But again, in regards to saving her friends, none of this has any relevance to the themes of the film. This is when those themes are supposed to come to their conclusion; but instead of talking about Rey’s anger, or her heritage, or anything like that, J.J. and Chris are just like, “Meh, you better kill him Rey, or else all of your friends are gonna die,” as they flap their hands about. How has the film built towards this at all? What is the film trying to say by forcing this (external) conflict on Rey? How is this final dilemma (of the entire Star Wars saga) in any way satisfying?
How is it satisfying?
The writers wrote themselves into a very simple conflict with Palpy returning: Have Rey kill him or have her not. Based on the themes and her actions over the prior two films, there’s absolutely no drama with killing Palpy since she actively tried to kill Snoke and he called her a True Jedi for doing so, with absolutely no subtext as to any darkness associated with this action. The only drama would then come from her not killing Palpy, but there’s no reason for her to choose this so the final film had to manufacture a reason for her to not kill the most evil guy in the galaxy by making him her caring grandfather. This might almost work since it plays into the thematic line of her constantly wanting a place in the story, but the writers then decided that Rey should actually want to kill Palpy in anger due to the spirit transfer plot device, and so wrote Palpatine back into being Mr Evil by ordering the hit on her parents.
Now Rey’s back to the uninteresting place of wanting to kill Mr Evil, with practically no continuation of the theme of Rey’s belonging. The spirit transfer plot device and resulting revenge subplot effectively kills the theme of the films. Bringing Rey’s friends into this contrived mess of a conclusion merely serves as a distraction.
You probably don’t recognize me because of the red arm.
Episode 9 Rewrite, The Starlight Project (Released!) and ANH Technicolor Project (Released!)