On Friday, April 12th, 2019 inside the Wintrust Arena at the Chicago McCormick Convention Center, Star Wars Celebration kicked off with the Episode IX Panel which revealed an official teaser trailer and the title for the final chapter of the Skywalker Saga, The Rise of Skywalker. So, this December, the Skywalker Saga comes to an end because every generation has a legend.
“We’ve passed on all we know. A thousand generations live in you now. But this is your fight. We’ll always be with you. No one’s ever really gone.”-Luke Skywalker
Whether you side with the light or with the dark, Luke’s words are clear. The sequel trilogy is Rey’s journey just as much as the original trilogy is Luke’s and the prequels are Anakin’s. Rey is the hero, the protagonist of the story and this generation. The new legend. Hope. And that hope is rising!
Rising through the remnants of the Resistance, a Rebellion is reborn, and a new order of Jedi is on the horizon. Snoke knew this was inevitable, he said as much to Kylo Ren in The Force Awakens.
“There’s been an awakening.”
“…leading them to the last Jedi.”
“If Skywalker returns, the new Jedi will rise.”
After all, history has a way of repeating itself, and Star Wars is no different. So, if you look at all three trilogies, you’ll see that all three follow the same pattern. In essence, each one consists of a protagonist up against unbeatable odds and faced with what I like to call the “three C’s,” Change, Choice, and Cost. And if that weren’t enough, said hero, is pit against the most powerful evil in the galaxy, the antagonist.
All of these things make the trilogy a necessity, meaning, the character(s) need the timespan to establish character growth through story arcs and that takes multiple chapters or in this case, films. Not only is this necessary for story development, but from a fan’s perspective as well. In other words, story investment. Without that, these stories wouldn’t work. Putting it simply, Star Wars is timeless. Its story has last the generations for over 40 years. Why? Well, because of its cyclical methodology.
“To say that if the Jedi die, the light dies, is vanity-can’t you see that?”
As the lesson continues, Luke instructs Rey (like Obi-Wan once did with him) to stretch out with her feelings and he prompts her to tell him what she sees. She tells him,
“The island. Life. Death, and decay, that feeds new life. Warmth. Cold. Peace. Violence.”
Essentially, the fight between good and evil, and the struggle between the light and dark is forever ongoing. Unfortunately, the galaxy will pay a massive toll with each cycle.
So what has changed? The people, but the original legacy remains. In the beginning, if we follow the saga chronologically, we follow Anakin Skywalker in the prequel trilogy on his rise to “The Hero with No Fear” status only to witness his fall from grace by the choices he makes along the way. Those choices are an effect of change and come with a price, the cost of his soul, and the rise of Darth Vader in Revenge of the Sith.
For two decades the galaxy was left in darkness until Luke Skywalker carried on the fight. His fight, against the dark side and within himself, but a thousand generations live on in Luke Skywalker. A legacy. One unbeknownst to him and yet echoed through the very act that brought redemption through to fruition.
“Compassion, which I would define as unconditional love, is essential to a Jedi’s life. So you might say, that we are encouraged to love.” — Anakin
Which led to Luke’s legendary status,
“I am a Jedi, like my father before me.”
Yes, a legend or as Rey puts it,
“Luke Skywalker? I thought he was a myth?”
This very moment is the beginning of Rey’s journey, and it echoes her predecessors. It’s reminiscent of Anakin’s curiosity regarding Qui-Gon’s “laser sword,” and the Jedi from The Phantom Menace, and Luke’s shock in Obi-Wan’s tales about his father, Anakin Skywalker, Jedi Knight and hero of the Clone Wars. Again, cyclical, a methodology that works throughout the generations.
But the question remains, will The Rise of Skywalker tie it all together? If so, “who” will finish what Anakin and Luke Skywalker started? Perhaps, the better question is, will the sequel trilogy close in darkness or find the pathway to the light? Better still, will Rey and Kylo Ren find balance?
Remember, the prequel trilogy ended with the Rise of Darth Vader, and the original trilogy welcomed the light through the redemption of Anakin Skywalker. And now, a new generation race toward The Rise of Skywalker.
“I’ve been waiting for you, Obi-Wan. We meet again at last. The circle is now complete. When I left you I was but the learner. Now, I am the master.”
So, on that note, who will carry on the legacy and fulfill their destiny? Rey the learner or Kylo, Master of the Knights of Ren?