Well, OK, Let's Talk About Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker

Photo: Lucasfilm

Scientists agree that the leading cause of climate change is carbon dioxide emitted by people offering their opinions about Star Wars movies. I am sad to say that we are only making the problem worse today. The Rise of Skywalker is out today, a big weird mess of a movie that we aren’t sure what to do with.

Jason Schreier and Chris Kohler got together today to talk it through. Also, just like in Rise of Skywalker, there’s a random cameo appearance from another fan favourite Kotaku staffer that doesn’t advance the plot and is purely for fanservice.

Jason Schreier: Let me start with this: At least it wasn’t as bad as the last season of Game of Thrones.

Chris Kohler: Well, I was going to say, let’s get our priors out in the open first, and then we can come back to Game of Thrones. What do you think of Star Wars one through eight?

Jason: On the scale of Star Wars fandom, I’m probably somewhere in the middle—I’m enough of a fan to see them all on opening weekend, and I’ve generally liked all of them so far, even the prequels (which are bad but at least watchable), but I’m not as emotionally invested as I am in a lot of other series. I also loved The Last Jedi—sorry, haters!—in large part because it challenged the status quo and asked interesting questions, which is what I like to see in big epic narratives. What about you?

Chris: Basically the same. Wasn’t old enough to see the first three movies in the theatre, but watched them on TV, cared enough to see all the Special Editions in theatres, saw all the prequels, although I hadn’t actually watched the prequels a second time in the intervening 20 years. We watched them this week and they were, you know, not great. I was happy to see The Force Awakens basically save the Star Wars series by being interesting and watchable, and The Last Jedi is brilliant. One of the great things about The Last Jedi is, as you say, that it takes all the assumptions about Star Wars and starts poking at them, giving us a new way to think about these long-established archetypes and plot points. Rise of Skywalker pretty much pretends that didn’t happen.

Jason: Yeah, and even more recently, Jedi: Fallen Order did the same exact thing in some really interesting ways. I won’t spoil the story at all, but the first good single-player Star Wars in ages also happens to ask some great questions about the nature of Jedi and whether interventionism does more harm than good.

So here we have two thoughtful Star Wars stories that really leave you wondering, and then Rise of Skywalker comes along to say “Fuck that, we’re going back to the status quo.” It was a bad movie for many reasons—the plot holes, the whiplash pacing, the way it completely failed characters like Rose and Finn—but the worst thing about it, in my opinion, is how it decided that actually, Jedi Are Perfect. Whereas The Last Jedi stood out in its declaration that living well in the present means respecting but not unabashedly revering the past, Rise of Skywalker tells moviegoers that the past is all that matters. From the evil mastermind being Palpatine (COME ON) to the climax requiring Rey to call upon the ghosts of Jedi past, the takeaway here is that Star Wars will never change.

Photo: Lucasfilm

Chris: Yeah, let’s talk about Palpatine. I’m not opposed to the idea of bringing him back here, considering his prominence in both previous trilogies. We’ve clearly been moving towards the redemption of Kylo Ren, but in order to do that he had to help defeat, you know, something. And insofar as Snoke was unceremoniously offed during Last Jedi with nobody else to replace him, that sort of put whoever was going to be in charge of Rise of Skywalker between a rock and a hard place.

With those constraints, why not undead Palpatine?

Jason: For starters, because Palpatine is the least interesting villain in the whole damn series! But even beyond that, bringing homeboy back to life completely undercuts Vader’s sacrifice and the whole gang’s accomplishments in the original trilogy. Explaining his return as “dark Sith stuff” is not satisfying at all. And... who the HELL did he have a child with??? What were the mechanics of that? Did he find a woman who consensually had a child with him? Why did nobody stop to even ask which one of Rey’s parents was Palpatine’s kid? There are so many questions here.

Gita Jackson: Hi, I haven’t seen this movie, but you cannot ever convince me that Palpatine has fucked. Thank you.

Chris: It’s canon now, like Elan Sleazebaggano.

Jason: If they wanted to do the Kylo redemption story with another villain, why not create someone new? There’s certainly no shortage of lore to draw from in the Star Wars universe. Bringing back Palpatine shows sheer lack of creativity... but hey, I guess that’s the running theme of this movie.

Chris: Well, because to create someone entirely new in the third film of a trilogy would be strange—where have they been, then? I’d have a harder time wrapping my head around a total new person showing up in the 11th hour, like Zeromus in Final Fantasy IV, than I did believing that Palpatine had a Horcrux stashed away that let him drag himself back for one last failure. That said, his presence here is clearly born out of the same desire to bring back literally everyone who was ever in a Star Wars movie. Putting Warwick Davis back into the Wicket costume for a two-second clip that came out of nowhere, for instance. The film felt less like an ending to this trilogy and more of a reunion special.

Jason: There’s no better way to undercut the emotional resonance of Ghost Han Solo than to do the same thing with Ghost Luke Skywalker roughly 30 seconds later. “Star Wars: The Reunion” is a good way to sum up this movie.

I keep thinking: as flawed as the prequels were, at least they were creative? For every wooden Hayden Christensen pout or awful line about midichlorians there were also big, exciting set pieces and interesting pieces of worldbuilding. Pod racing, clones, Order 66... there were things in those movies that we hadn’t seen before.

The Rise of Skywalker, though? In a few months I can’t imagine I’ll even remember a single scene. There were no memorable moments, no creative new planets or interesting additions to what we know about Star Wars. The coolest artistic decision was the Kylo-Rey psychic connection, and even that was an innovation from The Last Jedi. It was just rehash after rehash, culminating in a big wet thud. Did your theatre also laugh when Kylo and Rey kissed and then Kylo disappeared? I can’t imagine a less emotionally moving scene.

Actually, I take that back - Babu Frik owned. That’s all, though!

Photo: Lucasfilm

Chris: I was kind of weirded out when they kissed because I did not feel in any way that that was where their relationship was going???? mods????

But no, I agree. I will remember Babu Frik. I also liked whatever that new droid was. The cone on a wheel that has emotions.

Jason: Yes, droid thing.

Chris: Yeah.

Jason: Even Babu Frik is a reminder of how cowardly the storytelling in Rise of Skywalker is, though. They set up these great emotional stakes for C-3PO, who has to sacrifice his entire memory to help save the universe, only to take it all back an hour later because R2-D2 can just magically restore him. What was the point?

“Stakes are for Peter Luger.” —Rise of Skywalker’s creative team, probably.

Chris: Yeah, it’s like they didn’t know if they wanted to make us laugh or cry or what with C-3PO’s story—first it’s maudlin, then he jokes about having another solution right before Babu friks his memory, and then it’s cheap amnesia jokes, and then R2-D2 restores from an old backup. If it had all just been comic relief that would have made more sense.

But yeah, I felt like Rey would have been, you know, happy to have redeemed this lost soul, but not “let’s make out” happy.

Jason: I actually bought the kiss because they have great chemistry, but yeah, it was weird. I almost feel like the writers decided she’d be Palpatine’s granddaughter rather than Luke’s or Leia’s just so they could do that? Weird either way.

Chris: She really didn’t need to be anybody, which was the point of The Last Jedi.

Jason: Yeah, what an absurd retcon! Here’s The Last Jedi trying to portray this strong message about how greatness can come from anyone, not just dynasties, and Rise of Skywalker shits all over it. I half-expected Ghost Luke to end his little monologue with “By the way, fuck the last movie.”

Chris: Or how perhaps the Jedi-Sith duality, the idea that if a person is not perfectly good they have to become all evil to compensate, the idea that if you use the Force you either join a celibate clan of robed wizards or you join Evil Company, might be a bad idea?

But no, Skywalker slams the brakes on that and we’re back to “the Jedi finally destroy the Sith once and for all” as the conclusion. And, again, that is not per se an unsatisfying conclusion, but it is strange to append that to The Last Jedi which sought a more nuanced and human denouement to the whole thing. I think it respected Star Wars enough to ask questions about it, whereas Rise of Skywalker idolizes Star Wars too much to truly deal with it with anything other than kid gloves.

The final middle finger to The Last Jedi was not only pushing Rose Tico to the sidelines, but making sure to lampshade it with explicit dialogue. “Rose, are you coming on this adventure?” “No, I have to stay here and wash the landspeeders. General’s orders.”

Like, ok, I get it, you want to take the film in a different direction, but it’s so weird that it’s done so obviously to the point that it’s explicitly written into the dialogue. It’s jarring.

Jason: It’s especially discomfiting knowing what Kelly Marie Tran had to deal with online, facing so many threats and nasty messages from fans when The Last Jedi launched that she had to delete her social media presence. I really want to read the behind-the-scenes piece about this movie’s development, because it’s inexplicable to me that the creators decided to bury Rose like that yet introduce a brand new partner for Finn in the movie’s final hour. I read some old Rise of Skywalker leaks that included a scene in which Lando says his daughter was kidnapped by the First Order—I guess that was supposed to be Jannah? But by cutting that scene and leaving in the final interaction between the two of them, they just made things confusing.

Chris: Oh! Huh. Yes, that last scene sure did make absolutely zero sense.

Jason: Side note: I could rant for an hour about how they wasted John Boyega in this trilogy! Finn was ultimately such a disappointing character, which is too bad, because Boyega is great and did his best.

Photo: Lucasfilm

Chris: So, all these odd choices aside, I feel like the film taken as a whole just felt so... I think the word is rushed. They went to so many places, introduced so many characters, and gave nothing any room to breathe.

Jason: Yeah, like why was Charlie from Lost in there???

Chris: I feel like they either should have done a brand new story with the new characters, or they should have tried to wrap up the pieces already on the board, but they tried to do both and even at two and a half hours there simply wasn’t enough time to do all of that without going at a weird breakneck pace.

Jason: It was, without a doubt, a mess. I’ll need to give it some more time before I can say this for sure, but right now it feels to me like the worst film in the entire trilogy of trilogies. Even Attack of the Clones (my previous least favourite) had some special moments—I’ll never, ever forget how the crowd flipped out when Yoda came out of the shadows with a lightsaber to take on Count Dooku. Sure, that was pandering, but at least it was unlike anything we’d seen before. Rise of Skywalker felt like it was created in a lab by AI bots picking out random old Star Wars characters and plot points and then stringing them all together with no sense of theme, pace, or structure.

Chris: And feeling like they needed to give Chewbacca a medal, which again feels like a plot point you’d see in a Christmas special or a parody.

What did you think about Leia? I felt like the use of cut footage was smart, but they way overdid it in an attempt to show how clever they could be by writing new dialogue around random interjections by Carrie Fisher. They could have had maybe half the Leia scenes and it might have worked a lot better—why not just leave Leia out of it after the trio take off in the Falcon?—but they had to keep cutting back to her so she could ham it up with Greg Grunberg, unnecessarily for the plot.

Jason: I think that if you’re making a movie and the actor behind one of your principal characters dies, you have to know that your audience will be thinking about that the entire time they’re watching. As a result, any scene involving that character will immediately distract the audience from the plot as they start wondering how it was done and whether it’s all CGI (a la Rogue One’s weird Grand Moff Tarkin stuff) or what. There’s also going to be no real weight to that character’s death, since we all know it has to happen sooner or later. In other words, they should have killed her off-screen in a sentimental way and been done with it.

Chris: I’m not sure what I expected out of Rise of Skywalker, but it wasn’t this. In the end, I guess this was how Star Wars had to end, with something that fans can fight over until the heat death of the universe. And I did promise to get back to Game of Thrones, and I’m going to give the advantage here to... season 8 of Game of Thrones. That moved way too quickly, too, but it at least felt like an ending to the show we’d been watching. Rise of Skywalker tried to be an ending to not just the previous two films, but of the previous eight, which in the end was too much of a job, and probably not necessary.

Photo: Lucasfilm

Jason: The last season of Game of Thrones left me way angrier, but that’s probably because I’m more emotionally attached to that series (started reading the books in, like, 2000) than I ever have been to Star Wars. (In fact, I think I took a day off while working for you at Wired when Dance with Dragons came out so I could devour it immediately.)

Overall, though, it was a bad year for franchise endings. Avengers: Endgame wasn’t perfect but I liked it a lot, so credit to those folks for sticking the landing in a way that felt mostly satisfying. And, hey, Watchmen’s ending was pretty great.

Here’s hoping that, unshackled from the Skywalker saga, a bunch of cool creative people can do some cool creative things with Star Wars that make us forget this all happened. And here’s hoping we never see a Skywalker movie again.

Chris: Don’t worry, Jason, the Ice and Fire books will do a better job of it. Look forward to the final volume debuting the same year as Star Wars Episode X starring Rey Skywalker.


Editor's Note: This article has the US release date. We will update this article as soon as possible with an Australian release date, if available.


Comments

    I feel like the Rise of Skywalker was Disney trying to appease as many fans as possible. My theory is that the more you liked the Last Jedi, the more you'll hate Rise of Skywalker.

    Also, it's obvious that Disney didn't have this trilogy thought out when Force Awakens released. Last Jedi undid much of what was in Force Awakens, then Rise of Skywalker comes along and tries to 'fix' what they undid in the Last Jedi.

    It feels like JJ Abrams had an idea for something, then Rian Johnson came along and kicked his sand castle over and then when Abrams got back for the third film he spent the whole picture saying 'I can still fix this to what I want'...

    I'm one of those who was super lukewarm on Last Jedi. I can appreciate that they tried something different, but there were just a lot of problems when you look into it behind why people acted the way they did and how everything panned out (though end scene with Luke and Kylo is awesome as well as the throne room stuff). From this, I was OK with Rise of Skywalker, but the groans of the sage trying to keep it all together was evident.

    When Chewie finds out about Leia though... heartbreaking scene.. poor guy loses everyone..

      To be honest, I just wanted one scene of Chewie flying away with Lando, in the falcon at the end. Everything come full circle, buds going off to be buds in the galaxy with each other and take whats her name to find her family. That would've been a nice shot imho.

      The last jedi was terrible. It destabilized starwars cannon and was internally inconsistent and full of gigantic plot holes even just within itself.

      There was no possible way that rise of Skywalker was going to be any good.

      I am going to see a lot of hate for this, but The Last Jedi was easily my favourite Star Wars film and I thought this one was just what the rest of them were - big silly action films with space wizards and some fun special effects. Which I was fine with.

      Rise of Skywalker was one big dumb set piece after big dumb set piece, and while I preferred what TLJ was going for (and it had much better set pieces too), for the most part that's what I expect and want from a Star Wars film. It's pure, unadulterated wish-fulfilment, a grand adventure that looks like it has stakes and some deeper meaning, but is really just a sequence of excuses to have the space wizards fight. And that's fun. I enjoyed it. TLJ was what I want if I'm expecting more from the franchise, but RoS is a pretty fitting finale to what was always a big, dumb space opera, because it was another big, dumb space opera.

      Hey, if I had my way Star Wars would look very different, but if there is any major problem with RoS it's that it was exactly the same as the other Star Wars films and I don't really understand why everyone hates it as much as they do. Granted the film would be much better if the first 30 minutes was cut, and I'm sure at least one person in production was thinking that as they neared picture lock, but after that it's just another Star Wars film.

    I enjoyed Rise of Skywalker, and the criticism here is really reaching for things to just complain about. Complaints about Palpatine having had sex? In the timeline it would have been prior to his 'disfigurement' by Windu, so its simply possible ageism on the side of the Kotaku staff on a middle aged man having a child. Palpatine returning with cloning and body hopping? Its the broad plot of Dark Empire, including his having a world killer fleet. Leia having had Jedi training? Unsurprising really. Whats more surprising is the lack of critical thinking where people needed things spelt out for themselves on screen or thinking it wouldn't have happened.

    Particularly highlighted as the possibility of Jannah being Lando's daughter was present in a conversation between her and Finn, and then later her conversation with Lando. So paying a modicum of attention would have the possibility in your mind, and something they could explore together later which didn't need to be in the film.

    I'm still of the opinion that Palpatine was feeding Rey hogwash to an extent in that with striking him down he'd then be able to openly bodyjack her, rather than have the 'wisdom of the Sith' reside within her. I mean, who takes Palpatine's word at face value. (Besides audience members who should know better)

      No every point they've raised is well deserved and obvious. I was at the midnight screening and I walked out feeling confused about how I felt about the movie. Like I love Star Wars, but it was so rushed, so ret-conny of the last film and it just felt like a mish mashed badly paced fan fiction movie. But I enjoyed the Last Jedi so that's probably why I couldn't enjoy the fan service and pandering that happened in this film.

        I enjoyed The Last Jedi as well except for the whole casino planet sidequest. If you cut that out I wouldn't really have any complaints about it.

          Honestly, that, and how they reduced Poe to an idiot, those were my main issues. I didn't like how they treated his character at all. Those issues aside, it was effective at what it wanted to do.

        But *was* it retconny? Rey's parentage. Why would you take Kylo Ren's word as lore? Like someone said to me earlier, it was the middle chapter and the elements weren't truly finished til the final chapter.

        The fact is, Snoke never got a backstory, Rian had the chance and never gave it to him. So what they did for him in 9, actually made sense despite the shoehorning element. It was fascinating too considering the ramifications it has in a broader sense on the Star Wars universe itself. Enjoying the Last Jedi doesn't mean you couldn't enjoy this one, they're not mutually exclusive of each other. A friend of mine is an ardent defender of TLJ and enjoyed this too (though he does like TLJ more still, he said this still followed on with 'somewhat logical elements').

          Except we know that there was no over all arch planned the entire time. Who the hell goes into a trilogy with no full story to tell and just try and wing it each movie?

          Imagine if the Marvel movies did that... I doubt we'd be up to number 25 or whatever it is now.

            Except we know that there was no over all arch planned the entire time.

            Exactly. So Rian's ideals over Rey's parentage couldn't have been considered concrete as they had to be considered 'middle of the story'. Given there was no full arc to the story at his point, we have to concede they were allowed to elaborate on it later on.

            Who the hell goes into a story with no plan? *cough DC cough* *cough Disney with SW cough* We're now seeing DC get it's proverbial shit together finally and we're seeing Disney figure out that long form Star Wars may actually work better for them too.

            But the main point, as you said, it simply can't be retconning, as you stated it wasn't fully planned, so therefor they were allowed to continue with those threads later on. Just not in the ways of course we would've liked. Personally? I wanted Rey to be a clone damn it. I wanted her to fight an evil Rey at the end... but hey...

    Bottom line is the plot of the entire "trilogy" doesn't stack up. It's writing by committee, with a bunch of social agendas shoehorned in. I'm actually shocked that a worplace occ health and safety plotline wasn't somehow woven in.

    For me the three trilogies of the Skywalker saga reflect the social climate of the era in which they were made.

    Praising The Last Jedi as a masterpiece - check
    Spend more time in a Rise of Skywalker article talking about The Last Jedi - check
    Talking about B-Tier Rose Tico like she was more than a second note character - check
    Putting blame about the movie on it cratering to Star Wars past - check
    Bringing current politics into the framework of a movie - nope...
    Making fans out to be toxic basement dwelling manbabies - nope...

    Do they send you guys a checklist when making these articles? Cause I see the same "conversation" in just about every mainstream review of Rise of Skywalker to date. We know everyone in the media circles LOVES The Last Jedi like it's the best film ever made, but we don't need to hear about it all over again when something else is happening.

    Was Rise of Skywalker good? No.
    Was Rise of Skywalker bad? No.
    Was Rise of Skywalker a mess? Yes.

    Rise of Skywalker tried to please both sides of The Last Jedi divide and it ended up pleasing not that many people. Everyone predicted that this movie was going to be a mess since the directors came out saying that they didn't care what the other did. This wasn't going to be a movie to please anyone, it was just done to close the story that Disney wanted told.

    There did seem to be a couple of "fuck the last movie" lines thrown in. Luke's comments about a jedi weapon deserving of respect.
    The morale raising of TLJ apparently leading to no further support but Llando recruits a sizeable force in mere hours.

      Heeeey, noone says no to Lando 'the man' Calrisssssian!

    Well, I liked it
    I understand all of the criticism levelled at it, but those things didn’t bother me nearly as much as it did the reviewers.
    I left the cinema satisfied, and looking forward to seeing it again.

      Yep, I agree - everything they've pointed out above is fair and accurate, but didn't affect my opinion as strongly as it seems to have done for them. I suppose that I'm annoyed that Disney/Abrams were happy with pushing out a movie that's just 'okay' to cap out such an important film franchise. IMHO, this needed to be no less than a 10/10 movie to stick the landing.

      I think the biggest problem I have with this film is the runtime - it needed another 20 - 30 minutes to allow certain parts to breathe, or better yet, extend out to ten episodes to tell the story properly. The pacing is what hurts this movie the most, creating unnecessary plot holes purely through lack of explanation - explanation that is probably sitting on the cutting room floor.

      Early reports say that the initial runtime for this movie, until VERY recently, was 2hrs 45 - I'd love to know what was cut out and what made them so afraid of finishing the series on a longer movie. No one had a problem with the length of the last two Avengers movies???

      There's a fair few examples of longer directors cuts making mediocre movies quite a bit better - 'Batman vs Superman', 'Daredevil' and 'The Town' all spring to my mind (poor Affleck). Disney could do much worse than release a 'Directors Cut' for this one...

        Totally agree.
        Another 20-30 minutes to set up the set pieces would have been great.

    Oh the irony of these guys complaining about how TROS craps on what Rian Johnson did in TLJ... when that's what Rian basically did to a franchise lol

      No, I think Rian Johnson just severely over-estimated the collective intelligence of rabid Star Wars fans...hence JJ going back to treating us like the bunch of entitled toddlers we are, and getting a serviceable but uninspired movie as a result.

      If anyone reading this were part of the loud, obnoxious vocal minority that spent the last few years ripping on TLJ over and over (Ruin Johnson! Oh my, you're so clever, aren't you!), then can I just say personally *fuck you* for causing Episode 9 to be much less than it could have been.

      Last edited 21/12/19 6:35 pm

        lol the loud and obnoxious are certainly a minority... but those who hated TLJ certainly arent.

        It's ok if you liked TLJ man, watch it as much as you like. I, and many others like me, however have voted with my wallet - I haven't seen a star wars movie since, and I won't be watching TROS. If anything had an effect on TROS it's that; Disney likes money and they aren't getting mine after TLJ :).

    I’m even tired of my own opinions on this trilogy

    it reminded me once again. the worst part of Star Wars is the fans. OMG Force didnt take any risks, Jedi, ewww not THOSE risks, Rise, OMG he killed Star Wars with fan service. I enjoyed all three films. Parts I loved in each, parts I didnt, but at the end of the day they all made me smile and entertained, that far more than anything those fans have ever done for me.

      You're describing a fan base numbering millions. There's nothing whiny or schizophrenic or hypocritical about all three of those reactions coming from a fanbase this big. It's just different people with different opinions.

        It's just different people with different opinions.

        but it is not just that simple is it? The degeneration we live in now, is not just about having an opinion, it is about having hyperbolic opinions with no grounding in reality. I get someone saying 'I dont like Jedi' but that is not what we get now is it, it normally descend into an ultra depressing full blown and frankly ridiculous rant bordering on 'Worse. Film. Ever' or 'I wrote something better when I was ten years old, so Rian deserves to never work in the industry ever again'. blah blah, these arent opinions these are just children (especially full grown man boys) trying to write the most hyperbolic piece to seem like they are the cleverest person in a room or trying to be the biggest troll in the room.

          Those extreme examples can be found on any topic these days, but they don't reflect the article or the comments left by people here so it seems pointless to introduce them.

            Not really, because they are so wide spread and virtually the norm, they are extremely relevant. In fact these days, baby Yoda aside, I am far more likely never to read a single positive about Star Wars. Indeed some of the stuff here are the most grounded I have read in ages but in no way should we just accept the ultra negative and be complacent to the affects those factions have on the franchise. Especially those who are trying to build something new. Yes Jedi had faults, but all its strengths were abandoned to appease fans who, clearly dont want to be appeased. They want this glorious Star Wars greatest that is in their head to exist as they see it, and only as they see it, and if it doesnt, the film makers at fault, not their overactive and unmatchable expectations

              Absolutely. The bruises from the psycho trolls are all over Episode 9. It's a good movie, but it could have been GREAT.

    Honestly I think what killed my enthusiasm for Star Wars is that they just don't seem to make any sort of effort to be consistent with things. By no means should the Jedi and the Force be limited exclusively to what we've seen so far, but at this point the Force is just straight up magic and things do/don't do whatever the individual scene calls for. I don't think anyone behind these movies would bat an eye at a scene where R2D2 uses the Force directly after a scene explaining that the Force doesn't work with droids and directly before a scene where R2D2 could solve everyone's problems just by using the Force the same way again but all the characters seem to forget he can.

    I really like Rey but I felt nothing when she died because it was obvious at that point she'd only stay dead if they wanted her dead. The Last Jedi ate away at the audiences ability to trust what they were seeing with it's 'cram in as many mirrored tropes as we can' attitude, and Rise of the Skywalker finished the job by removing all restrictions on what can happen. There just doesn't seem to be any gravity to anything anymore.
    In hindsight I think that might be why people felt like Rey got too strong too quickly. I know plenty of them just rejected Rey as a character outright but it's hard to deny that it felt like Rey advanced faster than both Anakin and Luke. I think it's because Kylo Ren stops a blaster bolt midair. It happens right at the start and it sort of shows how the new trilogy feels about the Force. The Force Awakens, and the trilogy overall, has quite a few of those 'nobody said it can't happen that way but it's sort of implied it can't by the fact it hasn't'. Holdo's suicide run is a good example. So is the way the The Last Jedi and Solo were all about petrol. Never heard anything about fuel and suddenly it's a core plot point. Then it's never brought up again.

    It's interesting because I can find the silver linings in the prequels. I can spend hours going through the bits that had great potential even though I think they're pretty bad movies. The rise of the Empire, fall of the Jedi, the good person led down a dark path. There is a brilliant version of that story and it's not radically different from the version we got. I'm struggling to do that with the new trilogy. I can point to heaps of cool images and a couple of decent concepts but for the most part it's just a bunch of stuff that happened.

    Also, did anyone else feel like they were actively mean to C3PO for no good reason? I don't really like him but they treated him like he was Jar Jar.

    I liked it.

    The film jumped around a bit too much in the beginning, but in the second half it all sort of came together.

    Meh, wasn't expecting much from JJ. With his similar treatment of Star Trek under the guise of an altered reality. He's simply in the business of riding the rails of his predecessors creativity.

    I'm pretty amazed that people think in some way that JJ didn't know exactly what RJ was going to do, (and vice versa) and let him have as much rope as he needed. It seems pretty clear he had the broad strokes brushed out, and RJ had freedom, but following a few guidelines -
    * Rey seems drawn inexplicably to the dark side, and can't explain why..
    * Finn learns to stop running and stand up for himself
    * Poe learns that leadership isn't always about going in two feet first
    * Snoke - do what you want, I've got bigger plans
    * Reys parents were no one really important, bait and switch
    * We find out Luke didn't run away to "power up", but that he was scared, and by the start of 9, he's relearned the importance of the Jedi, and a mentory ghost figure

    I mean I liked TLJ, but "revolutionary new directions: like "The Jedi are failures" , we had a prequel trilogy devoted to exactly that, Luke's journey walked them back already. Yodas approach in ep 5/6 was very different to his approach in 1/2/3. Your parents were nobodies, not entirely untrue, and literally Anakin Skywalkers lineage.. (as far as we know...though most likely technically more similar to Reys..)

    This was very much the episode 9 that episode 7 hinted at, and deserved. Take that as you will.

    It feels to me like JJ tried to squeeze two movies into one to resolve issues with the plot and story in TLJ.

    TLJ has some promise in some areas but for me it largely failed at being coherant with the larger star wars universe. It plays out more like Rian giving a big middle finger to anything star wars that came before.

    If you look at ROS through that lens it makes sense why it jumps around. If you have seen all the currently cannon material then most of the movie would make sense to you. Also Palps is a clone in ROS. His original soul went into the clone. Its easy to miss the dialog explaining this at the beginning as it wasn't overly explicit on this. His decay appears to be caused by imperfections in that process hence the need for some crazy force antics.

    ROS isn't an overly good movie but it is far more watchable than TLJ was just because even though it jumps around the story makes sense.

    Overall the whole trilogy is worse than the prequals. I think they should have gotten JJ to do all 3 and we would have had something much better than what we got. There are clear middle fingers to TLJ and JJ said that he did give Rian the outline he had for the next movies and Rian chose to ignore it. This is old news that was known when TLJ came out so ROS shouldn't be a surprise to anyone with how it deals with TLJ.

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