Right now, The Rise of Skywalker is roughly $60 million shy of passing Rogue One: A Star Wars Story‘s total haul but it will NOT pass the $1.33 billion made by 2017’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
As a result, this finale looks set to be the lowest grossing instalment in the sequel trilogy to date, a surprise considering the fact it’s the end of a nine chapter story. It definitely appears as if negative reviews hurt The Rise of Skywalker and repeat viewings must have been down after fans rejected this conclusion and many of the creative decisions which were made.
While The Last Jedi was divisive, it seems the attempts to make hardcore fans happy with this finale backfired, while the lack of answers (many of which have since been answered in the movie’s “Visual Dictionary”) also proved to be frustrating.
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Luke Skywalker’s Death Is Linked To The Expanded Universe
At the end of The Last Jedi, Luke is able to project himself across the Galaxy and the effort of that is what ultimately kills him. Of course, there was precedent for a power like that in the “Expanded Universe” and that’s now been made canon thanks to the Visual Dictionary.
This technique was based on one mastered by a species called the Fallanassi (introduced in a 1996 novel called Before the Storm) and something Luke learned from his Jedi texts.
According to this book, Luke basically “poured” his spirit from the Living Force into the Cosmic Force and that allowed him to bridge that massive distance across the Galaxy. However, the side effect of that is that it meant surrendering himself over to the Force entirely, passing on from the mortal world in the process, hence why he ended up dying.
Sith Trooper Legions Confirm The Return Of Some “Legends” Characters
The Sith Troopers end up doing pretty much nothing in The Rise of Skywalker and aren’t really all that different to regular Stormtroopers. Interestingly, Emperor Palpatine has named each of the Final Order’s legions after the Siths of old, many of whom are Expanded Universe/Legends characters who have now been made canon again as a result.
Those are Revan, Andeddu, Tanis, Tenebrous, Desolous, and Phobos, and it’s fair to say that most fans will be particularly excited by the return of Knights of the Old Republic standout, Darth Revan. Andeddu hails from the Tails of the Jedi comic book, Tenebrous was Darth Plagueis’ Master, and both Desolous and Phobos were introduced in The Force Unleashed.
As for Tanis, that’s a new creation who built a weapon of some sort on the planet Malachor.
That Was Mustafar In The Movie’s Opening
The first few minutes of The Rise of Skywalker whiz by as Kylo Ren retrieves the Wayfinder and tracks down Emperor Palpatine. However, what the movie doesn’t reveal is that the planet the villain finds that device on is actually Mustafar (where Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader).
The planet looks different because it’s been “healing” in recent years and the armoured creatures Ren takes down with his lightsaber are actually cultists called Alazmec who colonised Mustafar and have been protecting the grounds of Darth Vader’s castle. That’s where that Wayfinder is located.
How Did Endor Survive The Destruction Of The Death Star II?
When the Death Star II exploded above the forest moon of Endor, the planet should have been left covered in fiery wreckage, right? Well, according to this book, there are a lot of “hyperspace anomalies” in the Modell sector and that meant the remains of The Emperor’s greatest weapon landed elsewhere.
Ker Bif, however, didn’t get so lucky and the Death Star II debris polluted the world’s ocean and killed off many species as a result. Luckily, that’s not a fate that befell our favourite Ewoks!
Jannah Is (Probably) Lando Calrissian’s Daughter
Lando’s role in The Rise of Skywalker proves to be relatively minor and a rumoured subplot about his daughter being stolen from him by The First order when she was a child is nowhere to be seen. The Visual Dictionary confirms that he settled on Pasaana way back when and that he had a daughter who was indeed stolen from him by The First Order in revenge for his role in the old wars.
The book doesn’t outright confirm that Jannah is Lando’s daughter but the timeline works and common sense says that they’re related. Why this never made it into the film isn’t clear.
Starkiller Base Finally Has A Name
It turns out that The Force Awakens‘ Starkiller Base was actually housed on a planet called Ilum which, if you’re a fan of The Clone Wars, should be familiar to you. The planet’s core was made up of Kyber Crystals which goes some way in explaining how The First Order were able to weaponise it.
This also clears up why the villains didn’t just build another weapon on a different planet.
Rey’s Jedi Texts Mention The World Between Worlds
Rey uses the ancient Jedi texts she stole from Luke Skywalker to learn more about Exegol but this book confirms that there’s a lot more the hero has learned from them. Apparently, these books even reference the World Between Worlds from Star Wars Rebels which Ezra Bridger used to pull Ashoka Tano through time and save her from Darth Vader.
There’s been speculation that Rey and Kylo Ren’s connection as a “Force Dyad” is thanks to the World Between Worlds (which is apparently also known as the “Vergence Scatter” and “Chain Worlds Theorem”) but it’s not confirmed either way here.
When Luke Started Training Ben Solo
Luke Skywalker started training his nephew Ben Solo 19 years before the destruction of The First Order’s Starkiller base and he was ten years old when his mother first sent him off to train with her brother. Interestingly, the book confirms that Rey was born that very year (meaning she’s a decade younger).
Luke’s Jedi Temple, meanwhile, was destroyed when Kylo Ren was 23, meaning that Luke had trained him for thirteen years before everything went wrong and he joined up with Snoke.
How Rey Fixed Luke Skywalker’s Lightsaber
Luke’s lightsaber was torn in half during The Last Jedi but by the time The Rise of Skywalker begins, it’s been reforged. Fixing the outer shell can’t have been that hard but what about the Kyber Crystal inside?
Well, this book explains that Rey actually used the healing powers we saw throughout this film to fix it and she learned of it through the books she took from Luke. This would explain how she knows to help that serpent in the tunnels and later save Kylo Ren after stabbing him with his lightsaber.
Why General Hux Betrayed The Resistance
The Rise of Skywalker never bothers to explain why General Hux would so willingly betray The First Order but The Visual Dictionary reveals that an incident over Batuu (the planet Disney World/Disneyland attraction Galaxy’s Edge is based on) is what caused his relationship with Kylo Ren to completely fall apart.
After a group of Resistance fighters managed to escape and blow a hole in a Star Destroyer, hugely embarrassing both Ren and Hux in the process. As a result, the new Supreme Leader placed the General under the supervision of Allegiant General Pryde, and if that all sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the premise of the new Rise of the Resistance ride (which is amazing).
A Dyad Is “Nearly Identical” To The Rule Of Two
Here’s an interesting reveal for you. The concept of a Dyad is new to the Star Wars Universe but this book notes that we’ve seen this power before, albeit with a different name: The Rule of Two.
We first learned of that in the prequel trilogy when it was revealed that there can only be a Sith Master and Apprentice at one time but it sounds like the real reason the likes of Darth Bane and Darth Sidious used this rule was to try and create a Dyad for the Sith. However, in The Rise of Skywalker, a Dyad seemingly came into existence for the Light side of the Force instead.
Yes, That Was The Tantive IV
Near the end of The Rise of Skywalker, we see a ship that looks an awful lot like A New Hope‘s Tantive IV. Well, that’s exactly what it is and it turns out that the Empire didn’t destroy it after it fell into their possession. Instead, it was hidden away in a hangar in the Yarma system before a former Imperial Senator who was sympathetic to the Resistance handed it over to Leia Organa as a gift.
The New Star Destroyers Don’t Use Death Star Technology
We see one of The Final Order’s Star Destroyers use a cannon to destroy a planet but they’re not actually using mobile Death Star technology. Instead, it uses its own main reactor to siphon off energy to launch a series of bursts which can then be fired at a planet like Kijimi. This also goes some way in explaining why their destruction leads to the Star Destroyers themselves then blowing up.
The Sith Fleet Are The Children Of Palpatine’s Worshippers
During Rey’s battle with Emperor Palpatine, we see that they’re in a coliseum of some sort which is full of hooded people we never learn any more about. Well, they’re reportedly Sith Eternal cultists/worshippers who are living on Exegol and doing the Emperor’s bidding (many fans have speculated that they might be clones but it appears not).
Oh, and if you’re wondering why The Final Order fleet appears to be made up of relatively young people, it’s because the Sith Troopers are actually the children of the Sith loyalists who were raised from birth to “revere the power of the dark side.” As a result, they’re fanatics, and this could go some way in explaining why their soldiers weren’t that great.
Poe Dameron’s Shady Past
The Rise of Skywalker makes reference to Poe Dameron’s time as a Spice Runner on Kijimi but it’s hard to figure out when he would have had time to do that seeing as she’s supposed to have been a New Republic pilot (inspired by his Rebel Alliance hero parents) before joining the Resistance.
Well, it turns out that he ran away from his home on Yavin IV when he was 16 and ended up spending five years as a Spice Runner alongside Zorii Bliss before deciding to train with the New Republic. What led to that career change is likely being saved for a story that will be told elsewhere.
Rey’s Costume Pays Homage To Leia Organa
It’s common for characters to get costume changes from movie to movie in a franchise like this as, well, it sells toys. However, there’s a reason for Rey’s new hood in The Rise of Skywalker. Apparently, she added the traditional Alderaan hood as a way of paying respect to her new Jedi Master, Leia Organa. It’s a nice touch and one which at least provides a story explanation for the change.
Where The Resistance Are Hiding
The Resistance is hiding out on Ajan Kloss when the movie begins and it’s a planet which was actually found by Alderaanian scouts shortly before the Galactic Civil War. As a result, it became a stronghold for that planets Royal Family and was passed to Leia following the death of her parents.
Luke Skywalker trained his first generation of Jedi there (along with Leia) and it sounds like he may have even taken the young Ben Solo there at one point as well during his initial training.
The Emperor May Have Been Resposible For Starkiller Base
Now that we know The Emperor was pulling Supreme Leader Snoke’s strings, this probably shouldn’t come as a surprise. However, what is unexpected is that Palpatine actually started Terraforming Ilum just one year after the Empire was formed and it’s clear that he always planned to try and create another devastating weapon while work continued on the first Death Star.
This also ties The First Order to the Empire and goes some way in showing how Palpatine was always pulling the strings from behind the scenes even after his apparent death in Return of the Jedi.
The True Names Of The Knights Of Ren
The Knights of Ren are pretty much a non-factor in The Rise of Skywalker but, uh, we do find out that they have very muddy boots! Thankfully, the current The Rise of Kylo Ren comic book is fleshing them out a little more as does this Visual Dictionary for the movie as we learn finally learn their names.
Vicrul: He sees himself as the reaper of the fallen and the harvester of souls. Growing in the Dark Side with every life he takes, this low-level Force user (like the rest of the Knights) has the ability to general fear in those he’s hunting.
Cardo: A fierce warrior who makes good use of arm cannons, flamethrowers, and various other weapons, he also serves as the armorer for his fellow Knights and has an obsession with modifying weapons.
Ushar: This particularly nasty member of the group believes in testing his victims and if they dare plead for mercy, he makes sure to give them a slow and painful death courtesy of his trademark war club outfitted with kinetic energy.
Trudgen: Like any deranged serial killer, Trudgen enjoys taking trophies from his victims and as well as wielding a powerful vibrocleaver, his helmet also incorporates parts from a Death Trooper helmet he took after deating one of the formidable soldiers.
Kuruk: A loner and a sniper, he also serves as the pilot for the Knights of Ren.
Ap’lek: A master strategist, he uses the Force to see through the smokescreens he uses to conceal his approach and uses an ancient Mandalorian executioner’s axe as a weapon.
Allegiant General Pryde’s Backstory
Allegiant General Pryde makes it clear that he once served Emperor Palpatine and the Empire and the Visual Dictionary confirms that he was born shortly before The Clone Wars. As a young man, he trained in the Imperial Academy and was present for the Empire’s final stand at Jakku.
Using his knowledge of the Emperor’s machinations to rise through the ranks of the First Order, Pryde became one of Supreme Leader Snoke’s closest allies and either knew he was working for the fallen Sith or that they were one and the same (it’s still not clear how that actually worked).
A Cameo From A Familiar Face?
This is perhaps more speculation than anything else but one of the sketchy looking characters we see on Kijimi is named as an aged bounty hunter called “Rothgar Deng.” It said that he’s using an alias and enough details are provided to make us think that this is actually a much older Dengar, the infamous bounty hunter who has been operating since The Clone Wars many decades ago.
Luke Skywalker’s Jedi Compass Was Also A Wayfinder
Luke Skywalker’s Jedi Compass appeared in Star Wars: Battlefront II and later showed up in The Last Jedi. Now, it’s been revealed that it’s actually the Jedi equivalent of a Wayfiner, hence how the Jedi Master was able to use it to find Ahch-To, the first Jedi Temple. As retcons go, this is a clever one which ties quite a few plot threads together to ensure these Wayfinders make sense.
The New Star Wars Timeline
This latest Visual Dictionary reveals a new timeline both for the sequel trilogy and even the prequels. Now, the “Starkiller Incident” is being used to explain how many years have passed between key adventures in the Star Wars timeline with “Before Starkiller Incident” and “After Starkiller Incident” used to differentiate between when things happened. Now, the movies are dated like this:
Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace – 66BSI
Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones – 56BSI
Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith – 53BSI
Solo: A Star Wars Story – 44BSI
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story/A New Hope – 34BSI
The Empire Strikes Back – 31BSI
Return of the Jedi – 30BSI
Star Wars: The Force Awakens/Star Wars: The Last Jedi – 0ASI
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – 1ASI