palpatine

Why Palpatine’s return made perfect sense (+ redeeming the Jedi Order)

Hey it’s time for the the Star Wars Blogathon!

And I decided to write about a Star Wars twist I very much liked.

So…Palpatine’s return in The Rise of Skywalker was… a point of contention among most Star Wars fans, I know. And some of the criticisms I agree with! It wasn’t executed well at all. (If you have to both read the novelisation and play Fortnite to get the whole story, something’s gone wrong.) But…

Palpatine actually being there in the first place? In terms of the overall Star Wars story, it makes sense!

Palps has always been the Big Bad of Star Wars. He’s not really a person in a way, more just the embodiment of evil in the world. (Sometimes I think of him as the Star Wars equivalent of the One Ring.) But the prequel trilogy makes pretty clear that the Jedi allowed that embodiment of evil to rise, via neglect, ignorance, arrogance or all three. Like – the individual Jedi are great people, but their system is so very broken. They don’t free slaves, they don’t intervene where they should, they don’t understand Anakin’s connection to his mother… they’re part of the reason for Anakin’s fall. Not on purpose obviously, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

This gifset sums it up really well I thought:

And in the movies – I’m not counting all the secondary material here – it’s something the Jedi never really get to make up for. Anakin’s throwing Palpatine in the pit is a redemption for him but it doesn’t quite redeem the Jedi for their part in things. They just get to die.

Until The Rise of Skywalker! The Jedi are able to finally redeem themselves by assisting Rey. It’s a wonderful scene because it does the thing Star Wars has always been about, making up for the mistakes of the past.

Windu: Feel the Force flowing through you, Rey.

Anakin: Let it lift you.

Adi Gallia: Rise, Rey.

Qui-Gon: We stand behind you, Rey.

Obi-Wan: Rey.

Yoda: Rise in the Force.

Kanan: In the heart of the Jedi, lies her strength.

Obi-Wan: Rise.

Qui-Gon: Rise.

Luke: Rey, the Force will be with you. Always.

I dearly wish we had seen the Jedi in uh… the flesh? In physical form. But hearing their voices was powerful as well. When Rey says “And I am all the Jedi!” to Palpatine it feels deserved, to me at least, because now these other people have finally got the same thing Anakin got – a chance to make up for their mistakes.

And that’s why I liked Palpatine’s return. :)

A Finn-ale

So after the John Boyega interview where he rightly complained about Finn being sidelined, I wondered, there must have been a way to write him into the Rise of Skywalker finale and de-sideline him, surely?

So what I would have done is this:

Finn goes with Rey to Exegol. (From here on, Finn’s original role in the movie is taken by Rose.) He has a lightsaber with him, Luke’s lightsaber, which counts as his now. Rey has Leia’s. He’s completely untrained but willing to fight to defend the galaxy anyway. Even if he’s not necessarily Force-sensitive, he’s still willing.

There, Palpatine immediately captures Finn, realising right away that he must mean something to his granddaughter. He torments Rey by telling her this wouldn’t be the first time he’d turned someone into a Sith by using their love for another.

Palpatine shocks Finn once with Force lightening and this is enough to make Rey crumble. She tells Palpatine that he can do whatever he wants, just spare Finn. There you go, almost the exact same way Anakin fell…

…except Finn isn’t having it. From behind whatever Force-field Palpatine has him in he tells Rey that he would rather die than see her become a Sith and the galaxy in darkness. He tells her he’s spent all his life trying to find agency and he’s damn well not about to let it go now, even in the face of death. Hey turns out Rey and Finn were the Anakin and Padme of their generation, not the Han and Leia, except they’re not about to make the same mistakes.

Palpatine just laughs evilly at this, as he usually does, and is about to deliver the killing blow to Finn but THEN Ben Solo enters the picture! He strikes Palpatine from behind, causing enough damage to free Finn from his clutches. Now the game has changed! Rey, Finn and Ben go 3-1 against Palpatine (albeit probably with some confusion on Finn’s part as to why Kylo Ren is there.) They’re doing pretty well for the first few minutes! Then Palpatine aims some lightening at Rey. Finn somehow deflects it away from her but instead it hits him full-on.

Rey thinks he’s dead and is horrified and grief-stricken, but she can hear the voice of Anakin Skywalker in her head telling her not to give into her rage. She listens, and Ben can not only feel her emotions but suddenly hear the voice of his grandfather as well. This distracts him so much Palpatine is able to shove him into the pit and remove him from the fight.

NOW Rey, all alone and thinking her true love (Finn, not Ben) is dead, finds herself able to do what it took Anakin a lifetime to understand. With all the ghosts of all the Jedi working through her, she calls on the Light Side and defeats Palpatine once and for all. Only then does she run to Finn and allow her emotions to take over. He definitely appears to be dead and she sobs while holding him.

Then Ben comes climbing up out of the pit. He looks at the scene before him and realises what he has to do. Without a single word said, he kneels down and he Force-heals Finn. Rey watches in bewilderment. Finn sits up with a gasp, instantly falling into Rey’s arms. Rey exchanges a look of intense gratitude with Ben and then realises he’s given all of his lifeforce over to Finn. He’s dying. She takes his hand, but does not kiss him, as he dies and disappears.

At the end of the movie both Rey and Finn (and BB8) return to Tatooine. Finn wonders how he was able to deflect the lightening away from Rey back on Exegol, and Rey ponders that maybe it’s a person’s willingness to sacrifice, rather than any training or even any Force sensitivity, that makes them a true Jedi. She names herself “Skywalker” and Finn says he would like that name as well, which sounds an awful lot like a proposal.

The sun sets as Luke, Leia AND HAN watch the new generation from the afterlife. All is finally well in the galaxy.

-The end.

The Rise of Skywalker novelization apparently reveals that Palpatine’s son was a clone!

Arrrrgh. I did honestly really like The Rise of Skywalker, but it annoys me so much that they had all this great material and just… didn’t put it in. What’s the story of Rey’s father, how did he escape Palpatine’s clutches?! What’s his name, even? I really, really want to know all that, that could be a movie or TV show in itself, but will it ever materialise…?

Star Wars Thoughts

Rae Carson’s novelization for The Rise of Skywalker officially releases on March 17, but parts of it have hit the internet early.

Included in that was the big but not crazy reveal that Palpatine’s spirit occupied a clone body in the film. That meant that there were two clones in the film (in Palpatine and Snoke)… but it turns out there was a third.

The novelization apparently reveals that Palpatine’s son was a clone.

Posted to the Star Wars Leaks subreddit, we read this excerpt from the book:

“The heretics of the Sith Eternal toiled, splicing genes, bolstering tissue, creating unnatural abominations in the hope that one of these strandcasts would succeed and become a worthy receptacle. The heretics would do anything, risk anything, sacrifice anything, to create a cradle for their god-consciousness.

“Nothing worked. But their efforts were not entirely in vain.

“One genetic strandcast lived. Thrived…

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A line was cut from The Rise of Skywalker explaining that Palpatine was “more than a clone, less than a man” — Star Wars Thoughts

The upcoming novelization for The Rise of Skywalker, written by Rae Carson, reveals that Palpatine’s spirit lived on in a clone body. This gives a large part of the answer for how he returned, and the novelization makes it seem almost as if this clone body, which serves as the host for his spirit, can’t […]

A line was cut from The Rise of Skywalker explaining that Palpatine was “more than a clone, less than a man” — Star Wars Thoughts

Oh man… I kinda like that line. I wish any of this had made it to the movie.

The Full Set of Posters for ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ in Homage to the Original Trilogy

These! Are! Fantastic!

(I really like old-style movie posters.)

Phantasy Studio:

Star Wars has some of my favorite posters in cinema. Because I love them so much, I decided to recreate them featuring characters and themes from the Sequel Trilogy. And since I have paid homage to A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi, the full set is complete!

UZuri

I am so happy that I was able to illustrate these posters. Creating them helped me understand poster design more, allowed me to illustrate a multitude of characters at once, and has inspired me to continue creating posters in the future.

I especially love the color palettes used in each piece. The first uses vibrancies in pink, blue, yellow, and green, while the posters in homage to The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi uses blue heavily but they still differentiate themselves from each other.

Until next time!

Art Credit 2020: Phantasy Studio…

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Spacecest

So – is there any point warning for Star Wars spoilers anymore? – at the end of Rise of Skywalker, this kiss happens.

(gif from here. I guess there’s a camrip of the movie already?)

I’m not a Reylo shipper, but it was effective, I guess. Adam Driver’s acting in that scene was stellar, which made it mostly worth it overall. Except. EXCEPT

Rey and Ben are related! (Probably.)

So in a canonical Star Wars comic from last year, this scene happens,

which seems to confirm the Palpatine = technically Anakin’s father theory that’s been in the air ever since Revenge of the Sith came out. Okay cool! But Palpatine is also Rey’s grandfather, and Anakin is Ben’s…

See? You see what I mean?!

Why’s the question mark there? Well, because some of the Star Wars story people (holy heck, that’s a job? Sweet) have come out and said Palpatine is absolutely not Anakin’s father and all that stuff in the comic was a vision or a metaphor etc etc etc, but… it’s Star Wars. There’s pretty much no strict canon at all anymore, so heck, let’s assume that purely based on Palpatine’s Revenge of the Sith speech and the fact that he keeps calling Anakin “son” that he’s his, uh, I guess “Force Dad.”

So what does this make Rey and Ben? I have no idea, but let’s just say they’re closely enough related that they probably shouldn’t be kissing. (And that’s even without getting into the weirdness of Ben’s parents constantly serving as surrogate parents to Rey.)

Luke and Leia would be so proud.

The ‘Star Wars’ Saga Ends with ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ — Uzuri Art

The Empire Strikes Back has one of the most beautiful posters I have ever seen. Its simplicity speaks volumes to how epic that film ended up being. For this poster, I wanted to pay homage to that poster while speaking true to themes of ‘The Rise of Skywalker’. Finn has taken Luke Skywalker’s place as […]

The ‘Star Wars’ Saga Ends with ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ — Uzuri Art

Oh my gosh I LOVE this.

The Saga’s Never Over (Probably) (Also, Spoilers) (Also, Long Boring Descriptions Of Troubled Childhood)

Once upon a time in 1999, when I was a wee child of elevenish, I went to see The Phantom Menace. You gotta understand, it was a long hot summer, and there was nothing but The Phantom Menace and the marital troubles of my parents. Me and my siblings were shifted around. According to my childhood journal, we spent a lot of time at my grandparents’ house, a three hours drive away from the family home, being distracted by a variety of children’s entertainment. We went to a theme park, went to the beach, went to Warwick Castle with our cousins. At one point, I remember, we were taken to a sort of daycare center run by people who gave no indication that they liked kids or had ever been them. (I saw Jurassic Park, a film primarily about an adult learning to not disparage the interests of children, for the first time at that place.) For a few weeks we went to the home of a childminder who kept an eye on us. And throughout all that I was just clinging to this stupid movie about space samurai and teenage girls with laser guns.

(I promise this does actually have plenty to do with The Rise of Skywalker, okay?)

I remember that us and the childminder and a buncha other kids went to the rec for a picnic. Every damn box of food had a character from Star Wars on it. I loved it. Free toys in the boxes, too! I hoarded them all, even those horrible little Jar Jar tongue things which had no purpose beyond getting immediately sticky and gross and having to be thrown away. Oh and later we even got a friggin’ Naboo Starfighter tent!

Basically what I’m saying is, Star Wars was my childhood. The Star Wars prequels were my childhood. In a strange, far-off, voice-on-the-wind type way. When Attack of the Clones came out, it was the first time I was allowed to go to the cinema with no adult supervision, so that was cool. I was a bit older for Revenge of the Sith. My 2005 ‘review’ of it is somewhere on this blog, brought over from one of the archives, and it’s incredibly cringeworthy because being a teenager is incredibly cringeworthy. Anyway.

Those voices on the wind briefly returned for this movie, when Rey finds herself suddenly the avatar of all the Jedi who came before her. Among the voices she hears are Obi-Wan, Mace, Qui-Gon, Ahsoka (!!!) and Anakin. And here we’re getting into the weird space where Who Actually Owns Characters, Really? but it was nice, you know, to hear the voices that once encouraged me come back to encourage Rey.

I sort of did a laugh-cry in the theatre, which is probably also cringeworthy, sorry.

Maybe Rise of Skywalker actually is Objectively A Terrible Movie, as an awful lot of movies lots of people like seem to quickly become Objectively Terrible Movies, who knows? There was plenty of stuff I didn’t like. Really, I absolutely hate and am infuriated that Rose’s screentime was reduced, because I can guess why they did it. That’s horrible. What happened to this scene?

(Also I know the background same-sex kiss has come in for a reckoning, and I understand the problem with it but I just can’t bring myself to be overly mad in any way, because I feel like, I know there must be a child out there who spots it and feels better without understanding the wider problems of representation, and even if that lasts for so little time…at least it happens)

Anakin’s force ghost makes no appearance beyond the voice, which is very disappointing. And honestly, almost nothing about Palpatine makes sense in this film. But that one cry-laugh-with-joy moment was enough for me, and if it’s not enough for you that is also fine.

I very strongly suspect there will be another Star Wars trilogy somewhere down the line. All the people involved are saying “That’ll never happen!” but it’s Disney and they know where the money is. Also, it’s a story about war and there’s always war, we know that. Always kids fighting around the ruins of the last one. I don’t know if I’ll like any even newer movies, because honestly I’ve never been certain whether or not I like the sequels, they just make me feel stuff.

It’s hard when the voices in your head become the voices in someone else’s. But that’s life, and it’s normal, and I’m glad I was here to see it.

The Skywalker is rising

Ahhh! The poster is here!

I’m surprised Palpatine is front and center, I’ve gotta be honest, but it makes sense. (I still don’t know how big a role he’s actually playing. Guess it’s a massive one.) I like this poster, I think, but I don’t like how Palpatine’s face looks so awkwardly CGIed.

Apparently there was a BIG REVEAL in the trailer shown at D23 but it’s not out yet so there’s no pics of it! But it seems very… interesting. I am both eagerly anticipating and completely dreading this movie.