In a galaxy far, far away…

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Disclaimer: This article consists of spoilers in the movie “Star Wars:  Episode IV-Rise of Skywalker” 

Anticipation. Nervousness. Turmoil. Excitement. Resentment. Surprise. “Star Wars:  Episode IV-Rise of Skywalker” triggered these emotions for viewers. The ending of this iconic movie series has left fans emotional after waiting over twenty years. 

“I cried a little bit at the ending because Star Wars was my childhood that I was raised on. It was surreal to have that [my childhood] be over,” Abby Allen, junior, said. 

The death of Princess Leia Skywalker shocked fans because Carrie Fisher, who played Princess Leia, passed away in 2016. The magic of movie-making let Fisher’s character live on briefly in this final movie. Princess Leia died when she attempted to communicate to her son, Kylo Ren (Ben Solo), there was still good inside his heart.  

“I was full of emotion. The way she died for her son even after all that has happened truly showed true love. It made me want to cry,” Madison Kutschke, freshman, said. 

Another death that distressed fans was Fisher’s onscreen son, Adam Driver, whose father was Han Solo. In the final moments of the movie, main character, Rey Palpatine, was on the brink of death. Ren/Solo used his powers to bring her back, sacrificing his own life for hers. The heartwarming moment of their strong connection of being “two in one” ended with a kiss between the two characters and the farewell to the leader of the First Order, Ren/Solo. 

“I thought it was a good way to end his story; he got a nice redemption, and it seemed fitting. His heritage and connection to the Force as well the role he played was good at bringing the saga to an end,” Josh Hughes, sophomore, said. 

Another surprise was the discovery of Rey’s identity. In the movie, many events foreshadowed her relation to Sheev Palpatine, the evil Sith Lord from the Dark Side. For example, when the First Order kidnapped Chewie, Rey used the Force to keep the ship from leaving and ended up unleashing lightning from her hands, discovering her growing power. Rey learned the secret of her bloodline during a battle with Ren/Solo. When Rey returned to Luke’s home planet to bury the Skywalkers’ light sabers, a passing traveler demanded to know her last name, and she answered, “Rey Skywalker.” 

“I was a little bit shocked, but it made sense because she has to be related to someone that uses the force,” Patrick Kinsella, senior, said. 

The ending of this saga does not mean the end of the Star Wars franchise. Disney is continuing to produce films related to the original storyline. Look for their release in coming months and years.