For the first time since December 20 of 2019, I have seen The Rise of Skywalker and it reminded me in a very painful way why I’m not a fan of this movie.
Upon this second viewing, the likable elements of this film (the dynamic between Rey, Finn, and Poe, the humor, the sequence on Kijimi) are even more fun but the elements that bring the film down (Palpatine, the final battle sequence on Exegol, Poe’s horrible-want-to-be-Captain-America-speech) suck the joy right out of the viewing experience.
There are fans who enjoy this film, who like the choices Abram made and who cherished the simplicity of the story. I’m one who likes simplicity too (that’s why The Force Awakens is my third favorite Star Wars movie) but, and that’s a huge BUT, I like a story that makes sense, that pushes the boundaries of what you expect and delivers a finale worth cheering about.
After recently watching the extended edition of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King the “dire” scope of the situation of the Resistance feels petty in comparison. Everything in this movie came too easily. Palpatine broadcast his return to the whole galaxy. Luke was apparently looking for Exegol (why I’m not sure) and all of the clues needed to find the Sith world lied in the books Rey took from Ahch-To. An abandoned ship from decades before containing a dagger needed to find Exegol was conveniently placed on Pasaana for Rey to find. Oh, and the ship was the same one that Rey saw in her vision in The Force Awakens. Go figure. Poe knows a black market droidsmith on Kijimi that can hack C-3PO and reveal a Sith translating protocol inside of the golden droid. They go to Kef Bir where the Sith Wayfinder has been kept hidden on the crashed remains of the Death Star. Rey eventually goes to Exegol, the Resistance follows because conveniently they can track her, and a showdown transpires that doesn’t feel dire in the slightest.
Here you have what appears to be hundreds of Star Destroyers, enough to take out the Resistance in minutes. The ships never do any real damage and apparently, they’re really easy to destroy when it’s convenient to end all of the drama. One fighter can take out a single Star Destroyer as if they don’t have any deflector shields? That’s never happened in Star Wars because it doesn’t make sense.
My sister said this movie should’ve been renamed Star Wars: The Convenience Store and I wholeheartedly agree with her. As I said before, I just finished watching The Return of the King, a movie that beats down its heroes throughout its entirety until, by their will and a whole lot of luck, they defeat Sauron at the end. It’s a beautiful conclusion that induces worthy tears. The Rise of Skywalker does not produce that same emotion from me.
I wish I could say this second viewing was better than my first. In ways, it is but in a lot of ways it also confirmed why I despise this movie so much. A fact I will elaborate upon in greater detail in my next post.
I thank you for reading and I hope you have a spectacular day. May the Force be with you.