The Rise of Skywalker co-writer Chris Terrio took some time to discuss the final scene in the movie. Terrio and director J.J. Abrams have been out on the promotional tour over the past few weeks and have been talking a lot about certain decisions. While the final installment in the sequel trilogy is a box office success, it has also proven to be divisive amongst fans and critics, but that was to be expected. There are SPOILERS for The Rise of Skywalker below, so read ahead at your own risk.
The final scene in The Rise of Skywalker finds Rey heading to Tatooine after defeating Emperor Palpatine and the Final Order. Both Luke and Leia are now dead, so she brings their Lightsabers to where the Star Wars saga kicked off and buries them in the sand. Chris Terrio recently explained why Tatooine was chosen. He had this to say.
“We thought of it as just paying her respects and sort of undoing the original sin at the end of the third movie, which is the separation of the twins. I mean, of course, they had to be separated to keep them safe, and the trilogy wouldn’t exist, the six movies wouldn’t exist if they hadn’t been separated! But that felt to us like it was almost like a wrong that need to be righted. We very deliberately in the script described the wrapping of the sabers, as ‘like you were wrapping infants.'”
If Luke and Leia were not separated, we wouldn’t have the Star Wars saga, so there really was no need to try and undo anything from Revenge of the Sith. However, it was a nice gesture to reunite them on Tatooine. Some fans have pointed out that it might not have been the greatest choice due to all of the terrible things that went down on the planet, but it is where everything started. Chris Terrio went on to discuss why Tatooine was perfect spot. He explains.
“That’s the thing that you see at the of the third movie, where the two infants are wrapped, and one is sent to Tatooine to be a farmer, and one is sent to Alderaan to be a princess. Leia’s home doesn’t exist anymore, so we thought, ‘Well, Luke could take Leia to his home where he grew up, and where we first saw Star Wars.'”
Throughout The Rise of Skywalker, we see Rey struggling with who she is and what she could become. Doubt and anger cloud her judgment leading up to her battle with grandpa Palpatine. In another decision that some fans have had issues with, Rey takes on the Skywalker name in the movie. Chris Terrio laid out his reasoning for doing so. Terrio had this to say about Rey’s true name at the end of the movie.
“That for us felt like the fitting end, because at the beginning of the trilogy, there’s a Skywalker who’s essentially being corrupted again like Anakin was, to become more like Palpatine. In the end, we thought that the final victory of the Light and the final act of self-affirmation for Rey was to declare that despite her blood she is a Skywalker. At that moment, the Skywalkers truly win the family saga.”
There’s a lot going on in The Rise of Skywalker and there was a lot of story to cram into it. For the most part, J.J. Abrams and Chris Terrio got their point across, though they left a lot on the cutting room floor. The future Star Wars novels and comic books have a lot more explaining to do. You can check out the rest of the interview with Chris Terrio over at IndieWire.