STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI Director Rian Johnson Calls THE RISE OF SKYWALKER "A Really Special Experience"

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI Director Rian Johnson Calls THE RISE OF SKYWALKER "A Really Special Experience" STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI Director Rian Johnson Calls THE RISE OF SKYWALKER "A Really Special Experience"

A lot of people assumed that Rian Johnson must have had an issue with The Rise of Skywalker nullifying so many of the plot points set up in The Last Jedi, but that doesn't appear to be the case at all...

By MarkCassidy - Feb 11, 2020 06:02 AM EST
Filed Under: Star Wars
Whether you loved or hated Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker or fell somewhere in between, there's no denying that the divisive conclusion to the Skywalker saga undid quite a few of the plot points set up in the previous film, The Last Jedi. Some will have more of a problem with that than others, of course, but how does Rian Johnson feel?

Well, turns out The Last Jedi director was a big fan of J.J. Abrams' work on the movie.

Speaking publicly about TROS for the first time since its release, Johnson told MTV on the Academy Awards red carpet that he "had a blast" watching the film.

"[It] Made me so proud, and seeing the heart and soul that J.J. (Abrams) put into it," he added. "And seeing my friends who were in the movie just like, bring the whole thing to a conclusion. Yeah, for me as a Star Wars fan, it was a really special experience.”

Is Johnson just being his usual classy self here, or do you think he really loved The Rise of Skywalker? Let us know in the comments, and check out our spoiler breakdown of the movie below if you fancy a recap.

Simply click on the next button below!

The Return of Emperor Palpatine

The Rise of Skywalker wastes no time in (re)introducing the saga's big bad, Emperor Palpatine.

After a brief action sequence which culminates with Kylo Ren getting his hands on a "Sith Wayfinder," the Supreme Leader uses the device to track down the ancient villain on the Sith homeworld. It's never fully explained how Palpatine was able to resurrect himself, but it is strongly hinted that cloning was involved. It's also confirmed that The Emperor "made" Snoke and was speaking through him all along.

Palpatine tells Ren that he cam become the new Emperor with the might of the "Final Order" behind him if he finds and kills Rey.

Master Leia

We then catch up with Poe, Finn and Chewie aboard The Falcon as they get word of a spy within the First Order before narrowly escaping back to the Resistance base where Rey is continuing her Jedi training, this time under a new master: Leia.

The spy reveals to Poe that Palpatine has returned and has been pulling the strings all along. Rey remembers that Luke had been searching for The Emperor many years ago and needed the wayfinder to pinpoint his location, so she, Finn, Poe, Chewie and the droids leave for its last known whereabouts, Pasana.

Rey Unleashes the Lightning

A lot happens on the desert planet of Pasana, so we're going to skip over some of the setup.

Kylo finds out where Rey and co. are, and our heroes are forced to flee on speeders (after an all-too-brief appearance from Lando Calrissian). After crashing, they happen upon a wounded creature that Rey is able to heal using her force abilities. They also find a Sith dagger that points the way to the wayfinder (yes, seriously).

Before they can leave the planet, Chewie is captured and taken aboard a transport. When Kylo Ren shows up, he and Rey get into a force tug-of-war with the ship which ends when Rey inadvertently destroys it with force-lightning (you know where this is going), seemingly killing Chewie in the process.

Threepio's Mind-Wipe

The dagger has been lost (Chewie was carrying it), but Threepio has memorized the inscription. His programming forbids him from accessing the information, however, so the heroes decide to travel to Kimji in order to hack into the droid's mind manually.

There, they encounter an old criminal friend of Poe's named Zorri Bliss, who leads them to tiny alien hacker Babu Frik. Frik accesses the information, but has to wipe Threepio's mind in the process.

The First Order soon arrives, and Rey realizes that Chewie is still alive.

Rey's True Parentage Revealed

Around this point, we get one of the biggest - and most controversial - revelations.

While Finn and Poe set off to rescue Chewie, Rey goes to retrieve the dagger and comes face to face to Kylo. Her nemesis tells her that she is actually Palpatine's granddaughter, and he had her parents - who were "nobodies" only because they chose to be - murdered when they wouldn't disclose her location.

Rey manages to escape with some help from The Falcon's thrusters, and rejoins her friends.

The Death of Kylo Ren

The intel from Threepio's mind leads them to the ruins of the Death Star on Endor, and Rey sets off alone to retrieve the wayfinder. While searching the ruins, she sees a vision of what she could become if she were to turn to the dark side.

Rey finds the device, but Kylo is waiting for her outside the chamber and destroys it, telling her the only way she gets to The Emperor is with him. Kylo gets the upper hand in the ensuing fight, but before he can land a killing blow, he's distracted by his mother's voice in his head.

Leia uses the last of her strength to reach her son, allowing Rey to drive his own lightsaber through his chest. As Leia dies, Rey decides to use her power to heal Ren, and sets off in his Tie-Fighter.

Han Solo

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As Kylo ponders his next move, a familiar voice behind him says "hey, kid," and he's greeted by a vision of his father.

This may sound cheesy on paper, but it's actually one of the best scenes in the movie, as Han Solo attempts to reach his son one last time by telling him that "Kylo Ren is dead," and that Ben Solo can still find redemption by fighting for what his mother believed in.

Ben finally understands what he needs to do, and tosses the weapon he used to kill his father into the ocean.

Luke Returns

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After what happened on Endor, Rey decides to return to Ahch-To and go into exile as Luke once did. She burns the Tie-Fighter and tosses her lightsaber into the fire, but it's caught by Luke Skywalker's force-ghost, who tells her a Jedi weapon should be treated with more respect (see what he did there?).

Luke convinces Rey to face her grandfather and gives her Leia's saber, which she did away after deciding not to complete her Jedi training. Skywalker then raises his old X-Wing from the water, and Rey sets off for the Sith homeworld.

Palpatine's Plan

As Poe, Finn and the others launch an attack on the Last Order fleet (there's no point in covering this in any detail), Rey arrives in The Emperor's throne room and faces her grandfather. Palpatine tells her that he wants her to give in to her hate and strike him down, as this will allow him and the spirits of all previous Sith Lords to inhabit her body, and she can then take his place as Empress.

Rey considers it, but then senses Ben Solo's presence and passes him Leia's lightsaber via their shared force connection. Ben dispatches the Knights of Ren (how useless they turned out to be), and stands side-by-side with his former enemy.

"I Am All Of The Jedi..."

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Palpatine tells Rey and Ben that if they stand together they can die together, and begins to absorb their life force as the Resistance fleet suffers heavy losses (no main characters die, but we do lose *checks notes* Snap Wexley).

He then flings Ben into an abyss, and turns his attention to his granddaughter, who is revived by the voices of the Jedi from the past.

The Emperor is now fully rejuvenated, and unleashes the full power of The Sith upon Rey via force lightning. Rey uses both lightsabers to deflect Palpatine's blasts back at him, telling her twisted grandfather that she is "all of the Jedi," and destroying him once and for all (probably).

Ben's Sacrifice

The effort of destroying Palpatine drains Rey completely, and she slumps to the ground. Ben climbs out of the abyss and cradles her lifeless body, before laying his hand on her chest and channeling his force energy to bring her back from the dead.

Rey wakes, and kisses her former enemy - but Ben gave his life to resurrect her, and succumbs. As his body becomes one with the force, we see that his mother's also fades away back on the Resistance base.


The heroes return home, and there are lots of hugs and kisses to go 'round.

Maz Kanata gives Chewie Leia's insignia, Lando promises to help Jannah discover her roots, and Rey, Finn and Poe share an emotional embrace.

This is the last time we see most of the characters, but Rey gets an epilogue.

Rey Skywalker

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Rey and BB-8 make their way to the Lars moisture farm on Tatooine where Luke grew up. After looking around, Rey buries both lightsabers in the sand and ignites one she made herself. This Jedi weapon appears to have been crafted from her staff, and has a golden blade.

An old woman passing by tells Rey that nobody has been in the area for many years, and asks her name. "Rey Skywalker," is the young Jedi's response, as she sees the force ghosts of Luke and Leia looking on with pride.

The final shot of the Skywalker Saga is Rey and BB-8 watching the twin suns set.
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