The Skywalker/Palpatine Saga

Alas, I did not get to see TROS one more time in theaters as I was hit with a debilitating sickness and was unable to leave my bed for days, lost my voice, and could barely function. BUT I got to read a lot of blogs on the new movie and think about it a lot. I became quite the philosopher.

One thought I kept coming back to is that this no longer feels like a Skywalker Saga to me, it has become the Palpatine saga. Originally, way back in 2014, I was very hopeful that Han, Luke, and Leia would be together in TFA, guiding some new heroes. My silly, naive assumptions were that they would be very prominent in the first film, less so in the second film, with the third film they are barely in it, or, there would be some deaths in the second film. I understand not everything revolves around my thoughts, but looking back on what I was hoping for, I realize that at least with those sequences, it might play out more like a Skywalker Saga.

With Disney shoving down our throats that this ties all the Skywalkers together, I can’t help but feel they are taking the Skywalker name and using it as a Brand Name in order to give weight to the new Sequel Trilogy. In a less polite way, they are whoring out the name. This new film quickly tied up an ending (there are already rumors it wasn’t the ending that would melt the mind of Kevin Smith) where Rey adopted Skywalker as her name, but it seemed like a hasty afterthought. Adopting the Skywalker name at the end of a trilogy doesn’t erase conflicting storylines throughout the three movies (who is she, she’s nobody, she’s a Palpatine) with no former references to the Skywalkers.

You could present the argument Ben/Kylo is the new generation of Skywalker and present the theory that the PT was Anakin’s story, the OT was Luke’s story and the ST was Ben’s story.

My main issue with that is two-fold:

  1. Ben Solo has the last name Solo
  2. Ben/Kylo is not the main character, therefore breaking the tradition of the other trilogies

TROS told us Palpatine has been working behind the scenes since the fall of the Empire and his supposed death. This means that he is not physically in ANH, ESB, TFA, or TLJ but he is referenced in all of them but TFA.

To me, this saga now only makes sense to call it the Palpatine saga. And I really dislike that. But Palpatine was there in the beginning and he was there at the end. Grumble.

3 thoughts on “The Skywalker/Palpatine Saga

  1. Omg Kiri, it is like you read my mind! I am working on a piece about “The End of the Palpatine Saga” because that is basically what this was all along!!! Also, is there any reason to believe Palpatine is really gone? I mean, he died once…and now he died again…so why the hell should we believe he is gone?

    Any who, to your larger point, I completely agree that it seems like “Skywalker” is now being used as a brand name, especially with Rey choosing that as her adopted surname. Now, in fairness, I am not opposed to people adopting names and, therefore, becoming members of a family (it was pretty standard, for example, in antiquity…hence all of those Caesars). But this just feels less like a true familial conversion/adoption than an attempt for Disney (and Abrams) to say: “Look, she is a Skywalker, and the Skywalker saga now ends!” #facepalm

    1. Agh, I know. It completely minimizes Anakin’s turn to the light side, Luke’s victory, and so much more. I could stomach the First Order/Empire rising from the ashes, that could be believable. Even having a new leader emerge, like Snoke, also believable. But when you mess with an essential, pivotal part of the Original Trilogy by bringing Palpatine back, and then on top of that, having Rey be a Palpatine, it’s just too far out there and bizarre for me to swallow.

      I 100% agree with your second point and that is what I was going for…that it seemed like an afterthought more than something substantial. She didn’t even have a good relationship with Luke, though it’s hinted at that her relationship with Leia was much better in TROS. So it’s okay, but the way it was done, was not believable. You are right that it seems like the only reason they had her take the name was to tie everything back to the Skywalker saga.

      I’m curious if that ending is the amazing “melt your mind” ending Kevin Smith was told about. Because, um, it was just the Lars Homestead. Now, if they got other Jedi to gaze at Rey at the end and brought back all these other actors and actresses across the entire PT, even a real life Ahsoka (OMG!) – that would be melt your mind worthy.

  2. I am an OT fan so I have had doubts about what they would do with the ST from the beginning. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy it – there are definitely parts of the ST from all three films that I found entertaining but very little else until the storyline of Kylo Ren becoming Ben Solo. I am definitely biased. I have never really followed Rey’s story – I have been unable to find anything solid that I could relate to in her struggle other than her sense of loss (which I am sure most people can to some degree). Other than that, the sequel trilogy did nothing more than reverse the validation of characters that I had related to on a very personal level. I know that a lot of other OT fans feel the same (which is why they were so harsh on Rey and where I believe the whole “Mary Sue” theory came to light). That aside, I agree with some of the critics when they call the final movie one big mess because it is. It feels like JJ and Chris Terrio were working backwards to try and make sense of the two previous films, in particular, the changes that Rian Johnson introduced. I agree with your points about the ST not being Kylo Ren/Ben Solo’s story because this is absolutely clear from the beginning. Rey is supposed to be the equivalent of Luke or Anakin for the previous trilogies. That is what we are presented with and that Kylo Ren/Ben is really just an extension of Rey. They are marketed as “the two halves of a protagonist” which kind of tells me that Kylo Ren was never intended to be an antagonist at all. He was supposed to represent the dark side of the struggle that both Luke and Anakin endured. But somehow, he became more popular than Rey and they had to rectify that by killing him and giving her the legacy to uphold and carry on (and at the same time, bury with the Legacy sabers on Tatooine) which again to me is messy and misleading. I don’t see Rey as a hero, I see her exactly as they intended her to be, one half of something that no longer exists.

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