Two years ago I had a list of grievances with ‘The Last Jedi‘ in my review of it. Here today is how ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ responded to the things TLJ did. In bold is what I wrote two years ago and below is what they did in TROS.
At the beginning of ‘The Last Jedi’ Luke takes his Father’s lightsaber, the one passed down to him by Obi Wan Kenobi and throws it over his shoulder. This is basically the symbolic moment of what this film does.
This time Rey throws the lightsaber away into a burning wreck of Kylo Ren’s Tie fighter. Luke’s force ghost catches it and says, “A Jedi’s weapon deserves more respect.”
Rey’s parents: Nobodies. So much for making such a big deal about it in the last movie.
Not exactly nobodies, the Father was the son of Emperor Palpatine, making Rey the grand daughter of one of the most evil men in the Galaxy.
Snoke: Who is he? What happened to his face? What does he represent? What’s his deal? He’s killed without a single hint as to who, why or where he came from.
He’s a clone, a puppet of Palpatine.
The Knights of Ren:
No real answer to this but at least they are in the movie and dealt with in some fashion. (there is actually a comic series called ‘The Rise of Kylo Ren’ that will go into depth about them). When I originally watched TLJ I thought that Snoke’s guards may have been them.
Luke’s light saber gets snapped in half. – The lightsaber that was given the mythical quality of Excalibur in ‘The Force Awakens’ is broken here.
It’s fixed and works again. Buried in the desert for the next Generation.
Fin: His first question is “where’s Rey?”. The girl he cared so much about in the previous movie. He doesn’t even speak to her in this film.
He speaks to Rey in this movie but never actually gets to tell her what he was planning to say. (i love you? / i’m force sensitive?/I’m getting my own movie?)
Fin: The movie actually doesn’t seem to know what to do with his character.
Can’t say he was used as well here as he could be but it does pick up some threads from the Force awakens. I like the idea of Fin being force sensitive.
Kylo Ren’s Mask: Smash it, that stuff is for kids.
They fixed it!
Luke: The frickin hero of the original Trilogy actually ignited his light saber over the head of his Nephew, the son of one of his closest friends and his sister. After facing down his father and taking the higher road he would actually have a moment where he would do that? The man who wouldn’t give up on Anakin Skywalker after all the shit he did?
Well, they couldn’t really do anything about that scene here. All Luke could say about his actions in the last movie is “I was wrong“. Maybe we can say Palpatine was influencing events from afar?
Yoda actually has to tell Luke that the jedi books aren’t important, that after 40 years the last jedi master who defeated Vader and the Emperor has to be told what is really important and what really matters?
Here Luke is the wise one (back to his senses as a ghost) telling Rey she has everything she needs.
Lightsabers battles: The first movie without a lightsaber battle.
We get lots and lots of lightsaber fighting here. None of it all that satisfying.
Captain Phasma: So much for seeing more of your character developed…
Yep, so much for seeing more of you.
Benicio Del Toro: Why were you in this movie?
He’s not in this one.
No final shot of the main characters in the movie. This is a bit of a no no. Breaks tradition and again.
We get a final shot which is a bit of a rip off of “Episode III” ending. Not the most original and can’t really see it as a bookend. Directors are in love with those twin suns too much. But better than a boy and a broom stick.
So all in all JJ Abrams did a lot as you can see above. Unfortunately he raises quite a few questions in The Rise of Skywalker. But I leave that for another Saga. I would guess though that Naomi Ackie might show up somewhere in future based on the “let’s find out” where you are from line from Lando. The history of Luke’s hand and lightsaber attached might show up in a comic book story or maybe in ‘The Mandalorian’?