We are inching ever closer to the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in theatres around the world and everyone is surely excited to catch the final instalment of the Skywalker saga, to see how a story that spanned more than four decades is finally ending.
But before you rush to catch the final episode of the Skywalker saga, you might want to refresh your memory on the events that have happened in the eight episodes that are already released, as well as brush up on some general knowledge of the Star Wars franchise just so you aren’t too lost when talking to other Star Wars fans about the series.
Before we dive in, do note that spoilers are abound in this article so do thread with caution if you do not wish to be spoiled. Though if you have clicked into this article, we presume you already know to expect spoilers for all eight movies.
#1. There are three Star Wars trilogies revolving around the Skywalker family – Prequel, Original and Sequel.
The Original Trilogy started in 1977 with Star Wars: A New Hope and introduced the characters Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, and Han Solo to audiences everywhere. It was followed up with The Empire Strikes Back in 1980 before ending with Return of The Jedi in 1983. Throughout the three films, fans follow Luke and gang as they sought to rebel against the Galactic Empire and bring balance back to the force. They ultimately succeeded with Luke successfully bringing his father Anakin Skywalker back from the dark side.
Despite the ending of the original trilogy, now considered to be one of the most iconic in Hollywood, Star Wars fever continued to be an all-time high even by the 90s so George Lucas produced and directed the Prequel Trilogy that gave fans a better understanding on Darth Vader’s upbringing and how he went from a Jedi of the Force to the main antagonist in the Original Trilogy, fighting staunchly for the Dark Side.
A whole decade after Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith was released, fans welcomed a new addition to the Star Wars pantheon of movies, The Force Awakens which introduced us to a whole new trio consisting of Rey, Poe and Finn. We were also reunited with beloved characters such as Han Solo, Leia Organa, and in The Last Jedi we finally got to see Luke Skywalker once again. Despite taking down the Galactic Empire in Episode Six, a new fascist federation has emerged in the First Order and it is up to our protagonists to try and take it down.
#2. Of the three main characters in the Original Trilogy, Leia Organa Solo (Carrie Fisher) is the only one still alive. But actress Carrie Fisher is the first of the three actors behind those characters to have passed.
The Force Awakens saw the death of Han Solo, marking the passing of one-third of the main trio from the Original Trilogy. Next to go was Luke Skywalker after his battle with Kylo Ren in The Last Jedi, leaving Leia Organa Solo as the sole surviving member of the original trio.
Sadly, of the three main actors, Carrie Fisher was the first to have passed away on December 27, 2016, from a massive heart attack whilst on a flight from London to Los Angeles. Despite her untimely passing, Leia Organa will still be making an appearance in The Rise of Skywalker as J.J. Abrams has used footage taken of Carrie Fisher from The Last Jedi and skillfully added it into the final episode.
Even Fisher’s own brother, Todd Fisher was impressed with what J.J. Abrams did, “They had eight minutes of footage. They grabbed every frame and analyzed it… and then reverse-engineered it and got it into the story the right way. It’s kind of magical.”
#3. The Sith Are Bad and the Jedi Are Good.
One of the main overarching themes in all the three Star Wars trilogies is the battle between good and evil, more specifically between the Jedis and Siths. But who exactly are they?
The Siths are a group of Force-sensitives who have decided to draw their powers from the dark side of the Force, meaning they get power from raw emotions and feelings such as anger, hate, greed, and jealousy. Whereas the Jedis are Force-sensitives who have decided to draw their powers from the light side of the Force, with feelings such as honesty, compassion, self-sacrifice, amongst other positive emotions. Famous Siths includes Darth Vader and his master, Darth Sidious, while popular Jedis in the series includes Luke Skywalker, and Yoda.
#4. The Prequel Trilogy isn’t very good. The Original Trilogy is very good. The verdict is still out for the Sequel Trilogy.
George Lucas’ Original Star Wars Trilogy has long been regarded by many to be a cinematic masterpiece, with the three films scoring an average of 89% Certified Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Unfortunately, its subsequent Prequel Trilogy was not as well-received, scoring only an average of 66% on Rotten Tomatoes. Several reviewers have pointed to the stilted acting (“I don’t like sand.” Anyone?) and awkward attempts at mirroring then-contemporary politics which led to the Prequel Trilogy’s low rating.
The jury is still out on how well the Sequel Trilogy will perform, with The Force Awakens scoring an impressive 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, earning it a Certified Fresh rating while The Last Jedi has 91%. Despite its high rating, many have blasted The Last Jedi for director Rian Johnson’s decision to abandon several plot points that J.J. Abrams has set up in The Force Awakens.
#5. Anakin Skywalker was the hero of the Prequel Trilogy until the final moments of the last movie in the trilogy when he became Darth Vader. Darth Vader aka Anakin Skywalker was the villain of the Original Trilogy until the final moments of the last movie in the trilogy. Can we expect the same path for a Skywalker in the Sequel Trilogy?
One of the most heartwarming moments in the Original Trilogy was when Darth Vader aka Anakin Skywalker was finally redeemed by his son, Luke Skywalker’s love and faith in him. The scene ultimately culminated in him forfeiting his life to kill Darth Sidious and save his son.
Meanwhile, in the Prequel Trilogy, we were made witness to Anakin’s life growing up, which included his growing relationship with Padme Amidala as well as his journey as a Jedi warrior and subsequent descent into the dark side. Whereas the final moments with Darth Vader in Return of The Jedi were heartwarming, the final battle between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin on the burning hot planet Mustafar was heart-wrenching and brutal as we saw Obi-Wan begging Anakin not to attack him. The battle ultimately ended with Anakin’s, or Vader as he is already known by, body bursting into flames as he was left to die by a remorseful Obi-Wan.
Whether a similar story arch will happen to a Skywalker in the Sequel Trilogy remains to be seen. Though, as it stands, the most likely candidate for such an event to happen is Kylo Ren, who has the blood of the Skywalker family in him thanks to his mom, Leia Organa.
#6. This is the final Star Wars film about the Skywalker family. Subsequent movies will not focus on this family.
Episode 9 is indeed the definitive ending to the Skywalker saga, as Lucasfilm has reiterated many times over. Perhaps after spending decades with the Skywalkers, it is time to finally let them go and move on to other characters in the Star Wars universe. Marvel Chief Creative Officer Kevin Feige has also expressed his interest in visiting new worlds and characters with his upcoming Star Wars film.
#7. Han Solo and Leia Skywalker/Organa are the parents of Ben Solo aka Kylo Ren. Kylo killed Han.
Though they had a fairly rocky relationship at the start, with each of them disliking the other for their own reasons, Han and Leia eventually fell in love with each other and got married sometime after the Battle of Endor in Return of The Jedi. Soon after that, the pair had a son they named Ben Solo, who ended up falling to the dark side and taking up the name Kylo Ren. Stricken by grief, Han and Leia separated to mourn the loss of their son in their own way. It’ll be years later, in the events of The Force Awakens, before the pair finally reunites, only for Han to be killed by Kylo Ren not long later.
#8. No one knows whose Rey’s parents are, yet, but fans will kill to find out.
The identity of Rey’s parents are a big mystery in the Sequel Trilogy, with them first being introduced in The Force Awakens, after Rey gets a vision of them abandoning her on Jakku before riding away as she cries out for them to take her with them. The mystery got a rather underwhelming answer in The Last Jedi when Rey revealed that her parents were simply “filthy junk traders” who sold her off for money. Understandably, the reveal got a lot of flak from fans though director J.J. Abrams has teased the possibility of him doing a retcon on Rey’s parentage and possibly giving the fandom a better answer on who exactly Rey’s parents are.
#9. Palpatine aka Darth Sidious was an evil person pretending to be good in the Prequel Trilogy. He was pretending to be dead in the Sequel Trilogy.
Senator Sheev Palpatine’s slow rise to power was chronicled throughout the Prequel Trilogy where he started out as Senator for the Galactic Senate, before being elected into the office as Supreme Chancellor, and finally ruled as Galactic Emperor by the end of the Prequel Trilogy. He is a master manipulator and made sure to wear a grandfatherly facade, successfully luring young Anakin Skywalker to the dark side.
Many thought he was dead by the end of Return of The Jedi, when Anakin Skywalker threw him off a ledge into the reactor shaft of the Death Star but in the latest trailer for Rise of the Skywalker, his laughter could be heard echoing in the background, leading many to believe that Palpatine aka Darth Sidious is still very much alive.
#10. Luke Skywalker kissed Leia Skywalker/Organa twice before they found out they were siblings.
It is common knowledge to every Star Wars fans that Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa are estranged siblings, twins separated shortly after they were born and raised in totally different households. Neither of them (both the actors and characters) knew that they were related when they first met and they still did not know when Leia gave Luke not just one kiss, but two, in Empire Strikes Back.
It was only revealed in Return of The Jedi that the pair are indeed related and though it has taken years, in 2016, Mark Hamill has finally responded to a tweet explaining that the whole experience turned out to be extremely traumatic to poor Luke.
There you have it, ten things to know before you rush to catch The Rise of Skywalker. Are you familiar with these ten points already? If you are then good for you, you are definitely more than ready to catch Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker when it releases in theatres on December 19, 2020.
Germaine is a fun-sized introvert who loves nothing better than sleeping in on rainy days. She can be found reading fanfiction and manga while still waiting for her Hogwarts acceptance letter. It’ll come eventually.