Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

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Even though it has some flaws, it's a great movie.

Don't believe the critics; apart from a few minor flaws, this movie succeeds admirably as a conclusion to not only the Sequel Trilogy but the entire nine-part Skywalker Saga.

Star Wars was one of my favorite movies of all times back in the days so with each new movie I write a review for it. I have to say that after terrible 7th and 8th movies I did not want to go to the cinema, so I watched it just now. The finale is overall better, and this is what everyone was expecting from the last chapter. However, multiple plot holes and unconvincing play of the actors made it impossible for me to empathize with the characters. Probably, the only good exception is Rey. Kylo is not that bad here too, but not great either. The movie is saved by pretty good graphics and occasional splashes of pleasant or interesting moments. It is quite entertaining to watch.
And here are some moments that I could not look past to treat the movie seriously (spoilers ahead):
•At the very start of the movie the ship is being repaired by a slug. How, if I may ask? With fantasy of a dozen people and unlimited possibilities of CGI this is what they came up with? No multi-hand or multi-fingered creature or a droid actually suitable to be a mechanic? No, let it be a slug. =)))
•Palpatin coming out of nowhere raises many questions but OK, theoretically possible. His reasons however are a mess. If he truly wanted Rey to kill him, why insist that Kylo kills her? And if he was powerful enough to drain them both, why did he bother with either of them at all? Drain Kylo at the start of the movie, drain Rey at the end - mission accomplished.
•Luke was looking for Palpatin really? Why would he? As far as Luke is aware Palpatin is dead (he witnessed it). And in this movie there is Luke's diary with clues conveniently in Rey's possession. Such a lame plot.
•Kylo's timing when wearing and not wearing a mask is just weird. Overall, he does not really need it - he already damaged the series enough when he took off the mask the first time. Kylo might as well continued the journey with his face.
•If Rey can feel Chewbakka, why could not she feel that he wasn't on that ship she destroyed?
•When Chewbakka is caught, that stern looking commander requests to interrogate him but when they later catch him again AND two more rebels, for some reason there is no need for interrogation?
•No backup for droids in a specialist mechanic shop is very unlikely.
•When saving Chewbakka the crew kills several soldiers in the hangar and move on. No hiding the bodies, nothing. Yet the station is not alerted. I guess this was a cell of the most useless soldiers everybody forgot about. And they are found by the commander of the whole ship of course :-)
•Stormtroopers are useless pawns across all 9 movies. It makes no sense they wear that "armor" if they all die from a single hit. Also, I assume those helmets are actually solid plastic and troopers shoot blindly. Did you count how many times they ever hit a target? One =))) It was probably a random blast anyway.
•A spy in the first order THAT guy? Totally unrealistic scenario and consequentially he acts like a fool in this new movie (he was a decent character before, if you remember).
•If Rey can hold herself above ground, why would she need a boat to get to those Death Star remains?
•Navigation for a fleet of star destroyers depends on a tiny tower that is not even protected, just staying there in the field. No comment.
•If you've seen previous movies and read some lore, destroyers are very powerful ships, each with a fleet of interceptors. So why is this massive force doing nothing most of the fight?
•When Finn is on the top of the Falcon (when just saved from the capital ship), the Falcon flies vertically, but somehow Finn did not fall from it. A pity.
•After the rebels win we see destroyers falling down on planets. Why the hell would they fall? And are the rebels so incredibly stupid to destroy superior tech they could use?
•Disney-style cheesy happy ending is almost unbearable. Imagine if they would all die in quick sands. What a turn that would be.


JJ Abrams' penchant for so called 'fanservice' is the best thing about this movie in the sense that it tries to 'get' the characters right largely by way of blatantly disregarding and negating what the previous episode did. It genuinely feels like he's been listening to objections fans had, although when one looks back at the previous episode, can easily see how the characters and story reached a stage it was quite difficult to build up from, and that undid a lot of what JJ himself did in episode VII.

It happens also to be one of the worst parts of the movie, though. Sadly, the need to rebuild from the hiccup episode VIII turned out to be made this movie need to be at least a couple of movies, rushing character arcs with quite a bit of a rollercoaster. Logic problems aside that I am sure will be somewhat and somehow explained in non-movie material (the Empire in any incarnation always seemed to have in books and comics absurdly powerful trump cards that happened to just sit there), the movie itself is one MacGuffin after another, with some visually stunning scenes but a rather disjointed editing. The effort to give some depth to the trilogy-specific characters making up for lost time is genuine, with mixed results: Finn gets heroic moments and his force sensitivity is made manifest - both traits he were robbed of in VIII -, Poe completes his transition to leader, with a troubled past that feels quite a bit rushed but kinda works, Kylo gets his redemption - but he is still a doormat most of the time, Rey gets genuine moments of conflict and defeat - together with spectacular wins that at least are more contextualized than the previous movies, including VII who was JJ's doing.

The problem with most dramatic spots is that the movie dares very little, rapidly undoing any drama it sets up in "Gotcha, nothing happened" moments that are a bit cringy - any death in the movie is drained of emotional impact and carries no momentum. The old characters are mostly respected. A lot of old fans may have major issues with the finale and the overall outcome of the saga with the canonical arch of the Skywalker family - ironically, this is the rise of Palpatine more than Skywalker's. I did not leave with this impression, partially because it was kinda hard to take anything about the tradition seriously after the events of the previous two movies, with the weird unpopular choices made in VIII but also with the stunning choice to make VII a timid rehash of IV with paper-thin characters and a deep unbalance in the plot. In this sense this movie is the closest of the three to try and get the appropriate tone and make characters grow through actions, failures, conflict.

In the end, I think this movie does give a fitting ending to a trilogy that started probably with the wrong premise, giving us a menace that was too closely associated with the previous, a world inexplicably set back to step 1 undoing anything accomplished in the first trilogy. Perhaps Rian Johnson did not have a terribly bad idea doing away with all of that in episode VIII. It does appear stunning that one of the most beloved sagas in science fiction history has been produced without a clear, coherent planned outcome in mind, and this Episode IX is only the natural conclusion of it. The direction is more than competent, most of the problems lie in the plot and the need to cram too much in it.

Sammo Premium member

Continuity mistake: When Rey enters the Emperor's vault on the Death Star she is wearing her satchel, slung across her body. When she falls out backwards after seeing Dark Rey she is still wearing it, when she stands to confront Ren, it's gone.

More mistakes in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Finn: You were a spicerunner?
Poe Dameron: And you were a stormtrooper?
Rey: You were a spicerunner?
Poe Dameron: And you were a scavenger? C'mon, guys, we could do this all day.

More quotes from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
More trivia for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Question: How did Palpatine come back? Cloned? Or somehow survived the Death Star explosion, which seems unlikely.

Jon Sandys Premium member

Chosen answer: According to the novelization, Palpatine sensed Vader's internal conflict and created a clone as a backup in the event that Vader betrayed him. When Vader threw him down the shaft, Palpatine transferred his consciousness into the clone's body.

Answer: It is not said exactly how he came back. He says that he had died before which presumably is him dying in ROTJ. The most we get is the reference to Sith ability that some consider unnatural.

It is not said how he came back, but I get the idea that he was using the Force to keep himself alive. At least that's the message I was getting when I saw that Palpatine's fingers were wilted away. And I thought that the power he was using was urging his life to go on, but his physical appearence was being dragged behind.

Answer: The line "The dark side is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural" is a direct reference to Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, in which Palpatine says the same line verbatim to Anakin. Recall that a major plot point to that prequel is that the Sith have long been rumored to have found a method to cheat death. This film strongly suggests that Palpatine had indeed discovered this method. The film doesn't go into specifics. My understanding is the novelization says his body is a clone. Going by his appearance in the film (blank eyes; body manipulated by machine), it suggests to me that he is a reanimated corpse.


More questions & answers from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

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