SPOILERS! DO NOT OPENLY SHARE THE CONTENTS OF THIS ARTICLE ON SOCIAL MEDIA! BE COOL!
Maybe if people donate to The Kessel Toy run I'll release an article tonight about what I know pertaining to Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. pic.twitter.com/rFClBe0S8A
— Jason Ward (@MakingStarWars) November 28, 2019
The Return of a Jedi
If you just want the Anakin question answered, do not read beyond this first section of this article.
The most common question I am asked every time I mention Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has to do with Anakin Skywalker. Will Anakin show up in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker?
A few sources have now seen the film and while they were tight lipped in general about what they saw, they did finally give me some confirming nods about Anakin and his involvement in the film.
Other very trusted sources have heard the sound mix of The Rise of Skywalker which back up what those who saw the film believe they have heard.
If you have been following spoilers for the Episode IX, this will be somewhat obvious to you. But a pretty general confirmation might make some fans able to relax a little, so I’m sharing that for those spoiler fans (like myself). Anakin’s voice is heard at the end of the film and sources say it sounds like Hayden Christensen (rather than The Clone Wars’ voice actor Matt Lanter).
While sound mix tweaks are possible, none of my sources believe the Skywalker voices will be omitted from the climax of the film. Just for the purpose of full disclosure, these viewings are VERY recent but what day the film was “locked” is still in question but we have no reason to believe this has or will change. So there’s a slight chance the list of names below could shift in a minor way but we don’t think that is likely.
To be extra clear these are not force ghosts but disembodied voices heard during the climax of The Rise of Skywalker. I’m sure it will make some fans annoyed because it might not be enough for them and they would prefer it to visually happen. Without having seen the film, I can only guess about the efficacy of this inclusion being entirely aural. To the best of my knowledge, you do not see these characters and because some might be living and some might be dead, it makes sense to keep it contained to audio and to show that Rey is doing the important action at the end that matters the most, using defense as her offense as a Jedi should.
One last thing: Please don’t shoot the messenger. I’m only relaying what I have been told.
The Context of the Climax of The Rise of Skywalker
A fully rejuvenated Darth Sidious sits upon his stone throne on Exegol while the space battle happens above the dead world. Rey and Ben Solo lay incapacitated, used as a conduit for the Sith Lord (in a way some would consider to be unnatural). Sidious apparently weighs his options and chooses his granddaughter to be his apprentice. Seeking revenge against the Skywalker family for his defeat at Endor, Ben Solo is force pushed into the abyss of Exegol.
An all powerful Sidious sends his Sith lightning into the sky above Exegol and the Resistance fleet is immobilized in space during the end battle. All seems lost when the voices of the Skywalker family speak to Rey, waking her up and revitalizing her for the last stand against the Sith Lord.
The Force Awakens….Rey
Anakin and Luke command Rey to awaken. Anakin and his children start the process. I’m told Yoda and Obi-Wan then follow down the line and are joined by the voices of other powerful Force users that helped get the Jedi lineage to this point, including Ezra Bridger and Ahsoka Tano. All of these voices are layered upon one another and the final voice is Leia’s and Rey awakens.
Rey then rises and with the sabers of Anakin and Leia in both hands she approaches her grandfather, Darth Sidious. The Sith Lord stops his stream of power from electrifying the battle above. Realizing Rey means to stop him, Sidious blast the lightning from his fingertips at Rey. However, the young Jedi deflects the Sith Lord’s lightning back at the villain, his own power destroys him, and the Skywalkers have vanquished the Sith once and for all.
The Voices in Rey’s Head
“We’ve passed on all we know. A thousand generations live in you now. But this is your fight.”
For The Rise of Skywalker I have confirmed the following voices were recorded for the “awakening” of Rey:
- Anakin Skywalker
- Luke Skywalker
- Leia Organa
- Obi-Wan Kenobi
- Ahsoka Tano
- Ezra Bridger
- Maz Kanata
Are the voices the voices of the dead?
Does this mean Ezra Bridger and Maz Kanata are dead? Maz was recorded but we don’t actually think she is in the sequence. Statistically, most Jedi are dead in this saga so when it comes to Ezra it is up in the air.
Disembodied voices are often dead but sometimes telepathy happens between living characters like Luke, Leia, and Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back or even between Rey and Ben in The Last Jedi. So if Maz made the sequence, it doesn’t have to mean she’s dead.
Ezra is as old as Luke Skywalker so it is possible he is dead by this point. Maz is in the end battle from the film and she survives as far as I know.
However, I think the point of the moment is that everything built up to this final stand and all of these players in the story we’ve consumed up to this point have contributed to bringing Rey to this place in time to fight this fight. So if Maz is in the sequence, it makes sense. But she’s also not really a Jedi but she did aid Rey and the Jedi and has their abilities.
Sources did not identify hearing probable voices such as Qui-Gon Jinn, Mace Windu or Kanan Jarrus when I asked about them. My sources all have conceded that there was a lot going on in the moment and maybe they missed it. My sources that have heard the sound mix to the film do not believe those characters show up either.
What about Ben?
We still do not know if Ben Solo has an appearance in the film after he falls it the abyss of Exegol. I believe in terms of plot, his death is what triggers the Jedi voices to save Rey and let her fulfill her destiny. I was hoping to have it confirmed that Ben is the first voice that comes to Rey and his death was Darth Sidious’ own undoing. However, there’s nothing I can source that suggest this is the case.
Leia and Luke’s ghosts appear to Rey on Tatooine at the end of the film. There is no suggestion or confirmation that Ben is with them. I personally hope that Ben is added to the ghost moment in a last minute secret change. I do feel like his voice not being included is a good sign there’s further resolution for Ben because I do not believe he falls and that is it. But I also think there is a lot going on that we know about that could suggest otherwise as well.
I do think it is going to be powerful when Kylo is defeated but spared by Rey. Han Solo appears to the unconscious Ben and helps him accept it is not too late for him to do the right thing and save Rey. Ben and his father atone in those moments. Ben throws his lightsaber down like Luke Skywalker did, making him worthy of his uncle’s teachings. Ben fights the Knights of Ren for Rey and destroys the last of his evil legacy. Then Ben marches into battle against a Sith Lord with no weapon, no allies, and just his compassion for Rey. When Rey hands Ben his mother’s lightsaber and he stands with the Jedi, Ben is finishing his mother’s work. But most of all, Ben atones for abandoning Rey in The Last Jed when he refuses to help her aid the Resistance and end the war in the previous episode.
Ben’s choice allows for everything to cosmically align for Rey and the Jedi. But is that enough for his character? I don’t know. I’m hoping Ben appears as a ghost when his mother and uncle appear at the end of the film to Rey. I can see arguments for and against it, considering all of the atoning he’s done in the last part of The Rise of Skywalker.
The end of The Rise of Skywalker proves that Ben Solo wasn’t like Darth Vader, he was like Anakin Skywalker and Rey is like Luke Skywalker and she’s not a nobody. Luke Skywalker proclaimed he would “not be the last Jedi. Now, thanks to the sacrifices made by the Skywalker family, Rey will not be the last Jedi either. When she combines Anakin and Leia’s sabers to make her own yellow bladed saber at the end of the film, she has more than just that weapon. Rey has the voices of the past Jedi with her and the galaxy will see the defenders of peace and justice return for another thousand generations.
Or until Episode X goes into production.