Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker - Reviews & Discussion

The Crawling Chaos

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 26, 2014
Messages
238
Spoiler-free review

Well, here we are. Three films in and the entire creative team has failed to provide a single compelling narrative reason to justify the existence of its creation.

We are left with three disjointed films made by two directors who each tried to pull the cover to their side of the bed. A first film that is just a rehash of the best moments and characters the original films had to offer. A second, pivotal film that feels more like an Elseworld tale, that had the merit to try and take the story in a different direction but took one wrong turn after another to reach its destination, and a third film that wraps up a story that had already been wrapped by another trilogy 36 years earlier, only to cheapen its satisfying resolution.

If the original trilogy was the story of Anakin Skywalker coming back from the Dark Side to bring peace to the galaxy, if the prelogy was the story of how Anakin Skywalker turned to the Dark Side in the first place, this third and hopefully last trilogy is the story of how none of it actually mattered because Anakin never vanquished the Sith and therefore his story is only that of a poor kid gone dictator and child murderer. His redemption no longer matters, no longer exists. Starting the saga with Episodes 1, 2 and 3 feels worse than ever when placed in the context of the overall saga now: If Anakin didn't redeem himself by destroying the Sith and bringing peace to the galaxy, then the story of his childhood, training and fall can only be perceived as an attempt to understand and justify his fall to the Dark Side and why he slaughtered thousands, if not millions. It's the story of how a dictator came to be, and no longer the story of how a man went down the darkest pit only to re-emerge from it and save an entire galaxy. If we were to consider this last trilogy as part of the whole saga, what reasons would we have to revisit any of those earlier films now?

I love Disney. At their best, they are the best. So this is not a SW fan who is bitter that the Mickey megacorp bought his toys away. This is a SW fan who is disappointed to see that they didn't even try that hard, that they never truly understood what it is they were doing and how they would impact the lore of the older films, that their billions not only failed to provide us with a satisfying, bold and innovative storyline but worse, in the process, destroyed decades of an Expanded Universe with much richer storylines and characters and somehow also managed to cheapen the original material it wanted to emulate. Like the scientists of Jurassic Park, the Lucasfilm creative team decided to go play with a material, package it and sell it without realising that they never truly understood it.

And, oh yeah, it's pretty, has some good acting, good action, great VFX and soundtrack. It's fast-paced, doesn't pull any punches, keeps you visually entertained. None of that matters. They got the icing right, but the cake remains bland and stale.
 
Last edited:

Rodders

|-O-| (-O-) |-O-|
Supporter
Joined
Nov 6, 2008
Messages
5,524
Great review. I have yet to see it and I'm still looking forward to it, but I have been disheartened by what I have read about it so far.
 

tegeus-Cromis

a better poet than swordsman
Joined
May 17, 2019
Messages
1,343
I'm not surprised. I hated the previous Disney SW movies. Whether you like or not the prequel trilogy, Lucas at least had a tale he urgently needed to tell throughout his six movies, and cared about story, character development, and deeper meaning. As far as I can tell, Disney's logic in making its movies was the following:
A) Hey, Star Wars is for sale! People love Star Wars! Let's buy it! It'll be like printing money!
B) OK, now that we own the property, let's come up with some story that will get the maximum number of asses in cinema seats and merchandise flying off the shelves. Oh, people think back nostalgically on their first encounter with the SW universe, so why don't we begin by cobbling together a script from all the most fondly remembered bits of the first movies, with any trace of originality ruthlessly hunted down and killed? That'll make the fans feel all warm and fuzzy!
Etc etc.
 

thaddeus6th

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Joined
Sep 15, 2007
Messages
6,843
Location
UK, Yorkshire
Still wish they'd had a Thrawn trilogy.

Although at least they didn't try that and ruin it.
 

soulsinging

the dude abides
Joined
Oct 23, 2008
Messages
2,440
that their billions not only failed to provide us with a satisfying, bold and innovative storyline but worse, in the process, destroyed decades of an Expanded Universe with much richer storylines and characters and somehow also managed to cheapen the original material it wanted to emulate. Like the scientists of Jurassic Park, the Lucasfilm creative team decided to go play with a material, package it and sell it without realising that they never truly understood it.

I liked TFA well enough when it came out, but between TLJ's handling of Luke, trailers alluding to Lando and Palpatine this time around, and hearing they never had any sort of over-arching story planned, I've really cooled on the new trilogy. It feels like the only real connection to the original story (including the poorly executed but still-connected prequels) is a handful of poorly-handled original character callbacks and the ships/weapons. The one-offs (R1 and Solo) are both better, as are both the animated series that still connect to this timeline (Clone Wars, Rebels). At the same time, watching Marvel stick the Avengers landing only convinces me that dumping decades of material in a beloved and carefully constructed and internally consistent extended universe was a huge mistake.

Basically, this is exactly what I feared. I'm sure I'll enjoy it and be entertained, but I don't expect to love this one or re-watch it like I do the OT, Clone Wars or Rogue One.
 

The Crawling Chaos

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 26, 2014
Messages
238
I stay away from the SW-dedicated forums online because things tend to get too heated there and with the influx of people coming in around the release of a new film, it's hard to keep track of conversations... But I would love to know what the fans who adore this movie (and the two that came before) think about the new perspective it gives us on Anakin's character arc and especially about the relevance of the much talked about 'Prophecy of the One' who was to destroy the Sith and bring balance to the Force.

I just cannot reconcile the existence of this Prophecy (which I thought was stupid but at least it gave the prelogy a reason to exist - instead of the story of a son risking his all to save his father from himself, the Star Wars saga suddenly became about a prophesied hero who fell before rising back up and fulfilling his destiny) with the latest trilogy's narrative.

Honestly? If they just wanted to retell the same story for a younger generation, with new characters (which, you know, fair enough, it's their property) they should have rebooted the saga plain and simple instead of trying to sit on two chairs at once, pretending the older films didn't already exist while simultaneously playing the nostalgia card by fiddling with the characters from the past trilogies. Or better yet, yes, they should have stuck to spin-offs like Rogue One, Solo and who knows what else - the Star Wars expanded universe is probably one of a handful of fictitious universes which can allow artists to tell stories set on any one of millions of worlds at any time in thousands of years of history (Old Republic, SW: Legacy, or even something new set much further in the future, maybe even a million years after ROTJ, who cares?).
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
18,683
After this , It will be few years before we get anymore Star Wars films.
 
Last edited:

Phyrebrat

www.beanwriting.com
Supporter
Joined
Feb 13, 2011
Messages
5,076
Location
In your bedroom wardrobe...
Going to see it again soon.

Me too! 24th and 28th December. Then prob a few more times (Saw TLJ 5 times in the cinema).

I love where they've taken the saga, although I do think the content in this last instalment might have been better explored over two films instead of one.

pH
 

StilLearning

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Joined
Mar 20, 2012
Messages
537
Location
Edinburgh Uk
I've yet to see it, but I always took Anakin's redemption as being via rejecting the dark side and saving his son. I have always assumed the dark side and it's followers survived in some form, and the Sith or something much like them would return - that seemed a reasonable assumption.
 

The Crawling Chaos

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 26, 2014
Messages
238
His personal redemption, certainly. But if you take the prequel trilogy into account (and you certainly don't have to, I myself would rather not), Anakin is not just a bad guy who redeems himself by killing his old boss. He is "the One" who brings balance to the Force. As per Lucas himself, 'bring balance to the Force' meant killing the Sith. The prophecy is fulfilled when Vader throws Palpatine down the Death Star shaft and Palpatine explodes.

All that was undone by this sequel trilogy. Why? Because the creative team behind this trilogy failed to come up with an original take on the SW universe. They simply recycled the 'assets' from earlier films. They gave us Jedi vs Sith again, Rebellion vs Empire again, without a care for maintaining the coherence of the main narrative running through the saga. This is the failure of imagination.
 
Last edited:

Star-child

Science fiction fantasy
Joined
Oct 8, 2019
Messages
479
The original trilogy weren't all written when SW came out, so it can be forgiven that the new set weren't either. However, they weren't even vaguely planned, which is a bad idea when you are employing the guy who made Lost with no plan, either.

The problem that all of the post originals have is that they really weren't executed by the same collaborative group people. So much of why they were good rested with the audacious solutions the original crew came up with for creating this world out of models, real places and animation methods. "Free" from that, Lucas and others made movies that really only connected by words rather than the sights and sounds that they originally worked in. Unsurprisingly, the result was Star Wars-like. Fan fiction, really - even when Lucas directed.

And then there's all this fan service nostalgia junk. If fans had a vote, Empire Strikes Back would have sucked.
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
18,683
The original trilogy weren't all written when SW came out, so it can be forgiven that the new set weren't either. However, they weren't even vaguely planned, which is a bad idea when you are employing the guy who made Lost with no plan, either.

The problem that all of the post originals have is that they really weren't executed by the same collaborative group people. So much of why they were good rested with the audacious solutions the original crew came up with for creating this world out of models, real places and animation methods. "Free" from that, Lucas and others made movies that really only connected by words rather than the sights and sounds that they originally worked in. Unsurprisingly, the result was Star Wars-like. Fan fiction, really - even when Lucas directed.

And then there's all this fan service nostalgia junk. If fans had a vote, Empire Strikes Back would have sucked.

The Empire Strikes back is the best film of the original trilogy and In part, we can thank Leigh Brackett for that.
 

StilLearning

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Joined
Mar 20, 2012
Messages
537
Location
Edinburgh Uk
Without having seen it I can't really say, but IIRC correctly in the extended universe it's strongly implied that Anakin 'the chosen one' was actually created by the Sith - by Palpatine's mentor playing about with midichlorians and trying to produce life. I'm really not fan of the whole 'chosen one' prophecy mechanism - it seems totally uneeded - so if I enjoyed the new film I'd be more tempted to ignore that.
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
18,683
Without having seen it I can't really say, but IIRC correctly in the extended universe it's strongly implied that Anakin 'the chosen one' was actually created by the Sith - by Palpatine's mentor playing about with midichlorians and trying to produce life. I'm really not fan of the whole 'chosen one' prophecy mechanism - it seems totally uneeded - so if I enjoyed the new film I'd be more tempted to ignore that.

Like alot of things in Star Wars Lucas came up it on the fly.
 

Rodders

|-O-| (-O-) |-O-|
Supporter
Joined
Nov 6, 2008
Messages
5,524
I think Disney have taken elements from the Original Trilogy to draw the old fans in. For me, at least, it has worked. I have thoroughly enjoyed the new films and while there are many weaknesses, they're enjoyable. Even The Last Jedi was enjoyable to me, as was Solo, (even if it did do badly at the Box Office).

It has to be said, that this is not "My" Star Wars. That time has gone and I can only try and enjoy these movies as I would any other.

As with the Marvel Franchise, Disney have made a series of competent movies, but there is no risk and that is a shame but not unexpected.

I still like to think that Disney are keen to start telling their own story and wiping out the Skywalker thread is a pretty good move in my opinion. Although they (Lucasfilm) appear to be playing it very safe from what I have read about TROS. It's a big galaxy. I, for one, can't wait for the next film.
 

soulsinging

the dude abides
Joined
Oct 23, 2008
Messages
2,440
His personal redemption, certainly. But if you take the prequel trilogy into account (and you certainly don't have to, I myself would rather not), Anakin is not just a bad guy who redeems himself by killing his old boss. He is "the One" who brings balance to the Force. As per Lucas himself, 'bring balance to the Force' meant killing the Sith. The prophecy is fulfilled when Vader throws Palpatine down the Death Star shaft and Palpatine explodes.

All that was undone by this sequel trilogy. Why? Because the creative team behind this trilogy failed to come up with an original take on the SW universe. They simply recycled the 'assets' from earlier films. They gave us Jedi vs Sith again, Rebellion vs Empire again, without a care for maintaining the coherence of the main narrative running through the saga. This is the failure of imagination.

To walk back my previous comments a bit, this doesn't really bother me. It's a central conflict I don't mind exploring more, and I never really gave much thought or attention to the ridiculous virgin-birth-chosen-one-prophecy nonsense from the prequels. To me, the story of Anakin was always about a powerful jedi traumatized by the Clone Wars who descended into darkness under Palpatine's direction but was redeemed by the love of his son. A very simple but powerful Shakespearan tragedy of sorts. The chosen one mumbo jumob I've always rather ignored. So none of that phases me really.
 

Similar threads


Top