Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker (2019)
Directed by J. J. Abrams
Based on Characters by George Lucas
Starring: Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Anthony Daniels, Naomi Ackie, Domhnall Gleeson, Richard E. Grant, Lupita Nyong’o, Keri Russell, Joonas Suotamo, Kelly Marie Tran, Ian McDiarmid, Billy Dee Williams
Music by John Williams
Plot Synopsis: (via IMDb)
The surviving Resistance faces the First Order once more in the final chapter of the Skywalker saga.
I’ve been putting off reviewing this as I’m not yet sure how I feel about it. I did see it at midnight last Wednesday night as we’re a family of Star Wars fans. I think all the negativity online since The Last Jedi ruined my enjoyment a bit plus this is the first time I decided to read all the spoilers beforehand, which is something I always try desperately to avoid. So that’s my own damn fault but, seriously, I hate people who spoil movies online on purpose. I know spoilers don’t bother everyone but it does ruin movies for me. I like to be surprised. My lack of excitement during this one won’t have been helped by the fact that I was watching the story unfold exactly as I’d heard it would. Thanks a lot, Burger King! Shame on me, though. I’ll avoid spoilers again from now on.
I liked The Rise Of Skywalker but am not satisfied with the trilogy as a whole. I’m at the point now where I kind of don’t care about this trilogy existing (and wonder if I’d be happier if it didn’t). For me, it will only ever be the original trilogy that I love. The rest of the movies will never be special to me in the same sort of way, although I did get plenty of enjoyment out of moments in each of them. And Solo deserves more credit than it gets, FYI – that was a fun film.
When The Force Awakens came out, however, I admit that I did absolutely love it at the time. I thought the new characters were great and I adored seeing my old favorites again. I was high on the fact that Star Wars was back. I hate that the following two movies didn’t live up to the first one and, more than anything, I hate how this trilogy now feels like it was created just to replace beloved old characters with new ones for a new generation. Can a new generation not appreciate the original characters too? As much as I wasn’t really a fan of the prequels, they’ve now actually gone up in my estimation after the sequel trilogy. I never expected that as I far prefer The Force Awakens to any of the prequels. But now that this trilogy has ended, I feel like it has damaged characters that I grew up with & love whereas the prequels didn’t do them any harm (to the “good guys” that I adore, anyway – I’ve never been a fan of the “baddies”. Screw you, Vader!).
Well, I could talk about my feelings & disappointment forever so I’ll try to focus on this movie specifically now. I do think I need to see it a second time to see if I feel any differently but I’m heartbroken to not feel anywhere near the same level of enjoyment and hope that I felt after a very promising start with The Force Awakens. Hell – I even re-read my The Last Jedi review and my immediate reaction was quite positive. I don’t hate that one the way so many others do. Although The Last Jedi may be my least favorite of the three, it’s almost equal to The Rise Of Skywalker for me as there are certain moments in it that I did really like. So! Here’s what I liked about The Rise Of Skywalker:
– The Droids. The sequels may have somewhat ruined the legacy of my human favorites but at least they didn’t hurt my beloved droids. When people ask who my favorite Star Wars character is, my answer is R2-D2 (followed very closely by Yoda, although I have a feeling that a certain Mandalorian character may end up a contender for my new favorite – but that’s going way off topic). Of course I love Luke, Leia, Han, etc, but nothing beats a cool sci-fi droid for me. We don’t get nearly as much R2-D2 as I’d have liked in this trilogy but I thoroughly enjoyed getting a very funny C-3PO. Loved him in this! I thought they did a very good job playing up to his annoying quirks and making him funny as hell (without him realizing he was being funny as hell). Actually, of all the original characters, I think C-3PO was the only one they managed to improve on instead of lessen or harm or have no effect on (as with R2-D2, who is still the exact same lovable droid and thankfully not harmed by this trilogy). So thank you for not messing with my Droids, J. J. Abrams! Oh, BB-8 is still awesome too and I liked the new addition of D-O. He’s not as cool as BB-8 and the rest but I still really liked him. What can I say? I love a cute droid. D-O reminded me of M-O from WALL-E. (Not surprisingly, WALL-E is an all-time favorite film of mine as well. Robots rule!).
– Lando & Chewbacca. Yeah, I love the original trilogy characters. So sue me. It was great finally seeing Lando, who is still cool as shit, and seeing Chewbacca yet again. I of course wanted to see more of them than we got but, hey, at least we got a decent amount of time with them compared to some of the other original characters. I also don’t feel these two were really harmed by this trilogy, but I do worry about Chewie. Can I be his friend?! I want to make sure he’s surrounded by really good friends forever & ever.
– Babu Frik. This is a new small character and you’ll either love him or hate him. Being a huge fan of Henson Muppets and Yoda and the genius of characters such as Salacious B. Crumb, I of course was a fan of this goofy new addition. If you like Salacious B. Crumb as much as I do, you’re gonna like Babu Frik. If not, too bad! I don’t care. He’s great and feels like he could easily have fit right in with the original trilogy creatures.
– The camaraderie. We see a lot of Rey, Finn & Poe working together in this and I really enjoyed their friendship and lighthearted bickering (we get some fun rapport between Rey & Poe regarding taking care of the Millennium Falcon & BB-8). Speaking of BB-8, Poe’s love for him is adorable. The funny C-3PO moments also come from being a part of this group and I really enjoyed the moments when these characters were together.
I want to focus on the positives about this movie as there’s so much negativity online so I’ll only mention a few things I don’t like, as I already made my feelings clear at the start that I’m disappointed in this trilogy overall. One thing I really don’t like is Kylo Ren as a character and I very much don’t understand the whole Adam Driver obsession so, as he’s a fan favorite, not liking him probably really doesn’t help my enjoyment of these films. I’m also kind of starting to feel the same as others do in finding Rey’s abilities a bit “too much”. She’s too powerful. Too perfect. I still really like her as a character but it’s all way too easy for her. I also didn’t like the story in this one – it felt like a video game story. The main problem, however, is how I feel this sequel trilogy is simply casting our original trilogy favorites aside. This became very clear in The Last Jedi but I don’t think Abrams tried very hard to undo that in this one. It feels a little disrespectful. It doesn’t feel, to me, like these movies were made by true fans of the original trilogy. I didn’t feel that way after The Force Awakens and am upset that it feels that way now that the trilogy is complete. I don’t want any more movies involving these new characters now, even though I do really like Rey, Finn, Poe & BB-8. Based on how this trilogy turned out, I’d now rather have stand alones like Solo and Rogue One. I wasn’t feeling Rogue One at the time but it’s now gone up in my estimation as well as the prequels.
Oh well. I made my feelings clear at the beginning of this review so I obviously have a lot of issues with this trilogy but I don’t want to go into them in much detail as I’m hating all the negativity online. None of these movies are as bad as some people are saying. There’s still lots of great Star Wars moments in each of them. I just really wanted to love this sequel trilogy but, at the moment, I can’t say that I do. However, I’ll try to keep an open mind and maybe watch The Rise Of Skywalker again to see if I feel any differently. I hope so. But I’ll always see it as a separate thing from the original trilogy. Maybe this is just one alternate reality for our original trilogy characters…
My Rating: 7/10
I went with low expectations as I had not cared for certain plot decisions that were written into the first two films. While the first in this trilogy wasn’t terrible, I did feel like I was re-watching the very first film being played out with new characters. I actually feel that this film is better than both the previous ones in the trilogy. I felt that it was appropriate based on the things that happened in those films. It went where it had to go based on previous decisions and they did a great job portraying that story. I even cried at points. Real tears. So this had an emotional impact for me that the previous two films lacked.
I also noticed that all three trilogies end with a major death and some type of funeral. Much like Shakespearean comedies always end with a wedding. (Or at least most do.) Then I realized that was a good connection. Because, each trilogy taken as a whole is very much like Shakespearean tragedy. Despite any celebrations at the end, each trilogy is like a three act tragedy, one film being each act of a three act play structure. Or maybe that is just me?
I think you’re right about this too. 🙂 I may start to like this trilogy more if I start thinking of it as a whole instead of individual movies. As a whole, the three films kind of make sense. But I wish there’d been a clear vision on where they were taking this story from the start. It doesn’t flow as well as it should have. It’s just a bit disappointing as Star Wars is such a huge thing that it should’ve been more well thought out & a team effort across all three films.
Sorry I’m so behind! Realized I’d not replied to any comments on this movie. And I’m still not sure how I feel about it almost two months later… But I think you’re right in that, due to where they went with the story in the first two, they wrapped this up as best they could. I really should have tried to rewatch it, as I watched all the others in the cinema twice. I might change my mind a bit on a rewatch. I think my hubby appreciated this one more the second time…
Nice review! I just got back into the blogging and it’s really nice to see you’re still blogging away! I’ll take my time to read your reviews 🙂 Anyways, I thought this was a fantastic summary of your thoughts. I’ve never been much of a star wars fan, but I can feel the significance of the original films and the fact that the newer ones, with all its new tangents and story-lines, may not fully live up to the original films.
Hello!! I’m so sorry it’s taken me so long to reply as I took a bit of a break after Christmas. 🙂 Yep, I’m still plugging away here but not as much! Happy to see you around again too! I’m still not sure how I feel about Rise Of Skywalker & I didn’t get a chance to see it a second time. Maybe I’ll grow to love this trilogy but these films will never come close to the original trilogy for me.
Great review Mutant! I loved this film and thought that they did a wonderful job tying up so many plot threads from the previous 8 films that it comes across as a fitting end to it all, even if some points are TOO smoothly played out.
Loved the nostalgic feel of this film and as with Sith and Jedi, I think they found a way to make the 3rd installment quite powerful.
Cant wait to see this one again, especially given the fact that 8 (which was my least favorite film in the whole series), now makes more sense based on where they chose to go with things here.
Keep up the great work!
Thanks, Rob! Finally replying to my Rise Of Skywalker comments… 😉 I didn’t manage to see this a second time so will see how I feel after another watch. But I don’t think I’ll ever love this trilogy. Certainly not in the same way as the original trilogy. Agree that they wrapped this film up the best they could after the previous film. Just wish they’d all worked together from the start with a clear vision for this entire trilogy to make it all more coherent…
Hahaha my favourite thing about this trilogy is Kylo Ren. I LOVE his character and Adam Driver. I did also love Babu Frik though. I am also a big Jim Henson fan so it makes sense.
Hehe. I’m never gonna make any friends with my hatred of Adam Driver… 😉 Woohoo for Babu Frik, though! I’ll always love a Muppet. 🙂
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