Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker
2019
In the concluding chapter of the Skywalker chronicles, a host of familiar faces comes together once more to battle the First Order and settle the age-old enmity between the Jedi and the Sith.

Evie Totty: “It was ok.”

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− December 20, 2019 • more by Evielog in or create an account to reply

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Scott Hardie: “It was ok.”

There are two things I don't like about the recent crop of DC Universe movies: They're mostly joyless and lacking in humor, and they tend to devolve into amorphous clouds of CGI background filler, the actors clearly performing on green screen with no sense of specific physical space around them. I'd like to lodge both of those complaints against The Rise of Skywalker, a movie trying as hard as it can to will itself into being an epic finale, with a too-heavy tone and lightsaber duels set in massive CGI locations that just don't feel real. I suspect that the audience doesn't care about these characters (Rey, Finn, Poe, Kylo, etc) the way that they once did about the original stars, so risking their lives in a big weighty intense finale just doesn't feel right. The movie is trying to live up to its self-imposed legacy as the last of a nine-film Skywalker saga and give us a suitable ending, but for most people, that saga was over in 1983 with Return of the Jedi. Lucasfilm didn't have to tell this story. It chose to do so, and now it's painted itself into a corner, having to make elements work that don't quite work.

More trying to fix the unfixable: The deliberate undoing of The Last Jedi. I lost count of how many lines of dialogue tried to retcon or repair some of the problems introduced by that movie, from "the Holdo maneuver" to Rey's parents, the latter of which is the least interesting ongoing mystery in the series. A lot of critics loved Last Jedi for rejecting the Star Wars legacy and trying a fresh approach, and are now giving negative reviews to Rise of Skywalker for doing the opposite, which to me is just as unjustifiably reactionary as some fans rejecting Last Jedi for its blasphemies. Can't we all just like or dislike the movies for what they are, and not for what they symbolically represent or for what we want them to be?

The overall feeling watching Rise of Skywalker is of a movie crammed way too full of plot (we've come a long way from the ultra-simple story of A New Hope), struggling to fashion a coherent movie out of too many obstacles beyond its control (the death of Carrie Fisher, Rian Johnson's revisionism), trying to will an epic finale out of humongous CGI spectacle instead of characters that we care about, and hoping that they can recapture the old magic by bringing back a few familiar faces even if they lack narrative necessity. In one sense it's a wonder that the movie is as successful as it is with so many handicaps, but it's easily the weakest of the sequel series.

− December 22, 2019 • more by Scottlog in or create an account to reply

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Erik Bates: “It was ok.”

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− December 31, 2019 • more by Eriklog in or create an account to reply

Scott Hardie: This reply contains spoilers. Reveal it. − December 31, 2019 • more by Scott

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