Why I Love Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Welcome back to my series “Why I love Star Wars”. This is a series that was inspired by reading Ken Napzok’s Why We Love Star Wars: The Great Moments That Built A Galaxy Far, Far Away, a countdown of the top 100 moments from Star Wars that made him love it all, including canon stories from every medium. As I was reading this book, I found myself thinking of some of my own favourite moments and wanted to discuss them.

While there are certainly some films that I do not like as much as others, every movie has some wonderful moments that I would always say outweigh the bad, so for that reason I wouldn’t say that I hate any of the Star Wars films. With the way that too much Star Wars talk has gone down a dark hole in recent years, hopefully reminding ourselves of the great moments and focusing on the positives will help the fandom recover.

Why I Love Star Wars:

Unlike in the book, I will not put the moments in any specific order (I do things like that enough in my Top 10s!) as the order would probably change on every viewing. Today I will be looking at The Rise of Skywalker

Beware: this will contain spoilers for the movie!

The fleet arrives

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So, this is a moment that I do truly enjoy and it is one of those that will manage to make me tear up with emotion, but I still think it could have been better. Having just watched Snap get shot down and seeing his Resistance forces being overwhelmed all around him, Poe loses hope and as calls come in from his fellow Resistance pilots for advice, he apologises for bringing them to the end, as there are too many First Order ships. But in that moment, Lando’s voice comes through to say “There are more of us”. I love the way how the main theme begins softly, mirroring Poe’s hope coming back and he flies above the Star Destroyers to see the largest fleet in the entire saga coming, with more ships of all models arriving by the second as the music grows to a crescendo. It’s the Star Wars version of Avengers: Endgame‘s “Portals” and while I love it, I feel that it would have been improved by seeing the fleet have some more success before Palpatine intervenes, while seeing Wedge being so relaxed right after his stepson had died felt off, so I would have preferred another pilot to go down in that moment. I also think that this was a chance to tie in so much more of the galaxy with cameos. The Ghost can be seen near the front of the fleet and there are a couple of ships from Resistance there, but how great would it have been to hear ships reporting in and suddenly hear some familiar voices: “Rogue squadron standing by”, “Green squadron standing by”, “Red squadron standing by”, “Gold squadron standing by”, “Blue squadron standing by”, “Corona squadron standing by”, “Phoenix squadron standing by”, “Fireball standing by”, “Blue Ace standing by”, “Phantom squadron standing by”

Ben’s redemption

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“Kylo Ren is dead. My son is alive.”

So I wasn’t really a fan of the first part of the redemption of Ben Solo, as he felt Leia’s passing while being stabbed by Rey, but it left Ben open and questioning himself, leading to a wonderful moment where he is alone on the remains of the Death Star and his mind creates a memory of his father, Han Solo, to help direct him back to the light.

After Han’s death in The Force Awakens, I never thought we would see Harrison Ford in Star Wars again, except maybe by reusing footage in a flashback, so to suddenly hear “Hey kid” and seeing Han there was an amazing moment. What I loved so much about this scene, though, was how it mirrors the scene where Kylo killed Han, with the same lines now being used to discuss Ben’s return to the light rather than his fall to the dark. A beautiful father/son moment.

Behind the back

Ben is unarmed and being beaten by the Knights of Ren, while Rey is about to strike down Palpatine and continue the legacy of the Sith, when the pair connect. Rey raises the blade and continues to raise her hand, taking Anakin/Luke/Rey’s saber behind her back, then draws her hand forward to reveal it’s empty. The we cut to Ben, who has mirrored her actions, but brings his hand forward to reveal that he now has a weapon. I wasn’t a fan of the way their connection was used the first time I watched the movie, but having watched The Last Jedi again and seeing how drops of water transferred between the pair there, I loved how it was expanded throughout this movie to lead to this moment, finished perfectly with Ben’s cocky little shrug to the Knights of Ren before taking control of the fight – he really is his father’s son!

Jedi voices

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“These are your final steps, Rey. Rise and take them.”

I’ll be quite quick with this moment as I’ve looked into it in more detail a few months ago, but I loved the moment when the Jedi came to be with Rey. I’d been hoping to see Anakin, Obi-Wan and potentially even Qui-Gon appear as Force ghosts in this movie, and while we didn’t get that, this may have actually been even better as we heard them and so many other Jedi (including Kanan and Ahsoka!) speaking to Rey and supporting her in this climactic moment.

Raising Red 5

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With Rey stranded on Ahch-To but needing to get to Exegol, Luke’s Force ghost raises his old X-wing, Red 5, from the oceans that he had ditched it in. I loved this moment so much as not only is he helping Rey go (compared to being unable to stop her in The Last Jedi), but it also shows how far he has come from when he was unable to lift the fighter out of the swamp on Dagobah, a moment that they are clearly alluding to with the use of Yoda’s theme as he lifts the X-wing, the same as when Yoda lifted the X-wing out of the water in The Empire Strikes Back.

What are your favourite moments from The Rise of Skywalker?

Thanks for reading. May the Force be with you…

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