Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Needs To Fix These Loose Ends
In the recent Vanity Fair article on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, two details came as something of a relief. One, that the origins of the First Order would be explored, and two, that the Knights of Ren would appear and presumably be explained too. For fans of The Force Awakens, one of the biggest issues with The Last Jedi was that it ignored or dismissed almost every question the first film in the new trilogy raised. But while director J.J. Abrams clearly wants to tell his own story this time, he also feels responsible to bring closure to the entire nine-film tale. In that vein, here are a few other Star Wars saga loose ends he could explain and/or wrap up throughout the saga that might make the entirety of it better.
And yes, some of them may have been explained in spin-off novels, but for our purposes those don’t count.
A Door Ajar
Whether you like Jar Jar Binks or not (and most people I know are in the “not” camp), he’s a significant figure in Star Wars lore. To historians of the Star Wars universe, he’d be akin to Neville Chamberlain. In other words, a perceived incompetent statesman who essentially gave the store away to the evil dictator people should have seen coming. We don’t necessarily need to see his bleached skull in the Jakku desert, as Abrams once joked. But even a a memorial statue or a throwaway line by a villain (“We’ll make you disappear just like we did Representative Binks,” for example) that tells us what finally happened to him would go a long way. Key players need closure, and he is one. A post-Disney Star Wars novel suggests he wound up a homeless street performer, but since he was never actually named, there’s leeway.
Maybe Ahmed Best’s recent appearance at Celebration was foreshadowing.
Unbreak Her Heart
Padme dying of “a broken heart” is one of the most derided moments in the entire saga. It’s not that it’s impossible to lose the will to live, but that it’s rushed so fast in an attempt to hit every plot point before the prequel trilogy ends. Think about it: whose word are we taking? A gynecologist robot’s? What if — and this doesn’t feel like a stretch, really — Palpatine somehow dealt the final blow, either by reaching out with the Force or simply having a spy reprogram said robot? Since he’s coming back in the new film, he could tell us. And Padme’s fate would be more justified.
Bad Boys, What’cha Gonna Do?
Ask Star Wars fans which movie is their least favorite of the saga, and Attack of the Clones is likely to be it. Perhaps because it’s hard to buy the romance between Anakin and Padme. We get why he’d fall for her –she’s smart, moral, beautiful, and generally has good instincts. Vice versa, though? He’s kind of wooden, he murders indigenous peoples in a rage, and he dreams of being a benevolent dictator. Yet people like that in real life do attract partners. And most dictators do find wives.
Give Padme a reason to be attracted to bad boys. It’s not that hard. At some point, the new movie is probably going to talk about Rey’s ancestry. Expand on that discussion to include Padme’s, and maybe reveal that her father was a war hero who committed atrocities for what he perceived as the greater good. That’s the kind of thing that could have made her more resolute to fight for justice without tyranny, but also created an emotional connection to warriors with a mean streak.
Spill the Boba Tea
Let me just say that if Temuera Morrison shows up onscreen as Old Boba Fett, I will scream for joy. And I surely won’t be the only one.
Technically, Boba’s story is resolved. He got accidentally jabbed in the back by a blind man, and fell screaming into the Sarlacc, which burped. Fandom has never been entirely happy with that, and the old EU explicitly had him survive. The bounty hunter cool and smart enough to track Han Solo where the Empire failed was made even cooler by implication when his clone dad was chosen to be the ultimate prototype for a clone army. So how could he die that clumsily and pathetically?
Maybe he didn’t. Maybe he needed an excuse to get out of Jabba’s service. And laid low by falling into a hole in the ground that he could easily use the weapons in his suit to get out of later.
Or perhaps he just had a bad day, but he still survived. If so, you’d have to imagine he has a grudge against Lando.
If the original lightsaber of Anakin Skywalker is going to be so significant to the new story, we really do need to know where Maz Kanata found it. Presumably Lando’s reappearance will have something to do with it. Maybe we’ll learn that the crystals inside them use the Force to hone in on their true user. Who knows? Just give us something other than “convenient character had convenient thing.”
Bight or Blight
Canto Bight sucks. It’s basically a rip-off of Carillon from the original Battlestar Galactica movie, and it’s the setting for a subplot that advances our heroes’ journey not at all. Plus it has all those damn street-urchin moppets who look like they got shipped in from another Disney soundstage where they’re remaking Oliver!.
Here’s the thing: the First Order has a reason to think so, too. If all the arms dealers there are supplying both sides, it’s hard to imagine Supreme Leader Kylo Ren just letting that pass. And thanks to DJ’s betrayal, he must know by now.
So what if they just blow the planet up? Would anyone really be sad?
A Rose by Any Other Name
I have no problem whatsoever with Kelly Marie Tran, whom I presume played the character of Rose as written. It’s her usage in the story that doesn’t quite work. Finn has actual romantic chemistry with Rey in The Force Awakens, and he calls for her when he wakes up. Presumably Rian Johnson was intending to duplicate the love-triangle dynamic in The Empire Strikes Back, before we knew Luke and Leia were siblings. But Rose just comes off as nagging, and her declaration of love feels unearned. This plays especially weird when you watch Tran’s chemistry reads with Boyega on the Blu-ray extras, which is so much better than their final scenes together.
So what if Rose is a spy? One directed to make Finn fall in love with her, so she forces the timeline?
It would be a divisive storyline for sure, but it would explain why they’re such a peculiarly passionless male-female pairing.
Where There’s Snoke…
Johnson, and high-profile defenders like Rob Liefeld, have made the argument that we know exactly as much about Supreme Leader Snoke in The Last Jedi as we did about the Emperor in Return of the Jedi. This is true, but misleading.
Here’s why: the Emperor was presented as part of the premise of Star Wars from the beginning. He’s even mentioned in the first movie! Snoke was added two-thirds of the way through the larger story with no explanation whatsoever. That’s very different. From a story purpose, for the whole saga to make sense, Snoke has to make sense as well. How did an eight-foot, pizza-faced Hugh Hefner with Sith powers suddenly show up and take control of everything? Who he is happens to be less important than how he got there.
Fan theories have speculated that he’s Darth Plagueis, or a rotting clone body for Palpatine, or even an alter-ego created by Kylo Ren from the Force itself. Pick one, or choose another. But tell us where he came from somehow.
And While We’re Splitting Siths…
If you watch all the animated shows, you know how Darth Maul’s story ends.
If you only watch the movies, his appearance in Solo is really weird, and unresolved. Give Palpatine a throwaway line about Maul’s final defeat, and we’ll call it good.
What are loose ends you want to see resolved in The Rise of Skywalker? Let us know in the comment section below!
Recommended Viewing: Star Wars: The Original Trilogy Blu-ray