How Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Takes a Page From The Goonies

Serving as the end for Lucasfilm's Skywalker Saga, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker served as the epic finale to a story that's been told over 40 years. Because of that, the flick had its fair share of nods to other films and properties in the franchise. As fate would have it, it has included a subtle nod to Richard Donner's The Goonies, if you paid close enough attention. Spoilers up ahead for The Rise of Skywalker! Proceed with caution if you have yet to see the movie.

Thanks to the introduction of not one, but two MacGuffins in The Rise of Skywalker, Rey (Daisy Ridley) was required to track down the fabled Sith Dagger — a device that would tell the Resistance where the second of two Sith Wayfinders was located. In turn, that'd lead them to the planet where Emperor Palpatine has been building the Final Order.

As fate would have it, Rey and company find the Sith Dagger and take it to an ocean-filled planet where the wreckage of Death Star II currently resides. There, Rey pulls an extension out of the Sith Dagger that serves as a built-in compass of sorts, directly pointing to where the Wayfinder is located within the wreckage.

If you've seen The Goonies — which you probably have since it's one of the greatest films ever produced — you might have noticed a similar connecting when the group finds a doubloon that leads them on an adventure to One-Eyed Willy's treasure. The Goonies use the doubloon in an exact fashion, matching up landmarks to further their MacGuffin-hunting experience.

Fortunately enough for Rey, the Wayfinder led the character straight to Palpatine, a character resurrected just for the film. According to Ian McDiarmid — the actor behind the character — he was just as surprised as anyone when he found out he'd be in the movie.

“I thought I was dead! I thought he was dead,” McDiarmid told Digital Spy. “Because when we did Return of the Jedi, and I was thrown down that shoot to Galactic Hell, [he was dead]. And I said, ‘Oh, does he come back?’ And [George] said, ‘No, he’s dead.’ [Laughs] So I just accepted that. But then, of course, I didn’t know I was going to be doing the prequels, so in a sense he wasn’t dead, because we went back to revisit him when he was a young man. But I was totally surprised by this.”

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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is now in theaters.

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