Our Theories and Explanations About What “The Rise of Skywalker” Means

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With the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, we can try to answer the big question we’ve had since the first teaser trailer dropped: what the title might mean. Some popular theories pointed to either Kylo Ren, Rey, or even Anakin being the titular Skywalker, playing into the “Chosen One” narrative that began with Luke in the original trilogy, and continued with Anakin in the prequels. These sorts of theories tend to lean heavily into ideas of destiny and specialness, with the hero being “chosen” for greatness long before they ever actually do anything noteworthy.

As audiences now know, The Rise of Skywalker both embraces and subverts the “Chosen One” narrative, with Rey having a history tightly entwined with icons of the past, but also choosing her own path, the opposite of the evil one she was supposedly “chosen” for. Despite clarifying many plot points, including Rey’s own parentage, the movie still leaves the title’s meaning up to interpretation — or even multiple interpretations. While some previous theories, such as “Skywalker” being the new name of the Resistance, were outright proven false, there are still a few ways we can interpret the title, and they’re not even mutually exclusive. Keep reading for three theories we had about the meaning before watching the movie, and three new explanations we have now that we’ve seen the film.

— Additional reporting by Amanda Prahl

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