17

Having watched Rise of Skywalker, it's apparent there's not a lot of material in The Last Jedi that's actually relevant to the storyline itself. Aside from

Luke's death/Force Ghosting

, which can be hand waved away (pun intended), is there anything else that is pertinent that happens in The Last Jedi which you need to know before watching Rise of Skywalker?

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    I think the better question is, is it possible to watch The Last Jedi and make sense of Rise of Skywalker. I contend that the answer is 'no' – Valorum Dec 26 '19 at 0:24
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    Hmm. The fact that Leia was a Force User was pretty pertinent. Otherwise you'd be asking why Leia had a lighsaber and could train a would-be Jedi – Valorum Dec 26 '19 at 0:27
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    I contend that there will never be a way to make sense of the final trilogy. The last 3 movies are all fatally flawed with poor plot lines and big plot holes. Disney doesn't care about canon consistency or even making sense. Disney only cares about making money. – RichS Dec 26 '19 at 2:53
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    I didn't see "Last Jedi" and only went to see "Rise of Skywalker" to be part of a large family holiday outing. I did not find myself even momentarily confused. – Blaze Dec 31 '19 at 14:36
20

It would certainly hurt comprehension a lot. Here are some questions I would be asking myself if I hadn't seen The Last Jedi, besides the ones mentioned in the other answer:

  • Why is the Resistance all gathered on Ajan Kloss instead of their previous base on D'Qar?

  • What happened to the galactic government? Is it gone after the First Order attack?

  • Where is that Supreme Leader Snoke guy that I saw Kylo talking to?

  • Captain Phasma was part of the trio under Supreme Leader Snoke with Hux and Kylo. Where did she go off to? Did she die in the trash compactor?

  • For that matter, why is everyone calling Kylo Ren the Supreme Leader now?

  • What is the Holdo maneuver mentioned near the end and dismissed as "one in a million"?

  • When did Kylo talk to Rey and tell her that her parents were nobodies as she states?

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    Phasma was a bit part. Her absence is not notable – Valorum Dec 26 '19 at 0:41
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    @Valorum - Phasma was part of the "triumvirate" under Snoke, in charge of the stormtrooper infantry. Her role in the first movie was not negligible (she helped get them into Starkiller base). So yes, her absence would be rather notable. – Adamant Dec 26 '19 at 0:42
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    Given that they chucked her into a trash compactor, anyone who missed the middle film would assume that she died. – Valorum Dec 26 '19 at 0:43
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    @Valorum - Because trash compactors have proven a reliable method of killing people in previous Star Wars films? Not to mention they didn't make a secret of her surviving in interviews and director's commentary. – Adamant Dec 26 '19 at 0:51
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    I have never though Phasma as an important character. To be honest, now I have to look up and remember what happened to her. I think Phasma absence isn't that notable too. – Ege Bayrak Dec 26 '19 at 12:00
12

There are a number of events that tie directly into Rise of Skywalker that would be baffling to someone who hasn't seen The Last Jedi

  • Leia has Force powers. We see her using them in TLJ, then in the following movie we see her training Rey. If you didn't know that, it would be confusing as to why she can train a Jedi.

  • Rey and Kylo are mentally linked, seemingly by Snoke. We see this beginning in TLJ, then a more extreme form in RoS. Without the previous film, they'd jump straight into this with little or no explanation.

  • Luke's dead.

  • Snoke's Dead.

  • Although the Jedi books are little more than a plot device to get Rey to where she needs to be, without TLJ there wouldn't be an explanation of how she got them.

  • We learn what happened between Ben and Luke and why the fledgling New Jedi Order failed so spectacularly. Without the intervening film we'd jump straight from "finding Luke" to "Ben having a mental breakdown" without ever seeing the cause.

That all being said, the middle film in this trilogy was eminently missable. Very little happens that couldn't have been glossed over in the scroller.

  • I would add "Why is the Resistance base suddenly on another planet?" "Where is Captain Phasma?" – Adamant Dec 26 '19 at 0:35
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    @Adamant - They're always moving around. Not really much of a plot point. – Valorum Dec 26 '19 at 0:36
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    Having seen TLJ (but not RoS), I'm rather confused as to why Leia would be training Rey. RotJ I believe established that the force was strong in Luke's sister, so Leia being able to use it in later movies is hardly a huge leap. But Leia being a skilled force user capable of training others in its use is never established in any of the movies up through and including TLJ. – 8bittree Dec 26 '19 at 21:30
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    Btw. one might also note that some things seem to be easier to accept/understand without having seen TLJ, e.g. why would Rey seek out Luke when Leia could train her - seems like a waste of time. Or a waste of establishing that Leia wanted this to happen for Luke to regain some hope. @Dave This force bond stuff didn't give me any impression of them really being close, it seemed so forced that them being empathetic doesn't seem supported by it to me. – Frank Hopkins Dec 27 '19 at 13:42
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    I agree with @8bittree, I went into The Force Awakens expecting Leia to be an active force user trained by Luke. TFA seemed to establish that she wasn't. The title of The Last Jedi also implies that Leia is not a Jedi, since I assumed that referred to either Luke or Rey. I always wanted Leia to be a Jedi, so it was maybe my favourite aspect of RoS, but it makes continuity worse, not better. – craq Dec 27 '19 at 16:36
8

I really think this question is missing one thing - in what context are you going to watch Rise of Skywalker? As a casual fan, or someone really devoted?

And, more importantly - do you strictly mean to ask about it making sense - or, about every little detail being enjoyable?

There are many sequels or series of movies which - literally - would not make sense when viewed out of order. And, there are other franchises which a dedicated fan might find less enjoyable when one episode is skipped. However, in terms of your literal question of Rise of Skywalker making sense, I think the answer is pretty clearly yes you can skip The Last Jedi and it will still make sense.

If you're a dedicated fan, you may find yourself saying,

Huh, I guess Luke died, because here he is as a Force Ghost

But given the pretext of handing the story off to a new generation, and the fact that we already lost a major character in The Force Awakens, that hardly seems to lack sense or even come as a surprise.

or,

Wow, Kylo is in charge of the First Order and Snoke is nowhere to be found!

But again, that's hardly a surprise (and certainly wouldn't lack sense) given Kylo's aggressive, unpredictable nature and hunger for power.

So - while the other answers do point out many details that a dedicated fan might wonder about, I don't think there is anything in The Last Jedi that would be considered crucial to The Rise of Skywalker actually making sense.

And, further, it's arguable that casual fans may not even pick up on many of the developments that happen in The Last Jedi and, so, not only would The Rise of Skywalker still make sense, it wouldn't really be any less enjoyable, since casual fans probably wouldn't even pick up on things like,

the fact that the resistance is suddenly headquartered on a different planet.

3

In a word, no.

Most of the reasons that haters have been complaining about The Last Jedi essentially boil down to, one way or another, it having not been the movie they expected to see in some way they perceive as being strongly negative. Whether these complaints have any real validity can be debated up and down, and have been pretty much since the film's release. Some say that the movie needlessly subverted established lore and fan expectations for no reason other than shock value. Others claim this is just whining from fans who can't handle their pet theories having been shown wrong.

Regardless of the validity of the complaints, however, the fact remains that The Last Jedi leaves the franchise in a very different state from where it was before. Major characters are dead, some old, some new. Balances of power have shifted. Leadership of multiple galaxy-shaking factions has changed hands. Some would argue that long-held common assumptions about physics itself have been shattered -not merely the Force, but even deeper concepts- though this last is somewhat debatable. Trying to go into the following movie with zero context as to what has changed is probably not a good idea.

So my suggestion is that you ignore people telling you to skip TLJ completely and give it a watch. Develop a real opinion on whether or not you enjoy it, independent of what anyone else tells you, including me. If you enjoy it, great, if not, great, but make your opinion yours. Scripts are for movies, not for people.

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    This answer is inappropriate. "others claim this is just whining from toxic fanboys who can't handle their pet theories having been shown wrong" The OP wants an answer about whether it is possible to understand ST:TROS without watching ST:TLJ first. Your answer provides little informational content and a lot of editorializing about the intentions of ST fans. – LincolnMan Dec 27 '19 at 8:51
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    @TheSpooniest There is a lot of assumptions based on why OP is asking the question and who is for what reason suggesting to skip the movie. The way it is, it's not an answer to the question, it's an answer to what you think is the reason for the answer based on your assumption about a group of people. So even that answer to another question stands on thin ground. – Frank Hopkins Dec 27 '19 at 13:46
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    You assume too much about the OP's reasons and insert useless whining about supposedly toxic fanboys. Your answer is more of a rant then an answer – Geronimo Dec 27 '19 at 14:10
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    "Editorializing" which insults a group of people is not appropriate. I've edited out such insults. Do not add them back. – Null Dec 27 '19 at 16:45
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    Even the edited version of this answer is useless. It's still a rant and makes assumptions about other people's intentions. Just consider these lines. "haters have been complaining" and "Others claim this is just whining from fans who can't handle their pet theories having been shown wrong." and " it having not been the movie they expected to see in some way they perceive as being strongly negative." I would downvote this twice if I could. Can the mods close this answer or consign it to oblivion? – LincolnMan Dec 28 '19 at 19:21

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