Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Way, way back in “Episode V," when Darth Vader revealed himself to Luke Skywalker as his father, it felt like an earthquake. Suddenly a deep, telling connection was revealed, and it totally changed the way we understood the story being told.

In J.J. Abrams’s monumentally stupid “Episode IX,” _everything_ is connected, everyone is related to everyone else, and it couldn't be less surprising, less impactful, because when everything is meant to be important, nothing is. Abrams has perverted the whole idea of importance so spectacularly that any sense of stakes, of drama, have been utterly gutted from the franchise.

This is a movie where formerly dead characters are reconstituted fully, with no real justification other than a few lines of Force-related mumbo jumbo. Where huge fleets of starships can be summoned up on a whim. Where characters die tragically one moment and then turn out to be just fine another. Where longstanding character relationships are devastatingly wiped entirely from memory, only to be cutely restored a few scenes later. Where to be on the verge of defeat is just perfunctory foreplay for a hollow, unimaginative climax.

Nothing matters in this universe and so it's virtually impossible to care about anything other than the fact that you, as a moviegoer, as a Star Wars patron, as a Disney customer, have already invested so much damn money into this soulless franchise. So you buy your ticket and you think to yourself, "This is good, right? I haven't wasted my money, my youth, my precious moments on this earth caring for something that in reality was hollowed out long ago by licensees, marketers, strategists, manufacturers, distributors, and hucksters—have I?"

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