Believe It or Not, I’m Walking on Sky

The Rise of SkywalkerSPOILERS! Pretty significant ones, but I’m sure most people who care have already seen it. I finally went to see this, and I did enjoy it, but I also thought it had some significant flaws. I guess I’d say the weaknesses were mostly in the plot. It’s no secret that the recent Star Wars films rely heavily on nostalgia, and it mostly works. I loved seeing Lando Calrissian again, and seeing glimpses of Ewoks and Jawas.

There’s even a moment where Chewbacca gets a medal, something people complained about with the ending of the very first film. There were some amusing parts with C-3PO. And Carrie Fisher’s part didn’t seem as tacked on as I feared it would, being as I’m sure they intended to do more with Leia if the actress hadn’t died. But it can go a little too far when the plots are also recycled. I felt that there was a bit too much of it in The Force Awakens, while The Last Jedi tried to do something different while remaining familiar. Maybe because J.J. Abrams is back directing, this kind of has the same problem with repetition. I guess it’s mostly just one plot element, but it’s a major one. Emperor Palpatine is back as the main villain, and it’s not like they save it for a surprise some way through the movie. He’s mentioned in the opening crawl, and the story starts with Kylo Ren finding out Palpatine is still alive and tracking him down to kill him, only to end up joining forces with him instead. As if it wasn’t enough that the First Order was essentially a rip-off of the Empire, now it just IS the Empire. I’m not saying there’s any reason why someone couldn’t come back from the dead in this franchise, especially someone with a bunch of evil powers, just that it’s rather lazy. I also think it ignored some of the more pressing questions I had with the previous two films, while explaining things that didn’t even need explanations. We still don’t know where the First Order came from; even if Palpatine was behind the whole thing, they still needed to rise to power somehow. And how much control do they have? It sometimes sounds like they control the whole galaxy, and other times that they’re still consolidating power. Did the First Order conquer the Republic, which is why they became the Resistance? And dying somehow granted the Emperor power to make millions of Star Destroyers that can blow up planets, when during his original lifetime a single Death Star was a huge deal? I would have liked to have seen more of the Sith planet, as I would have thought it was an opportunity for some creepy scenery. I don’t know of any real reason for Rey to be Palpatine’s granddaughter, although I guess it has been established that Force sensitivity is at least partially genetic, so that makes sense. But I don’t think morality is genetic even in this galaxy. To be fair, it’s definitely established that her real family is the people she cares about, not the genocidal dictator who happens to share DNA with her; but I’m not sure why it’s even a big deal in the first place so much as just an interesting bit of trivia. And why would there be a special bond between the grandchildren of Palpatine and Darth Vader. Yeah, they were master and apprentice, but it’s not like they liked each other, at least not after the events of Revenge of the Sith. And while I appreciate a good redemption story (with the caveat that it doesn’t excuse the bad things they did), I didn’t find Kylo’s reformation all that convincing. For that matter, he’s a terrible public relations guy for the Dark Side. What possible reason would Rey have to want to be mopey like him? I feel like I’m making it sound like I hated the movie, and I didn’t. It was pretty exciting and had sad and uplifting moments. I suppose I just feel like it created more loose ends than it tied up. Of course, this isn’t intended to be the last Star Wars film, just the end of the Skywalker saga, but still.

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