Many trees were harmed in the making of these Star Wars films.
We’re all having a great time breaking down and analyzing the most recent Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker footage. Dark Rey has arrived, C-3PO is going to murder everyone who isn’t a droid, and OH MY GOD, STAR DESTROYERS.
Today I thought we could take a moment to step back from all this Bendemption theorizing and address something that has been on my mind ever since we saw that clip of Rey training in the jungle.
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The sequel trilogy isn’t perfect — is there such a thing in filmmaking? — there are things I love and don’t love about it so far. But I can’t get over one thing in particular.
I am concerned for the trees.
Listen, I know this is a fantasy universe and the trees aren’t real. But I’m starting to get the feeling someone working on these movies has at some point been personally victimized by an entire forest.
It all started with The Force Awakens.
It’s totally understandable that a battle on a planet with a lot of trees on it is going to result in some casualties.
But fast forward to the final act of the film, when Han Solo is trying to land the Millennium Falcon on Starkiller Base.
Granted, he has no choice but to mow down a bunch of trees in his quest to not be detected by the enemy. But seriously. RIP trees.
And let’s not forget the epic lightsaber duel between Rey and Kylo Ren later in the film.
THEY’RE NOT EVEN PAYING ATTENTION TO WHERE THEY ARE SWINGING.
Plus, you know, the whole base is falling apart. No tree is safe. But still.
Now I know what you’re thinking: The Last Jedi doesn’t have too many trees available for the obliterating. It takes place mostly in space and on planets without forests. No dead tress here!
You know, except for the GIANT TREE chillin’ on Ahch-To.
In case you forgot this one’s fate, Force Ghost Yoda barely blinks, summoning lightning out of nowhere and setting the whole thing on fire. BYE-BYE.
Try to find the symbolism in that one all you want. Let the past die, the end of life and all that. But that tree did nothing wrong. NOTHING.
Okay, okay. So the first two movies don’t have the best record when it comes to respecting arboreal rights. But maybe The Rise of Skywalker will be different. Maybe JJ Abrams has realized the error of his ways, and won’t allow a single tree to suffer this time around.
Which brings us to the D23 First Look (technically a second teaser, but no one’s officially calling it that).
Oh look! Footage of Rey training to be a Jedi and …
Oh. Yeah. So. Her lightsaber just sort of … went right through that tree. That’s cool, I guess.
I wish that tree had been Palpatine’s head.
Trees are a bigger part of Star Wars than you might realize. The final battle of the original trilogy takes place on a forest moon, serving to showcase just how ruthless the Empire — and war in general — can be.
In Master & Apprentice, Qui-Gon Jinn even apologizes to a tree for destroying it, one of the most Qui-Gon things that has ever happened.
Of course, look hard enough and you’ll find meaning in just about every tiny detail. I’m not here to go that deep. I just care about all living things, even in Star Wars. Trees are living too. They deserve some respect.
Someone please protect the trees.