As I’ve mentioned many times before, I’m not a hardcore Star Wars fan. I like Star Wars, but I don’t love it—or at least I’m not in love with it! For me, the franchise has simply been a series of entertaining sci-fi flicks. For others, though, Star Wars is much more than that. It’s an entire lifestyle for them, almost like a religion. In fact, many fans have even tried to make it an official religion. (No, I’m not kidding!) But for me, these films have simply been mindless entertainment and nothing more. As such, I never had any real expectations for the new movies other than for them to be good.
The recent slew of Star Wars movies have proven to be a mixed bag. Out of the four movies produced by Disney, only one has proven exceptional (The Last Jedi). The others have ranged from “fun buy painfully unoriginal” (The Force Awakens) to “boringly pretentious” (Rouge One) to “blatant fan pandering not worth watching” (Solo). With such an inconsistent level of quality, it was hard for me to have any real expectations for the latest movie. For all I knew, it could be great, bad, or anywhere in between.
Either way, Rise Of Skywalker has a lot riding on it. This movie is literally the end, not only of the new sequel trilogy, but pretty much the entire franchise as a whole—or at least for the time being until Disney needs to make more money (which is always!). This movie simply isn’t concluding the story created by J.J. Abrams for the new trilogy. It’s essentially wrapping up 40+ years of content within the overall franchise. As such, expectations are high for it to end with a big bang. But will this movie allow the Star Wars franchise to end with a big bang, or will it go out on a whimper?
To read how well this movie ends the Star Wars franchise, click READ MORE:
|Den Of Geek|
Before I continue, let me make one thing straight: I am not Red Letter Media. My name is not Mike Stoklasa. I do not have the extensive knowledge about the Star Wars franchise to determine how this movie fits into the overall continuity or how every minute detail fits in with the canon. Because as much as I love Star Wars, I’m not in love with Star Wars.
As such, I will not be making any pedantic nitpicks about the movie or the franchise in this review. This is not a list of nitpicks complaining about the movie or how well it fits within the Star Wars canon. If that’s the review you want, well, *waves finger like Obi Wan Kenobi* this is not the review you’re looking for. This is simply a review about how much I personally like the movie.
|Consequence of Sound|
So how do I like it? Well, after seeing several headlines about how this movie was polarizing critics and fans, and seeing several reviewers express their dissatisfaction with the movie on social media, I went into this movie prepared to hate it. I did not hate it. I did not love it, either. I simply found the movie to be adequate—extremely convoluted, but adequate nevertheless.
That’s probably my biggest complaint about the movie: its plot felt extremely convoluted. The movie felt as though it was trying its hardest to tie up all the loose ends, not only from the other movies, but within the franchise as a whole, with the overall goal being to deliver on a definitive ending to not only this film trilogy, but the entire Star Wars franchise—or at least it tried to. I can’t say for certain that it failed, but it didn’t feel like it succeeded either. The end result simply feels like one giant convoluted mess—though a spectacularly entertaining convoluted mess.
This is all probably due to the fact that this entire trilogy has been helmed by multiple directors without a clear sense of direction. When J.J. Abrams created The Force Awakens, he clearly had an idea of where to take the next two movies. That course was changed when Rian Johnson was brought aboard to direct the next movie, and as such, he clearly took The Last Jedi in a completley different direction. Now J.J. Abrams is back on the helm, and he’s clearly trying to correct course. Either way, this entire trilogy was created without a clear sense of direction, and this movie shows it. What results is a movie trying to accomplish one goal when that goal was changed several times in the previous installments. What results is a mess, but again, it’s a spectacularly entertaining mess.
How well you enjoy this movie depends on the mindset you bring to it. If you’re coming into this movie with the expectation to see whether or not it confirms your head canon or fan theory, then you’re either going to be pleasantly surprised or horribly disappointed. If you’re coming into this movie expecting to nitpick every minute detail and see how well it fits within the overall Star Wars canon, then you’re going to find plenty to nitpick and you’re probably going to hate this movie.
However, if you’re coming into this movie expecting everything that makes a good Star Wars movie, then you’re going to find exactly that. Because this movie, above else, has all of the key components of a Star Wars movie. It has flashy lightsaber battles. It has high-adrenaline space fights. It has journeys to fantastical alien worlds with fantastical alien creatures. It has a dramatic John Williams score. It has plot twists and answers to lingering questions. Simply put, if you love Star Wars for the Jedi and aliens and robots and spaceships everything else that everyone else loves about the franchise, then you’re going to find it in this movie. Your mileage will vary on how much you like it. You’re either going to be surprisingly pleased at the least or completely enthralled at the most.
I can’t tell you for certain how well you will enjoy this movie, because I don’t know what you want. That’s something you have to figure out for yourself. That all depends on what you bring to this movie. Chances are you’re going to see your head canons and fan theories either confirmed or disproved. Chances are you’re going to see plenty of things to nitpick to the point of absurdity. And if any of that will prevent you from loving this movie, then you’re probably not going to like it. But if you’re looking for a Star Wars movie, you’re going to see everything that makes such a movie Star Wars. For me, the movie was good enough, but again, your own mileage will vary. Just expect more than what you’re looking for.
Random Thoughts (SPOILERS!)
- Guess who’s back? Back again. Emperor Palpatine is back. Tell a friend? Yeah, Palpatine is back. How? He cloned himself. Because he has the cloning technology that allowed him to create the clones for the Clone Wars, that’s why. So Palpatine is back and he’s a clone. That’s stupid…but not as stupid as…
- Rey is Palpatine’s granddaughter. Yeah, remember how in the last movie, we were told that Rey’s parents weren’t important. Well, they weren’t. But her grandfather apparently is. Because she’s Palpatine’s granddaughter. Yeah. That’s also stupid, but not as stupid as…
- So Palpatine’s big plan is that he’s still alive but he wants Rey to kill him? Why? Because her hate will allow his spirit to enter her and he can live through her. He literally wants the anger to flow through her so he can possess her. Wow. That is stupid. That is so stupid that I don’t even know where to begin in dissecting in how stupid this plan really is. Hopefully, there will be plenty of videos out there outlining why this is stupid.
- Lando Calrissian is in this movie. He doesn’t do much. I don’t care.
- Rose Tico is in this movie…for two whole minutes of screen time. That sucks. But not as much as Disney witnessing the only Asian character in the franchise being overly-hated and her actress harassed to the point where she leaves Twitter, and then deciding that the remedy to this whole situation is to downplay her role in this movie. Way to validate the angry racist fanboys, Disney! You suck!
- Leia is still in this movie. How? Carrie Fisher is dead, so how? They used old footage of her from the previous movies and spliced it in here. It’s fake, impressive yet fake.
- Rey and the gang go to Coachella. It’s not called Coachella. But it’s clearly Coachella. I’m guessing J.J. Abrams loves Coachella. Because he puts Coachella in the movie.
- C-3PO gets his memory erased. The reason is too stupid to explain. But he gets his memory erased. It’s supposed to be a heart-felled moment. But it’s eventually remedied later in the movie when R2-D2 restores his memory. So this entire character moment was…completely pointless.
- General Hux is secretly a spy for the Resistance. Why? Because he hates Kylo Ren. That’s probably the only thing that makes that plot twist palatable. That and Hux’s death.
- There are two new female characters introduced in this movie. Both of them are interesting and worth developing. Too bad the movie doesn’t bother developing them. I guess they’re planning spin-off series for them on Disney+.
- Do you ship Rey and Kylo Ren? Do you like Reylo? Well, congrats! Your garbage ship is confirmed, you garbage person! Rey and Kylo kiss. But then Kylo dies. So your toxic, garbage ship dies in toxic garbage, you garbage person!
- Rey decides to call herself Skywalker now. Why? She’s not related to either Luke or Leia. I guess she wants to continue their legacy. So she’s a Skywalker now. Rolls eyes.