Mary Kate Monichetti ’21, Staff Writer

Source: Gadgets

This past December, Disney and Lucasfilm released the ninth and final episode in their infamous Skywalker Saga, titled Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The final chapter proved to be a bittersweet farewell in the space adventure series spanning over forty-two years. The ninth episode chronicles the return of the villainous Emperor Palpatine coinciding with the Resistance fighters taking their final stand against the troubled Kylo Ren and the First Order. To say that this movie was anticipated is quite an understatement; having been advertised as the final movie in the recent trilogy as well as the entire Skywalker Saga, fans and critics alike knew that The Rise of Skywalker would be the movie that would define the future of the Star Wars legacy itself.

The ninth episode takes the audience on a journey as they watch Rey’s acceptance of her past as well as Kylo Ren’s acceptance of his future, and whether or not that includes becoming Ben Solo again. Along the way, we are introduced to mysterious new characters such as Keri Russell’s Zorii Bliss and re-introduced to beloved fan favorites such as Billy Dee Williams’ Lando Calrissian.  These extra characters add a flare to the movie as the main heroes travel to various planets on their final adventure to take down Palpatine and the First Order. The film primarily focuses once again on the possible romance/connection between Rey and Kylo Ren; it’s been clear throughout the trilogy that these two characters on opposing sides of good and evil have a bond that neither person can totally explain. Rey has been trying to sway Kylo to the good side since the second movie as he in turn has been using his power to coerce her into joining the dark side.

            While the movie hit the mark in terms of character and Reylo scenes, the final episode in the saga not only received one of the lower Rotten Tomatoes rating in the franchise, but it also made some interesting decisions regarding fan favorite characters. Undoubtedly, the greatest error within the film would have to be the death of Ben Solo. This was right after he turned back to the good side and shed the identity of Kylo Ren that he then went to help Rey fight and destroy both Palpatine and the first order. In an act of ultimate sacrifice and love, Ben gave his life for Rey in the end, collapsing into her arms after they share their first and last kiss. This infuriated many Star Wars fans as they had waited almost five years to finally see Kylo Ren turn to the good side and be with Rey. The phrase “Ben Solo Deserved Better” soon took off on social media and truly captured the true sour taste that was left in fans mouths after leaving the theater. While moviegoers have disagreed on how they felt about the fan-favorite’s untimely demise, many can’t argue that the film did pay great tribute to the late Carrie Fisher and honored the original three stars as their story came to an effective close.