A sad, sad porg.

4 Times The Rise of Skywalker Seemingly Threw Shade on The Last Jedi

Dept. of Unintended Shade


Here be spoilers. Obviously.

If you’ve seen The Rise of Skywalker, you know just how much Disney walked back the ideas introduced in The Last Jedi. While J.J. Abrams did develop one core concept put forth by Rian Johnson – the Force connections between Leia, Rey, and Kylo Ren – and used it to drive his plot to its laboured conclusion, almost everything else was either abandoned (Rose and Finn) or conveniently explained away (everything was Palpatine all along!).

Along the way, however, there were moments in the movie that felt like actual shade was being thrown. Here are four of the most glaringly obvious ones.

Threepio looking sad as he says goodbye to his bestest friends.

Early in the movie, on the desert planet Pasaana, the gang discover the first McGuffin – a hidden message on an ancient dagger – that promises to lead them to the second McGuffin – a Sith Wayfinder. Only C-3PO can translate the writings on the dagger but is forbidden from sharing it with his buddies. In order to be able to get at the information buried in Threepio’s head, they need to perform a hard reset on his brain, wiping his memory, effectively killing the multiloquent droid we’ve come to know and love. It was an incredibly emotional moment in the movie, at least until R2-D2 simply restores C-3PO’s memory backup.

The joke being that Artoo restores Threepio’s memory to the moments before he goes off on his first mission with Rey at the end of The Force Awakens. Because why worry about any of that stuff that took place in the previous movie?

C-3PO: I’m off on my first adventure with Rey.
R2-D2: Beep-boop-boop-beep-boop.
C-3PO: What do you mean The Last Jedi never happened?

Here. Take it. Take the lightsaber. I've traveled all this way to give this to you.

After The Rise of Skywalker’s climactic lightsaber battle aboard the wreckage of the second Death Star, Rey steals Kylo Ren’s Tie Fighter, returns to Ahch-To, and decides to exile herself there like Luke Skywalker before her. She throws all of her toys out of the pram and sets them on fire. She then chucks her lightsaber into the flame only to have Luke’s Force ghost catch it (did we know that Force ghosts could interact with real world objects like that?) and tell her that a Jedi’s weapon should be treated with more care.

Don't just be chucking lightsabers about Luke!

You hear that Rian? Have some respect! You can’t just go chucking these things about.

Luke was wrong. Wrong about everything.

Immediately following that moment was probably the most in-your-face rebuke to The Last Jedi. Rey explains to Luke that she’s going to run away and hide on the island, forever forsaking the Jedi, the Sith, and all of Star Wars.

To which Luke simply responds: “I was wrong!” Wrong about everything I said in the previous movie. Wrong about my motivations. Wrong about all the lessons I taught you. Why don’t you just ignore all of that and go back out there and do the Jedi thing. They were fine really. Not at all self-serving and removed from the real world from up in their (literal) ivory tower. You go be a hero.

Evil Rey? Say it ain't so.

“Let the past die. Kill it, if you have to.”

Kylo Ren, The Last Jedi

Finally, and most disappointingly, is the undoing of The Last Jedi’s most compelling message, that you could be powerful Jedi, irrespective of who you were or where you came from. That you didn’t have to be a Skywalker or a Palpatine. That you could be a little stable boy in Canto Bight and still possess incredible power within you.

Abrams retcons Johnson’s decision to make Rey a nobody by trying to mirror that conversation between Luke and Obi-Wan in The Return of the Jedi. (You remember the one. It’s where Obi-Wan teaches Luke what a metaphor is.) The heart-to-heart that takes place between Kylo and Rey, however, is incredibly clunky as he tries to awkwardly clarifies that he didn’t “technically” lie to Rey when he told her that her parents were filthy junk traders because her parents were in fact “pretending” to be filthy junk traders. “So, what I told you was true… from a certain point of view.”

Making Rey a Palpatine represents The Last Skywalker’s most blatant betrayal. Making her forsake her lineage and instead lay claim to the Skywalker name was pure fanwank.

I know that she couldn’t really call herself Rey Palpatine. That would be like calling yourself Bob Hitler, or Joe Najib. You’d just never live that down. But just imagine for a minute how powerful an ending it could have been if Rey, when asked for her family name by that random woman on Tatooine, had said: “Just Rey.”

Uma has been reviewing things for most of his life: movies, television shows, books, video games, his mum's cooking, Bahir's fashion sense. He is a firm believer that the answer to most questions can be found within the cinematic canon. In fact, most of what he knows about life he learned from Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. He still hasn't forgiven Christopher Nolan for the travesties that are Interstellar and The Dark Knight Rises.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker - Rey and Kylo fight it out on the wreckage of the Death Star.
Previous Story

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

The Witcher: He be witching.
Next Story

Goggler Presents #1: Witchers Be Witching

Latest from Listicle