A lot of Outposters have had plenty to say about Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise Of Skywalker. Many are revealing spoilers and giving mini-reviews in our discussion thread. Others want to do something more!
All rise for Magnus Greel, long time Outposter in our Disqus community who sends us his first review.
Is Rise of Skywalker better than The Last Jedi? In my opinion yes, yes it is. Admittedly, that is a very low bar to clear, but I didn’t have the feeling of total dread like I did walking out of The Last Jedi.
Spoilers abound, lest ye be warned.
This movie is built almost as if The Last Jedi doesn’t exist. You could honestly skip Episode 8 and not miss much.
We all knew that JJ Abrams had signed on for a near-impossible task of trying to pick up the narrative pieces that were left in the rubble of The Last Jedi. We also know that he is at best a hack who never met a stolen idea he didn’t run with, but he does have the ability to come up with flashes of brilliance. Rise of Skywalker is a disjointed half of a film, that manages to find it’s stride just over midway through. If you have seen the movie, you may know what I am talking about.
Rey, having decided she wants to go the hermit route, returns to Ach-To (with a couple of Porgs and no lactating beasts around) to be left alone. While literally burning her ship and attempting to toss Luke’s lightsaber into the fire, Luke’s Force Ghost emerges from the flames to return the weapon to her.
This leads to the biggest F-U to Rian Johnson in a film with many of them. Luke declares he was “wrong” for his behavior, and that he let fear control him. In this moment, Hamill felt more like Luke Skywalker than he did in the entirety of The Last Jedi.
To add insult to injury, he raises his old X-Wing out of the watery grave Johnson had left it in. The scene is shameless in its imagery and music cues, but at that moment, the movie became less about trying to retcon what came in the prior episode, and more about what this final movie could become.
How we get to that point is the classic technique:
“Keep everyone moving so the audience can’t think about it for too long”
Sheev Palpatine is still alive, but we don’t get any real explanation on HOW he’s made it to his current condition. Hell, he is launching a massive fleet with hundreds of ships that have been sitting around fully manned for how long now? We get that within the first 5 minutes. And off we go.
We get Carrie Fisher footage spliced in with dialogue that is written around whatever footage they had, not all of it making any real narrative sense. We get banter between the three leads that doesn’t feel earned because they haven’t progressed together over the course of the prior two films. Rose Tico has been reduced to Tech Support left with the Resistance in another JJ poke at Rian Johnson.
Whoever did the Chewbacca costume should never work in Hollywood again. It’s that bad. Ditto with whoever was in charge of Harrison Ford’s hair/wig. Awful. As a side note, Ford has aged noticeably. He is not the same man who was in The Force Awakens four years ago. Any idea of another Indiana Jones film with him as the good Doctor needs to be put down permanently. The music is solid, as Williams is able to recycle and adapt old, but trustworthy themes.
If you have read through this so far, you would probably conclude that I hated the film. I didn’t. I enjoyed it and will revisit it via Disney+ when it becomes available.
The heroes do heroic things. No Canto Bight-type scenes. Domhall Gleeson wasn’t as idiotic as he was in The Last Jedi. Richard E. Grant’s Admiral Pryde was suitably nasty. I always enjoy Ian McDiarmid as the Emperor. The effects work is top-notch. A special shout-out to Kerri Russell’s butt in her Zorri Bliss costume. Lando can still charm the ladies, even the ones that are 50 years younger.
The space horses even worked in the context that they were presented.
Are these the Star Wars sequels we wanted? Hell no. Do they need to change leadership at Lucasfilm? Hell yes. Now that this chapter of the Skywalker Saga is over, perhaps they will be able to explore the far reaches of the galaxy.
Hopefully, The Mandalorian is a sign of things to come.
A storming Outpost debut article from Magnus Greel. We have a few more articles coming down the pipe and we are always happy for any content contributions from any of our Outposters.
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