Last Friday Star Wars fans were finally provided with a tantalizing teaser for Episode IX where we not only got to see our favorite heroes and villains again but also were introduced to the name of this Skywalker saga finale, The Rise of Skywalker. The title was met with mixed thoughts. Some loved it and immediately began to theorize about what the name could mean, while there were those who didn’t like it and thought it was just a straight up stupid name. For me, I found myself in the middle of both realms. On one hand, I like the title and then, on the other hand, I find myself confused by the title’s pronunciation, for it doesn’t flow off the tongue as easily as some of the other Star Wars titles.
But last night, after watching The Last Jedi, I realized that there may be way more meaning to this name than first conceived. There are plenty of theories out there in the world about the title and what it could mean for the movie. One of the theories is that “Skywalker” is a new term for the supposed Jedi. While that may seem silly (and clearly not right) I think these theorists may be closer to the answer behind the meaning of this title than they think and I think I may have solved at least a portion of the title’s meaning. So, on that note, here’s a deeper analysis into the title: The Rise of Skywalker.
(The words in bold are to emphasize certain points in the post.)
The Sequel Trilogy
Before I delve deep into the past Star Wars films we have to begin this analysis at the matter at hand; the sequel trilogy. The sequel trilogy is supposedly the bow on the Skywalker cake, finishing what will be over forty years of storytelling surrounding a very specific family line; the Skywalkers. The Rise of Skywalker is supposed to be the finale of this trilogy and yet it has some people confused. How can this be the end of an era but the name of the movie starts with the two words “The Rise”?
It can be taken in the literal sense but I believe it can also be viewed in the metaphorical sense as well. And the proof of that theory is throughout the Skywalker saga.
In The Last Jedi, while speaking to Kylo Ren, Snoke chastises him about not being strong enough to defeat Rey and find Skywalker. He snaps, “Skywalker lives! The seed of the Jedi order lives. As long it does, hope lives in the galaxy.”
You see, this is the first clue to maybe what The Rise of Skywalker means. With Skywalker’s presence in the galaxy, there will always be a feeling of hope for the oppressed and the Resistance. The First Order mean to quench that hope but with those like Rey and Leia continuing to fight in the memory of Luke Skywalker that hope is living on through their actions. Hence, The Rise of Skywalker. Let’s look at more evidence to support this theory.
Here I take us back one movie to The Force Awakens where Kylo Ren has an audience with Snoke. This is the first time we meet the mysterious Supreme Leader and even though his time is brief in the film he places quite a few nuggets in the overall story. One of these nuggets is his words about Skywalker. This is what he says to Kylo.
“If Skywalker returns, the new Jedi will rise.”
You see how he uses the name Skywalker? Not Luke Skywalker. It’s a trend that fits perfectly with the title of Episode IX, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. And here, in this quote about Skywalker we see the word rise as well. There’s a connection here. With Skywalker‘s return, the new Jedi will rise and hope will live in the galaxy. You see where I’m going with this?
The Rise of Skywalker could very well be talking about the literal rise of someone connected with the Skywalker lineage but I have a feeling it is very symbolic towards the rise of hope in the galaxy.
There is also, however, a darker side to this theory. One that proves that The Rise of Skywalker could also hint toward the rise of darkness in the galaxy as well. To delve deep into that theory, however, I have to go back to the prequel trilogy to Anakin Skywalker’s ascension to darkness.
The Prequel Trilogy
Anakin Skywalker was “The Chosen One.” He was supposedly the one the Jedi foresaw destroying the Sith and bringing peace to the galaxy. But the prophecy was flawed, not easily understood, and it would turn out that Anakin (The Chosen One) would be drawn to the dark side by Emperor Palpatine and converted into Darth Vader.
In this scene depicted in the picture above Mace Windu has just been killed, Anakin Skywalker falls to his knees as he is swallowed into Sidious’s great power, and he is given the title, Darth Vader.
Anakin speaks: “Thank you, my master.”
Emperor Palpatine: “Rise.”
Anakin Skywalker then rises as a new man, a dark lord of the Sith named Darth Vader. Get it? This is yet another version of The Rise of Skywalker, albeit a darker scenario.
We thought the prophecy was actually fulfilled due to Darth Vader chucking Darth Sidious into the Death Star but it turns out he may not be so dead after all. And now he may be after Anakin’s grandson, Ben Solo, and The Rise of Skywalker could mean the ascension of Ben’s status as the ultimate villain. That would definitely be frightening.
I ultimately believe, however, that The Rise of Skywalker is definitely the embodiment of hope. Luke Skywalker’s legend is great, it has extended across the galaxy, and The Last Jedi deepens upon this idea in the very last scene of the film.
Three children that Finn and Rose meet in Canto Bight are talking about Luke Skywalker’s last heroic feat on Crait against the First Order. The children are wide-eyed as the boy tells them the riveting tale. And then the boss shows up, disrupts their joy, and the little boy with the broom, Temiri Blagg, goes to sweep.
As he sweeps he looks to the sky, his Resistance ring on his finger, and a wistful look in his eyes. Because of Luke Skywalker, hope has continued to live through the galaxy and now Rey is an instrument of that hope.
She is what will continue Skywalker’s legacy and bring peace to the galaxy, as Luke would have wanted.
So yes, The Rise of Skywalker may be a literal title but I am definitely convinced that The Rise of Skywalker is just a symbolic way of saying that not only have the Jedi returned but that hope has, indeed, been restored to the galaxy.
What do you think The Rise of Skywalker might mean? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
I thank you for reading and I hope you have a fantastic day. May the Force be with you.