With the trailer and new images released for Star Wars: Rise of the Skywalker, one thing has become clear: our sequel trilogy’s main trio of Rey, Finn, and Poe are finally going to go out on an adventure together. And we think it’s about damn time.
The entire trio concept is as crucial to the success of Star Wars as anything else, and when they stray too far from it things just don’t work out as well. When Luke, Han, and Leia all finally meet on the Death Star in a A New Hope, the three have instant chemistry as a group. Surviving their harrowing experience together and coming out the other side bonds them for life. Okay, so two of them turn out to be siblings. But we think that bond would have been there regardless of any soap opera parental revelations.
Now, as much as we love The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, we think keeping this story’s three main characters mostly apart was a mistake. Rey and Finn have amazing chemistry together, as do Finn and Poe. But Poe doesn’t even meet Rey until the very end of The Last Jedi. The moment where the surviving Resistance members gather on the Falcon should have been a reunion, not a first encounter.
That the moment works at all can be attributed to the fact that it feels so long overdue. Both Rey and Poe were on the Resistance base at the end of the first film, and could have shared a scene together. You’d think they would have given these two main characters a moment to bond over their affection for BB-8, whom Rey took care of when Poe was thought to be dead. But she leaves on the Falcon to go find Luke without ever meeting him.
When developing the prequel trilogy, the trio concept was far more front-and-center for George Lucas. Anakin, Obi-Wan and Padme were supposed to bond from the get-go in The Phantom Menace; in fact, Padme was supposed to have a crush on Obi-Wan, hinting at a sort of tragic Arthur/Guinevere/Lancelot triangle down the line for Episode III. In fact, there originally was no Qui-Gon Jinn at all—just Obi-Wan as the mentor Jedi who finds Anakin. This was all detailed in the 1999 CD-ROM The Episode I Insiders Guide, which showcased how the final film differed from earlier drafts.
In the prequels as filmed, Obi-Wan is Padme’s casual acquaintance as best. They have a cool moment fighting for their lives together at the end of Attack of the Clones, but that’s more or less it. The trio dynamic never really comes to be, and those movies end up missing something crucial because of that. As much as I love the moment in Revenge of the Sith when Obi-Wan has to confront Padme about what Anakin has become, it would have been that much better had the two had a real bond.
To his credit, George Lucas rectified this mistake with the creation of Ahsoka for the animated Clone Wars series. This show finally had the trio of friends going on adventures together, the same dynamic that the original trilogy did so well. The chemistry of these three characters together always worked, and there’s a reason Clone Wars is what so many of us wanted the prequels to be from day one.
But better late than never, we say after seeing those images of Rey, Finn, Poe together on mission, along with C-3PO and BB-8. We can’t wait to see this team of heroes—along with Rose, of course—finally become a family unit. It’s way past time to bring everyone together.