Rey in the Rise of Skywalker

OK, Let's Talk About The Fate Of The Sith In 'Rise Of Skywalker'

by Ani Bundel

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is supposedly the final word in the Skywalker Saga. Whatever happens in this film, that's the end of the story. After nine films over 42 years, all movies that come after this will not focus on the story of Luke, Leia, Anakin, or anyone else with the last name of Skywalker. Whatever films to come — set in a world after the Resistance wins — Rey, Finn, and Poe will not be part of it. But will the Force still matter? What about the Jedi? And are the Sith really gone in Star Wars?

Warning: Spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker follow.

The thing about Star Wars is that it's all about balance. There can be no good without evil — no Light without Dark. For every person strong in the Dark Side, like Kylo Ren, someone on the other side rises up, a Jedi born to the Light. That's the entire thing with Kylo Ren and Rey. They are a duality — two sides of the same coin — a Sith born in a Jedi family and a Jedi born to a Sith lord.

But the end of the movie calls a lot of this into question. Darth Sidious, aka Emperor Palpatine, awaits Rey on the hidden Sith planet. When she arrives, there seem to be thousands of Sith clearing from the stands in a recreation of the old Senate of the Republic, thousands of hooded figures supporting the Emperor.

But Rey doesn't take his bait. She does not strike him down to take his place; she uses his power against him, so he destroys himself. The act kills her, while the stands collapse and the Sith are destroyed. Dark and Light are gone.


But then, Ben Solo pulls himself up from where he fell, crawls to Rey, and with his dying breath, heals her. He then passes from this mortal plane, his body dissipating as did his Jedi forefathers.

The Emperor is dead. Kylo Ren is gone (as is Ben Solo). Those thousands of hooded figures are gone. Only Rey remains. As her final act, she buries the lightsabers of Luke and Leia outside the Moisture Farm where Luke grew up.

Does that mean she's done being a Jedi? Not so fast. She has a lightsaber of her own with a golden yellow blade. Her lightsaber color recalls the Jedi Temple Guards of old in the prequels, suggesting the Skywalker homestead is now the Jedi Temple she defends.

But there's no balance — no Sith to counter her. She's out there, an enormous weight on the Light Side of the scale. But there's nothing on the other side.

The only way this makes sense is that somewhere, some child has been born who will once again take up the mantle of the Sith and lead the Dark Side. For every Jedi, there must be a Sith.

But perhaps that's a saga for another trilogy.