Warning: there be spoilers ahead! If you’re wanting to see the movie with an unbiased perspective, please steer clear of this. I will try to avoid saying too much but if you read further there’s a good chance you may be able to figure a few things out. 🙂
Now that the final part in the newly christened “Skywalker Saga” is out the door we can all finally decide if it was worth the wait. Time will tell if it has delivered for fans but for the meantime I can at least share my thoughts after seeing Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
- The opening crawl is a shocker. In comparison to previous movies, which weren’t exactly works of art either, it just comes across as a exceedingly amateurish. What’s worse is that it may even be considered self spoiling if you can believe that.
- As expected it’s all about Rey and Kylo Ren. Finn and Poe still have a few moments but it feels like filler for the Rey/Kylo thing and doesn’t go anywhere. All the actors do well with what they have admittedly, especially the main two (Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver). It starts to fall away past those characters though with many of the others not getting much time or simply being wasted. Like the Knights of Ren who are really quite unnecessary except to look mean and be ultimately disposable.
- The truth of Rey’s parentage is too contrived. After being a mystery for two movies already the answer we get becomes a justification for the story that’s presented to us. It’s suddenly become a little too convenient in terms of storytelling. Plus it dilutes the message from The Last Jedi of anyone being able to be a Jedi.
- Carrie Fisher’s part didn’t work out as well as hoped. The tragedy of her passing meant that there was no new footage for The Rise of Skywalker so the creators used what they had from cut from past movies to stitch something together. Initially it works but as the movie progresses further the digital seams sadly begin to show.
- Why isn’t there more Lando? Billy Dee Williams looked like he slotted back into his old character as if he never left and it’s a shame he didn’t get more time on screen. Poe’s backstory was fleshed out more to help him fill the role of the lovable rogue but it’s hard to compare against one of the originals even with a 40 plus year age gap. And with the stories of Luke, Han and Leia now ending it would have been perfect timing to have more Lando to fill in the gap. And Lando even brought Wedge Antilles back so there’s bonus points too.
- C3PO’s epic moment meant nothing for the character. Initially it looks like an ending for a beloved character but then it so easily gets rolled back that the sacrifice didn’t seem worthy of the time spent having it in the movie.
- They made The Last Jedi redundant. Sure, Luke got ghosted but if anyone were to release a “Phantom Edit” of the new trilogy they’d likely consider taking the middle one out except for a few choice references. Attempts have been made to link them all together but they feel forced (lol). It’s like the course correction of this film has damaged how this trilogy can be viewed as a whole. Everyone has their opinion on Rian Johnson’s film but I’d never have thought Lucasfilm themselves would retcon it.
- The final battle(s) are pretty spectacular stuff and once John Williams iconic score starts belting out it gets the heart ready to burst. I really wish there was more of this because those are the times when it really starts to feel like Star Wars again. I swear John Williams had a cameo too…
- I was OK with the ending. How it lead up to it was dragged out longer than was necessary with a few extras thrown in to try and make it more symbolic but how it closed did make seem like it was genuine.
- It seems terribly easy for anyone to build something that can blow up planets in Star Wars. Even George Lucas knew not to repeat that one in the prequel trilogy. You can only dip into that well so many times. Everyone should be thankful that MacGyver isn’t a character in Star Wars because if so every time he puts a cup and a paperclip together the galaxy is screwed.
If I were to make a comparison I’d say it’s almost like a repeat of JJ Abrams’ work when making Star Trek Into Darkness where the franchise’s long history was cherry picked for ideas and then remixed. I won’t say exactly what’s been reused here but like the opening crawl the trailers totally spoiled it.
I’m surprised with how negative I’m coming across here but truth is my own expectations are influenced by my time growing up with the franchise and anything that would be bringing back Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher was going to result in a crazy amount of hype amongst not only myself but everyone who grew up with the movies too. I think that’s where the spinoffs (Rogue One and Solo) were overall more successful – they may have been tapping harder into the source material but they were also more loyal to the pace, the lore and the style of storytelling which (to me) made them feel more like Star Wars movies than the new trilogy.
My opinions will probably change over the next year when I’m eventually able to sit down at home and watch the new trilogy back to back but for the moment I wanted to get my thoughts down so I can look back on them in the future. Feel free to share your own thoughts in the comments below! 🙂