HomePodcastPart 1: The Rise of Skywalker Reaction

Part 1: The Rise of Skywalker Reaction

Join our host Marie-Claire Gould (@mariecgould) and co-host Ty Black (@black_Tym and Wit & Folly on YouTube) in our Part 1 of the Rise of Skywalker Reaction. Part 2 will be an Analysis on the mythic structure used.

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  1. Hello!

    I’m a huge Star Wars fan and just wanted to share my thoughts on the new film/your show. To give some context, I’m captivated by the EU and have been since before a lot of this stuff became Legends. After listening to your show, I decided to delve into some of the canon content that Disney has released, and I really dig that too. I’m in love with the Vader Marvel series and I just finished reading Lords of the Sith before ROS released. I first got into the EU because I wanted to know more about the Sith. I grew up always rooting for and wanting to be a Jedi because they were the “good guys” and couldn’t understand the appeal of the dark side, whose users who seemed hell-bent on hurting others. Darth Plagueis was the first book that I read that opened my eyes to what the dark side meant and deepened my understanding and appreciation for The Phantom Menace.

    After ROS I left the theater feeling slightly disgruntled at some of the choices they made, but overall, I had a good time and enjoyed my theater-going experience. People in the theater whooped and hollered at some of the scenes and I joined right in. It felt like a celebration of what it meant to be a fan of Star Wars, even if the plot was breakneck with it’s pacing and had loads of issues. I was shocked to hear your guys’ reaction to this movie, but if there is one thing that dark siders have taught me, it is to be open and willing to understand someone else’s point of view, even if you don’t agree with it. I wasn’t expecting the amount of pain you guys experienced as a result of this film and I am sorry to hear that your experience was harrowing. I went in with very low expectations as the sheer volume of content this movie had to somehow piece together was daunting and I didn’t think it was going to end well. Your reactions reminded me that not everyone has the same interpretations of any given thing and I find value that lesson both in your show and in Star Wars as a whole (I LOVED TLJ but I know many people did not).

    A couple of thoughts:

    I didn’t like Rey being a Palpatine. This REALLY didn’t sit well with me; I would have much preferred her to be the nobody from a backwater world that rose to meet impossible odds. However, after mulling it around in my head for a bit, I realized that the idea of her being a Palpatine DID fit using what I consider to be the “sins of the father.” I read this as Rey being born with the literal weight and pressure of all the horrible things previous generations failed to properly face and conquer. As a millennial (I’m 24) it is easy for me to look at issues like global warming and social inequality as problems that my ancestors failed to reconcile with and now my generation is being asked to fix a dying world populated with people who are taught to hate one another just because we are different. Seeing Rey fight Papa Palps in this context allowed me to not only stomach but actually appreciate this as a metaphor for dealing with the manifestations of problems of the past that we are still fighting to resolve today. I don’t know if that eases your pain or allows you to see this decision in a different light, but I wanted to share this regardless.

    I’m also a huge fan of Kylo Ren, Reylo, and Ben-demption. This movie gave me all three, but not in the way that I expected. I relate to Kylo on a personal level as a male who has trouble articulating his own negative emotions and feels conflicted about his place in the world. Seeing that conflict acted out by Adam Driver deeply resonated with me and I’m super stoked to explore his character more in the upcoming Marvel series. Anyway, seeing his end here really hit home. I hadn’t even considered the possibility that Rey and Ben might hook up and have kids until listening to this episode and I didn’t think Disney was going to go that route at all. So, seeing him sacrifice himself to save Rey pulled at my heartstrings and I was shocked to see him fade into the force. To me, that read as “You were still a villain and The Force does not condone your actions. However, you have learned that this is not the way and as such, you will be allowed to depart in peace.” I found this interpretation to be beautiful but also heartbreaking. Through his sacrifice, I believe that a part of her soulmate, Ben, now resides in her from the life force exchange. I initially didn’t like this ending because I didn’t want my angsty misguided idol to depart, but in a way, I think that is a powerful life lesson that is devastatingly hard to swallow. On a personal note, one of my best friends chose to end their own life a few years ago. Dealing with that pain and loss was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I can see that pain reflected in Rey having lost the person who understood her the most. I saw Rey and Ben as being Yin and Yang. I saw Kylo throughout the film push Rey more towards the dark and I felt that was valuable for Rey to understand her darkness and thereby prepare her to face the darkness that is Palpatine. I saw Kylo as a catalyst in this sense, him providing a perspective that Rey used to orient herself in this world, and Rey doing the same for him. Kylo needed to learn to turn back to the light, to let his guard down, and to forgive himself for what he had done. Rey (because the writers said so) needed to be shown that there is true darkness within her, and that darkness would consume her if left unaccounted for. In the end, seeing Rey alone isn’t the ending I would have wanted, but it is an ending that happens in real life and that is still impactful in its own right. Seeing Rey continue to live despite her loss was something that resonated with me in a way that I hadn’t anticipated, and I think that is beautiful if still imperfect.

    I don’t expect anyone to change their opinions of the film based on mine, but I hope that maybe my perspective might open others towards accepting the flaws in this film as unintentional additions to the myths we all know and cherish.

    I love your show and, as always, may the force be with you.


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