Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Opening Scene

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has a lot going on. In fact, there’s so much packed into the movie, that it doesn’t even have time to explain simple things that might have helped certain plot devices make significantly more sense in the grand scheme of the entire Skywalker saga. And that includesthe¬†opening scene, which doesn’t take the time to tell us that we’re back on a planet we’ve been to before. But in order to discuss that detail, we have to dive into spoilers.

In the opening scene of The Rise of Skywalker, we see Kylo Ren angrily tearing through a bunch of aliens in bowl-like helmets with goggles and dingy, cloak-like clothing. He’s slicing through them one-by-one, even using the Force to pull one of them right into his lightsaber blade. But why?

As we learn, it’s all so he can get his hands on a Sith wayfinder (though we don’t know what the hell that is yet). It’s a pyramid-shaped device that almost looks like a Sith holocron, but it’s actually how Kylo Ren finds his way to the Sith planet called Exegol.

The film never explains where this sequence takes place since it’s much more concerned with establishing the break-neck speed with which director J.J. Abrams moves through this entire movie, so we just see Kylo Ren head off to his meeting with Emperor Palpatine.

Thankfully, we have the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary (released on the day the movie came out) to provide some insight into that detail. In the book, there’s an entire section on the planet Mustafar, the volcanic world where Darth Vader built his castle lair that we saw in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. It’s also where we saw the climactic battle with Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. And this is where the opening scene takes place.

This would have been interesting to know so we could better connect what’s happening with the Sith wayfinder to Star Wars history. At the very least, then we would know why this item is here, that it has a larger history in the dark side, and we would also get a little insight into what has happened to Mustafar in the time since it was left behind by Darth Vader.

It’s the exclusion of these kind of details that frustrate me with The Rise of Skywalker. The entire film moves too fast and glosses over so many details that we never have enough time to understand the importance or weight of them. There are even details that require explanation from director J.J. Abrams for us to fully grasp them in the movie.

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