How do I…
To what we had???
The good times that made us laugh…(A New Hope)
Outweigh the bad…(Attack of the Clones)
I thought we’d get to see forever…(The Force Awakens)
But forever’s gone away…(The Rise of Skywalker)
It’s so hard….to say goodbye….to the Star Wars Franchise.
This film was never going to work. Disney won’t admit it, critics won’t admit it, but the fans already knew it. J. J. Abrams opened the door to a new Star Wars universe four years ago and even if you didn’t like what was behind that door, it was there. Abrams stepped down and enter Rian Johnson, the man who took a sledgehammer to every plot point set up in The Force Awakens by Abrams. Rian took it upon himself to decide that audiences needed to be challenged instead of pandered to and in order to challenge us, he needed to shit on every interesting storyline the universe set up and then spend two years attacking everyone who called him out on his hackery. Then as Colin Trevorrow realized he would rather die than have this film attached to his career, Abrams was brought back into the fold, this time to extinguish the five-alarm fire that Rian Johnson set of his work and somehow make this burnt parade float appealing to audiences, that is what got us to The Rise Of Skywalker.
The third movie of the Disney Star Wars trilogy is a golden example of how having too many cooks ultimately satisfies no one. Abrams as clear as day tries to retcon the damage The Last Jedi did to his vision and as a result, creates a film that is full of plot holes, MacGuffins, plot conveniences, and downright stupidity. As a fan, you can’t even be mad because we all saw it coming. Rise Of Skywalker lives and dies for Rey, she is established as the most important character arguably in the history of the franchise. You can’t even pretend to make the argument that the character is not a Mary Sue at this point because Rise Of Skywalker literally creates powers and plot holes in order to heighten her importance to this universe. She literally spends the first 4 minutes receiving training that never comes into play because she simply learns new powers that she is great at with no understanding of what she is doing.
Rey is only a small fraction of the problem here. It is quite amazing to see a trilogy that fundamentally fails to create ANY constant chemistry between ANY of their characters. Bravo to Disney’s Star Wars for three films worth a failure. The series honeypots you with potential relationships with characters that never amount to anything in the grand scheme of things. Finn and Rey? Never pays off. Rey and Ren? Nope. Tico and Finn? Forget about it. There is even a scene where Poe is reunited with an old flame played by Keri Russell in a cameo role, but she disappears as quickly as she is introduced and they never make anything of it by the time the credits roll.
The biggest symptom of a massive patch job in storytelling is when your characters know plot details without it ever being explained to them. Every character knows each other without ever meeting, characters know the plans and locations of other characters they couldn’t possibly have known. Most of the film is our heroes traveling to some planet to find something that may or may not help them advance the plot forward, which serves as nothing more than a time waster that nobody wins in the process, especially the viewers.
Most reviewers will slam this movie for “pandering to fans” because they mortgaged their credibility for two straight years defending Rian Johnson’s “fuck you” to the Star Wars universe. The pissing/dick-measuring contest between Abrams and Johnson destroyed what fans waited decades to see on the big screen. Kathleen Kennedy’s extremely poor management along with her committal to incorporating intersectional feminism into the universe did nothing but try to put out a dumpster fire with a gas pump. Rise of Skywalker is what we thought it was, a film that had the impossible task of course-correcting a franchise and predictably failed at it.