When I’m not writing, odds are, I’m thinking about “Star Wars,” looking for “Star Wars,” or maybe I’m actually writing about “Star Wars” (case in point: now). My fixation runs deep that I’m flying out of the country just to see “The Rise of Skywalker” on December, since the Philippines is premiering it later on Jan. 8 (or is it? Keep an eye on this cryptic tweet, kids).
For someone who has watched the original trilogy, prequels, and sequels more than a healthy amount, you’d end up finding a common thread—and for a saga revolving around hope and forgiveness, that would have to be a dark sider’s redemption.
It wasn’t the pew-pews or the flashy lightsabers that drew me in to the series, but the profound moment when Darth Vader accepted the light for the love of his son, Luke. And really, is it that surprising that Vader’s grandson would have the same fate, finding the light to become Ben Solo again?
In the final trailer for the saga’s conclusion, “The Rise of Skywalker” sees the Resistance rebuilding what’s little left of them since “The Last Jedi.” While most previews shape Kylo Ren as the big bad of the trilogy, the return of Palpatine may throw a curveball to the setup. The Emperor’s voice is heard through a montage of scenes, as he says, “Long have I waited, and now your coming together is your undoing.” Later on, the trailer features a shot of Rey and Kylo destroying what appears to be Vader’s helmet. With the ’ol Emperor at the helm, we may see a redux of “The Last Jedi’s” iconic team-up. This time, however, Kylo may be staying with the good guys for the long run.
If that doesn’t convince you of Ben Solo’s impending move to the light, the title itself drives the point home. Besides his mom, Leia Organa, Ben Solo/Kylo Ren is the last living Skywalker. You can’t go more on-the-nose than that, TBH.
Like most “Star Wars” films, the plot is kept under wraps. Still, it doesn’t take a whole Sith army to figure out this endgame. George Lucas famously commented on the saga’s plot symmetry, saying, “[‘Star Wars’] is like poetry, it rhymes. You see the echo of where it’s all gonna go.” With Vader’s past in mind, redemption shouldn’t be a hot take. We’re probably just too knee-deep in complicated theories to remember.
Watch the trailer below:
Still from “The Rise of Skywalker”