Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – 5 secrets revealed in the film’s novelization
The book fills in the gaps and answers a few burning questions.
The final instalment of the Skywalker saga, ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ was released for home viewing on #MaytheFourth and with it comes a whole new set of questions and critiques of the film. The film is far from perfect and has numerous editing and story issues, but it brings the new trilogy to a satisfying and hopeful conclusion. Whatever your own feelings about the film, we all walked away with several questions about some of the plot threads and character arcs.
The novelization of the ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ by Rae Carson adds details to the on-screen action and character development. Given the medium, the author is able to explore more of the story. We list five secrets revealed in the novel.
5. Rose’s Importance
One of the unforgivable sins of ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ was how little screen time Rose Tico was given. The creators attempted to explain it by saying Rose’s scenes were tied to Carrie Fisher’s, but in actuality, most of Rose’s work had to do with keeping the Resistance technology up and running in time to face the Final Order.
Rose doesn’t get a phenomenal amount of time on the page either, but her importance in the Resistance and to the main characters is hinted at throughout the book. Rose is such an accomplished engineer that several of the main characters often remark about how their ships wouldn’t be functional if it weren’t for Rose. Rose also holds a command position in the Resistance and she is very close with both Finn and Rey. In fact, Rey even has a friendly, reassuring exchange with Rose before leaving to search for the Sith Wayfinder. It really wouldn’t have been hard to add in one extra scene of Rose in the Resistance – the filmmakers just didn’t try.
4. The Sacred Jedi Texts
The Jedi texts, which were first seen in ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’, have become something of a joke for many viewers, but Rey takes them very seriously. Not only did Luke study the texts, but he added his own notes and recommendations. These aid Rey throughout her training under General Leia in the final chapter of the saga.
As we see in the film, Rey is able to command the Force in ways that her predecessors didn’t, including the ability to create force lightening and transfer life force from herself to another. These powers are seen as ‘unnatural’ by the Jedi, but when wielded for good, they are just another way to channel the Force. Though some of Rey’s abilities may be a direct result of her connection to Darth Sidious/ Emperor Palpatine, the novelization makes it clear that Rey’s skills are backed by her scholarly knowledge of the Jedi ways. She also uses the texts to create her own unique lightsaber. Goes to show you, kids, studying really does help!
3. Palpatine’s Clone
One of the biggest grouses for some critics of the Skywalker swan song, was the return of Emperor Palpatine. We saw him being exterminated in ‘Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi’, so how did he return? The short answer is, he didn’t. Palpatine had been working on using Kaminoan technology to create clones of himself. Palpatine was obsessed with the notion of immortality, an idea he stole from his master Darth Plagueis the Wise.
The Kaminoans had successfully created the clone army, so Palpatine had them create clones of himself. As he plummeted to his death, Palpatine sent his consciousness into a clone. However, the clones deteriorated fast due to the power in Palpatine, leaving Palpatine body hopping. This is why Palpatine wants Rey – she has the power to maintain his consciousness. And, for those wondering how Rey’s father was born; he was a clone of Palpatine’s who didn’t have any Force abilities. He left to make a life for himself and… well, we know the rest.
2. The Dyad
‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ introduced a new concept to the films – Rey and Kylo Ren’s Force connection. The final film took this concept up a notch, by allowing the two characters to invade each other’s space through the Force. We often saw them battling each other even though they were far away. The connection also often led Rey and Ren to each other’s locations. This was a cinematic spectacle, but there’s a reason why these two characters have this connection.
Rey and Ren form a Dyad, an erstwhile doctrine that is co-opted by the Sith. The Dyad was replaced by the Rule of Two, that of a Master and an Apprentice working together, probably because someone in the past realized that the Dyad was ridiculously invasive and required the users to be extremely powerful. Since Ren is the grandchild of Darth Vader, and Rey the grandchild of Palpatine, their combined power not only brought them together, but kept them together as well. Apparently Palpatine attempted to form a Dyad with his apprentice Anakin Skywalker, but he seemingly failed. Not that he needed a Dyad to control Anakin, his manipulations were effective.
1. Leia’s Legacy
In the ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ film, we are privy to one scene of a younger Leia training with her brother Luke. She abandoned her training soon after to continue her political career as that was more important to keeping the galaxy afloat. Leia, did, however, leave her legacy lightsaber with Luke so he could pass it on. The book elaborates on Leia’s Jedi training and reveals she could best Luke at his own game. There is a delightful scene of Luke ribbing Leia’s ability to levitate, before she flaunts her skills.
We glimpse Leia’s internal thought processes as well. She is aware that she’s dying – the injuries she sustained when her ship was hit in ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ have a lasting impact. Throughout the book, Luke calls to her from the other side and Leia resists the temptation to join her family so as to support Rey and bring Ben back to the light. It’s only when Ben has turned does Leia find peace. For Leia, it’s the realization that her three heritages – Organa, Skywalker and Solo – will be effectively carried on by Poe Dameron, Rey and Ben, that allows her the peace she needs.
The book is a fitting companion to the film, allowing fans to not only relive the events on screen, but fills in some gaps. We learn more about Zorii Bliss and her gang of spice-runners, about Lando Calrissian’s life after the events of the original trilogy, as well as plenty about the Force. The book also details some of the ships that join the cavalry against the Final Order. Yes, some of our favourites from other Star Wars properties are in there. To get the full list you’ll have to read the book.