Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

This film was the biggest disappointment and not what I expected for the end of this incredible installment. Warning, spoilers obviously as the film is still quite fresh in theaters. To quote my mother at the theater “It’s like they took all the characters I loved, put them in a blender and poured it out”. It’s predictable, all over the place, and the “fan service” makes you feel ripped off as a fan. Yes, there were elements I liked about the film, but most scenes didn’t last long enough for you to get emotionally invested. The pacing of the film was all wrong and jumped from scene to scene without a smooth connection to the previous scene.

We all fell in love with the characters of this installment, with the introduction of new faces and the revival of old favourites. However, an old not-so favourite we all wished stayed dead was Emperor Palpatine. How is he still alive? Why? He was killed off, unnecessary, and kind of disgusting to look at. Honestly hated his reincarnation, and had trouble understanding why he was the only person who could have been brought back out of all the villains in this universe. In contrast the “bad guy” Kylo Ren had barely any screen time. A character who has the most interesting story arch and was so prominent in the last film. In this film, Rey’s relationship with every guy is different than what we have seen in the last two films. Her and Poe’s relationship is confusing, they argue in the beginning and then are somehow best friends by the end of the movie. As a dynamic I was really looking forward to seeing we only got about 5 mins of screen time in total of their maybe friendship. What I did predict but was happy to see was the closure to Kylo and Rey’s relationship. The problem with this was that the first movie made people think they were in love, the second like they were siblings, and the third movie confirmed first movie suspicions.

The background of the characters were never fully explained - questions that we all had. For example, the planet Kijimi (which sounds a lot like trying to make a pun on kijiji), what is Poe’s connection to this planet? Did he grow up here? Who is the new girl? What is her or their story? They were just simply introduced as ideas but never actually explained anything at all. For a movie that is supposed to bring closure to a series and answer all of your questions it sure opened many doors. Furthermore, these random characters were added without reason. They hint at connections between Finn and Jannah, but the scene does not last long enough to truly go into it, or discover anything about the characters. Additionally, Poe’s character lost his comedic charm that we loved about him in the first two movies. Instead he feels like half the character he was before. It is like he was so developed in the last film only to take away every aspect of what made his character very likeable. He also didn’t have his iconic comedic scene he had had in the last two movies. In Force Awakens the ‘who talks first’ scene and in Last Jedi the ‘on hold with General Hux’ scene and in The Rise of Skywalker it was nowhere to be seen. Now onto the big reveal of Rey’s parents, where they actually were nobodies. However, her grandfather is Emperor Palpatine and I guess we won’t explain how that all happened in any depth at all. SO frustrating. This brings us to my next topic, the undoing of Rian Johnson’s Last Jedi.

I believe that Rian Johnson did a really great job with Last Jedi. He has a good feel for what this franchise is all about and as a fan himself knows the ropes. Something that stood out was the light saber battles. In Rise of Skywalker it looked like kids with foam swords. In comparison, in Last Jedi, it had perfectly choreographed and elegant use of the light sabers. It was like the characters forgot how to use them or any skills they had learned in how to use them. Furthermore, Last Jedi was beautiful in terms of cinematography, with the use of colour (red, black and white) being a very prominent feature. Whereas, this film simply lacked any beauty that the previous had, and on top of that had terrible effects. The previous film to the installment, had the perfect comedic timing and I found this new film to be too dramatic and take itself too seriously at times.

This movie really missed the comedic element of the first two. The only thing really funny in this movie were parts that were not supposed to be funny. In fact we were laughing in the theater at extremely serious moments. Honestly, the serious moments were done so poorly they were sadly laughable. One of these many scenes was Kylo’s death, where he kinda just falls back after kissing Rey. Which leads us to another issue in this film, the lack of dialogue where dialogue is needed. Too many times in this movie the characters say absolutely nothing. Some parts I’d say we were even lost, had no idea what was happening. Yes, these are great actors who do a great job expressing emotions, but they could say a little about the situations they are in. Additionally, something I felt that was a wrong choice was the way they brought back Luke Skywalker. I understand the blue was an homage to the first movies of the franchise, however with today’s technology it just looked wrong and weird. My idea for this was a slight blue hue, not completely blue. Therefore, it was just not properly executed in comparison to the films that came before it.

Next, the film was extremely predictable, throughout the entirety of the film we would go back and forth saying “bet this happens”. For starters the film loosely followed the exact same story lines and locations of Star Wars Return of the Jedi. The resistance base is literally on Endor! But at least we got a couple of ewoks thrown in so I guess I’m not complaining. The predictability really starts when Chewie is “blown up”. It was too sudden and too simple to truly be the end of such a beloved character. When he makes his return it was expected, there was really no surprise or relief more like “I knew it”. Later, C3P0 loses his memory, which was barely elaborated on and not taken advantage of as a funny moment. I feel like it was filler material and honestly had potential, that was simply wasted. These two events in the plot of the film would have been tragic if they didn’t just reverse what you might have thought happened mere scenes later. There was no element of shock, everything went as expected.

This movie still leaves us with questions. Like what is with Rey’s yellow lightsaber? For a film that is to end this installment, is it really the end? They might have left the door open just enough to bring the gang all back for another movie. Who knows what the future has for this installment or the franchise. With such an incredible world created and the recent success of the Mandalorian series on Disney +, it will be interesting to see what Disney does with it. However I’d like to see Rian Johnson reinstated as director.


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