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A New Hope
A new detail has emerged for the ending of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker that I find rather interesting. I believe the slight shift changes the meaning of Ben Solo’s character arc and how the last events of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker resolve Ben’s story.
Throughout the film, Rey uses the power to heal. This power is rooted in empathy, compassion, and love. It is exclusively a lightside ability. Rey discovers she has this ability when she encounters a wounded sandsnake creature. Later she uses this power to heal Ben Solo after their duel.
Redemption is a Solo affair
After being defeated by Rey, Ben Solo has a vision of Han Solo. The setup for the scene has changed a lot since I first reported on it last April but the contents are the same. The father he murdered appears to him. His father, Han Solo forgives Ben for his actions and encourages him to be the man he really is.
Ben: Dad, I love y….
(Ben is cut off)
Han: I know.
(the vision ends)
When Ben Solo’s vision of his father ends, Kylo Ren is dead and Ben Solo has returned. The good inside him is something he can no longer ignore. He loves his father. He’s a good person and he doesn’t want anything bad to happen to Rey. Early on in the film, Darth Sidious tells Kylo to kill Rey, he knows he can’t do it and he even tells her so in the film.
A heal to die on
In the final moments of Ben Solo’s life, Darth Sidious siphons the force through Rey and Ben to rejuvenate himself and empower himself to new evil heights. Rey and Ben fall to the ground after being drained. I’m told in the final version of the film, Ben Solo realizes Rey has taught him the power of compassion. Ben then uses the power Rey used on him to heal the woman who healed who did the same for him earlier. Ben does so knowing that Darth Sidious will destroy him for it. But that action will allow her to rise. Ben heals Rey and the Sidious pushes him into the abyss of Exegol for it.
While the Emperor zaps his Sith lightning into the sky above Exegol, Ben heals Rey. Anakin, Luke, Yoda, Obi-Wan, Ahsoka, Ezra, and Leia tell her to “rise” and she does. Rey pulls out the concealed Leia saber and makes an “X” with the blades to deflect Darth Sidious’ lightning blast and the power is volleyed back to the Sith Lord destroying him.
Ben Solo’s selfless sacrifice
Ben’s last act is a compassionate one to save Rey and the universe. He consciously makes a smart move knowing he will be lost in the exchange but the good side will win the game. He acts completely selflessly. Han Solo gave his life for his son, knowing his son was inherently good and it would be the right thing for the universe. Ben’s compassion and love for Rey is expressed not with a kiss but a sacrifice proving Han Solo right.
Ben is redeemed and the galaxy is saved. Rey destroys Darth Sidious thanks to Ben Solo’s final act of compassion, like his grandfather did for his uncle the generation before.