- Warning: There are spoilers ahead for “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.“
- Several moments in “TROS” appear to be direct digs or course corrections from 2017’s divisive “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”
- The new film appears to give fans a happier Luke Skywalker, brings back Kylo Ren’s helmet after it was smashed to pieces in “TLJ,” all but ignores a character introduced in the last film, and dismisses and changes the explanation for Rey’s heritage.
- Fans have criticized “TLJ” and “TROS” directors Rian Johnson and J.J. Abrams for either trashing “Star Wars” or leaning too heavy into nostalgia.
- They should be directing their ire toward Disney and Lucasfilm, which fast-tracked the sequel trilogy without an over-arching idea similar to its well-planned out Marvel movies and which tossed out George Lucas’ original treatments for the new films.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more.
Mark Hamill returns in “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” as a Force ghost. In a pivotal moment, he catches his lightsaber after Rey tosses it into a fire.
“A Jedi’s weapon deserves more respect,” Skywalker tells her.
The line not only reads as a direct dig at the treatment of Luke in “The Last Jedi,” but it also seems to undo one of the biggest fan complaints of the Rian Johnson-directed film. At the start of “TLJ,” Luke takes his lightsaber from Rey and carelessly tosses it over his shoulder before walking away from her.
That moment, coupled with Skywalker’s hermit lifestyle and flippant attitude towards the Jedi and the Resistance, led Hamill himself to initially express frustration with the interpretation of the character. He told ABC’s “Nightline” he disagreed with “virtually everything” Johnson decided about Luke. During the press tour for the film in 2017, Hamill was documented saying the Skywalker we see in “TLJ” is “not my Luke” and that he even had a back and forth with Johnson over Luke’s direction. When the film debuted months later, many fans sided with Hamill, saying Luke appeared out of character from the original trilogy and with the code of the Jedi. (Hamill later said he regretted voicing his doubts about the character after the film’s release.)
During a recent Academy screening of “TROS,” director J.J. Abrams said Luke’s line about respecting a Jedi’s weapon in the latest “Star Wars” film isn’t “flipping off” “TLJ.” But that scene is one of a few in the new film that appears to undo elements from or make knocks at “TLJ” so much so that Abrams’ film almost feels like a direct sequel to 2015’s “The Force Awakens,” which is widely enjoyed by critics and fans alike.
The omissions of story elements from “TLJ” in “TROS” and subtle digs between the two films show the larger difficulties and pressures of making a large, crowd-pleasing trilogy to one of the largest examples of intellectual property in a confined amount of time throughout script changes and director shuffles.