Overall, I liked The Rise of Skywalker. It’s got everything a Star Wars could hope for, but it’s also a jumbled mess. It’s filled with fan service moments and while sometimes that can be a good thing, I feel like it tries so hard to retcon the Last Jedi. Some of these complaints will probably be explained in a book or comic, but for now, we are left with tons of unanswered questions and many of the movie’s shortcomings.
11. How did Palpatine come back?
Palpatine being back neglects the impact of his death in the original trilogy. How did he survive the fall? How did he get to Exegol? What was that machine for? Can he leave Exegol? Is he actually a phantom? “The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural” is not a good enough answer. Sorry, JJ.
10. When did the Emperor get busy?
With whom did the emperor have a son with? Was it a romantic relationship or just a means to an end? The Emperor does not seem like the kind of guy who would want to share his power with anyone. He’s a manipulator and a liar and above all he wants to conquer and cheat death. He does not love. So when did he get busy? Before or after his face got all ugly with scars? Rey is supposed to be twenty in this new trilogy and Kylo 30. So Kylo was conceived pretty early by Leia and Han and was born on the very last day of the empire. So when was Emperor Palpatine’s son born? He certainly looked like a good man, but why? What happened to make him decide to hide his child from The Emperor? Why didn’t the Emperor led him to Exegol in order to execute him? Was it because he wasn’t powerful enough? To me, Rey being a nobody, was a much better answer and made her character much more interesting.
9. The Sith Dagger
The dagger makes no sense at all. First off, they find it inside a cave after nearly dying (that is surprisingly well lit) after they go after a ship that’s been lying there for thirty years that hasn’t been scrapped for parts yet. They magically find the dagger in the cave, which Rey deems it must have a long history, although it pinpoints the exact location of the wayfinder inside the second death star that crash-landed in the waters. So, who built the dagger in the thirty years after the destruction of the base? For what reason? Didn’t the waves move the debris? You have to stand at the exact spot to know the location of the wayfinder, otherwise the dagger is useless. Also, couldn’t Rey just have sensed it through the force? If she’s that powerful?
8. The Knights of Ren are completely useless
The knights of Ren are pointless to the overall story of the sequel trilogy. What have we learned from them? Nothing. They don’t even talk in the film and all they do is follow people around. All mystic created for them in the first two films are gone. They just serve no purpose, other than one cool fight scene at the end against Kylo. They’re like Captain Phasma, times six.
7. Why did Rey bury The Lightsabers on Tatooine?
It all started on Tatooine, and it all ended on Tatooine, but why did Rey actually go and bury the lightsabers there? Luke always wanted to leave, Anakin hated sand, Leia’s only visit on Tatooine revolved in being in a slave bikini for a giant slug, so it kind of seems like the Skywalkers would not want their lightsabers to be buried there, but JJ Abrams wanted to put the twin suns at the end and he wanted Rey to declare that she was a Skywalker rather than a Palpatine (despite the entire message of the movie, don’t be afraid of who you are). Is it nostalgic? Yes. Does it work? Kind of, but it had very little to no emotional impact for me because we’ve already been here and the prequels ended the same way.
6. How does the relationship between the Emperor and Snoke work?
Why was Palpatine creating more Snoke’s after the supreme leader was murdered by Kylo Ren? If Palpatine was behind Snoke, then how did he not know of Rey and Kylo’s connection? The Emperor goes from planning on possessing his granddaughter to instead draining the power of the force dyad, shared by Rey and Kylo Ren. It seemed so strange to me, how is Snoke a puppet? Does he communicate with The Emperor on a daily, weekly or monthly bases? I feel like Snoke was supposed to be the baddy of the entire trilogy but Rian killed him, so they had to bring the evilest dude of the galaxy back in one movie, and he ultimately did not do much in the end.
5. Why was Threepio programmed to speak Sith?
Anakin built him, he didn’t speak sith when he was a slave. Threepio claims the Old Republic had passed legislation that forced protocol droids to be programmed not to translate Sith, but why would they do that when they believed the Sith were gone ever since Darth Bane whipped them out? I found it all very convenient to the overall plot and very unlike what we know before of Threepio.
4. So wait, how did some of the other Jedi learn to be one with the Force?
Qui Gon was the first to do it but he died before he could give the knowledge to all the rest of the Jedi, so how do they know how to become one with the force when they passed on? It makes for one of the film’s best scenes, but it does raise plenty of questions, ones that will need to be answered down the line. Are they really one with Rey? And are the Sith really one with Palpatine? Literally? How is Palpatine all the sith if they can’t become force ghosts? But I digress.
3. Rose Tico having barely two minutes of screen time
I felt like the Rose Tico arc could have really gone somewhere if Lucasfilm hadn’t completely abandoned as they did in Rise of Skywalker, which is very unfortunate. Kelly Marie Tran is a very capable actress and a very beautiful woman, that got harassed and bullied online because of her race and gender, and Lucasfilm reducing her role in the film left a very bad taste in my mouth. Rose Tico deserved better. There was even a scene with her and Rey, that completely got removed from the movie.
2. How did Lando get the entire Fleet in fifteen minutes to Exegol?
Ok, so one of the biggest questions marks I have is how the hell did Lando get everyone to Exegol in time to save the day in just about fifteen minutes from when he leaves the resistance base from when they learn of the planet’s existence? You’re telling me he had the time to fly to all of the primary systems, get everyone to help, while in the Last Jedi no one came. We learn in the novels Resistance Reborn and in Blackspire that the resistance has gathered new allies, but it’s still super tiny in comparison to the fleet in Rise of Skywalker. While the shot is impressive and cool, it just feels like lazy writing to me.
1. How and why does the Emperor have a hidden fleet of Star Destroyers that can blow up planets beneath the ice?
This is the biggest one. Palpatine is supposed to be a genius of tactical decisions, right? So why did he chose a planet so inaccessible that they cannot escape without a single transmission broadcasted? Where was the fleet built? How did Palpatine get the recourses to do it? Where did Palpatine get the Kyber crystals for the entire fleet? In James Luceno’s Catalyst, it is said that Kyber Crystals are super unstable and it’s why the death star reactors we’re so big. It would make sense if JJ abrams or Chris Terrio had attempted to explain it, but we are left with so many questions after this movie ends it is mind-boggling. I feel like JJ was trying way too hard to win back fans and sacrificing the story for fan service moments.