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It's still hard to believe, but Star Wars' nine-film Skywalker Saga came to an end with The Rise of Skywalker. The pressure was on for J.J. Abrams to deliver with Episode IX, and there's been plenty of discussion about the bold narrative choices he went with. This includes the fate of Adam Driver's Ben Solo aka Kylo Ren, who perished shortly after his redemption. And Daisy Ridley recently clarified how this particular sequence was tackled on set.
In the third act of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Ben Solo finally leaves the Dark Side and teams up with Rey to battle Palpatine and his forces. The two also share a kiss, Adam Driver's character ends up sacrificing himself to revive the heroine. Fans were wondering if this was perhaps a last minute change by J.J. Abrams, but Daisy Ridley reportedly clarified this recently during an interview. As she put it,
Well, there you have it. While J.J. Abrams definitely put his own spin on The Rise of Skywalker when he stepped in after Colin Trevorrow's departure, it seems that Kylo Ren was always meant to have his redemption... including a heroic sacrifice. Although the controversial kiss shared by Ben and Rey wasn't a sure thing.
The above tweet comes to us from author Sariah Wilson, who seemingly had a conversation with Daisy Ridley about her time in the galaxy far, far away. Ridley was the undisputed protagonist of the trilogy, becoming a household name thanks to her acclaimed performances as Rey. She therefore knows the inner workings of crafting The Rise of Skywalker's ending, which came with or without that kiss.
The Skywalker Saga is currently streaming in its entirety on Disney+. You can use this link to sign up for the streaming service.
It does make sense that Kylo Ren's fate for The Rise of Skywalker was decided in advance. The fight for the character's soul was one of the main narrative threads throughout the sequel trilogy, and fans were eager to see whether he'd finally return to the Light Side. They just didn't expect the smooch that occurred during this redemption.
In the final conflict with Palpatine on Exegol, there's a ton of wild events. Lightsabers are teleported, characters are revived, and through it all the villain looks like a zombie. Ben Solo was always meant to sacrifice himself to bring Rey back to life, although it wasn't clear of their kiss would be in the theatrical cut. It was ultimately included, although it was a divisive subject within the fandom.
The Star Wars franchise will continue to grow thanks to shows on Disney+, as well as Patty Jenkins' developing Rogue Squadron movie. In the meantime, check out our 2021 release list to plan your next movie experience.