Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ★★½

hoo boy.

i'll write some more but that pretty much sums it up.

i saw it last night and i'm still shocked at the almost total erasure/disavowal of 'the last jedi' in this movie. i expected there to be SOME, but with the exception of a couple of things like knowing luke was dead, you could basically have never watched TLJ without it making much of a difference in how you experienced this movie.

rose tico? never heard of her!

poe's disobeying of vice admiral holdo, and the people it got killed? no emotional consequences or character growth for him!

that whole theme of the force not just belonging to certain families, leading to the last shot of the random kid making the broom handle move toward him? i'm sure i don't know what you're talking about!

etc., etc.

the main impetus for this movie seemed to be, "let 'the last jedi' die. kill it, if you have to."

and not only is the disavowal almost total, it's incredibly pointed. at one point rey says to luke's force ghost, "but what about [that thing you said that was a very important philosophical part of TLJ]?" and the response is "i was wrong!" and it honestly felt like luke was meant to be a stand in for rian johnson.

the thing is, while all that stuff was incredibly weird to me - i can't think of another franchise or series in which a movie so sternly repudiated its predecessor - all of it might have been ultimately okay, if TROS were a better movie. i'm pretty easy when it comes to franchises like star wars, and mainly just want them to be fun. i enjoyed 'the force awakens' and i enjoyed 'the last jedi,' so when the not-so-great reviews came out for this one, i thought, "eh, as long as it's a fun star war i'll be happy."

but... it was not a fun star war. it had fun parts, but it's mostly overstuffed with action, and the occasional scenes that were supposed to have - and SHOULD have had - great emotional impact fell absolutely flat for me. character deaths, BIG REVEALS, etc., felt more like beats that had to be hit or boxes that had to be checked than "what a fitting send off" or "OH MY GOD" moments. as a friend of mine said, the movie was soulless. (along the same lines, i think it's also the most chaste of all the star wars films.)

anyway, thankfully i'm not one of those people whose childhood can be inexplicably ruined by a movie, so don't worry, i'm fine. (and maybe you will like it and i'm happy for you if you do!) i just wish it had been a better film.

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