Who dies in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker? Touted as the finale to the Skywalker Saga, Rise of Skywalker pits the new generation of heroes against their greatest threat yet: the late Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid), a phantom menace returned to enact his final order of revenge against the Jedi. The galaxy’s last hope lies with Rey (Daisy Ridley), learning the ways of the Jedi and the Force under mentor and Resistance leader Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), training to combat the First Order’s Supreme Leader Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and a reinvigorated legion of First Order troops commanded by Allegiant General Pryde (Richard E. Grant).
In The Rise of Skywalker, the nine-episode saga ends with nine prominent deaths, including sendoffs for some of the series’ oldest characters. Spoilers follow.
Boolio, an Ovissian who leaks First Order intel to Resistance agents Finn (John Boyega) and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), pays dearly for supporting the rebel fighters and passing along a message from a First Order spy: some time after his brief encounter with the Millennium Falcon, Boolio's decapitated head is tossed on a table during a First Order meeting.
When Finn and Poe infiltrate a First Order ship to rescue Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) — who was earlier believed dead when Rey accidentally exploded a First Order prisoner transport on the desert planet Pasaana — their attempted escape ends with Finn, Poe and Chewbacca caught and facing execution by Stormtroopers. They’re spared when First Order General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) blasts the Stormtroopers, revealing himself as the spy.
Asked to explain his turn, Hux tells Finn he doesn’t care about the Resistance — he only wants self-installed Supreme Leader Kylo Ren out of the way. Hux’s betrayal is later sniffed out by Pryde, who kills Hux with a close-range blast to the stomach.
During the Resistance’s desperate assault on the Final Order — Palpatine’s massive fleet of ships, each possessing planet-destroying weapons — Pryde is killed when a First Order command center explodes, blasting Pryde out a window to a fiery death.
On Ajan Kloss, the jungle planet and site of the new Resistance base, General Leia grows weak. Retreating to her quarters, she uses the Force to make one last desperate plea to her corrupted son, Kylo Ren-slash-Ben Solo, who is engaged in a lightsaber duel against Rey atop the wreckage of the second Death Star on ocean moon Kef Bir.
That duel ends when Leia, using the last of her strength to reach out through the Force, connects with her son. A distracted Kylo is stabbed in the midsection by Rey, a wound that will soon prove fatal. But Rey — using abilities first displayed on Pasaana, where she tapped into her lifeforce to heal a gravely wounded sand snake — calls on these abilities again to heal Kylo’s wound before leaving him behind.
Back at the Resistance base, Leia dies.
Left alone on Kef Bir, Kylo turns when a familiar voice calls out, “Hey, kid.” When he sees the father he killed one year earlier, Kylo tells his father he knows what he needs to do — but he doesn't know if he can bring himself to do it. With his father's help, Kylo rejects the Dark Side, casting his red lightsaber into the rocky waters below. Ben Solo has returned.
Resistance X-wing pilot Temmin “Snap” Wexley is killed during the Resistance’s last stand against the Final Order on Exogol, site of Palpatine’s Sith temple. While Rey makes her own last stand against Palpatine’s near-unlimited power and the thousands of Sith spirits who live inside him, the outnumbered and outgunned Resistance suffers numerous losses, including Wexley: Poe watches in horror as Wexley’s shot down X-wing is sent spiraling into the side of another ship, where it explodes.
In Palpatine’s arena, the once-slain Emperor confronts the Jedi who has been revealed as his granddaughter: if she strikes his body down, the Sith existing in Palpatine’s corpse-like body will transfer into hers, and she’ll take her rightful place as Sith ruler Empress Palpatine.
Rey refuses, and after calling on multiple generations of late Jedi, Rey draws enough power to resist Palpatine and uses dual lightsabers to reflect his Sith lightning. A resulting explosion of powerful energy destroys Palpatine — and the lingering spirts of the Sith — seemingly for good.
The destruction claims another victim: Rey, whose lifeless body is discovered and cradled by the returned Ben Solo. Using the same ability Rey displayed on Kef Bir, Ben Force heals Rey, returning her to life at the cost of his own. After they embrace in a kiss, Ben collapses and becomes one with the Force. At the Resistance base, Leia's body vanishes, and the Skywalker bloodline is no more.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is now playing.
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