Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ended in a mirror of Darth Vader’s death in Return of the Jedi, with Kylo Ren redeeming himself and then sacrificing his own life to save Rey. Just to add to the tragedy, Rey and Ben Solo shared a romantic kiss before Kylo passed away. Despite their connection and his redemption, however, Ben was not depicted in the film’s final moments as a Force ghost alongside his mother Leia and uncle Luke.
The novelization of the movie, written by Rae Carson and due out next month, finally gives some additional closure to the last biological Skywalker’s demise, though. Following his sacrifice, the book reveals that Ben reaches out to Rey one last time through the Force. Here’s the passage in question:
“A voice came to her through the Force, clear and strong. I will always be with you, Ben said,” the novelization reads in the scene. “She smiled. Let the truth of it wash over her. ‘No one’s ever really gone,’ she whispered.”
As well as being a touching final parting between the would-be couple, Ben’s last words also seem to confirm that, yes, he has become one with the Force. As he wasn’t watching over Rey on Tatooine with Luke and Leia, some fans theorized that his reformation had come too late or else the Force-healing process meant he was unable to cross over properly.
Thankfully, the novelization confirms that’s not the case and, again much like his grandpappy Anakin, Ben’s purified soul has become one with the Force, after all. This leaves it open for future Star Wars media to potentially bring Ben back as a Force ghost
The novelization also confirms that Emperor Palpatine’s form in TROS is a clone body inhabited by the Sith Lord’s spirit, which gels with the previous official explanation of his return – from The Visual Dictionary – as resurrection via a mix of science and arcane rituals.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – Expanded Edition is due to release on March 17th.