Star Wars Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

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Colon pls lol :lol:

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A funny thing happened on the way to the GFFA...

I... kinda liked it a lot more a second time. Since it fails spectacularly at what it should and could be, I looked at it for what it was and it's an extremely clunky, weirdly chintzy, often hacky piece of work that nevertheless comes... maybe by accident? to this amazing point of catharsis that I found really quite moving this time. And it weirdly works better as an emotional resolution of the prequels rather than the sequels...
I just come back to the last act by the last Skywalker being to honour that pact that Anakin made. Lifeless Rey in Ben's arms evokes, perhaps deliberately Shmi in Anakin's, and then them disappearing simultaneously is a really wonderful bookend to Anakin leaving Shmi.

And you contrast this sacrifice, this selflessness, this total reconciliation with the Force and an acceptance of its will with this horrible half-life quasi-Palpatine who, far from being his own man is now subsurvient to the cult of the Sith, who clings to this completely wrongheaded understanding of why Vader saved Luke, and how warped and pathetic this creature actually is. And then he gets a Belloq/Donovan death, justly melted by his own malevolent power, a grim extrapolation of the horror show he put on with Mace for Anakin's benefit at the point of Vader's birth.

Yes, this is reaching a bit but part of the joy of Star Wars is marrying parts up and finding connections and threads across the 60-70 years of the Skywalker epoch. It makes me happier, anyway.

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Nistopher Colon wrote:
December 20th, 2019, 5:54 pm
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In all honesty, the roles should be reversed with TFA instead of TLJ.

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Star Wars fans always manages to find gold in a trash bin.

I'm looking forward to the mental labyrinths ahead of us.

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Deep breath, this will be long: The Rise of Skywalker is a uniquely challenging movie to talk about, as almost anything you say, good or bad, demands an addendum, amendment, or disclaimer. SO, deep breath, one viewing in. The most crushing disappointment of The Rise of Skywalker isn't the general direction of the story, which had potential to be incredible despite some key issues, it's that it's a badly made movie.

It is a 3 hour film (at least, it has the plot of two movies) shaved into the shell of two hours and twenty minutes; a Raiders of the Lost Ark adventure that awkwardly becomes a war movie. Honestly, I think the broad story beats are...kind of good? Sadly, events unfold without care to flow, logic, let alone drama drama, with dialogue that is both strained and endlessly expositional. The visual style, terrible, is as though JJ abandoned the disciplined, patient approach in The Force Awakens, instead keeping his camera confused and hyper-active and tight, often relegating "action" to digital noise. I hope that improves outside of IMAX. That sheer lack of polish gutted me.

As for everything else, the core of the movie: it is one confused beast of a thing. It honors Rian's film in key ways; I think this is more of a response to The Last Jedi rather than a negation of it, and yet ignores or writes over an abundance of what The Last Jedi is about. Time for spoilers.
Rey and Ben's relationship brings their arcs full circle, doubling down on both the force mechanics, plot, and emotion of The Last Jedi. Rey's final act defeating Palpatine was an act of defense and not an act of violence, instead echoing Luke's act of defense on Crait. Leia being the trigger of Ben's redemption also felt true to the thread that Ben couldn't bring himself to fire on Leia in The Last Jedi.

Now the Palpatine of it all: Rey inheriting a bloodline only to reject it, shedding the heritage of Palpatine to appropriate the identity of a family that began as slaves on a backwater planet is a powerful notion that isn't entirely out of conversation with The Last Jedi. Should Rey have found out in an awkward action sequence? Probably not. Did we, as viewers, have time to process this info emotionally any more than Rey did? We did not. But the idea, in theory, is worthy for discussion.

And yet! What I is indisputable, however, is the obfuscation of Rose's entire character, that Poe's lesson of leadership in The Last Jedi is ignored as he regresses into a hot-shot who nearly gets the fleet killed (again!). The most mortal sin, however, is that Luke's act of myth-making that reignites hope in the galaxy is entirely ignored, rescinded and written over in favor of a (very horny) Lando inspiring thousands of ships offscreen to join the fight when they couldn't join for TLJ. What the fuck, JJ? That is the literal plot and point of The Last Jedi!

Finally, I love The Rise of Skywalker is ultimately a film about life, death, rebirth, connecting the main thematic thread in the prequels across the series as Ben ultimately, and beautifully, could do what Anakin couldn't because Ben's sacrifice and act of resurrection was an act of love and selflessness when Anakin's was an act of greed and fear. I found that incredibly moving, and smart on the part of the storytellers.

One last what the fuck: snokes in a tube.
Ultimately, I don't think The Rise of Skywalker was a work of bad faith. My blame lies partly with Disney, rushing to crank Episode IX out. Remember, JJ had 7 fewer months to write the ending to all 9 movies than Rian Johnson had to write The Last Jedi. Rian had 16 months to write The Last Jedi and delayed production an entire month just to continue polishing his own writing.

JJ never had that option. They had to throw something together and execute it in a pressurized, toxic production. Not every story choice, line of dialogue or visual ideal would have improved. A lot of that rides on JJ and Terrio's failures as storytellers. BUT, The Rise of Skywalker is the skeleton of a potentially excellent Star Wars film, one that could have been developed, refined and polished into a satisfying conclusion to the saga. On future viewings, I hope my engagement with the emotion behind the intent connects with the movie this should have been rather than the one it sadly is.


-Vader
Last edited by Vader182 on December 20th, 2019, 7:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Well put, Vader. One of the better reviews I've seen to be honest.

It's too easy to blame it all on either J.J. or toxic fandom (or both) depending on your stance on TLJ. Ultimately Disney should have done better.

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ArmandFancypants wrote:
December 20th, 2019, 6:27 pm
A funny thing happened on the way to the GFFA...

I... kinda liked it a lot more a second time. Since it fails spectacularly at what it should and could be, I looked at it for what it was and it's an extremely clunky, weirdly chintzy, often hacky piece of work that nevertheless comes... maybe by accident? to this amazing point of catharsis that I found really quite moving this time. And it weirdly works better as an emotional resolution of the prequels rather than the sequels...
I just come back to the last act by the last Skywalker being to honour that pact that Anakin made. Lifeless Rey in Ben's arms evokes, perhaps deliberately Shmi in Anakin's, and then them disappearing simultaneously is a really wonderful bookend to Anakin leaving Shmi.

And you contrast this sacrifice, this selflessness, this total reconciliation with the Force and an acceptance of its will with this horrible half-life quasi-Palpatine who, far from being his own man is now subsurvient to the cult of the Sith, who clings to this completely wrongheaded understanding of why Vader saved Luke, and how warped and pathetic this creature actually is. And then he gets a Belloq/Donovan death, justly melted by his own malevolent power, a grim extrapolation of the horror show he put on with Mace for Anakin's benefit at the point of Vader's birth.

Yes, this is reaching a bit but part of the joy of Star Wars is marrying parts up and finding connections and threads across the 60-70 years of the Skywalker epoch. It makes me happier, anyway.
Yeah all of that, this is all sortsa clumsy and bad on film level but myth-wise it makes a tonna sense

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Can we give JJ credit for....
Including Hayden’s voice! Never thought he would!
:clap:

Honestly I like this, I have a lot of similar issues many have....Poe regressing, Rose sidelined...very rushed and messily put together first hour, the wild goose chase of a plot...etc. but the big emotional beats really worked for me honestly. Never thought I would like this more than Vader lol.
Rey being a Palpatine surprisingly was interesting and worked for me, her parents were still regular “nobodies” I mean her dad is the son of Sheev lol...but still. They were ordinary people. It’s an interesting dynamic that our hero of this trilogy came from the ultimate dark side family where as our Villain came from the ultimate light side family. I also don’t think this really undercuts Johnson’s thematic point. He’s still right. And people are being over the top about JJ being “rude” to Johnson honestly, there was nothing maliciously done here as fuck you to him. He’s just a different storyteller, not as good or interesting imo but I respected his big choices enough.
Some are being too harsh with “worst Star Wars ever” etc.

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I thought this was embarrassingly bad. Especially the editing and the video-game narrative of the first half

Even ignoring TLJ and considering it a TFA sequel, it just made me realize how Kasdan was crucial to the creation of the new characters. They all have 10x less charisma in this, are mostly exposition machines and dont start me on the humor...

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"I'm Rey Skywalker" vs. "I'm a Jedi, like my father before me."

Sadly romanticising a bloodline became the ultimate legacy of this saga instead of glorifying an ideology worth fighting for.

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