Rise of Skywalker is the ninth installment of the Star Wars episodic series. With the final battle between the First Order and the Resistance, Good and Evil, Kylo Ren and Rey, this film sets out the end the Skywalker Saga. Very early in the film we discover that an evil that was assumed dead has returned and forms with the Final Order. Will Rey be able to stand up against the ultimate evil? Go to your local theater to see the film, and also before reading this article.
Rise of Skywalker has been the culmination of the entire Skywalker Saga and most of Star Wars as we know it. That being said, the film is packed full of easter eggs for the die hard fans! Pulling from both canon, legends, and the EU, the film brings a ton to the table for any fan. In this article, I didn’t just pull from the movie but also from the visual dictionary that release along side the film.
So lets check out the easter eggs shown in the film!
A Punctuation Mark We Don’t Often See
At the beginning of the film, the opening text crawl starts with the words “The dead speak!” An exclamation point has only appeared in one other opening text crawl: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith. “War!” it read. That film featured Palpatine teasing Anakin Skywalker with the possibility of immortality.
The Phantom Emperor
The second easter egg is also during the text crawl, with Palpatine being referred to as the Phantom Emperor. Its a very accurate description of Palpatine through the first three films of the series.
After the title crawl, we see Kylo Ren fighting people in a red-tinted forest. Kylo is on Mustafar, the lava planet where Darth Vader became horribly disfigured in Episode III and built a castle on by the time of Rogue One. The people he is fighting are Vader cultists who remained on the planet. Back in Episode VII, Kylo probably would have loved to hang out here and explore. But he’s on a mission this time to find Vader’s Sith wayfinder, which will lead him directly to Palpatine.
Now you’re thinking, but Mustafar is a lava planet, why are there trees and vegetation. Make sure to check out my Vader Immortal Review to see why.
The Wayfinders look like “Sith Holocrons”
The tricky pyramid-shaped MacGuffins of the film look nearly identical to mystical devices called holocrons, which exist in the Star Wars Expanded Universe of the 1990s (and originate with Dark Horse Comics writer Tom Veitch). Sith holocrons also exist in more contemporary Star Wars canon. In the animated series Star Wars Rebels, Sith holocrons tempt the young Jedi Ezra Bridger.
The Sith Temple
Though the legendary Sith planet of Exegol is new to The Rise of Skywalker, the giant spooky structure found there isn’t. We’ve seen Sith temples like this before, specifically in Star Wars Rebels on the planet Malachor. We also know from the most recent Star Wars video games that Emperor Palpatine was big on seeking out Jedi and Sith artifacts during the height of the Empire, so it tracks he might have discovered this cool Sith place over the years that would be useful to him later.
Palpatine quotes himself from Revenge of the Sith.
When Kylo Ren discovers the Emperor on the planet of Exegol, the reborn Palpatine says, “The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural.” This is word-for-word what Palpatine said to Anakin Skywalker in Revenge of the Sith, when he’s dangling the promise of death-stopping powers. Funnily enough, both Ben Solo and Rey seem to have learned this power on their own?
The Emperor’s rebirth, cloning, his evil message, and the Sith Fleet
All of these are reminiscent of a 1991-1992 Star Wars comic-book series called Dark Empire.
The Emperor seems to have not only resurrected himself, but also to have cloned Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis), the primary villain from the previous two films. This is very much in line with an old-school Star Wars comic book called Dark Empire, in which the Emperor does the very same. In fact, in that same series, the Emperor sent out a threat to the entire galaxy, declaring his desire for revenge. Moreover, he was shown to have a fleet of “World Devastators” capable of ravaging entire planets. “Planet killers,” as Poe describes the cannons in The Rise of Skywalker, aren’t that far off from “world devastators.”
Chewbacca cheating at holochess
When Finn and Poe joke about Chewbacca perpetually winning at holochess (also called Dejarik), they casually mention that Chewie is about 250 years old. This is a mild retcon, because if you had the old storybooks from the ’80s (like the 1983 Return of the Jedi storybook, for example) you would have learned that Chewie was like 800 years old.
Of course, the joke about Chewie cheating at holochess is a nod to Chewie threatening R2-D2 during a game in the original Star Wars film. This movie seems to imply that Chewie doesn’t cheat at chess anymore, and is actually just good at chess now. Maybe R2-D2 taught him?
The “Forbidden” Sith language references a pivotal Star Wars Rebels episode
A major plot point of The Rise of Skywalker revolves around C-3P0 being unable to formally translate Sith writing owing to programming limitations. The obstacles recall a moment in the season-two finale of Star Wars Rebels, “Twilight of the Apprentice,” when Ahsoka Tano is required to translate ancient Sith writing, which she calls, “the Old Tongue.”
Lando gets the most famous line in Star Wars (no, not that one)
Okay, so this may be obvious to some fans, but every Star Wars film contains the line, “I have a bad feeling about this.” But The Rise of Skywalker marks the first time Lando gets the line. Han Solo got the line in The Force Awakens, and in the previous film, BB-8, speaking in droid speak, got it.
“Chewie, Old Buddy”
During the Battle of Endor in Return of the Jedi, Lando vouches for Han, telling others in the Rebel fleet to trust that Han and his ground assault team will succeed in knocking out the shield protecting the Death Star II. Afterward, he mutters to himself, “Han, old buddy, don’t let me down.” Lando echoes that sentiment when he sees Chewie for the first time in The Rise of Skywalker, calling Chewie “old buddy” as well.
Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) gets a backstory when we learn he used to run spice, which is basically the Star Wars version of a drug dealer. (There was even a joke about doing spice in The Mandalorian.) Han Solo was also an infamous smuggler of spice, which was prevalent on Kessel, the spot Lando and Han infiltrate in Solo: A Star Wars Story. Later in the timeline, C-3PO complains about maybe getting sent to the “spice mines of Kessel” in A New Hope.
Rey uses Baby Yoda’s best power to heal a sandworm.
If you watched the seventh episode of The Mandalorian right before The Rise of Skywalker, then you actually got a preview of Rey (and Ben Solo’s) newest power. When Rey heals a sandworm just by touching it, she’s proving she might be the greatest Jedi ever, but what about Baby Yoda, who technically demonstrated the power before her?
Moreover, taming a sandworm feels straight out of the classic Frank Herbert science fiction novel Dune, an influence on Star Wars.
Rey and Kylo Ren’s Force transfers were hinted at in The Last Jedi.
Thanks to their handy mind-link, Kylo Ren is able to reach across the space and snatch objects from Rey’s vicinity — from Vader’s mask to a necklace. While this power might seem unique to The Rise of Skywalker, it’s not. In The Last Jedi, Kylo Ren felt rain on his hands during a communication with Rey, who was on Luke Skywalker’s island, millions of light years away.
Rey quotes … Kylo Ren
During a watery duel between Kylo Ren and Rey, she echoes words previously spoken by him in The Force Awakens. When Kylo Ren interrogated Rey in that film, and she told him she’d never help him, he said glibly, “We’ll see.” This time, Rey throws that back.
Leia and Luke’s flashback probably takes place in the Ewoks’ backyard
As Luke narrates “the final night” of Leia’s training as a Jedi Knight, we are treated to 1983 versions of both Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher, thanks to the magic of CGI. And, because they look about how they looked in Return of the Jedi, it’s possible this scene happened on the Forest moon of Endor, or, you know, the home of the Ewoks.
Why Leia didn’t become a Jedi
Leia’s Force vision of the future echoes two other similar self-fulfilling prophecy paradoxes in other Star Wars movies. In Revenge of the Sith, Leia’s future-father, Anakin Skywalker, had a vision of his wife, Padmé, dying, which turned him into a busy body hellbent on attaining magic anti-death powers, which caused her to die anyway. Ditto Leia’s brother, Luke, who, in The Empire Strikes Back, had a vision that Han and Leia would get screwed over, tried to stop it, and then it happened anyway.
Leia’s clairvoyance is similar: Her vision tells her that becoming a Jedi would result in the return of the Sith. So, she quit being a Jedi, and in classic Star Wars fashion, the Sith came back anyway.
“Red 5” Luke’s X-Wing
After Rey intentionally crashes Kylo Ren’s TIE fighter on the planet Ahch-To, it’s not totally clear how she’ll get herself out of there once Luke talks her into getting back into the Jedi swing of things. Luckily, Luke sunk his X-Wing sometime after he became a hermit in The Last Jedi. In that previous film, Rey only saw Luke’s old ship for a minute, but here, we learn the old thing is up and running. When Luke levitates the ship out of the water, the scene mirrors the moment in The Empire Strikes Back, when Luke was unable to get his ship out of the swamp in Yoda’s presence. Appropriately, the music that plays as Luke glides the X-Wing to safety in The Rise of Skywalker is “Yoda’s Theme.”
And when the Resistance picks up Rey’s signal later, the ship is referred to as “Red 5.” This was Luke’s squadron number in the original Star Wars movie, when he blew up a the first Death Star. Interestingly, in Rogue One, which takes place just before A New Hope, we briefly saw another X-Wing designated “Red 5” get blown-up, thus leaving that number open for Luke to take. In most Expanded Universe canon, Luke Skywalker changes the name of “Red Squadron” to “Rogue Squadron” after they destroy the Death Star. This is why all the snow speeders call each other “Rogue 3” and “Rogue 2” in The Empire Strikes Back. In the classic N64 game, Rogue Squadron, Luke was “Rogue Leader,” and not “Red 5,” but hey, Red 5 sounds cooler.
Last fun fact about X-Wings: In the 1976 novelization of Star Wars (which actually came out before the movie), Luke’s X-Wing is “Blue 5,” because in early versions of the script, they were Blue Squadron, not Red.
The best Star Wars fighter pilot ever has a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo.
It’s very easy to miss, but actor Denis Lawson is back as Wedge Antilles … for probably less than ten seconds. He’s the guy who says, “Nice flying, Lando,” while manning the laser turret in the Millennium Falcon. Wedge has the unique distinction of being one one of the few Star Wars pilots to have survived two Death Stars. He flew with Luke in A New Hope, was buzzing around with Rogue Squadron in those snow speeders in Empire Strikes Back, and in Return of the Jedi, Wedge and Lando are the two guys who destroy the second Death Star. In real life, Denis Lawson is Ewan McGregor’s uncle, and because McGregor has a voice cameo toward the end of the movie, this is the first Star Wars movie they’ve “appeared” in together.
Interestingly, though this is Denis Lawson’s fourth Star Wars movie, it’s only the third Star Wars movie to feature his own speaking voice. In A New Hope, Lawson’s voice was dubbed over by a voice actor named David Ankrum. (This is why Wedge bizarrely has an American accent in A New Hope.) Wedge is really popular among fans of the old books and comics, and even had his own series of books called X-Wing, which was all about Wedge running Rogue Squadron after Luke Skywalker went off to do more Jedi stuff.
Wedge also might have uttered the actual best line in all of Star Wars. In The Empire Strikes Back, after blowing up an Imperial Walker, he says, “Whoo-ha! That got em!”
Chewbacca’s medal was originally given to him by Carrie Fisher … in 1997
In The Rise of Skywalker, Chewbacca finally gets what he was bizarrely denied in A New Hope, a medal for blowing up the Death Star! Because J.J. Abrams seemingly wanted to address every single loose end in Star Wars, he must have remembered that some people were upset about Chewie’s snubbing. This is a cute nod when you consider that Carrie Fisher herself actually did give Chewbacca his medal in 1997 at the MTV Movie Awards, when Chewie got the “Lifetime Achievement Award.”
Anakin and Obi-Wan lead the voices of Jedi past.
In what is undoubtedly everyone’s favorite scene in the movie, Rey calls upon the power of all the Jedi who have come before her, prompting a non-stop audio cameo party. If you stay and watch the credits, you’ll get a complete list of who was speaking to her, but crucially, we hear Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi say, “Rey, these are your final steps,” which echoes the Ewan McGregor voice cameo from The Force Awakens when he said, “Rey, these are your first steps.”
Joining Ewan are Liam Neeson as Qui-Gon Jinn, Samuel L. Jackson as Mace Windu, Frank Oz as Yoda, and … Star Wars drumroll please … Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker.
Anakin’s encouragement is telling, urging her to “bring back the balance as I did.” This line is a pretty big deal if you care about the Star Wars prequels, because before the new movies, George Lucas liked telling everyone that Episodes I-VI were really the story of Anakin Skywalker restoring balance to the Force, even though he was Darth Vader like, more than half the time.
Wait, more Jedi voices … from the cartoons
Actually, Anakin’s voice cameo wasn’t the biggest deal. Instead, the voices of Ashley Eckstein and Freddie Prinze Jr. are the voice cameos nobody saw coming. Along with three other voice actors from The Clone Wars cartoon — Luminara Undall (Olivia d’Abo), Aayla Secura (Jennifer Hale), and Adi Gallia (Angelique Perrin) — Eckstein stands out as the very recognizable voice of Jedi Ahsoka Tano, who, up until now, has only existed in the animated series The Clone Wars and Rebels. (The other three Jedi, listed above, all appeared in the prequel films, but never spoke, meaning their Clone Wars voice actors were needed for their film debut here.)
Prinze Jr., meanwhile, played the voice of surviving Jedi Kanan Jarrus in the series Rebels. Interestingly, though Kanan’s death was depicted onscreen in Rebels, Ahsoka was seemingly alive at the end of Rebels, which implies, sometime between the end of Return of the Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, Ahsoka became one with the Force.
Of all the characters to include as Rey’s cheerleaders, Ahsoka is the possibly the coolest, because The Clone Wars established her as Anakin Skywalker’s apprentice — whom nobody talks about. Ahsoka is set to make her return to Star Wars in a new season of The Clone Wars on Disney+ in 2020. So, just like Baby Yoda was doing viral marketing for Force healing, Ahsoka is basically repping for herself.
The Emperor melting references Raiders of the Lost Ark
Apparently, the end of the Skywalker saga is also the end of the Indiana Jones saga? When Rey finally defeats Palpatine, the gross old Sith gets his face melted off in a nearly identical sequence to the end of the first Indiana Jones movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Luke and Leia’s theme music plays over most of the ending
You could say that the ending montage of The Rise of Skywalker, complete with iconic locations (Cloud City) and beloved creatures (Ewoks), is cheesy as hell, and you would not be wrong. But there’s also a very real chance that you were crying throughout the whole thing. Abrams seems to be paying homage to George Lucas’s Special Edition ending of Return of the Jedi, showing the galaxy in full celebration now that the Emperor is really (really?) dead.
But, the thing that makes this scene work is the fact that one of John Williams’s lesser-known themes plays throughout. The theme is called “Luke and Leia,” and Williams wrote it for Return of the Jedi. The arrangement here is a little different than in 1983, but it’s the perfect piece for the ending of the saga. In The Last Jedi, we briefly heard the theme when Luke and Leia reunited on Crait, but this scene really gave this piece of music its moment in the sonic spotlight.
Rey’s lightsaber means she’s completed her Jedi training
You might think that Rey igniting her nifty yellow-bladed lightsaber is just mindless fan service, but in terms of her journey, this moment makes clear that Rey has graduated to true Jedi status. Part of the deal of being a real Jedi is that you have to build your own lightsaber. To date, Rey has not done this; she’s gone three movies borrowing a lightsaber. But now, with her yellow-bladed saber, she’s done the thing. And as she looks out into those setting suns, it’s hard to believe that we won’t see Rey Skywalker in another brand new Star Wars movie someday.
Tracking Through Lightspeed
A big plot point in The Last Jedi was the First Order’s ability to track the Resistance fleet even after that fleet jumped to hyperspace. We didn’t get much information on how “active tracking” worked, except that it was supposed to be difficult or impossible. The First Order apparently has spread the tech out quite a bit, because we see TIE fighters track the Millennium Falcon through multiple jumps to lightspeed.
Rey’s Jedi Training
When we catch up with Rey, we find her working on her Jedi training near the new Resistance base. Like Luke, she’s fighting flying, orb-like remote droids that can shoot at her, while trying to maximize her connection to the Force by wearing a helmet with an opaque blast shield. It’s almost exactly the same setup that Obi-Wan put Luke through on the Millennium Falcon in A New Hope, except on a larger scale.
The Sacred Jedi Texts
Though Luke thought Yoda destroyed the sacred Jedi texts, it turns out, Rey snagged them before she left Ahch-To in The Last Jedi. The texts also include Luke’s personal notes, which Rey uses in The Rise of Skywalker to try to track down the Sith dagger that will lead the Resistance to Exegol.
The 42-Year Festival
On Pasaana, Rey, Poe, and Finn find themselves hanging out at a big party the local people are throwing. As Threepio informs them, the festival only happens every 42 years. That sounds like an innocuous number, but it’s actually a reference to the release of A New Hope way back in 1977. The party marks the beginning, and the end, of the Skywalker saga.
Space John Williams
Longtime series composer John Williams doesn’t just make music for The Rise of Skywalker–he actually shows up in this movie in a brief cameo on Kijimi, as a bartender. His character name, Oma Tres, is also an homage–it’s an anagram of “maestro.”
Using The Force On A Ship
Force power creep is definitely a thing in Star Wars movies, with each new film concerning Jedi making them more and more powerful. In The Rise of Skywalker, we see Rey stop a ship in flight with the power of the Force, and then battle with Kylo Ren as he tries to break it free. We’ve seen Jedi lift sedentary ships before–Yoda did it in The Empire Strikes Back and Luke does it in Rise of Skywalker. But what Rey and Kylo do in this movie is more akin to the classic scene from the video game Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, in which protagonist Starkiller rips a Star Destroyer out of flight and crashes it with nothing but the strength of the Force.
Stormtroopers On The Prowl
The First Order is out in force during the middle portion of The Rise of Skywalker, apparently trying to subdue planets in the wake of their massive victory against the Resistance. On Kijimi, we see First Order patrols doing house-to-house searches against the local population. Listen closely, and you’ll catch a line of dialogue from one of the troopers from A New Hope, one delivered after some troopers knock on the door where C-3PO and R2-D2 are hiding out: “Door’s locked–move on to the next one.”
The Emperor’s Throne Room
Revisiting the wreckage of the Death Star, located on another of the moons of Endor (not the forest moon from Return of the Jedi) is a poignant image in and of itself. But when Rey gets into the hulking space station, she visits a key location: the Emperor’s throne room. It was here that Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker had their duel, and where the Emperor tried and failed to turn Luke to the Dark Side one last time.
The Sith Throne
Palpatine gets his own version of the Iron Throne in The Rise of Skywalker, hanging out in front of a big rocky chair that he intends to take as soon as he can transfer his spirit into a better body. Though he had a more modest throne in Return of the Jedi, this Throne of the Sith is actually an unused concept from that movie.
Han also gets to reiterate a classic line. In the last moments of their interaction, Ben says, “Dad,” as if beginning to say something in the vein of “I’m sorry,” or probably more aptly, “I love you.” Han cuts him off to repeat one of the most famous lines in Star Wars: “I know.” It’s the answer Han gave Leia in The Empire Strikes Back when she admitted she loved him, and one Leia echoed in Return of the Jedi when Han admitted the same to her.
The Holdo Maneuver
After Kylo Ren makes his deal with Palpatine, he gets a whole fleet of Star Destroyers capable of annihilating planets that he means to use to subjugate the galaxy. The Resistance finally makes its way to Exegol to destroy that fleet, when a new character played by Dominic Monaghan suggests destroying the ships with the use of “the Holdo maneuver.” That’s a reference to The Last Jedi, where Vice Admiral Holdo jumped to lightspeed while in the path of the First Order’s command ship, sheering it in half. It’s not so much a maneuver as a suicidal ramming, but it probably would get the job done against some of those Destroyers.
Lots of characters reiterate iconic lines throughout The Rise of Skywalker to recall big moments in the original Star Wars trilogy. Palpatine’s interactions with Rey feel a lot like his interactions with both Anakin Skywalker in Revenge of the Sith and Luke Skywalker in Return of the Jedi. When Rey finally seems to acquiesce to his desire to turn her to the dark side and use her body to be reborn, he runs out the lengthy “Good” that is a staple of both those previous moments.
Revisiting Bespin, Endor, and Jakku
In the aftermath of the battle with the Final Order, we see the Imperial fleet destroyed from a number of different viewpoints. It’s a quick tour of notable planets from the series, including Bespin from The Empire Strikes Back, the forest moon of Endor from Return of the Jedi, and Jakku from The Force Awakens. These scenes also mirror a similar victory tour that appeared at the end of the Special Edition version of Return of the Jedi, which showed locations such as Tatooine and Naboo as well.
Don’t Forget Nien Nunb
Lando’s co-pilot from the Battle of Endor in Return of the Jedi has shown up in the past as a pilot for the Resistance. He’s again seen fighting the Final Order at the end of The Rise of Skywalker as well, because it wouldn’t be a rebellion’s last stand without Nien Nunb.
Easter Eggs From the Visual Dictionary
Several original trilogy characters reprise their roles in The Rise of Skywalker, and there are a few cameos along the way as well. One that’s not super obvious is that of director JJ Abrams, who provides the voice of the cone-headed droid D-0.
The Resistance’s Aftab Ackbar Is the Son of Admiral Gial Ackbar
Gial is the legendary Admiral Ackbar’s son who is honoring his late father by fighting in the Resistance. Aftab urged his father to retire after a brief stint with the Resistance, but his father couldn’t turn away from his responsibility, and neither will his son.
The Planet Is Named Endor
To clear up any confusion, Endor is in fact the name of the silver-banded gas giant that is the center of the nine lunar orbits that surround it. The Ewoks inhabit the Forest Moon surrounding Endor and actually call the planet Tana. The New Republic had planned to change the name to honor Ewokese culture, but it unfortunately did not get accomplished prior to the destruction of the New Republic Senate.
The Ocean Moon of Endor is called Kef Bir and is the crash site of the second Death Star.
Rey’s White Hood Is an Homage to Princess Leia
The design of Rey’s look for The Rise of Skywalker is a blend of “Jedi heritage, scavenger origins, and a touch of Alderaanian nobility to illustrate Leia’s influence.”
The Largest Ship in the Resistance Fleet is A New Hope’s Tantive IV
The Tantive IV, which was an Aleraanian consular ship that took the Death Star plans away from Scarif following the Rebel Alliance’s first victory over the Empire, is the largest ship in the Resistance’s fleet. It is currently being piloted by the Sullustan Nien Nunb.
Star Wars Rebels’ The World Between Worlds Is Described in the Jedi Texts
The Jedi texts that Rey took from Ahch-to contain writings and visualizations of the Chain Worlds Theorem, also known as the World Between Worlds or Vergence Scatter. This World Between Worlds played a pivotal role in Star Wars Rebels.
Starkiller Base Is the Planet Ilum
Starkiller Base was built on the planet Ilum, which has a Kyber crystalline core. Kyber crystals hold immense power and are used for Lightsabers. Ilum is a revered Jedi world that used to test young Padawan, and was featured in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
Rey Reassembled the Skywalker Lightsaber with Knowledge from the Jedi Texts
Rey used the Jedi texts to help fix the Skywalker Lightsaber. She learned much about the arcane healing techniques in the Chronicles of Brus-bu, and “uses the underpinnings of such teachings to heal the broken kyber crystal in her lightsaber.”
Jannah’s Age Lines Up with Lando’s Daughter
Jannah, who was once part of the First Order’s Company 77 before her and her team’s mutiny, is in her early 20s. This would line up with the age of Lando’s kidnapped daughter, hinting there may be a deeper connection between the two heroes.
The Horse-Like Creatures Ridden By Jannah and Company 77 are Called Orbaks
Orbaks are the horse-like creatures ridden by Jannah and Company 77 and are actually not native to Kef Bir. Orbaks are herbivores “Orbaks and riders are inextricably linked in a partnership of survival.”
Emperor Palpatine’s Sith Trooper Legions are Named After Ancient Sith Lords
Emperor Palpatine’s Sith Troopers are organized into legions of 5,000 soldiers and are given a name of an ancient Sith Lord. These names include Knights of the Old Republic’s Darth Revan, who has now officially become canon.
Lando’s Full Name is Landonis Balthazar Calrissian and His 2-Year Old Daughter Was Kidnapped by the First Order
Landonis Balthazar Calrissian attempted to start a family following the fall of the Empire and him leading the attack on the second Death Star. However, his infant daughter was kidnapped by the First Order as they were working to build their numbers and strike back at the old Alliance leadership.
Six years after the tragedy, he would join Luke Skywalker as he searched for clues to a growing darkness he felt in the Force.