With Avengers: Endgame out of the way, the next hotly anticipated franchise conclusion will be Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Unlike Endgame, which only provided an ending for its own part of the franchise and set up the next part in its final moments, The Rise of Skywalker promises to be a definitive ending to the nine-part Star Wars saga we’ve been following since 1977. So far, Star Wars fans have been less than impressed with the sequels being turned out by Disney since their acquisition of Lucasfilm. So, here are 10 ways The Rise Of Skywalker can redeem the Star Wars sequel trilogy.
10 No Rehashed Plots
The biggest criticism of Disney’s Star Wars sequels since the very beginning has been that they’ve just been rehashing plotlines from George Lucas’ original trilogy. The Force Awakens was a thinly veiled remake of A New Hope, which even J.J. Abrams himself has admitted to, while The Last Jedi positioned itself as a bold new story, but actually shared a lot of story threads with The Empire Strikes Back. For The Rise of Skywalker to set itself apart and actually satisfy the diehard fan base after two rehashed movies, it needs to stop rehashing and start telling some original stories.
9 A True Ending for Luke Skywalker
By far one of the most controversial things about the Star Wars sequel trilogy has been the characterization of Luke Skywalker as an older, grizzled, cynical antihero who’s turned his back on the Jedi. This is the guy who saw the good in the most wicked man in the galaxy, and we’re supposed to believe he’d be ready to murder his nephew on a hunch? Mark Hamill is confirmed to return as Luke in The Rise of Skywalker, probably in the form of a Force ghost, so there’s a chance to give his character a proper ending to his iconic arc.
8 Develop Everyone's Character Arcs
If the MCU has shown us anything, it’s that the most successful franchises develop long-running story arcs for their characters to keep the audience engaged. Of course, the MCU isn’t the first franchise to do this. Over the course of the original Star Wars trilogy, we saw Luke become a Jedi, Leia leave her cushy princess lifestyle behind, Han discover the virtues of caring about other people, and he made Darth Vader see the error in his ways and come back to the Light Side of the Force. The character arcs in the sequel trilogy are vague and muddled at best. Rey, Finn, Poe, and Kylo Ren need some actual character development if fans are going to be satisfied.
7 Consistent Force Mythology
What has irritated a lot of fans with Disney’s sequel trilogy is that the rules of the Force are not consistent with the original movies, or even with the new movies. In the older movies, the things that people could do with the Force were limited, which made it at least believable within the context of the films, drawing in the viewers.
When entirely new Force abilities are thrown in, like Rey and Kylo Ren’s Force-Skyping, Luke’s Force projection, and Princess Leia’s wild Force ride through the vacuum of space, it takes us out of the reality of the movies and leaves us disappointed.
6 A Heartfelt Sendoff For Princess Leia
Since The Rise of Skywalker is the first movie in the core Star Wars saga to be made following Carrie Fisher’s untimely passing, her legacy will loom pretty large over it. After the producers mulled it over for a few months before shooting and got the blessing of Fisher’s family, they ultimately decided to repurpose some unused footage from The Force Awakens to give Leia a storyline in the new movie. When a similar thing happened with Paul Walker, the Fast & Furious franchise gave him a touching send-off. If Star Wars does the same for Carrie Fisher and the new movie is a celebration of her, then fans will be pleased.
5 No Unnecessary Side Characters
The Star Wars sequel trilogy is full of supporting characters that could’ve easily been cut without changing the movies too much: DJ, Holdo, Maz Kanata, Unkar Plutt. These side characters and their story arcs distract from the key characters of Rey, Finn, Poe, and Kylo Ren, and leave the movies with less runtime to flesh them out, so they end up feeling less developed. Something’s seriously wrong when we learn more about a codebreaker without a name than we do about any of the main characters. These unnecessary side characters have to stop to allow for some actual development in the trilogy’s leads.
4 Build On Character Relationships
Part of what makes the sequel trilogy less interesting than the original trilogy is that none of the characters share a tangible relationship. Luke, Han, and Leia feel like a real group of people whose relationships with each other grow and change and deepen throughout the original trilogy. In contrast, Rey and Finn’s relationship ceased to exist as soon as they met up with Han Solo in The Force Awakens, and Rey has barely said two words to Poe. The closest relationship we’ve seen in the sequels so far is Rey and Kylo Ren, and even then it’s not clear which one is pulling the other towards their side of the Force.
3 Don’t Squander Palpatine
If the much-hyped appearance of Emperor Palpatine in The Rise of Skywalker ends up being disappointing, then there won’t be much hope for the movie. He’s been the puppet master in charge of the galaxy since the beginning. First, he rose through the political ranks to exact his evil intentions and destroy the Jedi.
Then, he took a young Jedi Padawan under his wing and turned him into the galaxy’s most powerful tyrant. Whatever his next move is, it needs to give the Resistance something impressive and difficult to resist, rather than just the First Order, a faction which usually came across as a rip-off of the Empire with no real motivations.
2 Make Us Care About Star Wars Again
A few years ago, it was unthinkable in the Star Wars fan base that those fans would one day not care what was going on in the Star Wars universe or would be basically indifferent to the release of a new Star Wars movie. However, that was before Disney came in with their tenuous grasp on the franchise’s mythology, wiped out the Expanded Universe, and replaced it with a new, inferior canon. Now, we’re a few months away from the big finale of the Star Wars saga, and most fans are barely excited. J.J. Abrams’ job is basically to make us care about Star Wars again.
1 A Satisfying Ending To The Skywalker Saga
The only real way for The Rise of Skywalker to make up for the disappointment of the sequel trilogy and satisfy even the most dedicated Star Wars fans is to simply provide a fitting end to the Skywalker saga. J.J. Abrams has promised that his new movie will tie all three trilogies together and end the story in a pleasing way, and, if he delivers on this promise, then he’ll redeem Disney’s misgivings. There are, of course, doubts that this is even possible since expectations for the movie are sky-high, and it has to somehow pay off more than four decades of moviegoing. We’ll just have to wait and see.