Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker VFX Team Subtly Replicated a Key Moment From A New Hope

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker concluded the Skywalker Saga and honored various corners of the sprawling storyline in ways both subtle and obvious, with one of the more specific references to the franchise's origins seeing the visual effects team recreating a specific starfield from Star Wars: A New Hope. Over the course of more than 40 years, the series has depicted all manner of intergalactic landscapes and, while we doubt anyone would have immediately recognized the placement of the stars in the sequence, it was important to director J.J. Abrams to find a subtle way to reference how the entire series started.

"One small nugget that somebody may not have picked up on is that as you fly up through that giant lightning tree and you get up to that top of the tree and [Rey] hears the voices of the Jedi, that starfield you're looking at is exactly the [A New Hope] starfield," ILM visual effects supervisor Patrick Tubach shared with Insider. "That was very important to J.J."

In the sequence towards the end of the film, Rey is seemingly defeated by Palpatine, resulting in the Jedi falling to her back and looking up towards the sky. As she sees the Resistance starship fleet under attack by Palpatine, her vision moves past the carnage to an empty starfield, where she hears a number of voices from the franchise's past that empower her with the spirit of all the Jedi that came before her. Rey then channels that energy to deflect Palpatine's attacks, resulting in his destruction.

"He really wanted to have that moment harking back to the very beginning of Star Wars, and that I think was bringing it all back together," Tubach pointed out. "Seeing those stars and seeing them look exactly that way. It does rotate, but what you end up on is in the beginning of [A New Hope]."

With the film having been released more than a month ago, its cast and crew have opened up more about the process of bringing the adventure to life. As each day goes by, fans get more excited for the film's upcoming home video release, which will likely feature a number of exciting behind-the-scenes features that will reveal all manner of details regarding what went into tying the entire Skywalker Saga together.


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

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