpatine Must be Defeated, but I would honestly be open to an ending where Palpatine wins (I understand this is a highly unpopular opinion). Regardless of whether Palpatine is victorious, his arch must come to a satisfying end. While it is likely that he is defeated, it must be obvious that he is not going to come back. In other words, we will probably have to see his dead body, definitely not being alive, for us to be certain he is really dead. There can’t be any bionic legs, clones, are anything else that can bring him back. If Palpatine is defeated, he’s got to stay that way, and we have to believe that. That being said, if the crazy happens and Palpatine wins there still must be closure. I just have no idea how that would happen, but I’m open to watching JJ Abrams try.
1. Balance Must Be Brought to the Force
The main end goal of the entire Star Wars saga is bringing balance to the force. Its emphasized as prophecy in the Prequels, supposedly occurs in the Original Trilogy, and the force again feels out of balance in the Sequel Trilogy. I don’t believe balance was ever brought to the force in the OT, but you can read more about that here. The point is that balance in the force has not yet been achieved. If balance is achieved, I want it to be obvious. I don’t want us to be debating whether there was balance in the force. Even if it takes Yoda cheesily saying “at balance the force is” for us to realize it happened, I will be happy with it. This is something I want the most in The Rise of Skywalker, but I actually don’t expect it happen. I’ll keep my fingers crossed and check back with this last after the film comes out!
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