The Rise of Skywalker - SPOILERS

No Spoilers from me at this point. I simply need to get off my chest how I feel now that I’ve walked out of the last Star Wars movie.

I’m going to say the last, because all of the other stuff, from Mandalorian to Rogue One, to Clone Wars will never hold a place in my heart like A New Hope and the Skywalker series has. Any add ons from here on out can, and will be judged with far more critical eyes. Now that they’re done, I am looking at the whole series much differently than I did when each came out.

Last night, I was incredibly nostalgic and emotional as I was heading into the movie. Never before have I felt that with any movie, including the first 8 of the Skywalker series. Last night was a culmination of 40+ years of imagination, awe, and fun. I saw the original in the theater’s with my father (who died before he was able to see Return of the Jedi). So, that carried weight in and of itself.

It made me think back to my years of playing in my living room with my brother and our pile of action figures. We’d open up the black Darth Vader case that had our figures stored in it. Half the time they would fall out because they didn’t stay in all that well. There were stickers on each slot for the character’s name, but they rarely got put back into their corresponding slot. Eventually, we had enough action figures that we would cram two or three into each slot and we would struggle closing the case.

We would set them up all over the room in some crazy space battle and run around the room screaming “pew pew pew”. I remember having one of the characters fire a shot from one corner of the room, then running across the room, tracing the path of the laser with my finger and flicking whoever the targe was off of their perch on the opposite side of the room. If playing with friends or my brother, some form of bickering over how that shot was impossible would ensue.

The Rise of Skywalker is flawed. In my view, gloriously flawed. It’s not high art by any means, and now that the series is done, I am glad that Abrams and crew stuck with that kind of thinking. Star Wars, back in the 70s and 80s, was just plain damn fun. It shaped and molded my childhood. It sparked imagination. The acting, story, etc. are all on par for what Star Wars is. Would Adult Jon have liked a richer, more enticing story line? Yup! Sure as shit would have. But would 6 year old Jon have loved this movie? Absof**kinglutely.

I have zero doubt that this movie is going to get hated on until the cows come home. But none of the haters will ever be able to take away what this movie meant for me, and I have no doubt, millions of other 48 year old kids around the world will feel as they watch this movie and what it really means.

** Haven’t seen it yet… ***
Anyone out there trying to fit this film as high art needs to find a new movie. I haven’t seen it, and I have exactly zero expectations other than to find out more about what’s happening in the SW universe. At this point, I’m all-in on whatever happens. I’m also all in on every single crazy marketing tie-in because it’s hilarious to me. I was at Home Depot the other day, and there was a Samsung refrigerator with a static cling of Rey on it. Seemingly for no good reason at all! And it was perfect! Pour it all on me with a firehose. I will surely be entertained, and my kids (11, 9, 4) will love it no matter what happens. And for that, I’ll love it, too.

Going to see it Sunday, won’t be looking here until I do because I don’t want to get any impressions, but I’ll report back :slight_smile:

I hope there are no CGI scenes of thousands of people in a battle.

No spoilers in this post.

Just saw it! And LOVED IT! It was cheesy as hell… and guess what, Star Wars has always been cheesy as hell. I mean from the get we had generals that looked like squids and talk like they are under water, and cloud cities, and a jazz band in a desert space cantina, and friggin Ewoks. I love that they didn’t run from it. They embraced it.

I’m not going to lie. I was holding back serious tears at 4 parts! And they wrapped in so many little details from A New Hope and Return of the Jedi! Twisted things from Force Awakens and The Last Jedi in unexpected ways. So much good stuff.

They really went GRAND FINALE on this and pulled out all the stops.

I hope it doesn’t count as spoilers, these are my opinions.
The movie is quite compressed such that everything feels too “conveniently” placed.
The lack of build up to every character makes it hard to get attached to any one of them.
There are also some dialogue that felt out of place but probably added so the movie can flow.

If you dislike episode 7 and 8 then this isn’t any much better, but if you’re a fan who just wants to find out what happens then it would be fine for you.

Can we do spoilers yet?

Does this count as a spoiler?

FULL OF SPOILERS< (yes we can talk spoilers already right?)

I get a bit squeaky inside seeing the ‘a long, long time ago’ blue text and then the big brass intro with the yellow lettering. Have watched these films so many times, going back so many years, in theatres that don’t exist anymore. My dad let me walk by myself across Honolulu to a local theatre, giving me three bucks for TESB matinee and some popcorn. I was seven years old. Talk about a galaxy far away.

Been waiting to get back to my C77/SW extended universe family for a few weeks and now I can.

SW: RoS - I liked the big space battles, the new planets and terrain settings, incongruous things like a crashed Death Star, and going back to Tatooine. The Y-Wing is the perfect SW fighter craft and yes I had one when I was a kid. I liked everything Lando. I really liked that little Babu guy when he’s operating on C-3PO. I liked how fit and toned Rey looked, and appreciated how seriously she took her role which will pretty much typecast her forever. I liked Wedge, even though he said he’d never do another SW film. Even thinking about Carrie Fisher makes me get misty. They sent Leia off right. Just in general the expansion of the SW universe, rendered perfectly on the big screen, is what I appreciated the most.
I was put off by the fast-paced dialogue, the endless stream of arbitrary quests (we have to do this, we have to blow this up), the feeling like we have to tie up all these loose ends in two hours, and all the ghosts. So many ghosts! Used to be Obi-Wan would emerge from the swirling snow and say a few cryptic lines. Now the ghosts can fight and basically pop up at any time. Literally ‘deus ex machina’ plot devices and mostly lazily employed. I didn’t like multiple jumpy storylines all over the galaxy. I didn’t like ‘Rey…Rey Skywalker’. Didn’t someone just say to be proud of who you were? Say ‘Rey Palpatine’ then dammit.

ps - this chef I follow - Food Lab’s Kenji Lopez-Alt - pretty much called the Palpatine heritage after seeing TFA. He’s a real food nerd but an even bigger SW nerd.
pps - Been playing ‘Jedi: Fallen Order’ on Xbox which has almost all of the things listed above in the ‘likes’ paragraph. Its beautiful and difficult, and feels very authentic. Apparently its ‘canonical’ as well. Also the Mandalorian is very, very good - since it follows only one character at a time, the pace is slower, and I think works very well in the short TV episode format. No spoilers please, I’m not done with the season yet.
ppps - The Black Widow trailer looked stupid. The Top Gun: Maverick trailer looked amazing.

SPOILERS

I really enjoyed it overall. I knew it was JJ Abrams going in so I expected tons of nostalgia, too many story lines and stupid McGuffins… this one un guarded antenna is the only way the ships can take off… of we don’t actually need that at all, never mind.

I think the new character introductions were not a good choice. We get two or three really interesting new characters, but this is supposed to wrap up 9 movies! There is no time for them. On top of that characters like Fin and Poe get very little time and no further character development.

I still teared up in 4 places though. The Han “memory”, when all the ships show up with Lando and General Pryd says “where did the get that fleet” and the final order guy says “it’s just… people” and a couple of other spots. But I’m a classic movie weeper. I didn’t need the Kylo/Rey kiss. I didn’t need General Pryd at all (loved the acting, but that could have just been General Hux with zero plot impact). I liked the idea of a clan of AWOL storm troopers but they got zero time.

Overall, I was happy with it. It was enjoyable. I liked that Rey was a Palpatine. Really, the person she had the most affinity toward was Leia so at the end it would have been more fitting if she called herself Rey Organa but it would have gone over most people’s heads. Luke and Anakin hates Tatooine so why go back there? The same reason she calls herself Skywalker and Chewie gets a medal… blatant fan service.

I wish Rian Johnson had directed it. I really liked where he took “The Last Jedi” but it was overall fine. It is hokey in that Star Wars way.

Ok. So, my new rankings.

\

  1. The Empire Strikes Back
  2. Rogue One
  3. A New Hope
  4. The Last Jedi
  5. Return of the Jedi
  6. The Rise of Skywalker
  7. the Force Awakens
    8 ) Solo
    9,10,11) the prequels

Can we talk about The Mandalorian? All my friends are raving about how this show is better than The Rise of Skywalker. I found it incredibly boring. Not really a plot, no real character development. Just a lot of shoot outs, explosions, and montages. Did Michael Bay write this series?

Apples and oranges to RoS or any of the core series films, being written and made for episodic TV gives a more measured dynamic, and each episode is somewhat contained. There’s an omnipresent Guild threat and the inside joke of how bad-ass the bounty he’s shepherding really is. I don’t think its boring, for a lot of the reasons that the SW films aren’t: being treated visually to another look into this Galaxy is enjoyable. Agree that we aren’t finding out much more about the lead character, his motivations, what his beef with his Mandalorian comrades is. It has this gritty, sparse, austere aesthetic that hearkens back to A New Hope.

ADMIN hat: changed the topic title to say spoilers since we are getting into it.

Ok, admin hat off. On the Mandalorian I was surprised how much killing there was in it for a Disney show. One of the main themes seemed to be “there is no problem too small that can’t be solved by a blaster” … he goes from disintegrating Jawas to negotiating with them in 30 seconds.

The only two characters that really seem to care about people, Kwuiil and the IG unit, of course die. I did really like Carl Weathers’s performance though.

A New Hope is basically a kids movie. When Luke’s Aunt and Uncle and the Jawas die it happens off screen. A lot of Storm Troopers bit the dust but in almost a comical fashion. The only dramatic death we see is Obi Wan and he immediately disappears and the only blood we see is the guy in the bar getting his arm chopped off (most of that happens off screen as well) … I think this is pretty far from A New Hope. It was a slog for me to get through it. I kept hoping it would get interesting.

Just my take. Most of my friends seemed to love it.

The only part of A New Hope that bothered/scared me as a kid was seeing Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen as burnt-up meaty skeletons laying in painful positions in the desert sand. That’s as gory as the whole series got - even when Luke’s arm got chopped it looked like liver sausage. Oh right the arm in the cantina was bloody too.

A perhaps unfortunate symptom of our times is the ability to know so much about the inner workings of the entertainment production system, so that the viewing of any new show also drags along what you know of the actors, the studio, the writing, the whole weight of ‘canonical’ accuracy…this is doubly so for Disney’s properties. On the one hand you have to feel good that its not some cracker-jack outfit making Lucasfilm stories, but having to gravitate around what “a Disney show” should include in terms of intended age groups, violence, screenplay…I don’t know, it is just more self-referential now. Like watching a Tarantino film where everything is an inside joke.

Back on topic - were there any hints or leads in RoS that suggested seeing any of the characters branch off into a new series? Will we ever see Rey again?

Oh man, this Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen skeletons scare the daylights out of me as a little kid too… they didn’t have any lightsaber switch-ons to the face back then like Kylo’s move in The Last Jedi.

I heard that Daisy Riddley and John Boyega have no interest in doing anything further in the Star Wars universe. I could see something for Poe. How about a rise of Palpatine series where we see him have kids and the kids try to rebel and escape when Rey is born?

I don’t get the people on the internets who say The Rise of Skywalker isn’t serious enough. Let me just say, the original series had a character named Jabba the friggin Hut. It was never serious. Rogue One was Star Wars meets Saving Private Ryan, so that was pretty gritty, but it was an off shoot, not a main trilogy.

This right here is why I have come back around to the idea that even the prequels are good. I watched Phantom Menace the other night with my son for the first time in a long time. Just like Rise of Skywalker, it is full of holes and some very bad decision making with respect to character choices (Qui Gon and Jar Jar are the most glaring failures). The Pod Race is still stellar and at the time of release ahead of its time.

I’ve said for decades that Lucas is a horrible director. He created a wonderful story and I believe he should have stuck to story creation and let others do the directing. I suspect that had Lucas directed Empire that we would have had a very different outcome for the trajectory of the brand. The fact that Empire was significantly better than the original (rare in any trilogy) is what ignited the long-lasting passion for this franchise.

Star Wars was always for and about kids. The fact that the Skywalker Saga took 40+ years to conclude I believe has, in retrospect, tarnished the outcome. Those who originally watched A New Hope in the theatres, have grown up into adults expecting more depth than a gold bikini.

I thought that Abrams did a good job of maintaining that brand, flaws and all.

Interestingly enough, watching Phantom Menace again, the scene where Darth Maul gets lopped in half there is a mist of blood that rises up into the screen even though the actual slicing is off screen.

To that end, how is it that Darth Maul gets lopped in half like a stick of butter, Luke’s hand falls off like it was a banana being cut in half, but when Darth Vader got smashed in the shoulder by Luke’s light saber in Empire he lets out a grunt but little more?

Damn I knew there was something missing from #7, 8, 9.

Vader only let out a grunt because in contrast to those other two cuts, Vader got chopped in the machine parts, not the wetware parts.

A newer use of the lightsaber which I approve of 100% is to hold it toward the victim while off, then quickly cycle the power, leaving a nice clean hole and a dead Sith/soldier/buddy (the Second Sister uses this technique in the Fallen Order game).

I loved Fallen Order. Very fun game.

My gf’s son asked why nobody ever turned their lightsaber on and off quickly on, say, a massive downward strike. Turn off the sabre to avoide the block from your opponent, turn it back on right away to slice them cleanly in half. The little turd really messed with my perspective of every light sabre battle ever had.

I do remember being awed by Kylo doing the light sabre needle point, I believe in Force Awakens, and thinking it was very cool.

Does Vader have some special Sith metal that is impervious to light sabers? Battle Droids halves fly all over the screen any time Obi Wan and Qui Gon are near them.