Rise of Skywalker (Spoiler Review)
This is how it ends?
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The final film in the Skywalker saga. Episode 9. A series of films that ended just fine with The Return of the Jedi, but we were suckered in by a promising start in The Force Awakens. Yes. I love that film. Although its has been tainted and now exists in it's own little bubble for me outside of this trilogy. But we'll get to that later. The Rise of Skywalker. Where to begin?
This film begins Kylo Ren searching for a device that would help him locate the Emperor, who has returned, somehow. Granted he is an evil entity, and Jedi can return from the dead, so a lack of explanation was fine. But no suspense was built up to his return. It was spoiled in the trailers, and I feel it should have been the surprise twist needed to shock viewers. Instead, we already knew he was back, and the opening crawl tells us he has returned as well, and we jump right into the action. No time to process this and build tension. Kylo Ren is killing random people, finds a sith device, speeds to a planet called Exagol. Meets Palpatine, who is a zombie, cut to the next seen of Poe and Finn on an adventure, getting chased by Tie-Fighters, Cut to Rey training for a while, cut to the First Order talking, then cut to the next scene of the Millennium Falcon on fire. Just cutting, and cutting, and shooting and blasting.
JJ Abrams has returned to direct this film, after the previous director to direct this film was fired, and it shows he had no idea what to do, he was only meant to kick start the franchise, but now he has to end it. Clearly he had is own ideas of where the story should have gone. But Rian Johnson did his own thing for The Last Jedi, upsetting fans, leaving Lucasfilm and Kathleen Kennedy scrambling to fix the mess left behind.
As much as I did not like The Last Jedi myself, it was not Rian Johnson's fault. This goes deeper than just him. This new trilogy suffers from a lack of vision and outline.
It is fine to have different directors with a different styles and vision. But there has to be some continuity. Some plan moving forward. Marvel Studios, from Iron Man one, till Avengers End Game feels cohesive, with different filmmakers and writers, but each film feels like it is part of the same universe. You can't just tell three different directors to "Do your own thing," and expect each movie to work as part of a trilogy when they feel so disjointed. Not to mention you fire one director and bring back another to pick up the pieces from the last film! It's a mess.
Anyway, Rey finds out she's the Emperor's daughter, cause she has to be someone. There has to be a "Luke, I am your father" moment in there. The film is consistently moving. We are introduced to new characters, and then they're gone. Gotta keep going. More light saber battles, more spaceships. No time to ask questions or get invested, we have to make two movies into one.
Why did I enjoy The Force Awakens? Lawrence Kazdan. He was the screenwriter, and even though the film is basically a New Hope all over again, it is still, in terms of structure, well written. An intro that takes it's time, we meet our characters, get to know them, re-introduce old ones, and each action scene feels earned because we understand what's happening, who is where, and who is who. You get a good balance of old and new with that movie. Rise of Skywalker was written by the same man who wrote Batman V Superman, a film notorious for a convoluted plot that amounted to nothing, and a script that jams characters, and scenarios that can fill two movies into two hours. That is how this one feels.
I read that Star Wars saved the worst for last before I saw this film, but I thought to myself, "It can't be that bad." It is that bad. A film I want to forget.
It turns out that the original trilogy was lighting in a bottle. You can't capture that magic again. Force Awakens was close, but it is immediately tarnished by the subsequent sequels that follow. Star Wars should be left alone, either for good for a good while. You can find creative things to do without big budget movies. The Mandalorian is a good example, but even that show with the movie in theaters is bringing about Star Wars fatigue. Lucasfilm is suffering from poor management and lack of creative imagination. As soon as Disney purchased Star Wars they rushed into production of merchandise, a new trilogy, stand alone films, TV shows, and books and more.
Like a kid who gets a 100 dollars. Gotta spend it all on junk food! No responsibility what-so-ever.