Two StarWars.com writers debate the finest moment in the final film of the Skywalker saga.
One of the great things about Star Wars is that it inspires endless debates and opinions on a wide array of topics. Best bounty hunter? Most powerful Jedi? Does Salacious Crumb have the best haircut in the saga? In that spirit, StarWars.com presents From a Certain Point of View: a series of point-counterpoints on some of the biggest — and most fun — Star Wars issues. In this installment, two StarWars.com writers consider what they believe to be the best moment in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
The best moment is Babu Frik working his magic on C-3PO, says Mark.
For a film of such immense scale and scope -- furiously criss-crossing the galaxy while bringing together 42 years’ worth of storylines of war and family, darkness and light -- my favorite moment in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is tiny by comparison.
On the icy world of Kijimi, our heroes find legendary underworld droidsmith Babu Frik thanks to spice runner Zorii Bliss, who is less than thrilled to be reunited with Poe Dameron. Dodging First Order stormtroopers and the fearsome Knights of Ren, who are furiously searching for Rey and her friends, Zorii leads them to Babu’s workshop.
Present in Threepio’s memory are the answers that they seek. After reading the runic language of the Sith, inscribed on a blade found on Pasaana, Threepio’s memory holds the whereabouts of the world where the Wayfinder can be found, information Rey needs to ultimately get to Exegol. However, that information cannot be easily extracted and the diminutive Babu Frik has to bypass Threepio’s programming to get to the information. Tricky enough, but the procedure comes at great cost. To do so would wipe the protocol droid’s memory, a tremendous sacrifice.
Threepio had been present or a part of numerous landmark moments in galactic history from the days of the Republic and the Rebel Alliance to the Resistance. He was a droid built by a slave who went on to serve queens, princesses, smugglers, and Jedi Knights. Now, on the snow-covered world off the beaten path, he was willing to give it all up for the greater good.
And it’s right here, in this scene, that the key moment arrives. Threepio bravely chooses to accept his fate, aware that everything they’ve fought for will be for nothing if Rey can’t locate the Wayfinder and make her way to Exegol. Making personal sacrifices for the greater good is the hallmark of all great heroes, but seeing Threepio -- the fussy, overly-cautious, sometimes acerbic but always entertaining troubadour of the group -- stand up to be counted struck a chord with me. His memory wiped and his stark monotone voice droning as he sits bolt upright, red photoreceptors glowing ominously, he is soon rebooted to factory settings. So much history, gone.
“Did you hear that?” C-3PO was the first character we ever heard speak in a Star Wars film, in the white-walled corridors of the Tantive IV back in 1977. As Darth Vader stormed the consular ship looking for Princess Leia, Threepio was looking for Artoo, kickstarting the greatest of adventures. Four decades later, he was willingly offering himself for the cause. Every bit as brave an action as Jyn and Cassian on Scarif, or Luke Skywalker on Ahch-To as he projected himself to the mineral flats of Crait to face his nephew Kylo Ren, Threepio knew his fate and the blank future that lay ahead.
Of course, we know this has happened to him before; we saw it at the very end of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith and we can confidently surmise that Artoo kept back-ups then as he does now. But Threepio doesn’t know that when he’s standing in Babu’s workshop on Kijimi taking one last look at his friends.
The finest scene is actually the final moment, when Rey buries the Skywalker lightsabers and takes on a new name, says Kristen.
Choice, hope, love, and family. The Skywalker saga encompasses these themes and carries them throughout each trilogy. Anakin Skywalker’s story began on the sweltering desert planet of Tatooine. It seems fitting that it should end there with Rey taking on the Skywalker name and creating her own legacy.
There’s an ache that Rey carries with her throughout her journey. She longs for a family. A place to belong and be accepted. While training as a Jedi, Rey did not feel worthy of the Skywalker legacy. She was battling her inner demons -- she was no one from nowhere, after all. A small cog in a greater battle that was far too important for her. The end of The Rise of Skywalker shows Rey making her own choice, proving that she was worthy enough for herself. Rey took on the Skywalker name and decided to create her own legacy with it.
Rey going back to Tatooine and burying Luke and Leia’s lightsabers at the genesis of where the Skywalker journey began is such a fitting end to the saga. So much suffering happened at the Lars homestead. It’s where Anakin buried his mother. The only family that Luke grew up with died there. Both moments in the Skywalker’s journey that set the course for their future. Anakin’s promise to be the strongest Jedi and Luke’s promise to train in the ways of the Force started there.
Rey slides into the Lars homestead as the first breath of life the home has probably seen in decades. Burying the two lightsabers signifies the end of suffering in the Skywalker lineage. Anakin brought balance to the Force, Luke brought peace to his father, and Rey brought life back into the galaxy.
It’s also fitting that Rey buries Luke and Leia’s lightsabers close to Shmi Skywalker -- the matriarch of this lasting legacy.
The family we choose will always be stronger than the one we are born into. Luke and Leia saw who Rey was and accepted her unconditionally, trained her in the Jedi way, and trusted her to do the right thing. And Rey identifying herself as a Skywalker is a call to action. Taking on the name is a promise to do better. When Luke helps Del Meeko out of the dangerous cave on Pillio, he tells him there’s a choice, “a choice to be better.” That is the Skywalker legacy. It’s a legacy of helping others because it’s the right thing to do. Even in the absolute darkest moments, there’s always a choice to be better.
It’s a choice Shmi makes when she gives up her son so he can have a better life. Anakin makes this choice when he rejects the dark side after being Darth Vader for so many years. Luke makes this choice when he decides to redeem his father rather than kill him. Leia chose to be better by fighting the Empire in all of its forms. Finally, Ben makes this choice when he returns to help Rey finish the fight against Darth Sidious for good. Rey carries this legacy with her as she walks towards the twin suns, taking her destiny in her own hands.
The end of The Rise of Skywalker shows an ephemeral version of Luke and Leia watching over Rey on her new journey -- wherever it takes her. It’s a reminder to take what we have learned from the past and carry it with us on our own path. We are all on our own hero’s journey. It’s up to us to choose how it will carry out and always make the choice to be better.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is available now on Digital, 4K Ultra HD, and via Movies Anywhere, and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD.
Mark writes for Star Wars Insider, the Official Star Trek Magazine, Starburst magazine, and is the editor-in-chief of Fantha Tracks. He’s an honorary member of the 501st and Rebel Legion and when he’s not talking, tweeting, or writing about Star Wars, he can usually be found sleeping, where he’ll most likely be dreaming about Star Wars.
Kristen Bates is flying by the seat of her pants and doing the best she can. Slow walker. Spends too much time on the internet. Season ticket holder for the Boonta Eve Classic. Aspiring smuggler. Find her on the interwebs @kristenkbates.
Site tags: #StarWarsBlog, #TheRiseofSkywalker