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Question: What did you think of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker?
*****   -1 (9.1%)
****   -2 (18.2%)
***   -2 (18.2%)
**   -0 (0%)
*   -0 (0%)
I'd like to see it.   -5 (45.5%)
I'm not interested.   -1 (9.1%)
Total Voters: 11

Author Topic: Movie Review - Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)  (Read 846 times)
Dave Gray
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« on: December 30, 2019, 02:52:46 pm »

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

Premise: Mysterious broadcasts from the dead Emperor Palpatine have our heroes searching for relics to uncover his whereabouts to destroy him.

Rating: A nonsensical, convoluted, and uninteresting plot that lacks conviction and undermines the greater Star Wars story.  But with enough nostalgia packed in to make it an enjoyable enough sit.

This is a hard movie to discuss.  It is so incredibly full of things that it's like a generations worth of backstory crammed into a single film, with very little room for any of it to breathe.  The plot is a senseless fetch-quest, where our three main characters are searching for a series of maguffins to get them to jump from planet to planet.  At each stop, there are new characters added, some that we have seen, but never are we given any real time to understand these characters and they don't tie into any larger theme.  Most of the first hour of this film is exposition explaining why characters are going where they are with very little time for reflection.  The Emperor Palpatine plotline is thrust at you immediately, starting with the crawl, and none of it explained in a satisfactory way.  

Basically, anything with Palpatine is ham-fisted.  The idea of having him back, in general, never really sat well with me, but the execution of it is also pretty poor.  This, along with some light this sheds on other situations is a back-pedal that sets several other character arcs back.  It is truly a dis-service to the larger universe.  And what's weird is that it doesn't add anything to this film.  The same general narrative could have still existed, without the extra convoluted stuff.

On the flip side, the Rey and Kylo Ren stuff is superb.  The movie takes the "force creep" from The Last Jedi with these two characters' bond and evolves in a way that is truly satisfying.  I thought that there were so many different camps of opinions on what should happen to/with Rey and Kylo that this delicately balances the relationship in a way that is honest, moving, and fair.  Over the three movies, I think that this relationship is the standout.  The Force Awakens to The Last Jedi to The Rise of Skywalker progresses these two characters seamlessly and is the one true through-line of the trilogy.

With Carrie Fisher gone, Leia is stitched into the film using old footage and while you can see the seams, I think they did a decent enough job, considering the circumstances.

I think this movie fails in almost all of its subplots, because it doesn't give the time to explore any of them properly and doesn't have the conviction to stick to its guns and have real stakes.  Characters face real consequences to their actions through hardship or sacrifice and it's constantly undone throughout, leaving the viewer feeling like they'd been on a roller coaster -- a wild ride, but you didn't really go anywhere and you're dizzy.

And then there's the nostalgia -- it's all over the place.  And with most things, it works about half the time.  It feels extra excessive in this film, however, because there is such a breakneck pace that you don't really have time to let any of the things settle and callbacks to other films just serve as distraction from feeling any real emotion for our main characters.  Too many times, it's "hey, remember this?" and you're like "yeah, what about it?"  "Oh, nothing."  But nostalgia can still be fun, even though it's empty calories.

The Rise of Skywalker lacks a message.  It lacks a theme.  It lacks a plot that matters.  It lacks character arcs for almost everyone in the film.  But it's still super packed with Star Wars.  There are so many cool ideas that are slashed and burned within a 20 second dialogue drop or special effect.  I believe that we will be reading books and watching cartoons and reading comics about the gaps that this movie creates with its convoluted story for decades.   Maybe that's the point.  But as a cohesive film narrative that seeks to grow its characters through story, it falls short.



« Last Edit: January 06, 2020, 03:13:42 pm by Dave Gray » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2019, 03:23:17 pm »

I'll see it when it is on HBO or Netflix
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« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2019, 03:37:43 pm »

I liked it, it made up for the other two shitty movies.  Pretty much non stop action from begging to end.
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« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2019, 06:08:35 pm »

I had some issues with it but overall it was good and it tied up some loose ends. Props to them for being able to make Leia so much a part of the story. People are apparently upset that Rose Tico didn't have much of a part but truth be told ... they had too much going on already. I honestly feel that the Finn character gets forced into the story way more than he needs to be already. I would have been more happy with a visit from some more Jedi ghosts but Luke and Leia tied it up nicely.
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« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2020, 12:29:33 pm »

Apparently, (Maybe this is bullshit), but Rose was supposed to be there to help with the Leia exposition, but they scrapped a lot of it due to wonky effects.  So, it does come off weird.  ...especially because Finn does this weird shoulder tap on her and she specifically mentions that she's going to stay behind.

I think that the most under-served characters are Poe and Finn.  Each has a progression through TLJ -- Poe learns the difference between being the hero and being the leader.  And Finn learns the value of fighting for a cause.  Poe's is certainly abandoned here and he's an action hero again, with a short line of lip service.  And Finn, I believe they're trying to say that he's force sensitive, which is why he can track down that big gun....but it's sloppy.  They don't do a very good job of making that connection or showing us why that big tower/gun thing is important.

This movie just has too much in it without room to flesh out any of the ideas.  It comes at the cost of development of the characters.
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« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2020, 02:01:19 pm »

I feel, especially when it comes to items like this (Star Wars / GoT, etc) there is the ability to overthink versus enjoy.  Absolutely zero shade thrown at Dave here, he has his reasons for (what seems to be) a general distaste for the film.  I go into everything with the mindset of "I'm going to enjoy this."  And, 99% of the time, I do. 

I'm watching Star Wars, life kind of rocks.

The only thing that bugged me about the movie was what Finn needed to tell Rey.  It was important enough to scream to her; it was important enough for him to say again on a battle cruiser.  It wasn't important enough to ever address again.  Abrams, apparently, "purposely left it open ended."  Which is really stupid when it's the last movie. 

But other than that?  I dug it.  It was a great few hours of my time.
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« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2020, 02:12:26 pm »


The only thing that bugged me about the movie was what Finn needed to tell Rey.  It was important enough to scream to her; it was important enough for him to say again on a battle cruiser.  It wasn't important enough to ever address again.  Abrams, apparently, "purposely left it open ended."


He didn't.  Finn's secret is that he's force sensitive.  It's just cut in a way that doesn't come across.  There are many hints to it and it finally pays off with the gun thing.  But, like I said, they're throwing so much at the screen that no singular idea has time to come to fruition, so it's all lost.
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« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2020, 02:44:35 pm »

I thought he was going to confess his love for her, the force thing makes more sense.
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« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2020, 03:51:09 pm »

I thought he was going to confess his love for her, the force thing makes more sense.

I think the movie wants you to think that it's a group of men vying for Rey -- there is Han/Leia bickering with Poe at the beginning.  There is Finn's secret, which Poe seems to be a little perturbed by, echoing Han/Luke's ESB rivalry and there is Kylo.

I think that the audience is supposed to be conflicted about who wins her heart or something.
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« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2020, 11:21:33 am »

I think the movie wants you to think that it's a group of men vying for Rey -- there is Han/Leia bickering with Poe at the beginning.  There is Finn's secret, which Poe seems to be a little perturbed by, echoing Han/Luke's ESB rivalry and there is Kylo.

I think that the audience is supposed to be conflicted about who wins her heart or something.
Boyega has been catching heat for his posts about Rey. He tweeted ďItís not about who she kisses but who eventually lays the pipe" and that hasn't gone over well with some Star Wars fans.

I was thinking about things I didn't like about this movie and remembered Kylo's helmet. Did I miss something? Why is this all powerful being having to have his helmet fixed instead of having a new one made?
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« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2020, 12:09:09 pm »

Why is this all powerful being having to have his helmet fixed instead of having a new one made?

A better question is why does he have a helmet at all.  The character of Kylo evolved to not need to hide behind a mask.  The whole idea was that he wasn't a Vader fanboy anymore and he's graduated to be the Supreme Leader.

Now, this movie has monkeys making him a repaired mask.  Why?  I can't say.  It would be interesting if the movie would have addressed some kind of regression of his character, but it didn't seem to be the case.  They just used it to make one joke and then he mostly took it off for the remainder of the movie anyway.

This kinda sums up my issues with the movie.  It's introductions of things that are kinda cool-ish, but they don't follow the idea through to anything.  It doesn't seem to tie into any large idea.  Instead, it plays like a side-quest in a video game.
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« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2020, 02:18:32 pm »

I agree with you. I didn't originally care for Kylo (probably because of the fanboy stuff) but grew to like him. He would have been a better character to me without the helmet.
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« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2020, 08:16:25 am »

I noticed this had not been posted before here and some may find it interesting.

There was quite possibly a leak the beginning of this year of the first script for Episode IX that was written by its original director and writer team, Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly. Apparently the title they had in mind for the final film in the saga was Duel of Fates.

https://www.esquire.com/entertainment/movies/a30514233/star-wars-9-original-script-colin-trevorrow-leak/

While (as you know) I was not a fan of The Last Jedi, what was suggested here ties in a lot more closely with what happened in that movie than Rise of Skywalker. I'm not sure if I would have loved it, but it may have made quite a bit more sense than the mess they came up with.
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« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2020, 08:35:29 pm »

I read through this.

The way Trevarrow deals with the ensemble cast is overall better.  The idea for Luke is great.  The way they use Rose and heist stuff at the beginning is really good.  However, the stuff with Kylo & Rey is much, much weaker, so it's a trade off.

I really don't care for Rise of Skywalker at all.  I think it's bad.  But the Rey/Kylo stuff is so strong. 

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