MCN Commentary & Analysis

Review/List: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (SPOILERS!)

The Non-Spoiler Review is here.

After chewing on this for a bit, I am just going to make a list of things I feel about the film. And I will look forward to added such issues from others.

Let me start with the couple of things I loved in the film. I loved the “They win by making you think you’re alone. There’s more of us,” moment. It is what Star Wars is all about, really. It doesn’t completely make sense, but in movies, we forgive things that may not make sense when they make our hearts soar. The other beat I loved was when Finn shows real emotion, not just earnest concern, toward the end. This is not a gear we often see from John Boyega, though I have seen it from him in real life. And when he lets down his guard, it is quite moving for me.

But enough about the good stuff.

What is with the Star Trek-y opening sequence? I can’t even describe fully — after one viewing — why it struck me as so Star Trek. Perhaps the idea of the planet in the foreground holding still as the camera zooms around it, like Star Trek? Star Wars doesn’t have that visual relationship with objects in space. And indeed, it stops playing that way after the first sequence. But… oy… it took me out of things early.

I don’t really believe that Lucasfilm or Disney or JJ Abrams are racists who felt they had to erase the blossoming interracial relationship between John Boyega’s Finn and Kelly Marie Tran’s Rose Tico. But they did just that. And worse, they teamed Finn up with a new female sidekick, though there is almost no trace of romance, Naomi Ackie’s Jannah. This leans into another classic movie sin, in which black people only really connect with black people, which is absurd on its face. There are other angles one can take on this. But in a movie with very few black characters, the pairing of the two of the three most significant in this episode seems, uh, obvious and oblivious.

What in God’s name happened to Harrison Ford in the last couple years? He actually looked like he has had a stroke and they did all the make-up around that. And Mark Hamill, who as far as I can tell has been healthy, also looked kinda horrible… like he shrunk two inches and put on 50 pounds. Carrie Fisher looked as one would expect… though for me, having Billie Lourd in a high percentage of shots with her real-life dead parent creeped me out. I got the idea of loving homage, but yick.

The f-ing Kylo Ren helmet. All that care and attention brought forth to fix his helmet and they had to stitch it together with red? Really? Made no sense, except as a new toy.

The new powers. I didn’t mind when The Force started working as a walkie-talkie or when Rey could move a pile of rocks or Luke astral-projects himself in front of Ben Solo. But grabbing a transport out of the air? Teleportation? Healing deadly wounds? Does The Force turn you into Baby Jesus?

And speaking of all the new powers… Rey comes perilously close to being Superman in this film. Given the things she is capable of doing, why is it so hard, for instance, to get to the tracker on a platform in the middle of the massive seas that everyone else is scared of trying? She can pretty much fly. She can throw herself a far distance. Really, she could have just parted the seas… but that would have been ridiculous… but it would have fit the ever-expanding array of superpowers. By the end, it was the end of The Matrix, as Neo finds his full powers inside The Matrix. Superman. Super wrong for Star Wars.

New Creatures = New Toys. Every other scene doesn’t have to be the new Mos Eisley Cantina. I expect some new creatures in every Star Wars, but this just felt like the Disney Licensing Department creating enough new product to get over the year’s absence of the franchise.

Likewise, Celebrities. I would watch Richard E. Grant read the phone book. Literally. Love the guy and how he brings an originality to the most banal moments. But what is he and Keri Russell doing in this movie? I would have been fine with Keri Russell’s character being voiced by her if she never opened the mask. But JJ couldn’t resist. And Grant is, like a “Law & Order” second-act villain reveal, too big a name to just be another guy on the bridge of the ship. I adore Domhnall Gleeson, but while he has done amazing work, he’s still “that guy from…” Grant ain’t that. I wanted to be in the Star Wars universe for a couple of hours… not getting surprised by celebrities. And the Greg Grunberg/Dominic Monaghan thing… I get that you are loyal to your old casts, JJ… but stop it! Star Wars, not “was that…?”

The jokes. Some were funny. Some were very funny. But damned if the need to have a clever quip right on the edge of every dramatic twist doesn’t distract and undermine all of those dramatic moments. It’s like a hyperactive puppy that wants to lick your face, which is adorable for the first hour or so and has you asking your friends if they want to adopt a very loving dog by Day 2.

I wanted to love the turn of Kylo Ren back into Ben Solo. But aside from making it a gimmick to explain the death of Leia — she just gave it all up — I wasn’t terribly convinced. And what was the connection between Rey and Ben, really? They aren’t related. They aren’t really in love. I mean… What happens when an angry, sad child finally grows up and realizes how much damage their irrational rage has done? (It struck me during the movie that Ben really became Kylo Ren in response to having that giant schnoz when the parents had perfect petites.) This guy killed both his parents, when you think of it. These are huge story pieces. But they just became blended into the good ol’ Star Wars story of the moment.

The Old Palpatine Switcheroo. This is actually two switcheroos, both of which I hated. Switcheroo #1: “Your parents were nobodies… because they wanted to be.” You are really Palpatine’s granddaughter. Oy. But even more than the shock of the WTF is the kind of “so what?” about the whole thing. One of Rey’s parents (I forget which) had Force powers, but was hiding out, not fighting their evil dad? And then dad killed the parents and Rey was hidden. And she can’t remember because… I never got a clear idea of why, especially since she kinda remembers. Does Rey show any signs of her genetics, aside from having The Force? Does everything have to be a funhouse mirror reflection of Luke and Leia’s story?

Switcheroo #2: Once Rey ends up with Palpatine and is told he is gramps, Palpatine tells her that his life force is going to go into her and she will rule the universe. But she isn’t cooperative, so he decides to suck the life out of her and Ben Solo so he can be young again. But why wasn’t that his plan from the start? When was he thinking, “I could suck the life out of those kids and be young for decades more, but I would prefer to give over power to the young woman who I never met before and who has been fighting the dark side for three full movies!”? Waaaaaaa?

All of this leads to something else I hated… Skywalker rises because Rey gets a name change? She doesn’t even get a tramp stamp with, “Ben Forever!” What if she changes her mind again? And of course, going into that moment of decision, the movie doesn’t let the audience consider the option. She is a Palpatine. She is, maybe, in love with a Solo. She could have gone with Rey 3PO or Rey2 D2 or hell, Rey Windu or in a feminist move, Rey Organa. But the rise of the dead Skywalkers is because some girl took their name without asking? Couldn’t they have called it “Palpatine Rises?”

As we get towards the end, JJ is throwing everything at us he can. But the thing that made me instantly want to punch something was an entire fleet of ships with the planet-killing power of the old Death Star(s). WHAT?!?! For 8 movies, we have been in the perpetual pursuit of stopping the ONE Death Star (and the next and the next and so on…). If JJ wanted to change it up and, for instance, make a ship with the power of a Death Star but smaller and faster and able to jump in and out of warp… okay. But all of a sudden, there are 50 or more ships, each of which can destroy a planet? Come on, man. Don’t even get me started on how the rebels can realistically take on all of those ships… but then, they can’t… but they can as soon at the Falcon shows up. (And as I mentioned in the spoiler-free review, Lando has a giant grin on his face as they come to save the day, but there are shots where people are dying and that kind of charming smirking feels wrong.)

Have I mentioned that I almost did spit-takes when the Porgs and the Ewoks showed up? Or when Rey traded up to her Lady Speed Saber? (That was an idea I like… but it was just done so poorly.)

Good starting list…

Addition 12/20 11a – “Wait, now they fly?” This is an old screenwriters’ trick. When you want to do a bit that you know will surprise the audience because it doesn’t really make sense, call it out openly. In this case, it is the Royal Guard suddenly having Boba Fett-style flying backpacks. Why do they have them? It doesn’t really add much to the movie, except more targets. But ya gotta sell those toys!!!

30 Responses to “Review/List: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (SPOILERS!)”

  1. Luke Thompson says:

    Rey and Ben actually are related, on a technicality.

    Palpatine is sort-of Anakin’s dad, by impregnating Shmi with midichlorians. So Anakin is kind of Rey’s uncle, and definitely Ben’s grandfather.

    JJ keeping the Star Wars incest tradition alive! Though I guess they are at best second cousins and therefore legal.

  2. amblinman says:

    The movie was built like a Marvel movie shoved into a SW context. The Force is now this vague all power that lets you do whatever the plot requires. And who needs training? Apparently now you are born powerful, like a mutant!

    I fought with lots of folks who called Rey a Mary Sue. And she is. The character was perfect in Force, got more perfect in Jedi, and became perfectest in Rise. They really fucked Rey over.

    I had the same thought about Boyega and Tran as well. And it gets worse: is it me or did they hint that Boyega was in love with Rey? Of course the white girl born of royalty is the most desired.

    Movie sucked. Of course it did. Abrams tried to both create a direct sequel to Force while also ending the trilogy/Skywalker series*. Doomed from the jump.

    *Right. Like 20 from now they won’t fucking retcon a moment between Ben and Rey where they force fuck or whatever. Their kid has to go on a journey to find their grandparents lightsabers and please make this stop.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that the entire Disney run of SW is the result of a fan finding a Monkey’s paw and wishing for more star wars.

  3. amblinman says:

    While I’m here…

    -When did JJ become so bad at action payoffs? The moment when Ben gets the saber while being attacked by the Knights was cool, the payoff was not. And thanks for teasing us over some amazing fight with these mysterious and supposedly badass characters only to make them dopier versions of the red goofs who (poorly) guarded Snoke. The means by which Rey vanquishes Palpetine is so lame, it’s weirdly anti-climactic (And, seems to ape beat for beat how Wonder Woman vanquished Ares). The final battle: how many times did they alternately show us the entire resistance fleet being wiped out and then the entire resistance fleet wiping out the empire? This mimicked Rey and Ben trading force healing hands for what felt 10 minutes at the end.

    -You are 100% right about the scene where Rey is trying to cross a rocky sea to get to the ship holding the wayfinder. But it gets worse from there when she gets to the ship: WHY is this character struggling to suddenly climb things? The first visual of her in the movie is Rey floating in mid-air surrounded by stones circling her that she’s also controlling, thus demonstrating to us she is now very powerful. I dunno, maybe demonstrate this to us in a different way if later in your movie you plan on having her almost fall a couple of times to create suspense. Even the bit trying to replay Empire where Rey has to choose between Ren and jumping. We know she’s now a Galactic Space Mutant. What possible death could you threaten her/the audience with?

    -I cannot believe how fully they erase Last Jedi. And I don’t even understand it. LIke, we all saw that movie. Pretending it didnt’ happen makes this one even LESS connected to the first, not more. It was jarring. Ren goes from saying “No more sith, no more jedi” to a movie packed with nothing but jedi and sith power fights and lore.

    -HOOOOOW did Ben still possess force powers after rejecting Sithhood? Before someone tells me Luke trained him: yes, but his power NOW comes from the dark side, at least the advanced version of it. HE shoulda been busted back down, but this is now Disney Marvel’s Star Wars so Scarlett Witch that shit and let the character be able to do whatever is needed in that moment.

    -Fuck Disney.

  4. palmtree says:

    Amblin, I don’t think Finn was in love with Rey (although that was certainly the red herring intention). I think what he wanted to tell her was that he is force-sensitive. At least that’s how I read it. Why they didn’t settle that mystery by the end is itself a mystery?

    Also, the Rose/Finn thing really does bother me. Thank you, DP, for articulating this. It sucks that they decided to erase a good and compelling character and relationship.

  5. Hcat says:

    I never understood this whole ‘she has to be of some noble blood to have the force’ stuff that people were arguing about after the last installment. Yes there is a Skywalker lineage, but having lived with Star Wars my entire life I had always thought that the Force was teachable to anyone and the only reason it wasn’t used was that it was a died out religion. Otherwise wouldn’t that mean that all those Jedi’s from the prequels were somehow related?

    I’ve been seeing these (though not this one yet), but not really invested in them. They feel more Potterish than Star Wars, slingshotted through with too much plot like they were adapted from a thick novel where the narrative was cut to include big set pieces but whittled away the smaller scenes.

  6. Dr Wally Rises says:

    “-I cannot believe how fully they erase Last Jedi. And I don’t even understand it. LIke, we all saw that movie. Pretending it didnt’ happen makes this one even LESS connected to the first, not more. It was jarring. Ren goes from saying “No more sith, no more jedi” to a movie packed with nothing but jedi and sith power fights and lore.”

    I’d love to know what Rian Johnson thinks of the way Abrams and Terrio have taken a hammer to his movie, although I suspect he’ll go along with it in public. Here’s what drives me crazy – ultimately LUKE DIED FOR NOTHING. It’s explicitly stated that nobody showed up to help the Resistance after the battle of Crait. So Luke’s noble self sacrifice was utterly pointless and the final scene of TLJ with his example inspiring hope throughout the galaxy is rendered meaningless.

    We never find out how Maz got the lightsaber.

    We never find out what Luke’s third lesson was.

    That said, here’s some things I liked. The new characters are, on the whole, interesting. Janaa, Babu Frik, Zorrii and Pryde seem to land in a way that Holdo, DJ and Rose never quite did.

    The Han cameo worked for me emotionally , especially the ‘I know’ call back.
    The Chewie ‘death’ fake-out was a nice little serial ploy, perhaps even a deliberate homage to Marion Ravenwood in the basket from Raiders of the Lost Ark.
    The Leia footage integrates about as well as it could have all thing considered. I thought it would be akin to the way they worked around Phil Hoffman’s passing in the last Hunger Games, with him clip-arted into but not actually participating in the major confrontations. There’s one moment where they have to do the old Oliver Reed in Gladiator trick of shooting the character in shadow from behind, but in the whole it works well.
    Hux going out like a punk was funny.
    The final scene was an appropriate grace note. Not showing Ben as a spirit was the right decision.

  7. Pete B. says:

    Gotta agree with the others that it’s like Abrams wants you to jump from The Force Awakens to The Rise of Skywalker. Hey, the helmet is back! Hey, Rey’s having weird visions of her past! When they made the comment at the beginning about Rey was training, I thought she was training future Jedi, not doing the Star Wars equivalent of American Ninja. But then the “Force Boy” from the end of the last film is gone. Can’t have powers unless your a Skywalker or a Palpatine. I don’t know, I’ll have to see it again to process it all, but I didn’t walk out on a high like I did The Last Jedi. And I’ve seen them all in the theater, going back to 77.

  8. lazarus says:

    This was an abomination, and I agree with pretty much all of DP’s criticisms and those in the comments above, although for me most of the jokes worked well. That’s the best I could say. And there were a lot of scenes and sequences I thought worked well in the moment.

    Unfortunately, Abrams proves once again to be a bitter prequel-hater who in the “victory montage” at the end shows us Endor and Bespin but not Naboo or Coruscant, or any of the other interesting planets Lucas imagined.

    Putting the idiotic Rey/Palpatine connection aside, even if you’re going to go with that, why not bring back all the prominent Force Ghosts for the final battle? Palaptine says “all the Sith are in me” and Rey replies with “and all the Jedi are in me”. So don’t just give us a swirling mass of random actor’s voices we have to distinguish on our own, actually SHOW us Yoda, Obi-Wan, Mace, Qui-Gon, and most importantly, Anakin, who is the character so much of this saga revolves around? Considering how anticlimactic the actual battle was, this would only improved it.

    Same for the coda, where Rey visits Luke’s old home. Why show just Luke and Leia? She was never even on that planet. And it’s where Anakin was born. Do they really think people would have booed the image of Hayden Christiansen, alongside the same younger Luke and Leia they used in that training flashback? Father reunited with his children in the afterlife? How is this not in keeping with the theme? Apparently it was more important to show us the Memory Ghost(??) of Han Solo re-enacting his final scene from The Force Awakens. This cheap fan service ploy was quite possibly the lamest moment in all 9 films. I’d love to hear a defense of it.

    What’s baffling is that they actually went to Lucas for advice this time around, and still managed to give the finger to the whole prequel trilogy he put so much time, effort, and imagination into. Whether you like these films or not, if you’re going to tell interviewers that you’re connecting all the previous films, then actually do so. All Abrams did was resurrect Palpatine, and with ZERO explanation of how that happened.

  9. Dr Wally Rises says:

    “Same for the coda, where Rey visits Luke’s old home. Why show just Luke and Leia? She was never even on that planet. And it’s where Anakin was born. Do they really think people would have booed the image of Hayden Christiansen, alongside the same younger Luke and Leia they used in that training flashback? Father reunited with his children in the afterlife? How is this not in keeping with the theme? Apparently it was more important to show us the Memory Ghost(??) of Han Solo re-enacting his final scene from The Force Awakens. This cheap fan service ploy was quite possibly the lamest moment in all 9 films. I’d love to hear a defense of it.”

    Actually Leia was on Tattooine in Return of the Jedi. Most of what you say I agree with, but the Han scene landed well for me anyway. Both the cute call back to his iconic ‘I know’ line and the way it demonstrated how Rey’s act of compassion killed Kylo Ren and brought Ben Solo back from the depths. By the way – one thing you can credit Abrams for is his casting instincts. It’s interesting that we were this close to Michael Fassbender as Kylo and Saoirse Ronan as Rey. Brilliant actors, but I just can’t picture anyone other than Ridley and Driver in those roles now.

  10. Charles Ardai says:

    Regarding Palpatine’s plan, I got the sense that his plan all along was to get both Rey and Kylo/Ben there and suck the Force out of them, and that he just told Rey the thing about “you will strike me down and my spirit will enter your body and I will rule through your young body!” in order to keep Rey from killing him before Kylo got there.

    And for whatever it’s worth, the Han cameo landed for me. Found myself tearing up. No, it doesn’t really make sense in a realistic way (is he a vision? a ghost? a memory? something else?), but as a bit of poetic storytelling it does. In a novel you wouldn’t question it at all.

    I won’t claim it’s a great movie — there are plenty of things wrong with it — but I found it very satisfying. That it worked at all is something of a miracle, given the storytelling challenges involved, and I came out of the theater feeling good and glad to have seen it.

  11. Buzzcuts says:

    This movie was so bad it made me miss JarJar Binks. Fuck Disney.

  12. palmtree says:

    Ultimately, I don’t blame Disney, but KK, who just doesn’t seem to know how to manage the franchise…at least not nearly on the same level as Kevin Feige. There’s no real vision steering the ship.

  13. Monco says:

    In the words of David, opening weekend is almost never about the movie. For all of the apologists on this blog about The Last Jedi two years ago, this opening is vindication for that film’s ardent critics.

  14. amblinman says:

    @Monco I didn’t like Jedi but I don’t think poor BO is an argument for/against the critical merits of a film. I don’t recall anyone who liked Jedi arguing over how much *more* popular it’s going to make the SW IP.

    They botched it. Straight up. There was evidently no need for a new trilogy when they didn’t seem to have much of anything mapped out beyond the characters simply existing. This is the difference between a trilogy and a franchise. I guess this is why they’re not doing anymore trilogies.

  15. Hcat says:

    ‘Ultimately, I don’t blame Disney, but KK, who just doesn’t seem to know how to manage the franchise’

    I don’t think I agree with that, Disney was the one who set the timeline, Trilogy entries every two years instead of three with spin off films ensuring that Star Wars was an Annual event. How could you insist on that pace and not sacrifice quality control? Even if you agreed that it needed a course correction after Jedi, the extra time could have given them the opportunity to make it a little more fluid. Even though I did not enjoy the prequels I considered them created with inspiration and vision. These are now just assembly line products, another brand where Disney tries to sell my childhood back to me.

  16. palmtree says:

    “How could you insist on that pace and not sacrifice quality control?”

    Marvel does it. That’s my point. Both are owned by Disney, but one has a consistent universe whereas one seems like it’s being made up on the fly.

  17. Hcat says:

    Marvel does not do it. They have rarely pursued quality, their movies (excepting Black Panther) are dull and soulless sitcoms with outrageous production design. The current problem with Star Wars is that they turned it into a Marvel product. Quippy, slight and breathless.

  18. MarkVH says:

    Black Panther is not an exception.

    Also I saw Rise of Skywalker yesterday and seriously: fuck this movie.

  19. palmtree says:

    Hcat, I’m not arguing that “quality” is better in Marvel…just that it’s consistent. Marvel movies have their own consistent identity that is, yes, “quippy, slight, and breathless.” But that’s their strength. Everyone is happy with Marvel movies because they know what they’re getting, and thus you can add in Taika Waititi and Ryan Coogler and get cool, idiosyncratic entries while still satisfying larger story arcs that have to combine dozens of storylines. In other words, there’s an overarching vision.

    SW hasn’t found that identity, at least not a consistent one, in the new films. They’ve just thrown up things to see what would stick. That’s why I think people are upset. It’s the kind of backpedaling that makes it seem like nothing matters and no one’s in charge.

  20. lazarus says:

    For those who think the divisive response to The Last Jedi led to a lower box office debut (and let’s assume eventual total) for The Rise of Skywalker, how to explain that Revenge of the Sith made like $75 million more than the reviled Attack of the Clones? Wouldn’t that have led to a lot of people who had no interest in seeing the third part?

  21. BO Sock Puppet says:

    laz, many of us had been dreaming of seeing the Anakin versus Obi-Wan fight on the volcano planet since reading about it in Starlog back in 1978 or so. Some of those same fans enjoyed the fight scenes in AOTC. Romance stuff sucked, but otherwise? It felt like a payoff to being a fan—you grew up wishing you could see the Jedi in action? Here you go.

    That’s fan service you can sink your teeth into. This new stuff is corporate dreck composed by committee and focus groups. Hardly the hero’s journey, this trilogy. It mocks the hero’s journey, in fact, which means it mocks its source material. Will the BO reflect this? I think it already does.

  22. Dr Wally Rises says:

    Actually the potential for it to outgross TLJ, at least domestically, is still on the table. TROS did $29 million on Monday as opposed to $21 million for TLJ on its own first Monday. Granted, that was almost a week earlier in the calendar and the schools weren’t all out, but still. TLJ was dinged by Jumanji and The Greatest Showman for sure. This time around, Jumanji looks to be dropping quicker than the last film and Cats has been mauled. Unless Spies in Disguise or Little Women really break out then TROS has a much clearer path.

  23. Andy says:

    Not much to add that hasn’t been said. Yes, flaws abound. But personally I’ve always been plenty happy with Star Wars to play the archetypal story over and over again. I enjoyed TROS, and though Last Jedi was a bit of a stumble for the franchise even though I found it interesting to watch.

    My main complaint about TROS is that it didn’t really thematically sum up all 9 movies, only the last 3. Maybe that’s simply an impossible ask, I don’t know. Yes it had lots of winks to the other movies but I think any movie attempting to put a cap on the series would have had more mention of Vader and Anakin.

    The good news is that the main series is finished, and there is so much space to tell new stories in the SW Universe. I’m excited to see what Disney comes up with. I think they’ve done a great job with Marvel and have the money and patience to get it right (eventually 🙂 )

  24. amblinman says:

    “I’m excited to see what Disney comes up with.”

    Kevin Feige is gonna turn it into the SWCU and create a “franchise”. They’ve all but signaled this is what’s coming.

  25. Andy says:

    Having a series of Star Wars movies as good as the Marvel Universe would be a fantastic outcome, IMO. There aren’t many SW movies that are better than the best of MCU.

  26. amblinman says:

    “Having a series of Star Wars movies as good as the Marvel Universe would be a fantastic outcome, IMO.”

    Attack Of The Clones

    I was watching The Mandalorian trying to figure out why this is so much better than virtually anything produced in the SW universe since the original trilogy. The answer I’ve come up with is the showrunners for Mando lean much more heavily into the pulpy swashbucking SW tradition vs the Jedi mythology gobbledy gook. Thinking about it: the prequels are virtually nothing but Jedi mythology. And one thing we have learned: Jedis are pretty terrible heroes. The original trilogy set Jedi up as mythic knights of power and prestige, wisdom, etc. What was depicted was a bunch of dumbass losers who kept getting their asses kicked. And in response to these ass kickings, what did they do? Well, if you’re Obi Wan, Yoda, or Luke Skywalker you evidently run away like an asshole and go into hiding where you transform into an even bigger asshole.

    The Jedi/Sith stuff is pretty terrible, looking back over the 9 films. That the last 6 relied so heavily on that mythology was in retrospect a pretty big mistake.

  27. palmtree says:

    Amblin, that’s a good analysis. It’s telling the most compelling relationship (IMO Han and Leia) are based on characters connecting without using force powers or Jedi stuff. It’s just good old fashioned romance.

  28. Ray Pride says:

    The Leigh Brackett influence.

  29. Andy says:

    I largely agree with your analysis – the Jedi mythology is sort of bland at best and hackneyed at worst. Even Lucas knew it which is why he started with episode 4.

    I’m not sure I get your comparison of Marvel to AOTC. Marvel films have been, for the most part, well acted entertaining character pieces that also fit together into a nifty larger story. AOTC is an unwatchable dreck that makes Phantom Menace look like a Christopher Nolan film 🙂

  30. trampoline72 says:

    My what-the-hell moments of episode 9
    1. The biggest for me: Han Solo Memory Ghost. (Thank you, lazarus, for the perfect term.) Han doesn’t have any sort of Force training. He doesn’t appear spectrally, like past Jedis. So are they now positing that there is some sort of non-Jedi afterlife where everyone hangs out, just catching up on their kids, but unable to do or impact anything… and, that when Rey stabs Kylo Ren he properly dies, with not enough Ben in him to really live, so now he’s in some sort of between state with all of the living and dead?
    2. Emperor Palpatine lives? And he’s content to just hang out in this previously never mentioned but mythologically always understood Sith home planet? I’m gonna presume that he had a Sith Homing Pyramid in his cloaks and used that to get his broken Sith body back to the Sith Medical (and everything else) Droids. And just kept a backup pyramid on the Death Star.
    3. Death Star knife. Ok, sure, there’s only going to be one damn spot on that planet where everything aligns just right so that the size and angles of everything so that the knife can point out just where the beacon is. And Rey just happens to be standing near it when she finds out that the knife has this little expand-o-bit. Finding that spot where it works would be harder than finding the old throne room in the Death Star, presuming that the plans were still around. Given the perfection of droid memories I assume that’s the case.
    4. 3PO’s programming, presumably done by li’l Ani, blocks him from translating Sith, which this kid programmed the ability in him anyway… There’s no good way around this.
    5. Oh, hey, new melanin-enhanced female. I know you said your name, but did anyone else? Anyway, let me pair you with one of the two melanin-enhanced guys on this mission to make googily eyes with, and when that’s done, pair you with the other one to presumably spin off and find your roots with. Let me guess, some planet where all the melanin-enchanced people come from? Wakadanite? Oh, and let’s make you the leader of the second most primitive civilization outside of the vicious teddys, even though you were technically trained as Stormtroopers.
    6. Oh, Rose, I’m sure Finn was really torn up about being separated from you in all his missions even though you were the only inspiration toward growth in the entire series. (Outside of that Force awakening that made Finn give up stormtrooping. Because that wasn’t some sort of basic consciousness conscience that raised red flags to the practice of flamethrowing villages.) I mean, see how he embraced you at the end. Oh wait. That was Rey… and Poe. Poe, with whom he was bickering all throughout. Hmm. Rose, are the two of you living separately, while he’s sharing a place with Poe, because, you know, rent and all?
    7. Ok, so the Force can happen to randos like Finn in PTSD-causing-severe events, but it’s mostly genetic magic. Or perhaps sexually transmitted in the case of Han, to make sense of the Memory Ghost.
    8. I’m ok with Rey and Kylo Ren being able to see each other in Force hookups, but to grab and steal the beads was just a step too far. Lucas’ six had the Force be powerful, but still limited, and large efforts came at a cost (Yoda and the X-wing). Abrams’ Force always felt too Harry Potter magical, where the effort is expended in powering up, and then have this new tool in your arsenal.
    9. And Luke raising the X-wing? After he’s passed? Rey should have had the whole host of Jedi ghosts kicking Palpatine’s butt then, instead of the “Girl, you got this. You good.” chorus.
    10. And Leia dying, but not disappearing… so we’re to believe that perhaps Leia joined up her Force energy with whatever was left of Ben just long enough to have him kick Sith ass and resurrect Rey but only that much. I’m not sure this really helps. Why not just have her body disappear immediately?
    11. Tatooine-as-shrine… doesn’t make too much sense. I mean, a Luke was anxious to get out of there. His growth as a Jedi started with his leaving. I liked it emotionally watching it but it doesn’t age well in retrospect. Perhaps this emotional beat should have been in the beginning, with Rey visiting Luke’s childhood home just to find out more about the mentor she mourns, and realizing how similar their youth was. Endor makes more sense as a shrine, where Vader was cremated, and where Leia first finds out about her Jedi potential.
    12. Dr. Wally Rises is right, Luke’s sacrifice was pointless, while the “hey help us” call for this one was wildly successful. That just seems exceptionally petty.
    13. I guess we’re to presume that the Lego cone-wheel droid exhibits skittishness because it witnessed the death of Rey’s parents? It seems like an unnecessarily complex psychology for a minor droid.
    14. By having Rey be a Palpatine, this becomes the Palpatine saga. “The Last Jedi” was a purposefully misleading title, “The Rise of Skywalker” is downright theft.

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