Can Rey, Poe and Finn carry the 'Star Wars' franchise fowards after 'Rise of Skywalker'?
How relevant Rey, Finn and Poe are to the future of the 'Star Wars' universe depends entirely on how much the franchise is willing to move on to something new
December 20 will see the release of ‘Rise of Skywalker,’ a story that is set to bring the multi-generational saga of the Skywalker clan to a close. Having defined the stories the ‘Star Wars’ movies since the franchise’s inception, the story of the Skywalkers has even outlived many of the people who started it. However, while the Skywalker saga may be ending, the stories set in a galaxy far, far away won’t be, and it’s worth asking whether current ‘Star Wars’ leads Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega) and Poe (Oscar Isaac) will be able to carry the franchise forward.
Much of the answer, of course, depends on ‘Rise of Skywalker.’ Finn and Poe have been so deeply embedded in the story of the Skywalker-centric rebellion that it’s hard to say what tales can be spun out of their arcs going forward.
Of the trio, Rey has been given the most development, and shape of the future of the ‘Star Wars’ franchise depends very much on what she develops into in ‘Rise of Skywalker.’ More than that, the group dynamic of the three characters hasn’t received much development so far. The characters haven’t had much time to spend together, and that is something that JJ Abrams has said will be addressed more in the upcoming movie.
There is a lot to explore in Rey, certainly, in a post-Skywalker ‘Star Wars’ universe. With Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) passed, she is the torchbearer of the Light Side of the Force.
It is Rey who will define how the Light Side of the Force will be used in the years to come - whether she resurrects the Jedi way, or defines something new are strands that are rich with stories to be mined.
Finn and Poe are both character defined by the galaxy’s war with the Empire, and the First Order after them. Finn’s life as a Stormtrooper, later joined with Poe’s as a Resistance fighter, blurs into the background a little as everyone is fighting against the oppressive worlds that the Empire established. What will be interesting to explore, however, is a world that is recovering from the Empire. Who is Poe Dameron when he no longer has a war to fight? There are questions to be asked about Finn’s future as well - a soldier literally bred for war, how does he fix a world he spent much of his life oppressing? What does he do to redeem himself for the actions he took as a soldier?
Rey, Finn and Poe are fascinating characters whose stories have been held back by the Skywalker saga. They’ve been entertaining enough to watch on-screen, but much of their story depends on how much the ‘Star Wars’ film franchise is truly able to let go of the past and move on to something new.
‘Rise of Skywalker’ releases in theaters on December 20.