All right, people. This is our obligatory Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker review. It was, uhhh, not good. Not good. I shall attempt to be spoiler-free. This is Erin, by the way. Just so you know.
There were aspects of good. Carrie Fisher was amazing. The interactions between the main trio were funny and felt organic. Basically, the actors did a great job with what they were given. That’s pretty much what I got.
The Fatal Flaw
I wish I had something original to say here, but I sort of don’t. Any Star Wars review is going to talk about the trilogy’s overall issue. TROS’s fundamental problem was that it was basically an episode 8 and an episode 9 smashed into one. The director, J.J. Abrams, ignored everything that Rian Johnson did in The Last Jedi. Rather than picking up the ball and running with it, Abrams got a brand new ball and started a brand new game. The beginning of the TROS represents what Abrams would have done in the last film, and the second half is a rushed final episode. So, it’s all rushed which resulted in some lazy writing.
There was even a moment that Johnson set up fairly perfectly for Abram’s film, and he still ignored it. Which is crazy to me. Despite Last Jedi’s flaws, there was enough there to set up another film. Abram’s just didn’t like the film it set up.
This problem ultimately falls on Disney. Despite owning Marvel/the MCU, it’s clear that Disney had no overarching plan for these films. They let the directors do whatever they wanted and did not ask them to follow any plan. Which would be fine, but they also had two different directors who did not coordinate. (Though, there’s a snippet of dialogue from Carrie Fisher that makes me wonder how much of this was actually planned out. I’m definitely wondering about that.)
My General Thoughts
There were also many other problems in the film. Abram’s treatment of Rose, a major character in Last Jedi, was depressing. There’s a certain ship that I hate that somehow works out. There’s a certain ship I love that didn’t work out. If anything, Abrams damages that relationship.
My core issue with TROS is that it’s just…boring. It’s boring. The writing is uninspired and predictable. That’s when it’s not strange and confusing. But it’s more than that. With the exception of a few shots, the filmmaking feels boring. There’s nothing visually interesting happening, and the cinematography feels flat. Say whatever you want about Last Jedi, it was an absolutely beautiful film. So, even if you hated what was happening, you could say, “Wow, that shot.” This does not apply to TROS
Also, the lightsaber battles were sort of awful and not fun to watch. It was actually sort of bizarre how bad they were. Kylo and Rey are in their prime, and they just seemed to be wildly swinging at each other. This made sense in The Force Awakens. Kylo is injured, and Rey is inexperienced. But in this movie, we should have been in for a great fight. And we did not get it.
Anyway, if you want to see TROS, just go in with lowered expectations. And if you don’t, that’s fine. I get it.
If you’re interested in more reviews, check out Paige’s review of The Witcher!