Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has finally hit screens and just like The Last Jedi before it, the film has sparked massive discussion both online and off. Like (almost) every other Star Wars film that came before, The Rise of Skywalker begins with an opening crawl, but as the eagle eyed reporters at Polygon spotted, this summation of events includes something completely different: A reference to an event that could only be experienced if you play the battle royale game Fortnite.
If you don’t remember the opening crawl, the important quote in question is replicated below:
“The dead speak! The galaxy has heard a mysterious broadcast, a threat of revenge in the sinister voice of the late Emperor Palpatine.”
Like many of the crawls that have come before, it seems to explain events that the audience would have missed in between films. But in fact it actually ends up referencing a moment in the recent Star Wars x Fortnite event.
“At last the work of generations is complete. The great error is corrected. The day of victory is at hand. The day of revenge. The day of the Sith!”
What was the error he’s talking about? He’s probably being a bit premature with that declaration about victory. Who is he trying to get revenge on? We know the Jedi are mostly gone, and the Resistance are struggling. Also, if we look at the actual plot of the film it seems like these statements, don’t make that much sense in regards to the events that occur.
Maybe that’s why Abrams decided to give this apparently important moment to Fortnite rather than fitting it into the film itself. Whatever the reason, it’s an interesting and slightly worrying development that showcases just how vital corporations see video games as a tool for marketing and building out their audience as well as their stories. When Nerdist reached out to Epic Games for comment they responded, “Sorry, we’ve not comment on this!”
Now, it’s important to note that this (probably) doesn’t mean that Fortnite is in any way canon in the Star Wars universe, but it does still raise some interesting questions: Did the rest of the events from the opening crawl take place solely in the game? Are there other Episode IX Easter eggs in the event? Has god forsaken us? Will all cinema forever be defined by online battle royale games? Is there a secret Jimmy Hoffa house painting reveal in online Call of Duty? Whatever happens we’re truly in a new world now.
Header Image: Epic Games