With Rey Skywalker’s future past Episode IX still a mystery three years after the film, The Rise of Skywalker’s title has yet to make sense.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’s title has a nice ring to it, but it does not make sense considering Episode IX’s story. The final movie in the Skywalker Saga, The Rise of Skywalker was promoted as the end of not only the sequel trilogy but of the main Star Wars story as a whole. However, more than three years after The Rise of Skywalker, Star Wars has yet to return to the big screen, suggesting that moving on from the Skywalker’s will not be easy.
Lucasfilm had already confirmed that Episode IX would be the end of the Skywalker Saga by the time The Rise of Skywalker’s title was announced. Though the title seemingly contradicted Episode IX being the end of the Skywalker Saga, there were multiple ways “The Rise of Skywalker” could be interpreted. However, not only did Episode IX fail in wrapping up the three Star Wars trilogies, but it also made The Rise of Skywalker’s title meaningless.
The Rise Of Skywalker’s Title Doesn’t Work
The Rise of Skywalker’s title does not work no matter how it is interpreted. Star Wars movie titles tend to have two or even more meanings, such as Return of the Jedi referring to Luke’s return to the big screen but also to Darth Vader’s redemption. Likewise, when Episode IX’s title was announced, there were many interpretations of what The Rise of Skywalker truly meant. Was it about Luke’s return as a Force ghost? Was it about Kylo Ren finding redemption as Ben Solo? Or could it have to do with the Skywalker legacy as a whole? All valuable interpretations, yet none of those The Rise of Skywalker meanings truly worked.
Emperor Palpatine, the Skywalkers’ original enemy, returned. Still, there was no “Rise of Skywalker” whatsoever. Luke Skywalker’s role in the film was limited to a Force ghost scene that was almost entirely focused on repurposing Luke’s actions in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Leia’s role, unfortunately, was also very limited, and Kylo Ren never really worked as the Skywalker legacy given his complicated history with Luke and Leia. The only interpretation of The Rise of Skywalker that Episode IX really pays off is Rey’s decision to take on the Skywalker name at the very end of the movie, which is just not enough to justify the title.
“The Rise Of Skywalker” Is An Insult To Rey (& The Skywalkers)
Having Rey take on the Skywalker name after both Star Wars: The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi showed that Rey could create her own future and not depend on other legacy Star Wars characters was already a controversial decision by itself. In hindsight “The Rise of Rey” would have been a more accurate title for Episode IX, though having “Skywalker” in the title can obviously be a much bigger box office draw. The Rise of Skywalker’s title and ending also suggests that “Skywalker” is now a title for future Jedi, which sort of contradicts the idea that Episode IX was the end of the Skywalker saga.
It seems like The Rise of Skywalker wasn’t sure whether it should really end the Skywalker legacy once and for all or if it should tease the next generation of Skywalker heroes. From the marketing campaign to Rey’s ending, The Rise of Skywalker’s message was just inconsistent. The entire Skywalker family was dead by the end of Episode IX, which makes The Rise of Skywalker‘s title even stranger. At the same time, Star Wars did not really move on from the Skywalker Saga as Rey, the franchise’s current main hero, is now a Skywalker. Curiously, Rey didn’t even spend that much time with the Skywalkers except for her training with Leia.
The Rise Of Skywalker’s Title Doesn’t Work For Ben Solo Either
Given that Luke and Leia were supporting characters in The Rise of Skywalker, plus how Rey only takes on the Skywalker name at the end of the film, The Rise of Skywalker’s title can be seen as a reference to Ben Solo’s redemption. However, an argument can be made that Kylo Ren was not fully redeemed by the end of The Rise of Skywalker. Just like with Darth Vader, Ben Solo died before dealing with the consequences of his actions. Also, despite being Leia’s son, Kylo Ren was never referred to as a Skywalker, he was always Ben “Solo.”
Ben Solo could also be perceived as the Skywalker legacy, as he was Anakin Skywalker’s only grandchild. However, that makes The Rise of Skywalker’s title even worse as Ben Solo dies right after coming back from the dark side. Had Ben Solo survived The Rise of Skywalker, then his future redemption would have paid off the film’s title. The unceremonious death of Kylo Ren, the last remaining Skywalker, reveals how disconnected The Rise of Skywalker’s title is from the story it was trying to tell. With Rey Skywalker’s story past Episode IX still a mystery, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’s title still doesn’t make sense.