Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Theory

My Personal Background

Make no mistake. I am a huge Star Wars fan. It all started years ago when my dad introduced me to it via a network broadcast. I actually saw the movies out of order too. A New Hope, Return of the Jedi, and then some time years later Empire Strikes Back. When the prequels were released, I was exiting middle school and heading into high school. They wrapped while I was in college. Then came the Disney acquisition of Lucasfilm and the announcement of more movies as I was young into my career.

I can go on and on, but I am very excited to see how the sequel trilogy comes to its end. I understand why people balked at The Last Jedi. As a movie, on its own merits, I think it is a well crafted piece of entertainment. As a movie that is carrying 7 movies before it, I understand why people felt betrayed at characterizations, especially of Luke Skywalker. So what does the now forthcoming final installment in the entire Skywalker Saga have to offer? Let me take a guess as to my theory.

The Title

The Rise of Skywalker is an interesting title. It feels almost as out of place if you think about it too hard. But what is the current Star Wars Saga  all about? The rise and fall and rise again of a family known as Skywalker. I firmly believe that the title is essentially the capstone to the entire saga: how the Skywalker name finally arose to save the galaxy.

So the title, The Rise of Skywalker, is essentially a name that encapsulates the entire 9 movie series. And we are going to learn more about Skywalker that sheds new light and gives us new context as to why the Skywalker’s matter so much in the galaxy.

The Backstory

We are introduced to Anakin Skywalker, son of a slave, born absent a father, in The Phantom Menace. A lot of prophecy stuff starts to freak the Jedi out as they learn he is born out of a vergence, with innate abilities and a huge midi-chlorian count. The entire question of the prequel trilogy: is Anakin the chosen one? The one to bring balance to the force? Or is it “a prophecy, that misread could have been?”, to quote Yoda.

Fast forward to Anakin falling to the dark side and becoming Darth Vader. The Jedi are largely destroyed and darkness reigns. His children ripped away and hidden before he knew of their birth and survival. Now comes Luke Skywalker, who ultimately brings his father back from the dark side at the end of the original trilogy. For George Lucas, the story he aimed to tell after 6 movies was the rise, fall, and redemption of Anakin Skywalker.

So this leads us to the sequel trilogy. Luke fails as a teacher. Darkness again grew in the Skywalker blood, through Ben Solo  his nephew. Ben, now called Kylo Ren, destroys the remaining Jedi students and goes about bringing darkness back to the galaxy. He is obsessed with his grandfather. Snoke, his mysterious master, sees Kylo as another Vader, and is almost freakishly obsessed with the Skywalker name and blood. But a new champion of the light has appeared out of nowhere: Rey.

Rey is seemingly powerful with no training, and starts to rapidly develop powers. She is able to best Kylo at his mind reading and in a duel. No known background seems present in her mind, as if she just remembers being dumped off with a rough alien trader at a young age. Kylo claims he saw who her parents were: worthless junk traders. Can it really be that simple? Rey is super powerful, a nobody, and can take on the heir of darkness in Kylo Ren?

What Is The Chosen One Prophecy?

Essentially, someone who will bring balance to the force. But what is balance? Why does balance matter? How is there balance if there is only light or dark? Can someone master both?

Chancellor Palpatine tells Anakin a story in Revenge of the Sith. As part of that story, he explains how the powerful Darth Plagueis even learned how to create life. Whether this is Palpatine trying to make Anakin doubt himself as the chosen one or if it actually has implications that Anakin was created by some dark force, is ultimately unknown.  But this concept is going to come full circle in the sequels.

As an aside, in that same story time session, Palpatine also mentioned how Plagueis sought power to save others from dying, but couldn’t save himself. Later in the movie, when Anakin turned Vader pleads for Palpatine to help him save his wife, Padme.  Palpatine said that the power to cheat death was discovered by only one person, but if they worked together, they could discover the secret. This will come into play in the sequel trilogy.

The Theory for The Sequel Trilogy and The Rise of Skywalker

Palpatine is still alive. Unlike his master Plagueis, he found the secret to escape death. Snoke was either a puppet or projection of Palpatine. Whether Palpatine is actually in  a flesh-and-blood  state or Force ghost state, we don’t know yet. Either way, his influence is still corrupting the galaxy and the Force. He will need to be defeated once and for all.

Rey was found on Jakku. Jakku in the new Disney expanded universe canon was the site of the final battle between the Empire and Rebel Alliance. Jakku was a secret outpost, doing secret research. Rey was the outcome of that research. Rey is one of three possible things:

  • A manifestation of the dark side’s supposed ability to create life.
  • An experimental clone using DNA of Luke or Anakin Skywalker.
  •  A person born of Palpatine.

Rey is ultimately a creation that was designed for darkness and to save the empire, or the Sith. Yet that plan ultimately backfired on the Empire. Rey  becomes an agent of good, and the Force uses her to that end. It explains why she is so powerful and why she doesn’t remember her parents. It explains why she saw endless reflections of herself on Ahch-To. She was the final, successful line in experiments to create the ultimate agent of  evil. Rey was likely “found” on Jakku by junk traders in a stasis pod or some such thing. They released her, carried her along for a while, and sold her for money.

The big reveal in the movie is going to revolve around the chosen one prophecy. Rey is the “next attempt” at the Force bringing balance to itself. The reason it is out of balance will have something to do with Palpatine and the Sith, and whatever he has been up to the last 30+ years. Kylo Ren, Rey’s opposite in the Force, will be a key to bringing balance to the Force. Assuming Rey unknowingly has some Skywalker DNA herself, The Rise of Skywalker is a combined effort of Rey and Kylo doing something that finally brings balance to the Force. Kylo probably dies for his efforts. Rey adopts the name of Skywalker, knowing she is a byproduct of them.

Some summary evidence that may suggest this kind of outcome for Rey?

  • Why does  the Skywalker lightsaber call to her?
  • Why were their lots and lots of solid rumors about The Force Awakens actually opening with a shot of Luke’s hand floating in space? I believe some involved in the production of the movie may have also said they originally had  some really wild, weird ideas to open the movie. As far as I know, the floating hand theory has never been shot down. It also pays homage to the  Thrawn Trilogy of books and the idea of a clone of Luke being a key plot point. Maz even says how she got the lightsaber was a tale for another time.
  • Again, Rey sees lots of iterations of herself on Ahch-To. Her blurred parents combine just into a reflection of herself. Why? She is the last in the line of clones made of something (maybe Luke’s hand plays a role?).
  • How can Rey be so powerful?
  • How does the expanded universe stuff with Jakku not seem like a big coincidence as to why Rey is there with no memory of her parents?

An Alternative Line of Thought

I can easily assume my primary theory is going to be “too complex” to pull off. A lot of overthinking when there will be a much simpler outcome. So if it is going to be such, here is what I see as the next most likely thing that allows them to tie all nine movies together and incorporating concepts and themes from both prequel and original trilogy timelines.

I don’t see how Rey is ultimately a nobody. I think the more sinister thing for her to face would be that Palpatine is her creator, father, or grandfather. Either by traditional methods or some dark side manipulation. Palpatine is brought back into the story to reveal this to her. She is horrified at her discovery and has to choose between a legacy of darkness or righting the wrongs of her own father. Much in the way Luke had to right the wrongs of his father in the original trilogy.

A more simplified story would then basically have Rey, who was born out of darkness, having to fight Kylo, who was born out of light. The winner saves or destroys the galaxy and the nature of the Force itself. Perhaps they even reach some kind of agreement and come together to balance the Force.  In whatever they do, Anakin or Luke Skywalker then ascends to some new level of existence within the Force itself and in a battle in the realm of the Force, brings balance to it once and for all. Perhaps Anakin/Luke faces off against Palpatine in some kind of spiritual war, only made possible because of something Rey or Rey + Kylo accomplish. We find Palpatine was the ultimate corrupting influence within the Force, and his defeat brings everything back into balance.

The Reality

I will come back to this post and see how off base my theory and alternative line of thought ultimately may be. I think though  at some level, a spiritual battle is going to take place that outweighs the visual battles that will entertain our eyes and brains. The outcome of that spiritual battle is what brings the Force into balance. I would be fairly bored with a movie where it is just Rey vs. Kylo and whoever wins saves the galaxy and somehow puts the Force into balance just from that outcome alone. I don’t see how you don’t address the spiritual side of Star Wars in an ultimate conclusion to this series. It has always been about balancing the Force. Wars will almost always be fought in this galaxy and they will have ample more sagas and movies to make to tell us new stories with new characters. There has to be something bigger than Rey slicing Kylo in half and the underdog Resistance somehow unseating the First Order with lesser numbers or technology. But maybe there won’t be…

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – Lots of Problems

This post will contain spoilers for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

I am not a huge dinosaur fanatic. Many of my friends have been over the years. I typically gravitate to the big budget blockbuster films, so I made my usual trip for the summer to see the movie. I had been pleasantly surprised by Jurassic World. It recaptured some of the magic of Jurassic Park. So I figured I’d see this one too.

I had no real expectations for Fallen Kingdom. The trailers never really blew me away. The immediate thing you learn though is they seem to have hidden the animal rights activism perspective. In one sense, I think respecting habitats, animals, and nature is critical to a healthy planet. Humans are pretty poor stewards of God’s creation.

On the other hand, saving monstrous, unnatural, genetic concoctions birthed by humanity, splicing genes and the likes, seems bad. Such as where in the last movie thousands of people’s lives were put at risk when their peak experiment, the Indominus Rex, broke free. It pretty much ended the theme park’s viability. Sure, not everything is as dangerous as Indominus was in the first movie, but these are not natural animals. These are gene-spliced creations. I don’t know if there was a throw away line in Jurassic World that said reproduction was impossible, but if it is like Jurassic Park, these faux dinosaurs may be able to reproduce. A la the famous quote “life finds a way” from Ian Malcolm. And that is where the big problem comes into play. Even Ian Malcolm seems to realize it in his congressional interview: let them die. As a matter of fact, why didn’t some government go in and wipe them out after the disaster in the first film?

If the genetic concoctions can reproduce like they could in Jurassic Park (all female, gender changing frog DNA shenanigans), given how the movie ends, the world is going to see a whole new meaning to invasive species. From watching nature programs, I don’t think naturalists are very fond of introducing species into foreign environments. Simply living in Florida, I am keenly aware of the hardship the Florida Everglades faces with Burmese pythons, as well as some foreign trees they try to kill off unsuccessfully. You better hope those that got free cannot reproduce… but then, why would another sequel matter if only a handful of dinos got lose? Someone would kill them at some point.

Thus this is the biggest problem with the movies premise in my mind. Animal rights activists want to save something unnatural to our world today when the threat of having a massive invasive species problem exists. These huge beasts could destroy ecosystems. Indominus Rex destroyed Jurassic World’s fake ecosystem in like 30 minutes in the last movie. Speaking of which, why haven’t government’s gone into full detective mode to figure out the utter failures of the owning corporations and haven’t found out that BD Wong’s group is hiding with DNA. Why are people involved with the last park not in jail? Claire Dearing should know Dr. Wu is no good. Why hasn’t he been found out?

Let’s also take into account other problems with this movie:

  • Why did the world’s most expensive theme park get built on an island with a volcano?
  • Since when is perfect human cloning a thing in this universe? If Hammond and Lockwood had a falling out and Hammond and Lockwood were nowhere to be seen 25 years ago, does this mean this clone child is stuck as a child? Or is this an iteration of clone child? How many failures were there? The girl is like 10. Hammond has probably been dead like 20 years now. So when did Lockwood do this and how many times did he do it?
  • Why is no government agency actively monitoring an island of huge beasts?
  • How in the world do you quietly transport all those dinosaurs to some California mansion with no one knowing? The car parade of auction participants was about as absurd as the scene in Get Out too.
  • How can a dinosaur, the rarest and most unique specimen now on the globe, only be sold for a few million a piece? Each one should be worth hundreds of millions, if not billions.  And how are the purchasers going to keep them under wraps?
  • Why do they think they can weaponize dinosaurs? It was a silly plot point in the first movie, but is downright dumb now. If we cannot control lions, tigers, and other aggressive animals, why would we with things 10 times larger?

There are a lot more questions I could ask. I will say that the creature feature horror elements work pretty well.  The opening was fun, but rushed. The characters were mostly annoying, save Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Ted Levine. The special effects are a bit inconsistent, but the movie is visually fun to look at on the big screen.

Ultimately, I think the movie fails with the narrative. By comparison, I didn’t like The Lost World, but the narrative was fine. The execution and acting was awful. In the end, I don’t care enough about dinosaurs to think anymore on this movie. But I just found the animal rights activism that ultimately leads to the worst case of invasive species danger a bit inconsistent with how the world would or should probably operate today.