The Rise of Skywalker

By Rae Carson
Image of the cover of The Rise of Skywalker by Rae Carson. Wesley Donehue's book reviews and recommendations.

Warning: Heavy Star Wars Episode 9 Spoilers!

There are certainly things I didn’t like in The Rise of Skywalker. They shouldn’t have brought Palpatine back. They did nothing in the previous two films to establish him as this trilogy’s villain and then they just drop it in the opening crawl. They should have kept Rey as the child of no one special. The whole “surprise! I’m your relative” thing was already done in the biggest twist in movie history. Besides, the whole idea that anyone could be a Jedi was the entire reason for Episode 8’s broom boy ending. Mostly what annoyed me was that it was as if no one got JJ Abrams and Rian Johnson on the same page. One single person should have had control of the story as Kevin Feige has with Marvel.

Still… I tried to ignore that for one simple reason – I believe people are too judgmental of movies when they should just enjoy a two (or three) hour escape from reality. Movie critics are the worst!

Now, with all that said, there is one huge issue with The Rise of Skywalker that Abrams could not fix. It was just out of his control. Episode 7 was Han’s story. Episode 8 was Luke’s story. Episode 9 was supposed to be Leias. Unfortunately, Carrie Fisher died leaving Abrams with old footage from the previous two movies to work with. As a result, we didn’t get Leia’s final sorry as we should have. That’s why Star Wars fans should read this book.

It’s not a ton, but this book fills in the gaps that we missed in the movie. There’s more detail about her Jedi training, her relationship with Rey, and her conversations with Luke prior to her death. All of those are important to understand Leia’s full journey.

There are other details that you may have read reported online. We get to see how Palpatine came back and we learn more about Rey’s father. All that is cool but what’s truly important is the added Leia content.

I’m not saying that everyone should run out and grab this book but all Star Wars nerds definitely should.

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