Rise & Fall

Spoilers Ahead for Star Wars Episode Nine The Rise of Skywalker

I used the force. As in, I forced myself to go and see the final installment of the Skywalker saga. It’s not 100% disappointing, but it’s far from fulfilling. It’s like eating an entire bag of potato chips. They taste good in the moment, but by the end of the bag you’re looking for more than the last crumbs and you haven’t really nourished yourself. That is the Rise of Skywalker in a nutshell.

Been There, Done That

The movie has lots of references to previous chapters episodes. But what starts out as a wink and a nod quickly goes from homage to an obvious band-aid for a lack of creativity. I’ve written before about how this franchise ran out of fresh ideas decades ago. But this movie is a parade of retread.

  • A Cantina Scene
  • Planet Destroying Weapon (Now in convenient carry along size!)
  • The Millennium Falcon has mechanical issues
  • Palpatine Still Pulling The Strings
  • SHOCKING Family Lineage Revealed (Rey, I am your grandfather!)
  • A Jedi-In-Training Comes Face-to-Face with their Dark Side. (I Swear to god I almost walked out at that point)

The list goes on.

At Last

I was hoping this movie would help shade in the pointlessness of The Last Jedi. In some way connect the dots and make it more than a cash-grab bridge movie. It does not.

But that’s fine. The fact is this franchise is not cutting edge and relies on its pedigree and rep from the late 1970s and early 80s for its cultural relevance. New, better, and more entertaining ideas are out there, and many owe their success to the foundation the Star Wars franchise laid back in the day.

If Disney had launched this franchise with The Force Awakens, it would be looked at as an Avengers wannabe set in space.

Back From the Dead

And we need to talk about Carrie Fisher’s role for a moment. They used unseen footage shot during The Force Awakens. And it’s obvious. They try to make it work by using lots of cutaways of Rey and emotional shots staring into space. But it’s awkward.

The idea was much better executed in Rogue One, which computer generated Peter Cushing as the ambitiously evil Grand Moff Tarkin that we loved to hate in the original, A New Hope. Cushing died in 1994 but you’d never know it watching Rogue One. I enjoyed that film, and it wasn’t distracting seeing him on screen.

Much more could have been done with the Leia, but what do you expect from a franchise that kept her in the vacuum of space for most of The Last Jedi, then brought her inside alive and well, only to die while transcending space to reach her spoiled, power hungry son.

The inconsistencies abound.

Force’d Upon Us

Of course, Disney’s not done. There’s The Mandalorian killing it on Disney+. There will be more video games and TV shows, and likely a new family saga to follow in theaters.

But we don’t need to see any of it. We won’t be buying tickets the moment they go on sale, months ahead of release. The excitement and caché of this franchise are as dead as Guido slumped over the table in the cantina on Tatooine.

And speaking of cantinas..

The Critic’s Cocktail Recommendation

I was having mimosas before my screening. Hardly appropriate.

For you, I’d recommend a Margarita, double tequila. The extra liquor should help enhance the special(ish) effects and maybe elicit some emotion when ‘sad’ things happen.

Cheers!

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