How Kylo Ren AKA Ben Solo (Adam Driver) got to Exegol for the climactic confrontation in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker doesn’t make sense. Director J.J. Abrams was tasked with wrapping up the 42-year, 9-film Skywalker saga and his challenge included answering the mystery surrounding the origin of Rey (Daisy Ridley) as well as wrapping up the story of Kylo Ren, the sequel trilogy’s main villain. However, fans have pointed out numerous plot holes in The Rise of Skywalker and this includes questioning how exactly Ben Solo made it back to the Unknown Regions to join Rey in facing her grandfather, Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid).

The Rise of Skywalker established that Rey and Kylo Ren’s connection was a rare Force Dyad, which allowed the duo to communicate, pass objects, and even have lightsaber battles through the Force. Ren spent much of The Rise of Skywalker chasing Rey across several planets until he confronted her face-to-face on Kef Bir. The Supreme Leader of the First Order destroyed the Sith Wayfinder Rey searched the wreckage of the Death Star for and they dueled until General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) died; this distracted Kylo long enough for Rey to mortally wound him, but she saved his life with her Force Healing ability. Rey’s selfless act, in turn, reverted Kylo Ren back to Ben Solo, who was then finally redeemed by the memory of his dead father Han Solo (Harrison Ford). However, Rey stole Kylo’s TIE Interceptor and fled to Ahch-To, which seemingly left Ben stranded on Kef Bir.

So, how did Ben Solo manage to find his way to Palpatine’s Sith fortress on Exegol? After his redemption, the young Solo vanishes for part of The Rise of Skywalker while Rey meets up with the Force Ghost of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) on Ahch-To and the Resistance regroups at their base on Ajan Kloss. The film never explains how Ben got off Kef Bir; Solo just suddenly arrives on Exegol after Rey does and he’s shown departing from a TIE fighter that he landed next to Luke’s X-Wing Fighter that Rey piloted into the Unknown Regions. This comes off as a massive plot hole where Ben is just magically able to get to Exegol because the movie needs him there for the final confrontation with Palpatine and the shot of him walking away from a TIE fighter handwaves this plot contrivance.

Fans can make an assumption that after Rey and the Resistance left him behind on Kef Bir, Ben contacted the First Order and asked for assistance. After all, no one in the First Order knew that ‘Kylo Ren was dead’ so they would have sent a rescue for their stranded Supreme Leader. So, perhaps a TIE fighter arrived to save Ren or it’s even possible Kylo went to Kef Bir with an escort but he told them to stay behind while he faced Rey alone. Either way, it’s clear Ben got help from the First Order to get off Kef Bir, though the movie doesn’t consider the hows and whys to be important.

However, Ben piloting a TIE fighter to Exegol also doesn’t make sense. Never mind that Rey had the only other Sith Wayfinder, which was in Kylo Ren’s TIE Interceptor; it’s possible that, since Ben had been to Exegol before, he committed the path to memory. He could have even followed the massive activity of Resistance ships heading to Exegol or somehow tracked Rey’s route. The real problem with Ben going to Exegol is that the TIE fighters aren’t equipped with hyperdrives so how did he pilot one millions of miles into the Unknown Regions?

Again, The Rise of Skywalker seems to handwave this away and, infuriatingly, the explanation simply seems to be, “This TIE fighter just happens to have a hyperdrive because the movie’s finale needs Ben to get to Exegol”. Because the Devil is in the details, lazy, plot contrivances like these, unfortunately, take away from fans being able to fully enjoy the exciting space adventure of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

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