Jan
03
2020

My Mini-Review of STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER.

Short version: it was a pretty good film.

Slightly longer version: STAR WARS: RISE OF SKYWALKER exists to retcon as much of THE LAST JEDI as it can manage. Unfortunately, they couldn’t just start the movie by saying “Hey! Let’s pretend that this is an alternate timeline that diverges at the end of THE FORCE AWAKENS, so everything that happens in THE LAST JEDI doesn’t have to happen here* and by the way Leia died offscreen of grief in our version and Luke trained Rey through this movie and the next one because otherwise we’d have to stuff two movies’ worth of things into one movie and you’d feel bloated afterward if we did that.” I mean, they could, but at the same time they really couldn’t, you know what I mean?

It’s not an awful movie, really. I liked it. But they jammed a lot onto the screen, for reasons. And if you loved how they deconstructed Star Wars in the last movie**, you’re going to be infuriated by this one and I don’t really blame you. And… ah, Hell, let’s all just go watch THE MANDALORIAN again. Less controversy, really.

Moe Lane

*There are interesting thoughts in THE LAST JEDI. Really and truly. And pretty much none of them made it into THE RISE OF SKYWALKER. Which is both good and bad. Or bad and good.

**I didn’t love the deconstruction, but I found it not without intellectual merit.

10 Comments

  • Canthros says:

    That all seems fair.
    .
    I hope that they (LFL? Disney?) have at least figured out that they need some sort of actual plan (or, at least, a dedicated planner) to make coordinated stories work.

  • bensdad00 says:

    ‘Interesting thoughts’ belong in dorm rooms filled with cheap beer or playgrounds with a good breeze. Or on YouTube at best. They don’t get hundreds of millions and official sanction because a few execs are mentally unstable but immune to criticism because…you know why.

  • 1_rick says:

    “Short version: it was a pretty good film.” I would agree, although the outrage brigade is outrageously outraged that Kelly Tran’s character got cut to the bone. I don’t mind that, myself–nothing against the actress, but the character was boring.

  • DemosthenesVW says:

    Respectfully disagree. For something to be a good film, it must first be a film. Rise of Skywalker is not a film, so much as it is a stylish set of Cliff’s Notes. There may be good reasons why it had to make the choices it did, but it’s still a mess and a half.
    .
    I didn’t dislike it, and I certainly didn’t hate it the way I did The Last Jedi, but that’s about all I can say for it. As the closing music swelled on screen, I was mildly astonished to feel…nothing, really. Resignation born of exhaustion, maybe. This is what Star Wars came to. How sad. But at least it’s over, and I never have to see one again.
    .
    I don’t care what anyone says. There are only three Star Wars films.

    • Moe_Lane says:

      The thing that bugged me most is that they could have put a good movie together of Finn, Poe, and Rey getting themselves in trouble. Junk all the new war stuff and just have Kylo Ren be off with a small group of Knights or whatever. No Resistance, no First Order, no Snoke: I’d accept a Palpatine coming back as the big reveal, as long as he didn’t have much in the way of resources.

      • acat says:

        Eventually, likely when it comes to the theater that serves wine and beer, I’ll end up seeing this .. thing. Whatever it is.
        .
        I *suggest* that all of this may go back to the terms of the deal Disney signed to get Star Wars out of George Lucas’ cinematically stunted fingers…
        .
        I further suggest .. repeating myself .. that the Disney Vault figures strongly in the Star Wars future.
        .
        Disney will chain Lucas’s pathetic “prequel trilogy” in the vault, next to “Song of the South”.
        .
        Disney will have little choice but to dump the “post-Lucas (but clearly with his fingerprints all over it)” trilogy in the vault, next to “Treasure Planet”.
        .
        Disney can afford to leave both rotten messes there until George Lucas is dead and his estate can be ignored (or cease-and-desist’d) .. while raking in money with “Rogue One” and “The Mandalorian” and similar Lucas-free Star Wars properties.
        .
        Actuarial tables being what they are, I figure Disney will assemble a carefully selected team of retcon engineers to work on a 60th year anniversary re-release of the *entire* series .. starting in 2037.
        .
        Mew

  • ChrisValentine says:

    Mandalorian is going to decanonize the entire trilogy so Disney can move on to something less underwhelming.

    A particularly handsome and erudite individual said as much on youtube:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grm9YSciBKM&t=2s

  • Gnarledhotep says:

    I saw it Friday. It was okay, at best. Some of the newly-introduced Force Powers felt like something skimmed from the old Toon RPG, but I won’t dive into that rant for the sake of anyone who hasn’t seen it yet. I agree with DemosthenesVW about the final impression, but I also see why Abrams had to frantically retcon the mess that was dumped in his lap after the previous flick.

    Granted, I am somewhat of a Star Wars apostate, since I believe Star Wars canon ended some time in the 1990s, and everything “official” since then has been big-budget cheesy fan-fic (I haven’t seen the various animated series, since I also cut cable TV many years ago).

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