“The Rise of Skywalker” Ruins the Star Wars Trilogy

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Deseret News

A battle scene between Kylo Ren and Rey from "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker"

Liam Mickulas-Mesco, Contributor

WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS TO STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER

Ever since Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released in 2015, Rey has been accused of being a Mary Sue, a female character who lacks flaws or weaknesses. While this argument has some merit, it has its drawbacks. For example, after The Force Awakens came out, some Star Wars fans were mad that she was able to beat Kylo Ren despite her lack of training. This is somewhat understandable until you realize that Kylo was conflicted and wasn’t trying to kill Rey. During the chaotic aftermath of The Last Jedi, fans were annoyed that Rey was able to beat Kylo again and save the trapped remnants of the Resistance. This time, the allegations that Rey is a Mary Sue hold more weight; she shouldn’t have been able to defeat an enraged Kylo, and we never saw her train with the Force.
These detractors aside, Rey is still a character fans enjoy watching. She’s a character that I personally enjoy watching. That changed when I saw The Rise of Skywalker a few weeks ago. I was in the minority of people who initially thought the movie was good, but after a while, it became harder to ignore the movie’s various issues. Especially when it came to Rey.

Rotten Tomatoes
The Rotten Tomatoes score of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” based off of critics’ reviews

THE NEXT SECTION CONTAINS SEVERAL SPOILERS. If you haven’t seen the movie, watch it first. It’s a fun, but it also trashes the characters we spent 4 years following. There’s only going to be one example of this in this article because it is the worst offender.
There’s one scene during the final fight between Rey and Palpatine (yeah, he’s back). This scene isn’t only a disservice to Rey, but to Sheev as well. In the scene, he’s shooting his Sith lightning at her and she’s blocking it with her lightsaber. The undead Emperor then proceeds to rip-off Thanos by saying “I am all the Sith,” with Rey countering by pulling out a second lightsaber and deflecting the lightning back at him, saying “I am Iron Man.” Sorry, I meant “I am all the Jedi.”
J.J., calm down. We all know Star Wars and Marvel movies are in a “Cold War,” and we all understand that Endgame did well, but there’s no need for a rip-off.
Somehow, Rey using two lightsabers to block and push the lightening with her means she can make her way to Palpatine. This is now the third time Sheev has been bested by his own lightning (once in a fight against Mace Windu, again in a struggle against Vader, and finally here, with Rey). You would think he’d know to stop at this point, but no. This scene completely ruined his character and in my mind, it almost solidified Rey as a Mary Sue.
Although this is only one example, it perfectly encapsulates the problem with this Star Wars trilogy. It started out on a high note, giving fans a big glass of nostalgia juice while also getting us pumped for what was to come. The Last Jedi was initially a low for many of us, but after digesting what we viewed, we were able to understand that the movie was trying to tell a story we couldn’t predict. The Rise of Skywalker ruins the entire trilogy by trying to pretend it never happened. The movie re-characterizes a lot of the cast while trying to have fanservice carry the movie. It didn’t work.
Like I said before, I still recommend this movie, but only if you’re a casual Star Wars fan. You’ll have a fun time without getting mad at the things that are stupid. Let’s hope the spin-off movies and shows continue to be great, because they’re our only hope.