Warning: Includes spoilers, DUH.
With the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, it’s time to face the music. The Skywalker saga is over.
While a number of fans are split as to whether they love or hate it, or are just downright impartial to the last episode, we’ve got to give J.J. some credit for a couple of scenes that made The Rise of Skywalker possibly one of the best things ever.
#1. Reylo is REAL
Fans of Reylo can rejoice because this couple is now canon. The two have shown such an affinity towards each other over the past few films, it was only a matter of time that they’d fall in love or show their affection towards each other. In The Rise Of Skywalker, they were always looking for each other – Rey wanted to pull Kylo into the Light side whereas Kylo wanted to rule side by side with Rey. Their intentions were different obviously, but it’s clear that they choose to not exist without the other by their side. We’re happy that Reylo fans finally got what they wanted. It was one kiss, but it was enough for us to leave the theatres happy.
#2. Babu Frik
Step aside BB-8. Star Wars is really hitting us with cute characters these days. First, we had Baby Yoda from The Mandalorian. Now, we have Babu Frik of Kijimi. He is seriously the cutest of all the newly introduced characters in the film and fans are obsessed. They’re asking for merchandise and a Disney+ series of the adorable bean.
#3. Chewie (finally) gets a medal
Remember the Battle of Yavin in A New Hope? Remember how Leia presented Luke and Han a medal but not Chewie, even though he was piloting the Falcon with Han. Yeah, it was quite a controversy back then. Fans were upset that Chewie didn’t get the same kind of treatment and appreciation as Han and Luke even though he did most of the work. It’s inequality and maybe even speciesism within the Rebel Alliance.
In a statement, George Lucas said it was because medals don’t really mean much to Wookies and that they had their own celebrations for Chewie. Other explanations include it being physically impossible for Carrie Fisher to present the medal over someone so tall. Chewie, however, did receive a medal in the comics and in this final episode. We don’t know about you, but he seemed incredibly happy to receive the medal. And we’re glad he finally got the medal he deserved.
#4. Goodbye to Leia
Carrie Fisher’s death was hard on all of us. We can only imagine the struggles the producers had to give proper tribute to her beloved character in the last film. It truly is miraculous that all of Fisher’s unused clips from The Force Awakens worked perfectly for The Rise of Skywalker. Leia’s death in the film was expected but we’re happy that she left in such a beautiful way. Leia died saving and helping her son, inevitably saving a huge chunk of the galaxy too. When Chewie howled in pain and fell to the floor upon learning her death, we felt it in our hearts.
#5. Leia the Jedi Master
Leia was one of the fiercest characters to come out of the Star Wars franchise. She was a feminist icon – smart, rebellious and brave. In The Rise of Skywalker, we learnt that Leia had trained to be Jedi with a Luke in her earlier days. This just proves what an incredible and formidable woman she was, and we’re in love.
#6. Return of Lando
Lando Calrissian is a gambler, con artist, playboy and the original owner of the Millennium Falcon. He joined the Rebel Alliance and became a selfless leader in the fight against the Empire. The last we saw him was in Return of the Jedi, so his comeback was a wonderful surprise. He was key in getting people to come and fight during the Battle of Exegol and the destruction of The Final Order. Seeing him back in the Millennium Falcon, flying with a smile on his face side by side with Chewie, really was a heartwarming scene.
#7. Palpatine Lives
Look if you were nose deep in theories, Palpatine being back wouldn’t have been a shock to you. But for fans who choose to live under a rock, diligently stayed away from reading theories and even avoided watching the film’s trailer, Palpatine cheating death would have been wild. And do you know what’s even crazier? Palpatine surviving the fall so that he could later possess his granddaughter’s body. That’s right, the body of Rey Palpatine.
#8. Redemption of Ben Solo
Kylo Ren and Darth Vader have similar story arcs. They were both tempted by the Dark side, succumbed to it and went for redemption. But Ben Solo’s redemption is arguably far much better and more interesting. Ben’s redemption comes in multiple stages. Firstly, the lightsaber duel with Rey on the Death Star wreckage where Kylo literally meets an end by getting stabbed in the stomach before Rey comes in to heal and save Ben. Secondly, Leia using the Force to call out for her son one last time. Thirdly, the memory of Han trying to turn his son over to the light side before his death.
Finally, when Ben sacrificed the rest of his life so that Rey could live. It was an ultimate redemption and when his body disappears to be one with the Force, we’re heartened to know that Ben died as a hero.
#9. Rey, Finn and Poe go on an adventure
This is the first time the trio go on an adventure and share the screen together. This has never happened in the previous films so badly needed to happen in The Rise of Skywalker. Heck, it was even the trio’s favourite part about the movie, as said in this interview we had with them. The chemistry between the three is undeniable and it got us wishing that we ourselves have a group of friends as loving and supportive and Rey, Finn and Poe.
#10. The Battle of Exegol
The battle that ends all battles, the battle that ended The Final Order, the battle that ended all the Siths before it, and ensured no more after it. It was incredibly epic. Imagine Avengers: Endgame but in space. Boom. Mic-drop.
Bonus! #11. Parallels and Nostalgia
This is The Rise of Skywalker’s strongest suit. The movie had its own narrative and storyline to pursue, but it still managed to include bits of pieces that paralleled the previous films (without copying it).
We’re talking Kylo Ren force-choking someone during a First Order boardroom meeting like his grandfather Darth Vader, Lando spurting out the famed line “I’ve got a bad feeling about this”, Han responding “I know” to Ben as he did to Leia when she confessed that she loved him, Rey and Kylo’s lightsaber duel on the wreckage of the Death Star surrounded by water giving us major flashbacks to Anakin’s and Obi-Wan’s duel on Mustafar and last but not least, ending the saga in full circle by having Rey return to the place where the whole saga started – Tattooine.
The nostalgia is real and we have to admit, we truly appreciate it.
There you have it, 10 (or should we say 11) best things about The Rise of Skywalker. Yes, we know, Star Wars fans are the hardest bunch of fans to please, but whether you think the movie sucked or was incredibly surreal, these 11 awesome things should put you at ease.