Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker moved at breakneck pace towards its conclusion, dizzying viewers with shocking revelations, tragic losses (usually reversed in the following five minutes) and strange Space MacGuffins. It moved so fast through its tangled plot though that audiences almost immediately started noticing plot holes, and now one of the bigger ones is being thoroughly picked over by fans.
Just before the big finale, we find Rey and Kylo Ren dueling amidst the Death Star wreckage on Kef Bir, the ocean moon of Endor. Rey needs to find the Sith Wayfinder that’ll lead her to Emperor Palpatine’s hideout, but Kylo is ready for battle, and the pair clash amidst the waves. After Kylo destroys the wayfinder on Kef Bir, Rey defeats him in combat, swipes his TIE Interceptor (which has the wayfinder found in Mustafar) and zips off to Ahch-To to hang out with Ghost Luke, before heading off to face Grampa Palps on Exegol.
Kylo Ren (now Ben Solo) later dramatically appears on Exegol, landing a TIE Fighter and striding into Palpatine’s lair. But where did he get this TIE Fighter from, and how did he make his way to Exegol given that Rey now has the only remaining wayfinder?
It’s a big plot hole, not least because even if Kylo Ren could find a working TIE Fighter among the Death Star wreckage, they’re short-range fighters lacking hyperdrives to travel across the galaxy. Probably the most likely situation is that Ren contacted the First Order and got them to deliver him a ship, but even then that doesn’t explain how he could navigate in it to Exegol. And do First Order TIE Fighters have hyperdrives? None of it really holds together.
I guess it’s possible to hand-wave this stuff away, but the whole thing smacks of a script that really could have used another few drafts. This particular plot hole feels like a loose end created after a re-write, with the writers just hoping we won’t think about it too much. And sadly, it’s careless stuff like this that’s going to make Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker go down as a big missed opportunity and taint the reputation of the Sequel Trilogy in years to come.