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Star Wars 9 Means Every Skywalker Died For The Same Reason

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Leia Organa and Ben Solo both died in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, meaning each member of the Skywalker family ended up dying for the same reason. The ninth installment in the Skywalker saga was also the last, and so charged with rounding out over 40 years of stories. In doing that, it ended the Skywalker lineage by killing off the two remaining members, although the name will endure in a new way thanks to Rey adopting it for herself.

It's unclear exactly what the future holds for Skywalkers, and whether more will arrive in Star Wars 10 or beyond, but for now the story of the galaxy's most iconic and powerful family is over. From Anakin Skywalker's death in the original trilogy to Shmi Sywalker's in the prequels, and then Luke dying before his sister and nephew did the same in the sequel trilogy, the deaths of the Skywalkers have been almost as defining as their lives, and each spoke to the core themes of Star Wars.

When Anakin returned to the light side in Return of the Jedi, he did so to help save his son from the Emperor, even despite the risk to himself. Anakin sacrificed his own life for Luke's, and in that moment he not only fulfilled the Chosen One prophecy and brought balance to the Force, but he also established what would become a precedent for the family on screen. Luke would later follow in his father's footsteps as, older and having been cut off from the Force, he used all the strength and energy he could muster to create a Force projection to help save the Resistance, once again willingly giving his own life for the greater cause.

This is then echoed in The Rise of Skywalker by both Leia and Ben Solo. Leia, already frail, gives everything she has in order to help turn Kylo Ren back into Ben Solo, calling out to him through the Force to bring him back to the light; giving her life so that her son can be redeemed. Ben does the same later when rescuing Rey, healing her with the Force, as she had him, and dying because of it. Thus the Skywalker legacy can live on, thanks to the sacrifices that have helped it grow.

Shmi is something of an outlier here: a character who wasn't strong in the Force, and who didn't directly die in order to save another. But while it may not have been as overt, Shmi's death was still absolutely a result of the sacrifices she made. She allowed Anakin to leave with Qui-Gon Jinn, despite it meaning she lost the one source of happiness and comfort in her life, in order to give her son a better one. The circumstances of that decision also factored into her eventual death, but it's likely she'd make the same decision even knowing what was to come. It may not have been life or death at the time, but it was still an incredible sacrifice.

Of course, this all ties in with some of Star Wars' greatest and most powerful themes: sacrifice, family, and love. Each Skywalker sacrificed themselves for either their literal family or, in the case of Luke, an order that was as important as one. Each did it from a place of love, saving something they care deeply about, no matter the cost to themselves. These are core ideas underpinning all Star Wars movies (and indeed, TV shows and more): the ability and need to fight for something so much bigger than yourself. It's something each of these characters has to learn at different points, from the prequels all the way to The Rise of Skywalker, and they all pay the ultimate price to do so, but with these selfless acts they become the epitome of what it means to be heroic in Star Wars: to save what you love.
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