The sequel trilogy, despite being a fun watch, has grown ever the more flawed with each new film released in it. The Rise of Skywalker showing that the most. The lack of direction has hurt it, along with the fact there are massively obvious mirrors to the original trilogy. Some of those work, others not so much, and if you’ve read my review of The Rise of Skywalker, you’ll know of one mirror that I absolutely hate.
Everyone has their own ideas for what should have happened, and I’m no different. This article is going to detail all those ideas to create my own vision of a sequel trilogy within the Skywalker Saga, looking at the plot element within all three of the trilogy, then going a bit deeper with the main throughline of it. First, though, there needs to be the lead up to that point.
The Battle of Endor has been won, the Empire scattered throughout the galaxy. The Rebel leadership reinstate the Republic, working hard to build it up to what it once was. They do so quickly, hoping to restore the galaxy to a peaceful time, but still have to deal with the scattered Imperial forces.
Meanwhile, Luke Skywalker is on a quest to reinstate the Jedi Order, along with Leia, Han, and Chewbacca. On a quest of discovering the history of the Jedi and their effect on the galaxy, they only have minimal contact with the Republic leadership.
A year after the Battle of Endor, the Republic finds out that the Imperial forces have banded together when they strike at the heart of it. Those Imperial forces – now calling themselves the Iron Resistance – retreat from that battle but force four years of war upon the galaxy, bringing the criminal underworld into the fight.
During this time of war, Han and Chewbacca have gone undercover within the criminal underworld to feed information to the Republic. Leia is torn between fighting and protecting their child as she continues her travels with Luke in finding a base for the Jedi Order.
The end of the war comes when the Republic is destroyed, but before the Iron Resistance could claim control of the galaxy, the criminals they had forced to fight for them wiped them out and put themselves in power, locking the entire galaxy into an era of chaos that lasts for twenty years.
That’s not when it stops, but when this trilogy of mine starts. The Jedi Order has now been set up on Ajan Kloss, with Han being a scout bringing in prospective students and guards. Luke and Leia teach a new generation of Jedi, among them Ben – who is conflicted with his Skywalker heritage, feeling that his life choices were being forced on him.
This isn’t helped by a group of guards who are secretly part of the Galactic Criminal Enterprise. They have been feeding Ben lies about the Jedi Order as it was during the Clone Wars and before, saying that the Jedi are not somewhere he wants to be. Once they feel he has been converted, the plan to destroy the Order from within begins.
The destruction of the Jedi Order ends with Ben facing off against Luke and Leia, who he refuses to kill. He renounces the Skywalker name, telling them all of what he had been feeling. At a critical moment when he had an advantage over Leia, he still refuses to kill her. Running off with the gang, he leaves Luke and Leia broken and betrayed.
That opening section of the first film lays the foundations for the rest of the trilogy, with Ben’s conflict always being with him. The Jedi Order destroyed, Luke, Leia, and Han have no choice but to leave and do their best against this order of chaos while trying to find Ben and get him to understand that they loved him and that he should have talked to them instead of hiding his troubles away.
The Skywalker connection to this trilogy is set, but the other new characters need to be introduced. As Ben is being pressured into going after the remains of the Jedi Order – that being his family, the remains of that Order are heading for Canto Bight in the Falcon. Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca, R2-D2, C-3PO, and two of the faithful guards are all that remain.
As they travel to Canto Bight, since Han had the idea to get in contact with a few allies there, the action moves to Kijimi. On this planet, the GCE hold rule. Poe Dameron is undercover with one of those syndicates, having been a part of it for a year. In that time, he’s been working with Zorii Bliss to subjugate the people and force them to work as prisoners. That is why he is here.
He calls in his allies as the large group are heading to their working post, liberating the people. Poe and Zorii get into a showdown, where she manages to escape. One of the prisoners is Finn, who wants to join the freedom fighters of the planet. Poe is concerned that Zorii escaped, since that will bring a stronger force to them.
On Canto Bight, the GCE presence on the planet were prepared for them, surrounding them and blocking them from the Falcon. While Luke and Leia use the Force to dispatch the criminals, Han, Chewbacca, and the two guards try to get back to the Falcon, but a smoke bomb is set off within it. They have to leave the Falcon behind as they escape as reinforcements arrive with armoured vehicles.
On the streets, they split up, with Luke and Leia encountering Rey. Alone on the streets, but occasionally getting used for jobs by the GCE, she hates life here and wishes to escape. Despite being a great fighter, she keeps getting captured when trying to do so. Luke and Leia say that they can help her once she takes them to a safe place.
Coordinating an attack, Luke, Leia, and Rey will go for one transport, while the guards go for a second, and Han and Chewbacca go for a third. The attack goes smoothly, and they escape. Rey questions the tactics of Luke and Leia, who tell her about the Jedi and that they are Jedi. Over the communicator, Han tells the others they need to head to Kijimi, as that is where the GCE members who had attacked the Ajan Kloss base came from.
On Kijimi, the two groups meet, with Poe filling them in on the situation on the planet. Luke and Leia agree that they need to help liberate the planet. Even if Ben isn’t here at the minute, if he hears they are, he will come. The plan is a bold one, with Poe saying they should strike directly at the main operations centre of the GCE presence on the planet.
During the attack, Ben does arrive, and quickly hunts Luke and Leia down. He has more resolve to strike them down, which scares Luke as he feels a great influence has been corrupting Ben further than those he’d been talking to previously. As the attack continues, Luke and Leia do battle against Ben. Ben kills Leia, which breaks Luke further. Ben goes to strike Luke, but is blocked by Rey.
She had called on the Force to pull Leia’s ‘saber to her, wanting to get into the fight and strike Ben down. She had only entered the room as Ben killed Leia, and acted on instinct and the need to get a weapon in her hands. Han calls Luke as Rey fights off Ben, saying the explosives have been put in place. Luke rejoins the fight to quickly disable Ben and drag Rey off him, then the two escape from the building.
Ben has also escaped, and looks upon the ruins of the building. Zorii appears, and asks if he needs a ride. The two share a common friend, though who that friend is doesn’t get revealed – only the planet where they are.
The ending sees the battle won. While the GCE presence hasn’t been wiped from the planet, the freedom fighters are doing their best in the wake of the leadership being destroyed. Luke fills Rey in on the fact she has the Force, who Ben is in relation to him and Leia, and agreeing to train her as a Jedi.
A year passes, where Kijimi has fully been freed, with Poe and Finn joining Luke and Han as they try to contact more people resisting the criminal presence on their worlds. The intent is to build a galactic resistance movement to reign in the criminal hold on the galaxy. During this time, Luke is also training Rey as a Jedi.
The second in the trilogy sees everyone in battle on Crait, as Luke had led an assault on a pirate stronghold on the planet that had been using the abandoned Rebellion technology to supply other areas of the GCE. They break through into the base and completely wipe out the pirate presence. Luke then orders for everything to be rounded up and loaded into the transports, with any starfighters being piloted to the cruisers in orbit.
As the last of the transports arrive at the cruisers, a fleet controlled by the GCE arrives, trying to quickly overwhelm the cruisers of the Jedi Order Insurgence (the new name of the galactic resistance movement). In the battle, Zorii quietly arrives at one of those cruisers, hiding out until it escapes. As the Insurgence flee the battle, they split. Han’s command and Poe’s command head to different sectors, while Luke’s command head to Tatooine.
Zorii has assumed the identity of one of the Insurgence guards on-board Poe’s cruiser, with the aim to find out where they are and bring the Criminal Enterprise down on them. Meanwhile, on Tatooine, Luke continues to train Rey on the surface while those Insurgence members who were with them scout the main population centres of the planet for GCE presence.
Poe’s command come out of hyperspace at Takodana, where they try to contact Luke’s command. While Poe doesn’t reach Luke, one of the guards reveals they are on Tatooine. Swapping to Han’s command, Poe fills Han in on where Luke is just as an attack happens. Zorii reveals herself and sabotages the cruiser as she escapes, hoping that Poe will go down.
Luke learns what is happening through the guard, who had been contacted by Han. However, Ben arrives before Luke and Rey could rejoin the main group. Poe’s command defend themselves as best as they can, receiving help from Maz Kanata’s band of smugglers as a favour to Han while he arrives as fast as he can. Meanwhile, Ben, Luke, and Rey are locked in a fight.
Luke is forced back, as is Rey. Ben then drops a holocom and steps forward. Revealed behind him is Emperor Palpatine, which surprises Luke. He is also hurt that Ben would trust him after everything Luke and Leia had told him about what the Empire had done. Palpatine says that the reinstated Republic had done no better, and now his own forces will do the job Luke could not. He then says that Luke can live no longer. Ben strikes at Luke, killing him.
Rey launches at Ben again. Ben quickly disables her, with Palpatine telling him to bring her to him, and he will convert her to the dark side. In the Takodana system, the Sith Enforcers have arrived, striking at the Insurgence. Han and Poe command their forces to flee, as they have no chance against the size of the new fleet. With no idea what had happened on Tatooine, the Insurgence heads there, hopeful to regroup with Luke and become a stronger force.
Now, before I jump into the third of this trilogy, which takes place immediately after the second, you’ll have noticed I’ve barely talked about Finn. The Skywalker family has their arc, with the ongoing fight between Poe and Zorii being another arc. Rey figuring out the difference between light and dark is the third (which I’ll talk more of below). Finn, however, has been within the action without an arc. His major arc comes with this third film.
Ben delivers Rey to the Emperor on Ilum. At first, she resists, trying to appeal to Ben, but she gets nowhere with him. Ben has been silent, as he grows ever more conflicted in his thoughts. He feels that he has been used, and is starting to regret his actions. He remains silent to focus his mind and hide this fact from Palpatine.
The majority of the Insurgence arrive on Tatooine and join up with the rest of them, where they inform Han that they have yet to hear from Luke. As Han heads out to look for Luke, Poe asks of news from around the galaxy. There has been nothing major to report. As time goes on and nothing major has happened, Finn makes a choice. Without alerting anyone of what he is doing, he takes a transport and heads away from Tatooine.
Han finds the place where Luke had been training Rey, finding the holocom still on the ground. With nothing else left to go on, he takes it back to the base. Finn has arrived at his destination, working a tale to Zorii that he had never been meaning to side with Poe, and had managed to escape. Untrusting of him, she takes his information on where the Insurgence are, then puts him in binders to keep him by her side as they bring the entire fleet to Tatooine.
Palpatine has been informed of this, and tells Ben to put an end to the Insurgence and the last remnants of his family. As Ben heads off, Palpatine continues to corrupt Rey with his careful influence, revealing to her that his plan had been to put the galaxy into chaos so he would be seen a saviour when his own forces wiped out those who had put it into that state. He had used the ancient Sith powers to survive, transferring his Force spirit into a new being. A clone that had secretly been developed long ago.
When Han arrives, the technicians use their skills to reveal Palpatine and the things he had said. Poe and Han realise that the help that had been sent for the GCE had been intent on wiping everyone out. A call then comes in that a huge fleet had arrived. Han tells Poe to direct the battle while he went out to fight. The battle quickly gets out of hand, with Zorii contacting the base on the surface with the intent to distract the ground crew.
She reveals that Finn had betrayed them. Finn however, had a plan. While the comm is still active, he kicks out at Zorii, having activated the secret blade within his boot. Zorii slashes out with a blade, but Finn is ready for it and blocks with the binders – which break. The two fight on the bridge, still with the holocom active for all to see. Poe’s shock and anger turn to surprise and hope as the fight happens.
The Falcon comes out of hyperspace into the battle. Han is hopeful that whoever is piloting it is on their side. He contacts the Falcon, hoping to gain some answers while he continues to fight. He gets no response, but the Falcon then aims at him. Realising the danger, Han makes for the surface, but gets shot down. Crashing onto the surface, he and Chewie have both survived, but see that the Falcon had followed them and had landed.
From out of it comes Ben. As Han and Chewie climb out from the ruined fighter, Ben just watches. When questioned, Ben says he has to make a choice, but is unsure which he will regret more. Han tells Ben to look inside himself, look into his Force, and come to terms with where he belongs. Ben makes contact in the Force with Luke and Leia. He can be redeemed, they say, as long as he does the right thing.
Ben is still unsure, still resistant to the Skywalker legacy, but trusts in what Han says. Han has said that no matter whether he is a Skywalker or not, he has the ability to make things right. Ben says nothing, but departs in the Falcon, leaving Han and Chewie at the desert. He is set on returning to Ilum, to Palpatine’s side, where he will face his conflict head on.
Finn and Zorii’s fight ends with the latter’s defeat, with Finn then controlling the cruiser to destroy every other cruiser of the GCE he can before he or it gets shot down. Poe directs the forces of the Insurgence away to those cruisers Finn cannot reach, telling them to protect the cruiser and get some soldiers within it to pull Finn out. The battle is quickly won after that. However…
On Ilum, Rey is connected to a device that is weakening her. Trying to force her to darkness. She is resisting as hard as possible, aware of what the dark side will do to her. All this time, Palpatine watches over her, blasting her with lightning to make her angry while telling her she will eventually break.
Ben arrives, telling Palpatine that the battle has been won. Palpatine knows Ben is lying to him and strikes out. Ben just about blocks it, and manages to free Rey, giving her a lightsaber. Despite not using one himself, Palpatine is able to defend himself against both. Now she is free, however, Rey is pulling closer and closer to the darkness, revelling in being able to do something about her captor.
Ben finally manages to strike Palpatine down, but something awakens within Rey. The machine she had been hooked to had been making her a vessel for Palpatine’s Force spirit. Enough of the conversion had taken place that his spirit had now manifested within her. Ben is torn over what to do, unwilling to strike Rey down. Looking within himself while defending against Rey, however, he finds the strength and ability to siphon Palpatine’s Force spirit into himself while keeping his own mind.
Once he is sure that Palpatine no longer holds control of Rey, he fights his own mind against Palpatine’s spirit, killing himself to destroy the spirit of the Emperor once and for all. Rey has released all darkness, realising what it had almost cost her. After mourning the death of Ben, she takes the body to the Falcon, piloting it to Tatooine.
While the Insurgence celebrates the victory of the battle, Rey arrives with the news of what had happened to Han, who had been waiting for any to arrive. Han and Chewbacca have their own time to mourn, but are thankful that Ben had come back to the light. Rey says she wants to continue the Skywalker legacy, building a new Order of Jedi just as Luke would have done. That exchange is the final scene of the trilogy.
Now, the major part of the trilogy centred around Rey and Ben, with their connection through the Force. Such a focus is still here in my trilogy, with both facing the choices of light and dark, but with less of a focus on being united through the Force. Rey struggles with the pull to the dark, but is able to hold it in check so it doesn’t completely consume her. While she uses it willingly, she is able to avoid the corruption that comes from it. Or so she thinks.
In the second of this trilogy, we know she had had Jedi training, but the wild side to her – that street fighter side – is confident that because she is tapping into the darkness for good, it holds no influence over her. But it is precisely that way of thinking that makes her an easy target for darkness to take hold. Even with Luke telling her, and her own attempts to temper such, she will act on instinct when danger calls which brings that street fighter side out again.
Now, Palpatine in his call to Luke in the second of the trilogy makes no mention of Rey. Ben acts of his own accord there, which again plays into the conflicts he is suffering with. He has just struck down a second member of his family, and needs someone to relate to. He can feel the darkness within Rey, and at first he does try to convince her to willingly come with him. When that option is no longer available to him, then he forces her hand.
Palpatine has plans of his own, and had hoped Ben would willingly join him and allow him to transfer his Force spirit into him. After all, what better way to completely undo the Skywalker legacy than to have a Skywalker issuing the return of the Empire? Ben delivering Rey to him, alerts Palpatine to the fact that Ben would never willingly do so.
It was his hope that Ben would siphon Palpatine’s spirit into himself if it were within someone he cared for. The only thing he hadn’t expected was just how powerfully Ben was resisting the darkness at that point.
Tatooine gets more focus here, since the one thing that tied the other two trilogies together was rather lacking in the sequel trilogy. Sure, the one thing it did do was explore other desert planets of the galaxy, but there’s time to do that away from the Skywalker Saga.
Tatooine is a symbol of the Skywalker Saga. It’s where Anakin was born, where Luke was raised, and where both shared traumatic memories. It pretty much opened the Skywalker Saga, so it makes symbolic sense for it to also be the end of the Saga with Ben’s body being returned.
And finally – Ilum over Exegol. Starkiller Base being built within Ilum was pretty much for the same reasons Palpatine makes it his secret shrine. With such massive reserves of kyber crystals, any Force-user can manipulate the energy within them to do whatever they wanted. Indeed, these crystals are part of what powers the spirit transfer technology – both into the cloned body and into Rey.
This has been a long one, and there’s bound to have been things I’ve missed, but this does give an idea of a different interpretation of the trilogy. You’ll note that nowhere within this trilogy have I put a superweapon, as I want it focused upon the state of the galaxy being in the chaos it is, but more importantly on ending the Skywalker Saga by putting greater focus upon the Skywalker line.
You’ll note that all focus of the third of the trilogy turns to the final confrontation without any other distractions in place at the end. Skywalker vs Palpatine – the leading line that runs through all three trilogies. The battles of the Insurgence and renewed Empire are for another time. That film is closing the Saga, so should do so on its own.
That’s all from me regarding this sequel trilogy of mine. If you do want to get into it a bit more, however, I will answer any questions should you ask them.