News and random musings from the Sculptdude.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

I liked it. I even liked it better than Return of the Jedi and felt that the emotional resolution of Rey and Ben/Kylo’s relationship was more satisfying and without silly shit like Ewoks. 4 out of 5 Lightsabers for this one.


I’m not even going to apologize for posting this when the internet has already ruined much of The Madalorian for me.

Typically what I like to cover in my reviews usually includes the contributions of the major departments but the production level of the film is state of the art in modern cinema. It’s got Mouse Money behind it, so everything looks and sounds top notch as usual.

With all things being equal, this will focus on narrative and resolution because that’s the driving factor of any film.

First off, JJ did pretty well mopping up the shit that Rian Johnson left all over the place in the previous flick. And did it well. It wasn’t ham-fisted and rolled along as if really nothing had occurred in Ep VIII at all. As a matter of fact, you could really just drop that one out now and no one would really care. I won’t miss it at all.

The Trio + Chewie is a bit stronger in this one and is written better, but some of the banter is still a little too “Marvelly” and could have been dialed down a little. There’s still a bit too much treasure hunting going on and introducing the Sith dagger McGuffin was clunky and out of place in a setting of holograms and lightsabers. Also, lining up the silhouette against the debris of the Death Star was absurd. What if the characters were coming at it from another direction? Actually this entire script suffers from convenienceitis in a big way. Way too many coincidences and convenient events passed off as the will of the Force. I found that very lazy.

Kudos to bringing back EpIV 3P0. This is probably the best version of C-3P0 since the original movie. I hated how he devolved into a whining fuss-budget in The Empire Strikes Back. That was never funny and writing that the the other characters were also annoyed by him didn’t give it a pass. When he agrees to the memory wipe and takes “one last look at his friends”, I get choked up. Every. Time.

Clearly the connection between Rey & Kylo is deep. The reveal about her background is not a surprise, fit in well with the story but brings up a whole slew of other questions/problems. Here are a few: If Palpy had a grandkid, when could he ever have been a parent? While in the Senate before the Clone Wars? Clearly not afterwards. Where was his wife? Why were his kids not identified as Force sensitive and sent to Jedi school? It's clearly a RetCon issue.

If you were going to bring back the Emperor this was the EXACT way to do it right. I loved all of that and it really lifted a lot of concepts out of Star Wars: Dark Empire. I wish they had gone a little bit deeper into detail about that like in the comics and show more of the Sith stuff to get a better sense of the threat. It kind of comes off as rushed. I wonder why.

Leia’s training flashback was really forced to me. No pun intended. That should’ve been revealed in VII and would have taken a lot of the weirdness out of floaty-Leia from VIII. I think that was only included here as part of the retcon mopping up.

Digital Leia was pretty seamless although her sacrificial contact of Kylo through the Force was pretty understated and lacked the emotional impact it might have had. I think this was mainly a limitation on what they could do with the character since Fisher’s passing.

Ghost Luke was much better, and had a lots of Ghost Obi-Wan overtones. 

The one shot of Wedge in the turret of the Millennium Falcon was a nice touch. Welcome back, Denis Lawson, for one final hurrah.

Why did the customary celebration montage at the end of the film show Star Destroyers deployed over various planets and then suddenly begin “crashing” when the purpose of the assault on the shipyard clearly indicated they couldn’t navigate away from the planet without the assistance of some broadcast tower?

There’s probably more that I will come across on subsequent viewing but this was my initial impression. I didn’t hate it and was pretty satisfied with how everything wrapped up. Glad that’s over.