While a retcon may look good to some, retracting on the Star Wars story so far would not be good — especially at this stage of the game.
Last weekend saw the unveiling of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker title and teaser trailer. For over a year, this final chapter has remained a mystery, but at long last details on Episode IX surfaced during Star Wars Celebration.
To no surprise, speculation about Episode IX skyrocketed with fans discussing a variety of topics such as the return of Emperor Palpatine. One of these talking points is the possibility that The Rise of Skywalker may retcon the events of The Last Jedi.
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It is no secret Episode VIII was a divisive chapter for Star Wars fans as the plot featured moments some would consider controversial. While a retcon may look good to some, retracting on the story so far would not be good — especially at this stage of the game.
So the big moment in The Last Jedi that would be Rey’s origins. Since The Force Awakens, many have wonder who Rey is, which has led to a barrage of theories such as Rey being the daughter of Obi-Wan Kenobi.
I myself was awaiting the answer to this question, but when Episode VIII came out, the answer was unexpected. It turns out that Rey did not come from any notable characters and that her parents were merely drifters. While I expected Rey’s heritage to be connected the bigger story I have to admit that Rey coming from “nowhere” was not necessary a bad thing.
The idea of Rey being nobody has a strong moral to it as it shows that you do not have to come from a grand legacy to be important; and it is something that could be look at as relatable. So while this twist was not what I expected, I have accepted this moment as it incorporates a stronger theme for Rey’s story.
However, let’s say this twist is rectified in Episode IX. Could this retcon work?
Perhaps the better question is how much of a retcon would it really be? Yes, the scene states Rey has no relevant lineage but when it comes down to it this point could be seen as hearsay rather than a definite fact. It could be spun that Kylo Ren lied to Rey or the vision the pair saw was not accurate. This may go against the initial direction but it would be easier to expand on this Episode VIII’s twist oppose to just disregard it.
A retcon of Episode IX is an emphatic no for me. The biggest reason why is simply because of the bigger story at hand.
The Rise of Skywalker is not just the last part in this trilogy but it also the final chapter in this saga. To back track now and pretend that previous events did not happen would just be poor storytelling and likely raise more questions than answers. As stated above expanding on the established would be a better move but even that cannot be taken likely.
There has been so much build up to Rey’s parentage that there has to be a significant payoff to to it. If the moment is just thrown together, especially if it disregards what The Last Jedi established, then it could come off as anticlimactic and everything that has been built up in this trilogy could be for nothing.
There are many things that need to be concluded in The Rise of Skywalker, but a retcon is not a solution for this finale’s story.
I understand the criticisms in The Last Jedi‘s direction, but sweeping the film’s events under the rug does not help the plot; in fact it might hinder it. The best thing the movie could do is expand on what has been established and if recent reports are correct that they may be exactly what is going to happen.
Whether the film retcons events, I can only hope that the story to this finale will be satisfying and bring The Skywalker Saga to a fitting end.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker premieres December 20.