Rise Of Skywalker, a quick review

TL;dnr for those who don’t want massive spoilers: whether you did or didn’t like the first two of the new trilogy, this one probably won’t change your mind.

The following is based on a quick write-up I did for the people I saw Rise Of The Skywalker with (a few weeks ago, man I take ages to post these things), and a couple of others I knew had seen it. Expect a whole spoiler soup to follow.

When I went in, I’d heard Rise Of The Skywalker was a disjointed mess, so my expectations weren’t very high. It turns out it actually worked, and told a coherent story. I’d expected it to be a case of ‘nothing actually happens’ (as another, slightly more famous-than-me writer once put it ‘tales, told by an idiot, filled with sound and fury yet signifying nothing.), but stuff happened.

There were parts that were good, parts that were bad, and parts that were controversial; I’m going to go over a few of those.

Good:

Seeing thousands of Star Destroyers at once was awesome. And these can actually destroy stars! (Well, planets.)

No, I don't know how they breathe either
Ghost riders in the sky

The cavalry ride across a Star Destroyer was awesome. Rule of cool, man, rule of cool.

I did notice a couple of times that they went to a planet, and met up with a few locals, who said ‘you are not alone’, and they turned out to be The Mast—sorry, they joined the heroes. I started thinking that’d be a theme of the movie before the climax came, so I wasn’t as bugged by that as one of my fellow watchers was. (Which is not to say it couldn’t have been done better.) Also, what was the puppet show the little kids were watching? Could it have been Luke throwing Palpatine into the Death Star shaft? (I’m really asking; I don’t know.) If it is, it does set up that the legend is known and inspirational across the Galaxy.

Bad:

I didn’t like the symbolism of the good guys winning by castrating the Star Destroyers (c’mon… that had to be deliberate!).

Not to mention that a single snub fighter can now take out a Star Destroyer.

This is about the best pic I could find, and it doesn’t illustrate the issue

Ren’s sudden ability to teleport thing across interstellar distances is a bit out-of-nowhere, and a game-changer. But it’s been pointed out there was a scene in The Last Jedi where they come away from one of their sessions and they’re both wet or something; or where he runs into her on Tatooine, and then Wayne Campbell wakes up and spills sand across his bed and says ‘cool’.

Why are his feet sandy?

I didn’t like the smoke in the theatre, though it did enhance some of the battle scenes

Leia’s death was lame. Why should she be so wrapped up in her son (who, when was the last time she even saw him?) that she dies just because he dies. Lame.

Medical technology in the Star Wars galaxy is weird

Ugly:

I didn’t mind the revelation about Rey being Palpatine’s granddaughter. It wrapped up her story except that it did mean Palpatine got laid after the melting scene in Revenge Of The Sith (it had to be after that, or the timing of ages doesn’t work, right?). Who wants to think about that? (If you know the answer, please, don’t tell me.)

Somebody slept with this guy.

There were a couple of things that I thought could’ve been solved better – 3PO can’t translate the Sith language; but he can remember what’s written on the dagger. So, get him to write it down in Sith (even if he’s just drawing characters that mean nothing to him), and find somebody else who can translate! Nobody has to have their mind wiped!

They’ve got, like, a backjillion flying ships. So why take a puny skiff across seas that make Portugal look placid? Really? (Also, I hadn’t realised Ren was actually on the moon with Rey during that battle; they’d had so many across-the-stars meetings that I assumed this has been one of them. Maybe I missed his ship landing?)

The lightsabres started to get confusing; which is which, how many are there? Which one’s the gold one? I’m confused!

I’m not sure what I thought of the spy being revealed then immediately, the Imperials figured it out. I did like his reasons (I want Ren to lose!), but I didn’t like the way he told us them (felt like he was answering a statement nobody had made).

Christian Representation:

Star Wars is famously about bringing Buddhism to the masses; therefore, none. Really, it  (Since Lucas was willing and able to do that with Buddhism, he could’ve been able to bring Christian thought as well, so I won’t accept ‘it’s an alien culture’ as a cop-out here. Of course, there was no obligation or expectation that he would.)

I think Rise Of The Skywalker is a good movie; while it’s far from perfect, it ties up the Sequel Trilogy well, and overall does its job. It doesn’t live up to the Original Trilogy, but for my buck, no movie does – not even The Princess Bride. So, it’s decent and worth watching, and will finish the series for you.

8 Comments

  1. Louis Bright-Raven

    “I didn’t mind the revelation about Rey being Palpatine’s granddaughter. It wrapped up her story except that it did mean Palpatine got laid after the melting scene in Revenge Of The Sith (it had to be after that, or the timing of ages doesn’t work, right?). Who wants to think about that? (If you know the answer, please, don’t tell me.)”

    No, it doesn’t mean that. He could have used the Force to manipulate Midichlorians to impregnate a unknowing woman (as has been theorized is how Anakin was actually created). OR his son who produced Rey could have been the product of Kaminoan Cloning Technology, as evidenced he had access to in the film. OR they simply could have done, you know, normal sperm to egg fertilization procedures with a woman who didn’t know he was the donor but wanted a kid, like what happens in real life where women get sperm donors and don’t want to know who the father is.

    So there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to think anybody was having sexual relations with the guy. That’s just you and your sick mind, pal. LOL

    “There were a couple of things that I thought could’ve been solved better – 3PO can’t translate the Sith language; but he can remember it. So, get him to write it down in Sith, and get somebody else to translate! Nobody has to have their mind wiped!”

    One, the Sith language is not commonly known – I doubt anybody would know what the hell it was, let alone be able to translate it save MAYBE Ren, who clearly was not on their side at that point. Two, he doesn’t ‘remember’ the language, he’s merely programmed with it and that programming also prevents him from speaking it. Those are distinctively different things. Three, the reason for the mind wipe in terms of story structure is that 3PO is NOT the Hero. He’s the Narrator / Jester of the story. (Hence why R2 reboots his memory banks to that just before they went on the trip and he thinks he’s going on his ‘first real solo mission’ and R2 tells him it’s already happened and he doesn’t remember it. It’s meant as a light humor moment but it’s also a subtle reminder of what his role in the story is.) Nothing wrong with any of that at all, IMO. My disappointment was that when they made him do the Sith translation, he didn’t turn aggressive on anyone. I wanted to see “evil” 3PO. “I want to take one last look… at my friends.” “KILL KILL KILL!” LOL

    “Why not take a flying ship? Why take the puny water skiff?” Because everyone else was around the fliers and could have attempted to prevent her from going and so she was sneaking away from everyone and trying to keep them out of harm’s way. Remember, she DID NOT WANT THEM TO COME. She WANTED to do this on her own.

    “Also, I hadn’t realised Ren was actually on the moon with Rey during that battle; they’d had so many across-the-stars meetings that I assumed this has been one of them. Maybe I missed his ship landing?”

    I believe he had arrived before anyone else had, and was waiting for her, and she just didn’t see his ship from where she entered the wreckage, thus we didn’t see it either.

    1. Le Messor

      “That’s just you and your sick mind, pal. LOL”
      I need help. 🙂

      When I said (and I’m the one who was unclear here, sorry, I’ll edit) “3PO can’t translate the Sith language; but he can remember it.” I didn’t mean he could remember the Sith language, I meant he could remember what was written on the dagger.
      I just think it’d be easier to find somebody who can speak the language than mindwiping a compatriot (which works better from a storyteller’s POV, as you outline, than a character POV). I acknowledge that it wouldn’t be easy to find such a person, though. (OTOH, it wasn’t easy to find somebody who could get the info from 3PO, either.)

      “Because everyone else was around the fliers”
      It’s also possible that they didn’t have access to flyers on that particular moon at that particular time. (The people there had stripped down their own ships, and the Falcon had crashed.)

  2. The Palpatine grandfather reveal didn’t work for me. It doesn’t add anything to the story the way “Luke, I am your father” did. And it’s not necessary for the plot as they could easily rationalize Palpatine possessing her without it.
    And I just preferred Rey coming from no-one.

    1. Louis Bright-Raven

      Hi Fraser.

      I think we have to remember that “Luke I am your father” comes from a different era. They didn’t have an internet to spoil everything months / years in advance. (Thank goodness for that.)

      But sure, I think “Rey Palpatine” is a lesser idea, too.

      1. ? It has nothing to do with catching spoilers — I didn’t. It’s simply that Luke learning his arch-foe is his father has a drama that Rey learning she’s the child of some guy she’s never met.
        This didn’t bug me as much as the hyperkinetic style of the first quarter, where they’re constantly pinging from one setting and set of characters to another. I was pleasantly surprised when it calmed down, though, and I found the rest of it enjoyable. Despite the Palpatine.

  3. John King

    I enjoyed it
    It’s not perfect but nothing is.
    Overall, I thought the sequel trilogy was much better than the prequel trilogy but not as good as the originals.
    My biggest criticism is I felt they went a bit OTT with some force powers and with the notion that a fleet of star destroyers could be constructed and crewed in secret but, then again, Star Wars has always been space fantasy to be watched and enjoyed, rather than to be analysed. Plus this was intended to be the conclusion of the 9 numbered films and thus a big finale.

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