Well, that’s two hours we’re never getting back. Hopefully, it will be 50 years before they decide to make another bland, boring, cliche Star Wars trilogy. Obviously, at this point you’ve probably noticed that we’re not fans of the new Star Wars films, so if you’re easily triggered and too weak-willed to read an opinion that is not your own then GO AWAY!
*DOOR SLAMS IN THE DISTANCE*
Good, that’s them gone. We take it that because you’re still here you want to hear our divine truth, SPOILERS and all? Good.
Let’s start off by saying that the Rise of Skywalker is a far better film than the last two. (They were shocking!) Visually, it’s a chewing-gum feast for the eyes. The SFX are amazing. The physical acting and action scenes are gorgeously shot and edited. The cameos, such as Wedge are brilliant, and the nods to old fans are welcome. But that’s it.
Now we’re not going to go into an in-depth analysis. We’re not going to wax lyrical and spew philosophic dribble. We don’t care that at the end of the film, Rey has a yellow lightsabre, which is obviously a metaphor for rebirth or a metaphor for the union of her light and dark side or a metaphor for her pissing on the old franchise. We’re no interested in that sort of thing. Instead, we’ll simply place all the turds we found into a single pile and let you take your pick.
For starters, the film is made of cliches, filled with plot holes and overrun with McGuffins. It has a predictable ending. Is packed with mediocre character development. And is mind-numbing for anyone obsessed with creative genius. Mind you, if you’re watching a popular film because you like original concent and intellectual ideas then you’re obviously insane. You’re watching this stuff because you like pretty pictures.
Right then, on with the turds.
At the beginning of the film, Kylo Ren finds the Sith world of Exegol and meets the supreme evil, Emperor Palpatine who then tells him that he has been behind everything from the start: Snoke, The First Order, everything, and that if Ren kills Rey then he shall become the new emperor. He then reveals the new Sith fleet is ready and that the final war is on the way. All a bit too cliche for us, but fun to see Palpatine. In fact, more people were excited to see him than anything else.
Now while Ren is running around and being evil, Rey is completing her training with Leia, who it turns out was trained by her brother. Now the scenes with Leia are well done, to say the least. In fact, at times, it is hard to tell if she has been CGI or recorded or stock footage as her scenes progress. Regardless, it’s wonderful to see Fisher’s last performance handled so beautifully.
Anyway, everyone finds out that Palpatine is alive and that The Empire 2.0 is underway. Naturally, they all panic and a series of McGuffin based side-missions begin. These take-up about two-thirds of the film. During these side missions, it turns out General Hux is a traitor to the First Order and gets killed for it. Rey discovers that she has anger issues, as well as both light and dark side powers. Finn makes friends with some ex-First Order soldiers. (Awww, he has friends.) We get to see the legendary Knights of Ren, then they all die. It turns out Po was a spice smuggler and has criminal friends. Lando has been in hiding. Finn has something important to tell Rey, which he never does. Finn might also be force sensitive. Kylo Ren and Han Solo have a touching father-son moment, and Ren changes sides. Oh, and the Sith have equipped all their ships with superweapons, which are all exposed and not protected, and pretty easy to destroy.
After 90 odd minutes of flapping around the good guys head to Exegol to fight the good fight. As usual, the villains have one flaw in their plans such as the single shield generator, a single weak spot in their design, or in this case a single communications tower to run their entire armada. Now like in all of these films the good guys start off at a disadvantage as they fight against overwhelming odds but eventually, the Republic and others arrive and turn the tide. (The bad guys screw up! Where have I seen that before?) And the galaxy is saved.
By this point, Rey is pretty much the embodiment of the light side, the avatar of ALL Jedi. She is pretty much super-Jedi-Jesus: the saviour of us all. Oh, and she’s Palpatine’s granddaughter. We’re still trying to figure that one out. Either she’s the child of a clone, or Palpatine was getting it on with a few slave girls. Regardless, she’s his rightful heir, but instead, she allies with Kylo Ren, who gives his life for hers, and she then kills her grandfather and his lackeys and saves the everyone, everywhere. She then heads to the old Skywalker homestead, buries Luke and Leia’s lightsabres and then scratches her ass and has a sandwich.
The film is extremely fast-paced. Almost too fast-paced. In fact, this film could have been stretched out to 3 hours instead of 2.20. Throughout the film, you get the feeling that they were so eager to get to the end that they left chunks out all over the place. Moments are left hanging. Characters are almost forgotten as soon as you meet them. The plot is thin, to say the least.
If you’re one of the easily pleased Star Wars fans that thrives on bad characters, overblown SFX and poor writing then you’re going to love the new film. It’s got action, adventure and lightsabres. It’s everything a fan could want. If you are the snobbish intellectual type then there’s a wonderful 48-hour British film of paint drying. (It’s very emotional.)
That’s it, the new trilogy is over. The old trilogy was better. Still, this film is better than the last two. But, The Mandalorian is still the best Star Wars release in the last decade.