As a title, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker could have many different meanings. But one new fan theory believes this title is in direct reference to the original Skywalker. And it does a good job breaking down why and how this all ties into the past two trilogies and the latest saga, which will wrap itself up in theaters this December.
Some fans have been really confused over The Rise of Skywalker title, others believe that Rise has been used as a sequel title one too many times over the past decade. You have The Dark Knight Rises, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Terminator: Rise of the Machines, the list goes on and many wonder why a different word couldn't have been used in this one instance, instead of giving us another lazy Rise title. What does the title really mean, though? Does it reference Luke rising from beyond the grave, after his death in The Last Jedi? Is it in reference to his nephew Kylo Ren, who is a Skywalker by blood but not by name? Will we find out that Rey is a Skywalker? Or, perhaps the most popular theory, is that Skywalker will be the title of Grey Jedi, a new class of force user, who balances between the light and dark side. Now, we have another solid theory to throw in the mix.
This latest theory positions that Darth Vader is the real Skywalker being referenced in the Rise of Skywalker title. As Anakin was redeemed at the end of Return of the Jedi, the idea here is that the older Skywalker will rise to bring true balance to the force as always prophesied. Which if true means we'll be seeing some interesting new developments in the world of Force Ghosts.
Darth Vader died at the end of Return of the Jedi, but not before being saved by his son, Luke Skywalker. The Emperor also perished in the destruction of the Death Star. We know from the rerelease of Return of the Jedi, which is considered canon, that Anakin Skywalker became a Force Ghost of his younger self, as played by Hayden Christensen. How is this possible when Obi-Wan Kenobi returned as an old man? Not sure, perhaps because Anakin's body died when he was struck down by Obi-Wan in Revenge of the Sith? We've seen from the recent Vanity Fair shoot that Luke is still as old as Obi-Wan if he's indeed returning as a Force Ghost. So why does Anakin get to revert back to his younger, much handsomer self?
Since the beginning of this massive all-encompassing saga, we've known that Anakin Skywalker's fate was to bring balance to the force. But he did not accomplish it in life. So the idea is that he'll return alongside the Emperor to fulfill his destiny with the help of his son Luke, and his grandson Ben, by his side. If Palpatine is truly back in power, perhaps Vader is the only force user strong enough to stop him. This would bring the Skywalker saga full circle from what we saw play out in the prequel trilogy beginning with The Phantom Menace.
This latest theory arrives from Reddit user u/vadrr21, who goes onto point out that if the title was in reference to a whole new class of Force User, then it would be called Rise of the Skywalker, and that the title as it stands now is not grammatically correct. This is why we have Return of the Jedi not Return of Jedi. Make sense? The Reddit user than breaks it down like this.
"From a directorial perspective, it makes sense. The team had the confidence to reveal Palpatine's return, which could have been a major twist in the movie, eight months before its release. Meaning they have bigger surprises in stock. What is bigger than Palpatine's return? Anakin's return."
The Last Jedi gave us the return of Yoda as a Force Ghost, and his Shillelagh was able to make solid contact with Luke Skywalker's head, clearly inducing pain and making a noise, not going through Luke as an apparition tends to do. We know Obi-Wan and Anakin are also Force Ghosts, so their return is more than possible, and it's believed that they will be able to defend against or fight the living with their weapons from beyond the grave. Yoda's Shillelagh is proof of that.
The return of Emperor Palpatine is a huge plot twist, one that is gleefully given away in the first teaser trailer for The Rise of Skywalker. They didn't even save it for the first full-length trailer. So there are definitely some bigger, badder surprises awaiting us ahead. And what could be bigger than the return of Anakin? The original Skywalker.
There has long been a rumor that evil Anakin may return, which was teased in some abandoned concept art. So, can a force ghost go back to the dark side? As far as the mythology has explained in canon, only Jedi can become Force Ghosts, Sith cannot. Is Rise of the Skywalker about to change that ideology in a big way?
As of now, The Rise of Skywalker title is still as ambiguous as the moment we first heard it. There are many ideas floating around its true meaning. Is it really a clue that Vader is about to make his triumphant return? Or is there a less subtle meaning behind it all? The Skywalker saga comes to its final conclusion this Christmas in a theater near you. This latest theory was found hiding on Reddit.