Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ★★

One of the biggest disappointments of the year (and possibly the most disappointed I've been in a movie in a long while), Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is the first Star Wars movie that I saw that actively bored me. We've had good movies in the franchise and bad movies in the franchise however none, Attack of the Clones aside (but even that's saved by its final battle which at the very least is more creative than this one) have been more dull and more predictable than The Rise of Skywalker, which sees Star Wars fizzle out with a whimper rather than go out with the bang that it should have done.

J.J. Abrams phones in pretty much everything, it was always going to be a nostalgia trip but the film seemingly goes out of its way at ever turn to undo everything that was great about The Last Jedi, opting to double down on the criticisms that were present in The Force Awakens, calling out to all the wrong sort of fans, and it feels like they caved to every single one of their demands for this film. The characters are almost saved by the actors, Adam Driver and Daisy Ridley are again terrific but Chris Terriro's script does them no justice, wasting an actor as talented as Driver especially even if him and Ridley give it their all to make these characters stick, and they almost do, if only due to the foundations build on by the last two films. It's full of macguffins, plots that are lazily and haphazardly strewn together and maybe, just maybe, hiring the writer of Batman v. Superman AND Justice League to write a big Star Wars movie wasn't a good idea after all, even if it does at times feel more like a committee-driven film with multiple writers rather than a solo, unified effort that The Last Jedi was.

The film does Kelly Marie Tran and Keri Russell little justice either (even if Russell does come out of it a little better), and virtually nothing about this film has any heart or soul whatsoever. It feels uninspiring. There's a lot of movie in this one that feels like seven or eight different films at war with each other with no unified approach, and whilst I maybe liked two of them, it rushes through everything too quickly, not stopping to answer questions that maybe should have been answered in favour of answering questions that didn't really need answering at all.

Nothing really matters, there is no stakes to any of it and the whole film feels directionless, and nothing impacted me emotionally at all. It's ticking off a series of boxes that anyone can predict, and whilst I can pick my favourite moments from even the worst Star Wars movies, none of them will be from this film, which makes all the worst choices imaginable, and leaves me longing for the days of Game of Thrones Season 8.

At least John Williams' score is good.

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