This will contain spoilers for The Rise of Skywalker, as well as the animated series The Clone Wars and Rebels
The final act of The Rise of Skywalker gave us a wonderful moment as Rey heard the voices of a number of Jedi reaching out to her to help her fight and defeat Palpatine. While some of the voices were obvious to everyone, some were a little less familiar, but no less impactful. In this article, I will be having a quick look at who we hear and giving a quick synopsis of these characters.
For this, I will be splitting the characters into 3 groups: The Movie Heroes, The Series Expansions and The Series Heroes…
The Live Action Heroes
So these are basically the obvious voices that we know and love from having seen these characters play significant roles in the live-action movies.
Ewan McGregor and Sir Alec Guinness feature as Obi-Wan Kenobi (Sir Alec just saying the word “Rey”, which I imagine was done by cutting down his use of the word “afraid” from A New Hope, as done during Rey’s vision in The Force Awakens). We all know Obi-Wan’s story, his growth from padawan to Jedi Master, his close bond with Anakin and his duty to watch over and protect Luke Skywalker, before continuing to guide Luke following his death.
Hayden Christensen features as Anakin Skywalker. Again, we all know of Anakin’s rise from child slave to Jedi padawan and how his love for Padmé helped his seduction to the dark side, making him the feared Darth Vader, who after decades of terrorising the galaxy, managed to redeem himself by saving his son Luke and killing the Emperor, costing him his life.
Mark Hamill features as Luke Skywalker. The hero of the Original Trilogy, who we watched go from naïve moisture farmer on Tatooine to the future of the Jedi Order. Though things didn’t work out for him and Ben Solo’s turn to the dark side convinced him that it was time for the Jedi to end, he eventually realised that the galaxy needed the Jedi and gave them a symbol by sacrificing himself to project his image across the galaxy to distract the First Order while the Resistance escaped Crait. Luke later returned to his mentor role for Rey and convinced her not to exile herself after finding that she was Palpatine’s granddaughter.
Liam Neeson returns as Qui-Gon Jinn. Qui-Gon was the Jedi Master who took on Obi-Wan as his padawan and discovered Anakin Skywalker on Tatooine. Qui-Gon fell in combat facing Darth Maul during the Battle of Theed, but his previous investigations into the Force had helped him find the path to immortality through creating a Force ghost, an ability which he helped teach to Yoda and Obi-Wan.
Frank Oz returns as Yoda. The wise Jedi Master was one of the most esteemed members of the Jedi High Council by the time of the Clone Wars. One of the few to survive Order 66 and the Great Jedi Purge, Yoda went into exile on Dagobah, where years later he became the mentor for Luke Skywalker, before passing away. Years later, Yoda returned to Luke as a Force ghost when he was planning to being an end to the Jedi Order and helped Luke realise that his failure with Ben Solo did not mean that the Jedi should end.
Samuel L. Jackson returns as Mace Windu. The wise Jedi Master was one of the Jedi High Council during the Clone Wars. At the reveal that Palpatine was a Sith Lord, Windu and 3 other Jedi went to arrest him. Windu was the only one able to hold his own in combat with Darth Sidious and appeared to get the better of him, but Anakin Skywalker stopped him executing the Sith Lord, giving Palpatine the chance to shock him with Force lightning and throw him out of a window to his death.
The Series Expansions
These are characters who were introduced with minor roles within the live-action movies, but were expanded upon in The Clone Wars series.
Jennifer Hale voiced Aayla Secura, who she had voiced in the series. Secura appeared in Episode II and had a slightly larger role in Episode III, but it was The Clone Wars series that really expanded her character. Aayla was a Twi’lek Jedi who fought during the Clone Wars. She was one of the Jedi who accompanied Mace Windu to try rescuing Anakin, Obi-Wan and Padmé on Geonosis at the Petranaki arena, which became the start of the First Battle of Geonosis. She eventually met her end on Felucia when her clones turned on her after receiving Order 66 from Palpatine.
Olivia d’Abo voiced Luminara Unduli, who she had voiced in the series. Unduli featured fleetingly in Episode II and Episode III, but her character was greatly expanded in The Clone Wars series. A Mirialan Jedi Master and master of Barriss Offee, Unduli was also part of Mace Windu’s rescue team on Geonosis and also fought in a number of other battles during the Clone Wars. Rather than being killed by her clone troopers during Order 66, she was taken into custody, but later executed in the Spire on Stygeon Prime. Her remains were later used along with propaganda depicting her as still being alive (but a prisoner) as a trap to entice the Jedi Kanan Jarrus and Ezra Bridger to the Spire, where the Grand Inquisitor tried to capture them.
Angelique Perrin voiced Adi Gallia, who she voiced in the series. Gallia had previously appeared in Episode I and Episode II, though these appearances were limited. Gallia was a member of the Jedi High Council during both the Invasion of Naboo and the Clone Wars. During the Clone Wars, she was a member of Mace Windu’s rescue team on Geonosis, was involved in rescuing Eeth Koth from General Grievous. She accompanied Obi-Wan Kenobi to Florrum in the hunt for Darth Maul, but when the pair engaged Maul and his brother Savage Opress in combat, Opress was able to physically overpower her and kill her.
The Animated Heroes
These are the characters who were created for The Clone Wars (both the movie and the series) and Rebels. In both cases, the characters’ voices in The Rise of Skywalker were the first live-action movies to feature the characters in any way.
Freddie Prinze Jr. returned to voice Kanan Jarrus, who he voiced throughout Star Wars Rebels. Originally named Caleb Dume, he was the padawan to Depa Billaba until they were betrayed by their clones during Order 66. He escaped and turned away from the Force, taking the name Kanan Jarrus and performing dangerous work to fuel his drinking, but meeting Hera Syndulla helped turn him towards a more noble purpose. The pair led the Spectres, who became a rebel cell on Lothal and eventually a key part of Phoenix Squadron within the Rebellion, while Jarrus also became the master of Ezra Bridger. Jarrus defeated the Grand Inquisitor and also survived fights with Maul and Darth Vader, but he sacrificed himself on Lothal to allow his friends to escape Imperial forces.
The next section includes events that will likely be seen in the upcoming 7ᵗʰ season of The Clone Wars, so could be considered spoilers
Ashley Eckstein returns as Ahsoka Tano, who she voiced through The Clone Wars, Rebels and Forces of Destiny. Ahsoka was Anakin Skywalker’s padawan through much of the Clone Wars. Though young and reckless, she learned from Anakin, Obi-Wan, Plo Koon, Luminara, Aayla Secura and Yoda, as well as also getting some lessons from Padmé Amidala. She survived multiple encounters with General Grievous and Death Watch and though she was killed by the Son on Mortis, she was brought back by the Daughter as she passed away. After being framed for a terrorist incident at the Jedi Temple but having her innocence proved, Ahsoka chose to step away from the Jedi Order. She returned in some form to help lead Republic forces in the Siege of Mandalore, where she faced off with Darth Maul, but the betrayal of her clones during Order 66 led to him escaping. Ahsoka faked her death and went into hiding, but after just over a year she was found by Bail Organa, who recruited her to the Rebellion, where she became the original “Fulcrum” intelligence agent. This role eventually led to her joining the Spectres and Phoenix Squadron. On Malachor, she stayed behind to hold off Darth Vader while Ezra and Kanan escaped, however Ezra (from the future) managed to save her using the World Between Worlds, though she was still stuck on Malachor. She eventually got off of Malachor and prepared to join Sabine Wren on a mission to find Ezra Bridger, who had been taken to an unknown destination while liberating Lothal.
Obi-Wan: These are your final steps, Rey. Rise and take them.
Anakin: Bring back the balance, Rey, as I did.
Luminara: The light. Find the light, Rey.
Mace: You are not alone, Rey.
Yoda: Alone, never have you been.
Qui-Gon: Every Jedi who ever lived, lives in you.
Anakin: The Force surrounds you, Rey.
Aayla: Let it guide you.
Ahsoka: As it guided us.
Mace: Feel the Force flowing through you, Rey.
Kanan: Let it lift you.
Adi: Rise, Rey.
Qui-Gon: We stand behind you, Rey.
Yoda: Rise in the Force.
Kanan: In the heart of the Jedi lies her strength.
Luke: Rey, the Force will be with you. Always.
So what are the implications of this?
Well first of all, it looks like the Jedi may have found a new way to communicate following death, as Qui-Gon, Yoda, Obi-Wan and Luke have shown themselves able to communicate from beyond previously. It is possible that Exegol is a place so strong in the Force, their spirits are able to push through as well.
Interestingly, Ahoska’s fate is currently unknown beyond the end of Rebels, but from the fact that everyone else to communicate with her is dead, we can fear the worse. It may be, however, that her death and reincarnation on Mortis could allow her to communicate in such a key moment. Given that Ahsoka would be in her early 70s by the time of this event, I’m inclined to assume the worst. Conversely, the lack of Ezra Bridger suggests that he may still be alive at this point. Leia’s voice is also absent from this, however her body does not disappear until Ben’s death, which is after Palpatine’s defeat, so she was likely not fully one with the Force yet.
This truly was one of my favourite moments in the movie and I can’t wait to read it in Rae Carson’s novelisation.
Thanks for reading. May the Force be with you…