The Rise of Skywalker Movie Review

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The Rise of Skywalker Movie Review

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Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker

The surviving members of the resistance face the First Order once again, and the legendary conflict between the Jedi and the Sith reaches its peak bringing the Skywalker saga to its end.

 

Why did I come to this movie again?

Full disclosure, I’m a fan of the original trilogy. I grew up with them and no movie since then has really satisfied me. I tried to love Episode 1, but it didn’t last. 2 and 3 have the bones of a good story but Lucas isn’t the greatest story teller. Like building a beautiful room and then painting it a garish color. Or not finishing the ceiling.

I was excited when Disney took over, because they’d done a really good job with the Marvel Universe. The Force Awakens was okay, but I felt they pandered a little too much to, well, me. A bit too heavy handed with the callbacks to A New Hope. It was more like a retelling than an original movie.

The Last Jedi made me really grouchy. I didn’t mind most of Luke’s story. Everything about the space chase was badly written with clumsy characters who each carried a huge idiot ball the entire movie screaming “Look at me! I’m new and shinny and therefore amazing!” I told you it made me grouchy. However, my biggest problem with the movie, is that the writers or directors or both decided to subvert every single promise from the first movie. I realize it’s probably because fans like me were like, “The Force Awakens was too much like A New Hope!” but most of what episode 8 is about tries to undo what happened in episode 7. In the same way that episode 9 tries to undo a lot of what happened in 8.

This is terrible planning on someone’s part. As an author, I know it’s suicide to subvert everything you promise at the beginning of a book or series. Yes, some twists are great. Surprising the reader is awesome, but Disney shot itself in the foot by trying too hard to be different with episode 8. Just my opinion.

A friend said what I couldn’t find the words for a few weeks ago. “Disney had one job with these movies. Put Luke Leia, Han and Chewie on the screen together. That’s what fans wanted, and they never got it.”

There’s a lot of truth to that. Yes, the newer characters are the main focus, but that is what I wanted. Even just a few scenes. Even if they were all a little broken.

So, with that said, I didn’t have high hopes for this movie. I went in with low expectations.

3 of 5

 

Characters

Rey was supposed to be the focus of this movie. Her journey with the force and where it would lead. They did an okay job with that. Much more compelling, however, was Kylo Ren’s character arc. The movie rushed them both, but I wanted more of Ben! Way more. I didn’t think he was particularly interesting until this movie.

Finn was back! Loved him in episode 7, not so much in 8, really liked him in this one. A lot of people were upset Rose had a “bit part,” but I actually thought they put her in a nice position. Her character was rough, raw and a little dumb in episode 8. This time around she’s helping the general, in charge of stuff, and doing a great job of it. They tried a little too hard with Poe. He did make me laugh, which is good, so there’s that.

The heroes were a bit rough in the beginning, but turned it around a little way into the show. In general I liked the characters. I still want more of Ben.

4 of 5

 

Did I care what happened?

Surprisingly, yes. It took me a while, but I finally got drawn in.

4 of 5

 

Plot Holes

A Star Wars movie is like a Marvel movie. Yes, there will be plot holes. I rolled my eyes several times, but since my expectations were so low, I didn’t mind as much.

More than plot holes, this movie used easy plot devices. How many coincidences can happen? A girl on a random planet gives Rey a necklace and asks her what her family name is, Kylo appears to her via force vision/bond thing and snatches the necklace, allowing him to find out where she is, Rey and co. having to run from bad guys until they fall into the same quicksand as they dead guy they’re looking for, which leads them to a worm, which Rey helps foreshadowing for later, which leads to the knife which leads to a new ship which leads to rescuing Chewie which leads to them getting their old ship back. Oh, and Lando. All together it was just a little bit too convenient for my taste.

Granted, they had a lot to cover. As I said before, the director was trying to “fix” a bunch of the issues with the last movie, so most things felt very forced.

4 of 5

 

How many times did I yawn?

Never? My complaint would be that the movie moved too fast.

5 of 5

 

Cool Factor

Effects were great. Rey and the transport…yikes. Force Lightning! Leia dying 🙁 They packed this movie full of Star Wars-ness, and I loved most of it.

5 of 5

 

The End

I liked it. Here’s my spoiler: by the end of the movie, I was much more interested in Ben than Rey, which made me not like that part of the end.

4 of 5

 

Overall Enjoyment

I’m surprised to say that I enjoyed the show. I went in with low expectations, which helped. I also tried to immerse myself into the story and not compare it to anything. The parallels with Return of the Jedi were too prevalent to ignore completely, but all in all, I liked it. A decent ending to the saga.

4 of 5

 

33

That’s a Brown Belt!


3 Comments

Mary Davis

January 9, 2020at 11:12 am

Great review! I agree with almost everything you wrote. I was upset about Ben, too. I stared at the screen, thinking, “This can’t be it. He just can’t – end. After all that.” Then Rey was flying back to base with a smile on her face (I get it that she’s happy she won, but shouldn’t that be mixed AT ALL with sadness that this guy she had a strong bond with has just gone?), greeting her friends happily – it was almost as if Ben had never existed, on an emotional level. No mention of him afterwards either, by anyone. Just – weird. I read a Twitter post that had lots of impressive reasons why Ben dying was a last-minute decision, including reactions from Adam Driver himself. (Or he’s not really dead, and we have to wait 2 years to find out… better, but still not good enough. 😉 )

    Jo Ann Schneider

    January 9, 2020at 1:37 pm

    I agree with Rey’s lack of sadness in the end. Her and Ben were connect in a very cool way, I’m sure that shouldn’t just go away.
    Anyhow, I already miss Ben.

      Mary Davis

      January 9, 2020at 2:27 pm

      Exactly.
      Me too!!!

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