This Christmas, we offer A review & esoteric unveiling of star wars: Episode IX (and the whole of the Disney Sequel Trilogy) with the benefit of both hindsight and more far importantly, insight, so that you receive the gift of enjoyment and appreciation for the Rise of Skywalker which many critics, fans, pundits and others recommend you to ridicule, despise or outright avoid. don’t avoid it. enjoy it. if this Blog helps you do so, merry christmas.
BEGINNING WITH Attachments & Expectations
For a good while now, the Internet has been a-buzz with leaks, rumors, speculation and a good deal of outrage about the final installment of the heralded Skywalker saga which began over 40 years ago in a galaxy far, far away…and do you know what, dear reader?
We confess, we fell for it: all of it…the pundits, the reviewers, the nay-sayers, and YouTubers. We fell into the trap of negativity, low expectations, and pre-judgment based on rumors, leaks, and our experience of the previous installments of Disney’s Star Wars. If you have been following our channel, you know we wrote articles on both The Force Awakens (Star Wars: The Substance Sleeps) and The Last Jedi or the Last Logi? And, by even the titles of said articles alone, you can probably gather that we were fans of neither. And neither were many of the countless Star Wars fans who grew up with this “franchise” and had been fans of it for the better part of four decades.
Please don’t get us wrong, dear reader: the critics, fans, pundits, YouTubers, etc. ARE RIGHT, in so many ways about so many things. Like the above montage, the movie is a bit of a mess. So on this point let there be no doubt: The Rise of Skywalker is a messy, manic, melodramatic, monstrosity of a movie. However, if you are looking for a review of all the reasons why it is so, you may be disappointed. Go and watch reviews by The Critical Drinker, Doomcock, or Midnight’s Edge (or just about any other YouTuber who does reviews). We also recommend the Pitch Meeting. It’s pretty funny.
But we of all people should know that Star Wars was NEVER just a movie. We said as much in BOTH our articles on Star Wars linked at the beginning of this blog. Why would we assume this, the final installment in the Skywalker saga, as messy, awkward and over-the-top as it is as a film, is utterly devoid of any intrinsic esoteric value and/or universal Truth? Simple, because it is TEMPTING to do so. And here we shall invoke “Anton Ego” of all people from Disney Pixar’s “Ratatouille,” a film which is decidedly and universally adored as a great film, complete with timeless universal Truths…
And why has Anton Ego been “rocked to his core?” Because in his own words, “I don’t like food, I love it. If I don’t love it, I don’t swallow.” But his love for food which had become a purely aesthetic thing: a phenomenon of prestige, elegance, texture, presentation and above all taste, a singularly surprising genius of utterly humble origins and diminutive stature rekindles Aton Ego’s memory and awareness of what he truly loves about food…that it has the capacity to be a medium of love; the unconditional love of his mother, in fact. And that medium is ratatouille, a peasant dish…a sloppy mess of a peasant dish, albeit jazzed up and presented in a modern and impressive way.
We fans love Star Wars. Most of us grew up on it, original trilogy or prequels. And all the criticism you hear deriding Episode XI are the words of those who, like Anton Ego, have forgotten the REAL reason why they love Star Wars. They, like Anton Ego, are critics, and in many cases experts, and like Ego, they have attachments to Star Wars looking, sounding, feeling, tasting a certain way, even as what they long for more than anything is the feeling of Star Wars they had as a child, in their youth, growing up, and in countless other books, comics, video games, animated TV series, et al. They have expectations. Suffice it to say, they are having a very, very difficult time swallowing The Rise of Skywalker. Just as Anton Ego should have, for all intents and purposes, choked on a peasant dish prepared for him by a rat of all things. But he didn’t choke on it. Not only does Ego swallow, he does so gleefully with childlike exuberance. He is reminded what the True Essence and nature of food is (what he really loves about it). He is taken back and rediscovers the pure joy and bliss of unconditional love shared through some comfort food prepared for him in mercy by his mother in a time of great suffering. Ego allows himself to experience that childlike happiness anew, not because of “the new,” but in spite of it…and it is that fact which rocks him to his core.
Now, let us say that after all the lead-up to this film, *I* went into it every bit as dour, cynical, and nauseatingly self-righteous about Star Wars as Anton Ego was about food. I shared the same disdain for Disney Star Wars as Ego had for Gusteau’s motto, “anyone can cook.” So with that confession out of the way, allow us to bring into focus how I was transformed through the experience of Episode IX by paraphrasing a few words from Ego’s review…
Last night, I experienced something new: an extraordinary revelation from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the film and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about Disney Star Wars is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Disney’s Star Wars Sequels. But I realize, only now do I truly understand what they mean. Not every film can become a great work of art; but high art *can* come from *anywhere*. It is difficult to imagine more lofty Source than that of the Genius now working through Disney, Who is, in this humble vessel and messenger’s experience, nothing less than the The ACTUAL Force. Open your heart with us as we will be returning to The Logos now, longing for more revelations from The Cosmic Christ.– Attlas Allux, inspired by Disney’s “Ratatouille” & “The Rise of Skywalker.” | IMDB
“Use the force, luke” – letting go [of attachments & expectations] and letting god [revel & reveal]
To have for the kind of transformative experience we see in Anton Ego during the climax of Ratatouille, we must allow The Rise of Skywalker to be, as it is, warts and all. It is what it is. Desiring it to be something else is futile at this point. And as we shall soon see, ‘anything else,’ no matter how aesthetically pleasing, logically consistent, scientifically viable/plausible, artistically integral or otherwise ‘satisfying,’ may not have had the miraculous potential this messy monstrosity of a film has. But again, it is only a potential.
As with all high art, miracles, and feats of true strength, courage, genius, virtue and selflessness, miracles require us to “let go” (as Obiwan’s force ghost whispers to Luke during the climax of A New Hope) and “let God” (use the Force, feel the Force, let it flow, etc). Luke is precisely the galaxy’s new hope because he learns to trust in the Force when facing insurmountable odds in the shadow of the biggest monstrosities in the galaxy…the Death Star in Episode IV, the hidden truth about his parentage in Episode V (and Luke literally let’s go upon that revelation), and the Emperor Darth Sidious in Episode VI. Luke’s greatest virtue is precisely his ability to let go, to feel the Light Side of the Force, and trust in the power of the Light Side to overcome the Dark. Which then does, of course, but only because Luke “let go” of his fear, his anger, his desire for vengeance, his desire to control, his desire for the power to change the circumstances as he might want them to be. The result? The Force is able to work miracles through Skywalkers.
In the 1977 original, we know of course that the miracle is the “million to one shot” Luke makes on the Death Star. In Empire Strikes Back, it’s Luke’s surrender to the guidance of Obiwan and Yoda in the beginning and through its middle, and then surrender to his own premonitions, intuitions, and inner knowing about what he must do. Then, at the end of the film is another miracle: his survival thanks to the Force-bond he has with Leia, who “hears” and rescues him with the cooperation of Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian. Finally, in Return of the Jedi, it is the redemption of Anakin Skywalker, the apparent destruction of the Emperor, the new Death Star, and the end of the Empire. But all this comes at a cost…the sacrifice of Anakin’s life. In other words, Luke gets the miracle the galaxy needs, at the expense of the miracle he wants (for Vader to die and his father to live). That’s how The Force works: it always delivers what we need so long as we let go of what we want.
We have to let go of our desires. We must let go of the old ways, attachments and expectations of our own aptly named Anton Ego. Only then, when we let go and open ourselves to “the new,” no matter how strange, scary, challenging, overwhelming, messy or monstrous the phenomena confronting us, there is a Method to the madness, and the miracle lurking behind the shadow is awaiting our acceptance of the madness in the moment precisely so that we can become a part of that Method, and it can be more than just a part of us, it can be us…The Analogous Ultimate Methodology…The AUM of Life. If, in our desperation to control the outcome of our circumstances out of a need to fulfill our desires, we finally let go and let AUM, then The Force will be with us…always.
To Be or not to Be, that is the Question
We come back to the immortal words of Hamlet. If you have not yet watched out YouTube video revealling the esoteric significance of these, the most important words ever written in English, then we encourage you to do so now or after completing this article.
the medium is the method to the madness of episode iX
Finally, with all that out of the way, we can dive deep into the mess that is this movie (and indeed, this entire sequel trilogy), and reveal (and revel in) the grand meta-redemption story. Where the original trilogy was about a redemption story, and the prequel trilogy was about the origins of that redemption story, the sequel trilogy is itself a redemption story.
It should be beyond any doubt at this point that The Force Awakens was a hopeful leap into a whole new generation of Star Wars, but one which landed on a slippery slope instead of solid ground. Rian Johnson then came along and decided, with the blessings of Kathleen Kennedy, to take advantage of the weight inherent to Star Wars and behind The Force Awakens and use it to “subvert expectations” by sending The Last Jedi down a sheer cliff-face of ice into an abyss of contemporary identity politics and Neo-Marxism. In other words, The Last Jedi threw Star Wars under the bus in favor of the politics of the Disney Empire and the egoism of the megalomaniac Rian Johnson: a man apparently hell-bent on destroying the Star Wars that came before, and replacing it with his own twisted version of it (much as Emperor Constantine did with the Christian faith when he appropriated it as the official religion of the Roman Empire…read more about that in our article spelling out the details of that degeneration: Star Wars: The Last Jedi or the Last Logi?)
In other words, whith The Empire Strikes back, the original Skywalker saga descended into hell, into “the Dark Side of the Force,” into “the cave…remember your failure in the cave!” – Yoda. And to one degree or another, fans were shocked, disturbed, outraged, incensed, (“WHAT!? Darth Vader CANNOT be Luke’s father!…Han Solo can’t be taken back to Jabba the Hutt!…You CAN’T end a Star Wars movie like THIS!”) But here it was only the story which had taken the necessary turn into darkness.
With The Last Jedi, the whole of Star Wars itself descended into darkness…not the story being told by the sequel trilogy, but the story of Disney Star Wars itself. Fans, casual and serious alike, were devastated by what Rian Johnson did to their “precious childhood memories.” They saw the heart and soul of Star Wars being redacted, rewritten, or outright discarded, as symbolized by Luke rejecting his light saber and Yoda burning the Jedi texts and sacred Jedi Tree of Life with Force Lightning (a Dark Side Power, as all real fans of Star Wars know). Empire Strikes back threatened the characters within the story, but George Lucas has a plan, and the redemption story was very much safely and soundly within his hands. Kathleen Kennedy had no plan for the sequel trilogy (other than to irrevocably alter the nature of Star Wars to suit her political ideology and the Disney Empire’s agenda). In Empire Strikes Back Darth Vader tries to turn Luke to the dark side. In The Last Jedi, Kennedy and Johnson successfully turn the child of George Lucas and the whole of the Skywalker Saga to the dark side.
Many pundits, fans and YouTubers agree unanimously: this descent into the Dark Side for their beloved franchise can be laid squarely in the lap of writer/director Rian Johnson and Kathleen Kennedy. They also agree that J.J. Abrams took on a herculean task of trying to turn Star Wars back to the Light Side with Rise of Skywalker. Like the Rebel assault on the New Death Star and Luke’s surrender to Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi (so that they could stand together before the Emperor), J.J.’s actions seem nothing short of reckless; a last ditch effort; a hail mary pass into the endzone with seconds left on the clock; [insert your metaphor of choice here]. And we don’t think this is at all in dispute: from the over-the-top production (rumored to have produced an edit no less than FOUR HOURS in length), to numerous re-shoots and as many as SIX ‘final edits’ being tested with audiences, and a ballooning budget rumored to be well in excess of $500 million, The Rise of Skywalker production was every bit as bloated, over-the-top, and overwhelming as its story, action, special effects and the circumstances its characters are confronted with. Rise of Skywalker represents not only J.J. Abrams Battle of Endor it represents fans’ Redemption of Anakin Skywalker and Defeat of the Disney Empire. Or more aptly put, The Rise of Skywalker is fans’ Return of the Jedi…the Return of the Force. The question is, will fans see it that way? Did it succeed? We are here to say YES it did, if we are able to be as Anton Ego was at the end of Ratatouille.
Revelation of Episode IX: The Force x10
Without a doubt, one of the most common criticisms levied against Disney Starwars is how “OP” Rey is (over-powered), and it is no different in Rise of Skywalker. If anything, she is far more powerful now than she was in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. However, few are still calling her a “Mary Sue,” since she does seem to go through quite a bit of struggle, conflict, makes mistakes, and even begins the film training with Leia (who is inexplicably a Jedi; something this film attempts to retroactively account for, by explaining that Luke trained her shortly after the evens of Episode VI). All these details aside, there is and has always been a reason why Rey has been so OP, and that reason is the Force. And, as we know, the Force is the heart and soul of Star Wars. The Force is what defines Star Wars as MYTHOLOGY and NOT science fiction.
“But the Force is completely overdone, to the point of being ridiculous and ruining the story,” many of the critics will argue. It is true The Rise of Skywalker takes the Force to places we’ve never seen before. Like everything else in this movie, the Force has been “dialed up to 11,” and if you’re familiar with that iconic reference from This is Spinal Tap, you know that it was presented stone-cold and serious by the band, with the intention that it be a point of ridicule and humor in the minds of the audience. Something very similar is going in Episode IX, at least online, where fans, pundits and critics are lambasting the filmmakers for taking the Force to ludicrous levels of power, giving characters even more never-before-seen Force-powers, and “destroying Star Wars” by giving Force ghosts the ability to intervene in the physical universe in unprecedented and lore-breaking ways.
Out of convention, we must warn you, dear reader, of what the Internet refers to as *spoilers.* We don’t want to spoil the film for you per se, but rather, to give you ammunition to appreciate the film more than you might otherwise. Still, if you don’t want to know any details about plot, characters, etc., stop reading now and come finish the article after you’ve watched movie. If you’re not too worried about having the film *spoiled,* continue on and discover the esoteric symbols, meanings, teachings which you will then be able to look for, see and appreciate on your first viewing (which you might not otherwise).
fair WARNING: spoilers from this point forward
One of the memes online has been a “Reylo,” that is, there is a whole contingency of fans who have wanted to see Rey and Kylo Ren get together romantically. It has always been intimated that there was some deep connection between them (i.e. their ability to “Force Skype” with each other, and Rise of Skywalker takes this to entirely new levels (depths). Why? Is this just “Reylo” fan service? Or just another of the dozens of plot-points crammed into the film?
This film is Episode IX. The significance of that number cannot be ignored. Nine is Yesod on the Tree of Life of Kabbalah. The fourth dimension and the vital body. Put another way, Nine is sex: the sexual force, the keystone, the philosophical stone, and the foundation, on which rest “the twins,” the two pillars of the Tree of Life, the masculine and feminine pillars Jachin and Boaz. In the original trilogy, the Twins are represented by Luke and Leia (who are literally fraternal twins). And the bond between them is stronger than anyone else (evidenced by Leia’s ability to “hear” Luke at the end of Empire when he calls out to here in his time of need. So how much stronger might such a Force-bond be between Soulmates, or the Force equivalent of Twin Souls? For it is unquestionable that no matter how strong the Love / Force connection is between fraternal twins, it cannot hold a candle to the potential for power between twin souls, because only lovers work together in the Ninth Sphere with the creative Force of the universe: the sexual Force.
Forget midichlorians, a concept Lucas should never have sullied his mythology with, it is through the union of masculine feminine that the Force comes into being. The Force is the Christic Force. It separates into masculine and feminine for the sake of experience but longs to be born anew as individuated and unique expressions of itself. This is why individuals who perish “become one with the Force” as Yoda says. The Christ is the perfect multiple unity, and it is the Divine Androgen, born of the union of masculine and feminine forces. That union and birth is represented by the Christian cross, and by the crossed light-sabers of Rey and Kylo. Their fight is the eternal conflict between the Light Side and the Dark Side of the Force, in us the struggle between our Innermost Being and the ego…good and evil, God and the Devil, etc. It is upon the cross of sexual alchemy, in the ninth sphere, that the animal self (ruled by the dark side) dies so that the Christ can RISE.
Skywalkers are strong with the Force, full of hope, and their descent and ascent (i.e. Anakin Skywalker’s fall to the dark side and redemption) have been the focus of Star Wars for six films. This is because Skywalker is a symbol for The Christ, the Ray of Okidanokh, the Ray of Creation, which descends and ascends on the Tree of Life. That is why the protagonist of the sequel trilogy is “Rey.” She is the one to rise a Skywalker only after she unites with her counterpart and Twin Soul, Ben Solo (who is also a Skywalker). But not until Rey runs him through with her light-sabre and Kylo Ren dies.
What else must die before Ray can rise a Skywalker? The Dark Side, embodied in the disfigured animated corpse of Emperor Palatine, Darth Sidious, who claims all the Sith live in him. This makes him, allegorically speaking, the living embodiment of The Black Lodge, and we see that visualized by a stadium full of Sith cult followers all worshipping Palpatine, the singular “I” at the head of many countless egos.
But in order for that miracle to take place (the end of the Sith), Rey must unite with Ben Solo, die, and be reborn as the living embodiment of all the Jedi (after Ben Solo sacrifices himself to revive her). Thus, Christified, with the power of all Jedi within her, including her Twin Soul, she is able to square off against Palpatine, armed with TWO light-sabres, belonging to Luke and Leia, The Twins (Jachin and Boaz; Ida and Pingala), CROSSED, able to not just absorb or deflect Emperor Palpatine’s Force lightning, but REFLECT IT back at Him, transformed and TRANSMUTED by the Light Side of the Force, so that it destroys him, the Sith, and all egos from the Galaxy.
Surely, dear reader, we cannot begrudge the over-the-top representation of the Force. Not when our humble experience of the Christ (which was but a taste) was far more powerful and impactful than anything J.J. Abrams put on screen! To get some vague sense of what we mean, read our post describing the experience of being Touched by the Christ.
Yellow light sabre?
At the end of the film, Rey introduces herself as a Skywalker, burying Luke and Leia’s sabres in the sand, and pulling out her own light sabre. This act reveals she has attained the level of Jedi, who final rite of initiation is to complete the construction of their own light sabre (illuminated Tree of Life; spinal column, risen Kundalini, all chakras illuminated, solar bodies complete, etc). This “Christified Jedi” has an orange-yellow glow, signifying SOLAR BODIES. It turns out that Rey is a Palpatine, her parents chose to abandon her on Jakku because they feared Palpatine would find, abduct, and turn her to a dark side monstrosity. So Rey represents balance in the force by that virtue alone: she was born the offspring of evil, but she conquered her birthright and was reborn a Skywalker, a Christified one. Her lightsabre Ray is golden for this reason.
However, in expanded universe of Star Wars lore the ‘Grey Jedi’ wielded orange-yellow light sabres because they were neither Jedi nor Sith…they were “neutral.” They believed in the balance of all things, including the Force. This reveals such a high-level esoteric teaching that few can comprehend it: the Black Lodge ultimately works for the White Lodge. To be a master we must be tested. Who or what will test us? To be a hero something must be conquered? Who or what shall we conquer if not our “dark side?” But a Christifed Master attains a level of being one with the Force, one with all the Jedi who ever lived, the perfect multiple unity. And as such, the Christ must help others ascend… Rey is not “The Last Skywalker,” you see…just as Luke was not the first. So no matter what Disney decides to do with Star Wars in the future, YOU NOW KNOW, dear reader, that the Skywalker saga goes on…in you, in us, in all of us. Episode IX is not just the end; it is the beginning…INRI, igne natura renovateur integra: the Fire renews nature incessantly.
Christ is born IN US beneath the Star in the company of the ‘three kings’ of heart, mind and body when we master the beasts of our animal manger. Hallelujah.
Dear reader, we have done our best to offer you this little “Christmas Gift”…that you might see, appreciate and gain value from the last installment of the Skywalker Saga, sequel trilogy, and ‘travesty’ which has been Disney Star Wars thus far.
Now, your mind might protest: “there is NO WAY J.J. Abrams and company PLANNED ALL THIS!” And you’d be right. They didn’t. In fact, if you were to try to explain any of this to them they would likely protest that we are “reading way too much into it,” and that none of what we describe herein has anything to do with their intentions. And that could very well be true. But God is Great, and the Lord works in mysterious ways. We explain EXACTLY how it is that Divinity works through unwitting accomplices and messengers in our article Gladiator Unmasked I. If you would like to know more, that article is there for your sake. As is this image, which, while NOT being Darth Vader’s mask, has a similar vibe. Let us remember always that REDEMPTION is never beyond the reach of a true Skywalker, so long as we remember to SERVE and SACRIFICE for others.