Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Review!

Warning: this review contains minor spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker after the 15 minute mark.

TL;DR Bad, nothing makes sense.

When I went to see The Rise of Skywalker (TRoS) I set my expectations low. I had heard the leaks, and though I hoped they were fake I was almost certain they were not. I had also developed a deep disdain for most of the Disney’s Star Wars content though I still hold a love for the franchise it as it once was. I viewed the film in the Cinemark at Fairfax Corner in the XD format.

The film started with several previews before the opening crawl. The crawl explains that Palpatine’s voice has been heard in a transmission across the galaxy and that both Kylo and Leia are attempting to discover his whereabouts. At this point I was confused by the transmission portion as it is not heard in the movie. It was only later that I discovered that the only place this transmission could be heard, was in the battle royale portion of the popular game Fortnite. Yes, this is real. Yes, this is a shameless marketing ploy that has possibly canonized Fortnite in the Star Wars Universe.

The film continues with the revelation of Palpatine’s continuation (not return) as Kylo discovers a wayfinder to where Palpatine is, on Mustafar. Using it to navigate to him he discovers that not only is Palpatine alive, but that he has amassed an enormous fleet of Star Destroyers. He is also willing to give it to Kylo sould he kills Rey. Kylo agrees to this bargain and sets out to tell the first order of this new development.

Meanwhile . . .

Our hero’s are acquiring intelligence from a first order spy. The first order interrupts them and causes them to flee leading to a chase in which we discover that the first order has given their tie fighters hyperspace trackers. You may remember those trackers from The Last Jedi in which it took the infrastructure of an entire Star Destroyer to keep running effectively. You may wonder how this quantum leap in technology happened and the answer is that J J Abrams wanted a scene with several fast hyperspace jumps in a cool, almost montage like way and couldn’t think of a way to do it without exacerbating preexisting problems that the logic of the Disney canon already faced.

The movie continues apace for another 2 hours before crashing into a wall due to its pacing being to fast for the brakes to function. The movie is stuffed to the brim of things that make little to no sense after even a moment’s thought and is filled with cheap emotional pulls that are resolved minutes later without problem. A very early example of this is that during the chase I outlined in very vague detail the Millenium Falcon is lit on fire and is burning as it enters the Resistance base, this causes Rey who is at the base much offense as she didn’t want it damaged. Minutes later there is no notable damage to it in any way and it is used to its full function throughout the movie.

I found that the best part of this move was C-3PO. The characterization was spot on and the comedy around him landed very effectively. Another bonus to C-3PO in this movie is that he was the direct cause of our introduction to Babu Frick, a lovable droidsmith with so much to love and very little to hate. He quite possibly ranks second as far as characters go in the movie.

The setpeices look fantastic and often able to set a scenes mood before a single line of dialogue is spoken. Palpatine’s lair is especially well crafted with the mood being set with both audio and visual cues. The space battles are less impressive as the resistance fleet has no capital ships to speak of and there is little objective or goal during the battle sequences.

If I were to go through everything I thought didn’t work in this movie there would be several more pages of this review and I don’t feel that I would be of much value without being able to rewatch the film several times with detailed notes. That said I think that this youtube video explains much of the issues fairly well though not incredibly concisely

I would recommend this movie if you care very little for Star Wars as a whole and don’t plan on thinking about it after you leave the theatre. Otherwise I would recommend that you stay home and rewatch the OT or read one of the great novels from legends.

If you have a question you want answered or a criticism of my take feel free to respond at this address

Thanks for reading, now have a chart explaining how Rey is secretly Kylo’s Aunt