Leading up to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, I wrote a post highlighting my favorite scene from each movie in the series. Now, it’s finally time to discuss my favorite scene in the newest movie.
It’s been over a month since The Rise of Skywalker came out, and I still don’t know how to feel about it. I’ve seen it twice, and discussed it for hours with friends and family, but I can’t seem to come to a definite decision about it. Shortly after the release, I wrote a piece ranking all eleven movies, but I had to admit that Rise of Skywalker had the most potential to go up or down a few spots.
One thing I have realized is that I’m basically a sponge to the criticisms and takes of others: my friends who hated it would state their reasons why, and I’d say “Yeah, I totally agree,” and my dad walked out of the movie and said it was the greatest movie he’d ever seen and I said, “Yeah, it was pretty good, wasn’t it?” Perhaps the most damning part of that is that I don’t feel that strongly about it enough to either laud it or tear it to shreds.
But anyway, to draw this little series to a close, I need to select one favorite scene from The Rise of Skywalker. At first, I struggled to think about which scene was my favorite, but after a few minutes thought, I knew there was only one option.
After my post about my favorite scene in The Force Awakens, this likely won’t come as a surprise to anyone, but I’d have to say that my favorite Rise of Skywalker scene is the Redemption of Kylo Ren, when he is visited by the ghost or memory of Han Solo.
Here’s the confrontation between Ben and Han in The Force Awakens:
Kylo Ren: Your son is gone. He was weak and foolish like his father, so I destroyed him.
Han Solo: That’s what Snoke wants you to believe, but it’s not true. My son is alive.
Kylo Ren: No. The Supreme Leader is wise.
Han Solo: Snoke is using you for your power. When he gets what he wants, he’ll crush you. You know it’s true.
Kylo Ren: It’s too late.
Han Solo: No, it’s not. Leave here with me. Come home. We miss you.
Kylo Ren: I’m being torn apart. I want to be free of this pain. I know what I have to do but I don’t know if I have the strength to do it. Will you help me?
Han Solo: Yes. Anything
[Kylo offers his lightsaber, and as the room darkens, he ignites it, killing Han]
And here’s their confrontation in Rise of Skywalker:
Han Solo: Hey, kid. I missed you, son.
Kylo Ren: Your son is dead.
Han Solo: No… Kylo Ren is dead. My son is alive.
Kylo Ren: You’re just a memory.
Han Solo: Your memory. Come home.
Kylo Ren: It’s too late. She’s gone.
Han Solo: Your mother’s gone. But what she stood for, what she fought for… that’s not gone.
Kylo Ren: …I know what I have to do, but I don’t know if I have the strength to do it.
[Kylo Ren offers his lightsaber]
Han Solo: You do.
Kylo Ren: [on the verge of tears] Dad…
Han Solo: I know.
[Kylo throws his lightsaber away]
George Lucas is often quoted as saying “Star Wars is like poetry, it rhymes,” which has always been taken to mean pretty much anything, but I do think it applies here. We hear the same dialogue said in different contexts, and they mean entirely different things. We see how Ben has changed over the course of Last Jedi and up to that point in Rise of Skywalker. The use of the same language reminds us how far Ben has come.
And it really tugs at the heart-strings. The conversation is played with such raw emotion that – forgive me for saying this – it feels like it belongs in a much better movie.
This scene is well-done, clearly buoyed by the raw talent of the two actors involved. I just… wish that there was more development before and after this. Kylo Ren is barely in this movie after this point. His last line is “Ow,” as he jumps down and lands on a hard surface, shortly after arriving on Exegol. He revives Rey, but not having any dialogue before or after that act makes his character arc feel like it’s just fizzling out. It’s hard to say what I would have done differently, especially since this movie is already jam-packed, but… I think more Ben Solo would have done this movie some good.
There’s a million ways this movie could have gone, and I think this scene is just a brief look into what it could have been. I presume we would have gotten more of this plot line if Carrie Fischer had not passed away, but I don’t think you necessarily need Leia or Han to complete Ben’s redemption story. Adam Driver could have carried it on his own merit.
For me, the Skywalker Saga doesn’t end with a bang, but with
a whimper a perplexed scratch of the head.