Star Wars — Rise of Skywalker — review — the force is weak and incosistent (2022)

Star Wars — Rise of Skywalker — review — the force is weak and incosistent (1)

(Spoilers ahead!)

Star wars and its multi billion dollar franchise surrounds us, and me, for decades man. Its impossible to avoid star wars. Vader. Luke. The Force. It is the stuff of legends. For some insane reason I like the prequel trilogy (Parts 1 to 3), primarily because, the special effects are so good. The original trilogy, the real legend maker, I like but the effects look really dated. Thanks to pop culture osmosis, I knew almost the entire story of the original trilogy, even before I watched the actual movies.

All said and done, star wars is great to good.

Then, the new star wars movies started. Everybody says that Force Awakens is fantastic. To me, it is like a remake of the New Hope. Then, The Last Jedi, was just insane. I am not a Star Wars ‘fan’ but I am a fan of sci-fi. To me, Star wars is essentially an adaptation of the original ‘Foundation’ trilogy by Asimov. Blasters. Planet spanning stories. Ah! It’s amazing.

Force Awakens and Last Jedi

The way Lucasfilm made the new Star Wars movies, something is wrong about it. It was clear to me as a small time businessman that Disney did not shell out 4 billion dollars for nothing. They want to churn out movies, just like they did with Pixar and Marvel. That is what movie studios do. They make and tell epic stories for generous box office and merchandise money. Star Wars is suited for that.

The thing is, they got greedy. Perhaps, too greedy. At its core, Star Wars was 6 movies and a whole lot of merchandise. That was it! This gap in the movies, and the amount of effort that went into it, made it easy for people digest the deepness of these movies. The original six movies (similar to the Harry Potter movies) was about one dude — Darth Vader.

From a kid in some lost planet, to becoming this incredible villain, to dying as a good guy. The story was told and concluded.

In Force Awakens, suddenly, we are told that nothing has changed. The Galaxy is still oppressed. Empire is replaced by the New Order. There is a new bad guy, and a new good girl. They fight! (and new know that Palpatine never died, so the whole original trilogy war and rebels and all that was totally useless)

Then, in the Last Jedi, that story is barely continued. New theories are told. We go to a casino for no reason. Anybody can become a Jedi! Big Villain (Snoke) is killed off by small villain (Kylo) for no reason. New hero (Rey) is saved by old hero (Luke).

The flow is not smooth, and it felt like, it went in a different direction, from movie #1 to movie #2.

Rise of Skywalker

This movie, essentially skips movie #2! It appears to be a direct sequel to movie #1 (Force Awakens) for nothing that happens in #2 has much of an effect here.

There in lies the major issue with Rise of Skywalker. For all their planning, Disney did not have a story arc for the new Star Wars movies. George Lucas ran the show with the original six movies. He mapped out the story, and it had this organic feel to it. The new movies, dont have that organic feel to them.

I am reminded of what is happening with the Fantastic Beast movies, over at WB. The original Harry Potter movies were based on this nice story arc that the great JK Rowling mapped out in her head, years ago. Now, she is making these Beast movies, which are being made with no arc of any kind.

This lack of arc symptom is present in Last Jedi, and now, they are visible in every scene. For instance, the entire first act, is about going from Point A to Point B, collect item 1 to collect some other item 3. Then, we do the ‘Spectre’ thing where the hidden villain says that he was always manipulating the hero (despite there being never any clues regarding the same).

The Spectre thing is really a low point for any movie. My mind immediatly switches of when this happens in any movie.

Kylo Ren — Almost the best thing

The best thing (and the only one with a clear story thread) in all three movies, is Kylo Ren. He is essentially a remake of Darth Vader, so his ending is not surprising. He looks totally badass in all the scenes. I thought he would die on that bridge fight (which would have really taken this movie to the next level) but they give him a Disney death, with a kiss to boot.

Along with him, the movie has a ton of super cool action sequences and special effects. Really grand. I would not recommend watching it in 3D though. 2D is a better option, for the 3D conversion is done poorly.

bad things — everything else

Almost everything else about the movie is bad.

Suddenly, C-3PO is saying too many jokes after not being there for two movies. At one point, I thought he would die, but no, he was just rebooted. At another point, I thought the huge bear guy will die. No, he was just in another ship. There were at least 3 times I thought Kylo is dead, but he kept coming back. For some reason, this movie seems to indicate that Poe, Rey and Finn are best friends.

When this friendship development happened is beyond me.

And, horses are the only way to take down things in a space age? How!

Awesome Force powers that can resurrect someone from death. No man, just cannot get behind that.

Self Parody

Very early in the movie, there is chase between storm troopers and Rey’s gang. I think Finn shoots one of them (or does some home alone type trap thing), and there is like a cartoon sound. There are many scenes like that with odd cartoonish sounds.

Every now and then, action scenes are setup like they would be in a Michael Bay movie. Crazy things happening in a Bay movie is awesome. However, Bay things happening in Star Wars movies is just not good.

At one point, it is revealed that there is an entire collection of ships, each with a gun that can destroy planets. The funny thing is, all the ships are blind and cannot navigate on their own. It makes this whole thing silly. It makes the commanders look silly, and it makes Palpatine look even more silly. It’s just a pile of silliness on top of silliness.

At one point, he takes out the force out of two bodies (Rey and Kylo). Then, he is able to bring down some 10 million ships in the sky. Why not just fry Kylo and Ren and then bring down the ships man? When did Palpatine become the old Bond movie villain archetype?

Final Note

All said and done, this whole thing is a mess. There is no arc. Characters are inconsistent. Tricks are pulled out of a magic hat. Its just a relief that this saga is over and we can just move on to the new, inevitable star wars stories that dont have to worry about the Skywalker family.

To me, there is one solid lesson here — Plan things out. If you dont have a plan for something that influences large number of people, then, dont go ahead with it. make it a one off. This applies not just to movies, but to real life as well.

Note : I am watching all the star wars movies as part of a movie marathon. Find the other reviews here, in the order the movies were released — A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, Force Awakens, Last Jedi and Rise of Skywalker.

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