Before I complete my Star Wars Favorite Scenes series, I’m going to briefly talk about one thing from the fan reaction of this movie that I think is a little misguided. While I didn’t love this movie, I think it’s getting some undue hate. Let’s talk about one of the things that fans have put at this movie’s doorstep.
This post will have Rise of Skywalker SPOILERS, but fairly mild ones.
I even debated whether or not to tag this as having spoilers, because technically, it’s all kind of in the trailer. There are a lot of tweets where people argue that The Rise of Skywalker bringing back Emperor Palpatine – who apparently was never dead – ruins Anakin’s character arc from episodes 1-6 because that arc ends with Anakin intervening as the Emperor attempts to kill Luke.
And this is an opinion that a fair number of people seem to have.
But here’s the thing. People are confusing plot and story. The plot here is Anakin killing Emperor Palpatine. But the story – what we would call Anakin’s redemption arc – is how he overcomes evil, and saves his son. Character arcs are how a character changes over time, not just one thing he does. His arc is becoming a better person – and he’s not a better person because he kills the Emperor, but rather because he saves his son.
A lot of people have a wide variety of issues with Rise of Skywalker and most of them are entirely fair, but I just don’t know about this one. I’m still processing this movie, but I think liking it less because of this doesn’t quite make sense to me.