The Rise of Skywalker: 5 most groan-worthy plot points

Joonas Suotamo is Chewbacca, Oscar Isaac is Poe Dameron, Daisy Ridley is Rey and John Boyega is Finn in STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER
Joonas Suotamo is Chewbacca, Oscar Isaac is Poe Dameron, Daisy Ridley is Rey and John Boyega is Finn in STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER /
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Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005) Lucasfilm Entertainment Company Ltd., All Rights Reserved /

2. Palpatine’s Rey Plan

Emperor Sheev Palpatine, Dark Lord of the Sith and puppet master behind the First Order, dwelt in secrecy and shadow on Exegol as he manipulated his plans towards fruition. One of those plans included locating his granddaughter and bringing her to Exegol, presumably to train her as his Sith apprentice. This was why he had Ochi of Bestoon track down his son and daughter-in-law, Rey’s parents, killing them when they would not reveal Rey’s location.

Except what Palpatine truly wanted was to see Rey killed, as we see in the film’s early moments as he instructs Supreme Leader Kylo Ren to “kill the scavenger” as a quid pro quo for Palpatine’s support. He checks in later in the film, speaking into Ren’s mind, asking why Rey was not yet dead.

Surprise! When Rey finally arrives on Exegol, he doesn’t wish to train her or kill her. What Palpatine now wants is for Rey to kill him, and in doing so put Palpatine and the spirits of deceased Sith Lords in a strong, young and healthy host.

Wait, now Palpatine has a better plan! With Rey and Ben Solo present Palpatine can tap into their unique connection in the Force as a Dyad, drawing out life energy. He is rejuvenated, all thoughts of self-sacrifice to gain immortality (of a sort) forgotten. After one drink he declares himself no longer thirsty, tossing Ben into a pit and ignoring the weakened Rey. Why didn’t he try to keep that connection, and its life-giving power, alive? Mother Gothal knew she had to keep Rapunzel’s hair alive — Sheev didn’t care.

When Rey climbs to her feet to challenge him, Palpatine lands on his fifth (at least) plan for his granddaughter: to kill her himself. He lays into her with Force lightning, a move that has worked exactly 0 times in Star Wars cinematic history. When Rey summons a second lightsaber and starts refracting the lightning back on him, could he not have stopped? Instead he effectively kills himself, destroyed through the reflected power of his own lightning.

Palpatine played the long game in nearly every way, first in leading the Republic down a dark path and again in constructing the First Order and then the Final Order in secret from the fringes of the galaxy. Why does his plan for Rey, the single-most powerful Force user in the galaxy, keep warbling back and forth? It makes no sense.

Phantom Menace and spastic grandfather, it seems.