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The Rise of Skywalker

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Kevthejedi, Dec 16, 2019.

  1. Kevthejedi

    Kevthejedi Active Member

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    Hey guys

    Thought I'd start a thread so as to avoid spoilers elsewhere. My tickets are booked for Friday 20th, so will return after I've seen it to discuss!
     
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  2. Skywlkr76

    Skywlkr76 Active Member

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    I’ve got tickets for the premier Thursday night.
     
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  3. Electricboa

    Electricboa Moderator Staff Member

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    This is a long review full of spoilers.

    Well, that was a movie that existed. I do want to preface everything by saying that I did go into the movie knowing all the leaks. As a general rule, I don’t have issues with spoilers. And thanks to TLJ, I had almost zero enthusiasm for this movie. I hoped it would be good, but it wasn’t going to be all that surprising if it wasn’t.

    I thought it looked amazing. They had lots of great visuals and the special effects was top notch. And that’s also what everyone is going to say right before they ram the knife in and start gutting this movie like a fish. It has a ton of problems. It crams so much into the movie that it really shows just how much TLJ crippled the sequels. This movie should have been split in two, with the first half being TLJ. Maybe they could have fleshed out more of the things.

    But the biggest problem this movie has is actually trying to do damage control for TLJ while also trying to tell the story. Jeremy Jahns said it best when he said he didn’t know where the damage control stopped and the story, they wanted to tell started. But the real issue with the course correction, is it’s trying to straddle the line to please everyone and in doing so, pleases no one. And this is what I was afraid of long before the leaks came out. Without getting into the forest, the two largest fan blocks wanted mutually opposing things. Disney decided to bypass Sophie’s Choice by pulling an Anakin on us and all younglings are dead. So if you loved TLJ, this movie does the best it can to undermine it without actually retconning the whole movie. If you hated TLJ, this movie can’t undo the worst parts of the previous one. You can’t put the genie back in the bottle. And because of that, the exposition dump was so much and so fast in the beginning it felt like they weren’t even taking breaths between any of it.

    But enough about that, what about the movie itself? I think it’s closer to TFA than anything else. If you don’t think about it, then you can enjoy the ride. But the second you start asking questions, it’s all going to fall apart like a house of cards. When you notice the Resistance has a ton of people right after the last movie killed everyone not on the Falcon, that’s distracting (they explain it in a book). When you ask how the hell Palpatine survived being blown up—not to mention somehow looking younger as a corpse than he did when he was alive, that’s distracting. I can go on and on, but that’s probably what killed this movie for most people, the plot holes are countless and we know this is the last movie, so there’s no hope of this being explained outside of the books and comics. And I feel so sorry for the poor writer who is going to have to come up with a story to resolve all these problems.

    My question is why the dagger exists at all. I mean the Wayfinders are supposed to be rare. Okay, why would a random assassin have a special dagger that had to have been created after ROTJ? If he’s working for Palpatine, why not just take the Wayfinder? I mean he knows where it is. What point is there in creating an elaborate scavenger hunt to find it? It doesn’t serve any purpose and who cares about it anyway? Palpatine already knows where Exogal is. Presumably, he dispatched the assassin from it, so why does the assassin care enough to create the dagger, but leave it sitting there? Not to mention the Wayfinder Kylo finds at the beginning of the movie without any trouble. That wasn’t difficult to get, so what was the big deal about Luke and Lando not being able to find it? I guess we’re all glad that despite the wild waters, the part the dagger needed never corroded or broke away. It was perfectly preserved for however many years between when it was made and TROS.

    The actors, as always, do a great job with what they have to work with. This is my EU roots showing, but I can’t help but thing how much better Driver and Ridley would have been as Jacen and Jaina. Speaking of which: Reylo. I start off by saying I never really cared one way or the other. The movies, as far as I’m concerned, haven’t set up anything romantic between them. So the random kiss at the end is out of nowhere and makes no sense. Maybe if they actually planned it to go that route, it could have worked? Then again, it’s not like Anakin and Padme are a shining example of a good relationship, at least in the movies. Not that I’m immune to liking a pairing that would otherwise be considered toxic in the context of the show/movie it was in. I’m looking at you, Rumpelstiltskin/Belle from Ounce Upon a Time. But they kill off Kylo, so the people that ship them aren’t happy, either.

    Has Poe actually spoken to Rey before this movie? I’m sure he must have, but I can’t remember. But the banter is as if they’re close friends and that’s out of nowhere for me. But at least Poe and Finn are doing things. More than I can say for Rose. She was sidelined so fast I think she can sue someone for whiplash. I guess there wasn’t any time to try and save her character. I also suppose that romantic subplot between her and Finn is in the trash, too. Or was Finn supposed to be in love with Rey? Or Lando’s daughter (that subplot go cut from the movie, I guess)? Come to think of it, why was C-3PO with them in the first place? I get they needed him to translate later, but no one knew that in the beginning. He’s not the best for adventuring.

    As far as Rey specifically, I have defended her to some extent against the more virulent Mary Sue accusations given how Anakin in the prequels was somewhat similar. Neither were good, but I think you have to criticize both if you have problems with one. TROS just sails right over that Mary Sue wall and I can’t even try to defend it anymore. Her first scene is some kind of Avatar meditation pose with floating rocks around her. I actually groaned. Then she can pilot a watercraft through a churning ocean, despite never even seeing that much water before? Healing through the Force isn’t a new concept, but it was never, ever, something that could undo a fatal blow in a few seconds. It was a slow process that basically helped improve the speed at which the person’s own body healed itself. Rey just miraculously gets this power out of nowhere—and I don’t care what the Mandalorian showed—it doesn’t make it acceptable to just undo death like that on a whim. And then Kylo somehow doing the exact same thing, but it kills him for . . . reasons. I guess that means Obi-Wan could have saved Padme, but just didn’t care to? Why didn’t Luke just heal Yoda? Again, thinking is bad for this movie.

    I have no idea what to make of Kylo in this movie. He’s supposed to be the Supreme Leader, but acts just like he did before. His redemption might have been better if it was actually given more than getting stabbed makes him rethink his life, I guess Death Sticks guy has company. How exactly did Kylo get a TIE, though? Apparently the FO was always run by Palpatine, at least that’s the implication from Pryde. And where does he get the power to transfer physical objects through visions? I mean he literally snatches Rey’s necklace and keeps it. And Rey gives him a lightsaber through it, too.

    And now Palpatine. I was never opposed to bringing him back, but I’m also horribly biased in favor of getting more Palpatine. He’s my favorite character and seeing Ian McDiarmid playing him in the flesh was fantastic. It’s also painfully obvious how rushed everything was because the final battle was painful to watch. Mace Windu can melt Sidious’ face without phasing him, but the second Rey gets a second lightsaber, she disintegrates him? Are you kidding me? There’s another Mary Sue-ism to throw on the pile, but it also makes Palpatine’s last minute return utterly pointless. He heals himself back to—presumably—full strength, only to be destroyed because Rey can hold two lightsabers? How does that even reflect anything?

    And being ‘all the Sith’ as a literal thing basically just ruins the Sith. The whole point of the Sith is to kill the master and take over. Now, it’s just becoming one with the hive mind? The master just decides it’s time to die? What about Palpatine killing his master in his sleep? I guess the sequel trilogy wouldn’t be complete without trying to pull another OT character down with everyone else.

    At the end of the day, I don’t entirely blame Abrams. He was never supposed to do the third movie and Johnson did almost everything you could imagine to sabotage the sequels—and he succeeded. But Abrams had to work with what he had and I don’t think anyone could have come up with a movie that would satisfy most people after TLJ. There was too much division, and the reaction to the criticism crystalize the polarization. That was the fault of Disney and Johnson himself.

    This is something I’ve said from the beginning and it’s been proven true throughout. Abrams should have handled all three movies. For better or worse, it at least would have been consistent. He could have done more foreshadowing to give us real payoffs at the end. I think nothing exemplifies this better than Hux and Pryde. TFA set up Hux as this fanatical Tarkin-esque character that would have represented the military side of the First Order. TLJ took that and made him a joke that no one could take seriously, so TROS has to bring in a new character, Pryde, to give us a credible threat. If Abrams wasn’t spending so much time trying to fix Johnson’s mistakes, he might have been able to build on Hux through all the movies. Maybe Abrams could have made the trilogy better if he did all of them, maybe they should have found someone else entirely. We’ll never know.

    What I think will summarize the sequels more than anything else is wasted potential. I love the Expanded Universe. Despite its flaws, it was built out of a genuine love of Star Wars. The people who wrote the books didn’t do it because Star Wars was marketable gold that could make back an investment. Disney could have drawn on those stories like Marvel used the comics. They could have taken the best stories and built something truly spectacular. Instead, we got the sequels, which were mediocre at best and insulting at worst. We got a series that care more about tearing down legacy characters to make room for new ones than giving us a satisfying end to their journey.

    As the sun sets on the sequel trilogy, it has become abundantly clear that I will never think of it as the real story of Star Wars. The EU will always be my Star Wars and nothing can take that away. No matter what Disney decides to do, Han and Leia will stay married and have three children and a granddaughter. Luke will never abandon his family and friends to go into exile. My Luke rebuilt the Jedi Order, got married, and had a son. Palpatine has no children and isn’t a hive mind Sith vessel. Disney Star Wars, ironically, is the AU it wanted to turn the EU into. It’s a what-if that might be fun to visit if they come up with a good story. Funny enough, there are better AUs out there in fan fiction anyway. So while Star Wars itself won’t ever die, I think the lesson here is what happens when a company thinks a passionate fanbase will accept anything they’re given and be grateful for it.

    Oh, and Rey taking the Skywalker name is dumb. That criticism might seem tacked on and out of place, but so is that scene. It would have been better if she said she was no one. That, at least, might have been an interesting note to leave the movie on.

    TL/DR:
    [​IMG]

    Edit: Oh, I forgot the Chosen One prophesy from the original six movies. That’s pretty much out the window and Anakin’s sacrifice is undermined. He still did it to save his son, but he didn’t destroy the Sith. So I guess the prequels are made retroactively pointless. You get some worthless line where Anakin tells Rey to bring balance to the Force like he did—except he didn’t.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2019
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  4. Kevthejedi

    Kevthejedi Active Member

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    Just a warning that I'm not being careful with spoilers in here, watch it before you read.

    I saw it on Friday, wanted to get back to the computer to do my write up. @Electricboa I love your review, it's a shame you're so disappointed with it, but your writing style really makes me smile (You get some worthless line where Anakin tells Rey to bring balance to the Force like he did—except he didn’t.)

    I've looked at a few reviews and can agree with them all. My opinion?

    Firstly, some good.
    It felt like a Star Wars movie. I was back in the universe, which ultimately is what I want.
    JJ is fond of his fanservice, and I don't think that's a bad thing, it always made me smile. The use of iconic music at key plot points that linked to previous movies (Emperor's throne room, raising the X-Wing) makes the visual more emotional in my opinion, it's a simple thing, but I like it. Luke can left his X-Wing out of the water. Lando's in it. Wedge. Chewie finally getting his medal (I almost groaned at that).
    Yes it was packed full of stuff, but it was fast moving, at no point could I say I was bored.
    Chewie's reaction to hearing Leia was gone nearly had me tearing up.
    Force Powers - I know there's the question of 'how' as they've not been seen before, but I didn't mind that. Just because you haven't seen something before, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. I liked the interactions between Rey and Kylo, and that their 'bond' was so strong it went beyond a mental connection and became physical, hinted at in TLJ and then developed in this.
    Han Solo.
    Character relationships - I was on board with the Finn/Poe/Rey friendship. We don't really know how long they were all together on the Falcon after TLJ, but it makes sense that as the leaders, and through their separate friendships with Finn, all 3 would end up closer.
    Finn - I didn't like him in TFA or TLJ, John Boyega acted the part well, I just never liked the character. In this one he had finally grown out of his earlier character into someone I genuinely liked.
    Rey taking the Skywalker name at the end. It summarised the concept of choice, light over dark, and continuing their legacy, even if we're not going to see it.
    Considering what they were left to work with, I think they did as good a job as they could.
    I'm sure there are more things I enjoyed, but these cover a few.

    Ok, some of the bad
    Plot convenience - this is the biggest one, and obviously what @Electricboa highlighted in his review. This was unfortunately necessary to develop any kind of story after the Last Jedi left them with nothing to work with. I have read the book Resistance Reborn, which covers the gathering of allies again and why no one answered the call, so going in I could understand why they had more ships and allies. Without that though you very much just have to accept it.
    The dagger leading to the wayfinder. The fact it exists. That Luke was on top of it then just figured he couldn't be bothered to find it anymore. As Boa pointed out, that it still even 'works' and there was no erosion or tidal movement. That they happened to be standing in exactly the right place to use it as intended. Ok, some of those you can argue as the Will of the Force, and on the one hand I'd say that's lazy script writing, but on the other I understand they were working with scraps.
    Palpatine - he was never meant to be in this. The only reason he was back was because TLJ killed Snoak. And that all comes back to the whole premise of the sequel trilogy being a copy of the original trilogy. JJ's vision was not original, it was to remake the OT. TLJ flipped that on it's head, allowing this to be different instead of another copy. Maybe this should be in the good?
    Rey taking the Skywalker name at the end. It was predictable, and obviously what JJ wanted it to really be before TLJ binned that.

    I enjoyed the movie as the conclusion to the sequel trilogy. If you consider each trilogy a Skywalker story, you could argue that this one was Ben's and led to his redemption, after Anakin's fall and Luke's growth to hero.
    As the conclusion to the 9 movie saga? No, unfortunately not. It's not the story I wanted to be told. And that's what it comes down to in the end, everyone has their own ideas of what they want. The EU did a great job of continuing the story before Disney binned it, and this take on the continuing story didn't fulfill my dreams.

    Still going to see it again in a week, I always find a second viewing helps.
     
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  5. Electricboa

    Electricboa Moderator Staff Member

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    Maybe I’m being too harsh on it. I didn’t hate the movie and I at least appreciated that they tried to fix what they could. I think people complaining about fan service or when Johnson recently said that you shouldn’t try to make fans happy are just wrong. Yes, there can be value in giving someone what they didn’t know they wanted, but that’s not the same as beating people over the head that what they enjoy is dumb.

    Chewie’s reaction was probably the only time I really thought the movie got a strong reaction out of me. I already knew the leaks, so Chewie’s fake death didn’t do anything and they revealed he was alive so fast I don’t know if I would have had time to react even if I hadn’t known he was alive. This might make me the bad guy, but I almost think they should have actually killed Chewie for the emotional impact.

    I’m not sure about the Force powers. I’m not against new ones on principle, but being able to physically transfer objects makes no sense to me. It felt like they just used the force as a swiss army knife to solve any problem they had. How can we give Kylo the lightsaber at the end? How about . . .

    [​IMG]

    My biggest problem was where Rey learned all this. And how Kylo learned it from her by just watching her do it once. They use their bond like a Deus Ex Machina. Speaking of which, how does Kylo learn about a Dyad? I mean he was trained by Snoke, Did Snoke just have that information randomly lying around and Palpatine just forgot about it? Because he wasn’t aware until the end. In the original leaks, the Dyad thing was more prominent, and I think they might have just kept some of the scenes back when that was a plot point.

    I did like they gave Finn something to finally do. I guess Abrams came out and said that the thing he wanted to tell Rey is that he’s Force sensitive. I had no idea. In the movie, it seemed like they were trying to do a romance plot. At the end he senses Rey. They also gave Poe a little development. I thought the Han scene was pretty well done. I’m guessing before Fisher passed away, she was going to be the one that talked to him. But reusing the scene from TFA worked. They also did a decent job with Luke.

    I’m not sure what I think could have really been done differently. I guess maybe if they decided to do an extra movie? I know trilogies are a thing, but they might have been able to do it better if they just admitted they needed an extra movie to tie everything off. I also think Rey should have been the one to stay dead. It would have been a more interesting twist that it would turn out the story is more about Kylo being redeemed. Or they could have actually had Rey fall and Kylo have to fight her. Maybe kill her or redeem her. But that would have needed another movie to do properly.

    I think everyone I’ve seen is in agreement that this trilogy should have been planned out from the beginning. On some level, I appreciated all the digs at TLJ. TROS is probably my favorite of the sequels, but on a pure storytelling level the prequels are better. The sequels have better acting and special effects, but the prequels at least had an arc that felt consistent. There were clear goals and motivations. They at least explained what the state of the galaxy was. I still have no idea exactly what Kylo’s goal was. I mean he takes over the FO, but what does he actually want? Palpatine wanted to rule for the sake of ruling and to eliminate the Jedi. I don’t think that’s what Kyo wanted, since there’s supposed to be a year gap between TLJ and TROS, but he doesn’t go after Leia or Rey.

    For that matter, I don’t know anything about the state of the galaxy in the sequels. Did the New Republic just all die in TFA? Was there lawlessness? How did the FO take over? Or did it take over? We see them in charge of planets, but is that just in their territory, or is that everywhere? Did the Resistance absorb what was left of the New Republic? Did the New Republic have any kind of fleet? Or was it all deployed at the planets the FO destroyed?
     
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  6. Skywlkr76

    Skywlkr76 Active Member

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    My initial reaction: It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

    Was it a great movie - no, but it wasn’t terrible either.

    Since both @Kevthejedi and @Electricboa have done a really good job of breaking down the movie, I refrain from doing so. I’ll just hit on two things that were a problem for me with this movie.

    1. Palpatine’s return. I know that the movie needed a villain, and J.J. had to come up with something (or someone) since Johnson killed off Snoke and Kylo couldn’t pull off being the big bad for the movie. This is just my opinion, but having Palpatine survive diminishes Anakin’s sacrifice at the end of ROTJ. I’ll never be able to watch that scene the same way again.

    2. Unanswered questions. This movie is not only the end of the current trilogy, but supposedly the end of the entire saga. It was supposed to tie everything together. Why did I leave the theater with a long list of questions? How did Palps survive Endor? How did Maz get Anakin’s lightsaber? What exactly are the Knights of Ren? Why do they keep referring to Anakin’s lightsaber as Luke’s lightsaber? What happened to Luke’s lightsaber? If Luke thought there was still a treat of the Sith in the galaxy, why did he only tell Lando about it? To go along with that, why give up and run away to the island to die? Why leave a map if you don’t want to be found?

    These are just a few questions off the top of my head. I’m sure I could come up with more.

    Again, it’s not the worst Star Wars movie I’ve ever seen, but it’s not the best either.
     
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  7. Dagor

    Dagor Active Member

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    On the Palpatine thing, you guys say that his return diminishes Anakin's noble sacrifice in ROTJ, however almost from that moment, there were many theories about him somehow surviving. Whether through mastering life/death through the force, cloning technology or some other option. This was alluded to in the prequel trilogy as well in the "tragedy of darth plagueis" told to Anakin by Palpatine. In my mind at least, there was always some doubt as to the actual fate of Palp. This was furthered by the Clone Wars animated series showing the return of Darth Maul after having been cut in half and dropped down a similar 'elevator shaft' as the Emperor had. I remember when TFA came out, there was a lot of talk at that point about Palpatine pulling the strings behind the scenes or that Snoke was actually Palpatine.

    So I don't entirely buy that his return was a blindside that was forced. I guess we'll never know what J.J.'s original end-game for Snoke was before Johnson came in and tore it down though.

    On the topic of the sequels being more meandering and seemingly without direction compared to the prequels. That's pretty much a given. The middle three movies were already made when the prequels were written. They knew what they were building up to and what pieces needed to be moved in which directions to get there. I do think that they screwed up big time by not creating some sort of creative continuity through either hiring a director or a screenwriter to do the full trilogy. By making it the patchwork of ideas that it became, kind of doomed any hope of a cohesive story from the beginning.


    All that said, I enjoyed the movie. But I went into it accepting it for what it was going to be. I knew JJ was going to have to try to explain why his plot points from TFA were invalidated in TLJ. I also knew that they were going to have to stuff the movie jam packed to get to a 'realistic' plot conclusion for the saga. I thought that adding in a sub-plot of family lineage not necessarily forcing destiny to be something that was refreshing. That called back to ROTJ in some ways but departed in that Rey's connection to Palpatine didn't make her predisposed to turning to the dark side (where ROTJ implied that the Skywalker line could deviate, but in the end Skywalkers return to the light).
     
  8. Electricboa

    Electricboa Moderator Staff Member

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    The whole Anakin sacrifice wasn’t as big of a deal to me because the EU had Dark Empire. TROS basically adapted the Palpatine part of Dark Empire with a disturbing amount from Jedi Prince thrown in. I say disturbing because Jedi Prince is arguably the worst Star Wars series ever written. The villain of the series, a three-eyed mutant who pretends to be the son of Palpatine is killed when he tries to marry a robot Leia that shoots lasers out of her eyes during the ceremony. And, yes, it did have illustrations:

    [​IMG]

    But Dark Empire at least kind of explained the Chosen One by having Anakin be part of the Jedi who kept Palpatine imprisoned in death.

    But if we are talking about rewriting the sequels, Snoke should have been revealed to be Plagueis. It would have tied in with the prequels and instantly given us enough of a backstory to go off of. Really, they could have done that in TROS. Instead of bringing Palpatine back, it could be revealed that Snoke/Plagueis somehow was able to cheat death again.

    In fact, I actually wrote more or less what I would do after TFA, well before TLJ came out:

    https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11684558/1/The-Last-of-the-Jedi

    But, alas, it will never be.
     
  9. Kevthejedi

    Kevthejedi Active Member

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    I saw it again at the weekend, my father in law babysat for us on the first viewing so I offered to take him to see it.

    Second time round I still enjoyed it, it is an action packed fun movie. Reading into the story more did diminish it for me a bit, but it was still fun. I also didn't feel the Mary Sue vibes for Rey in this one like I did in the other 2, either because I've just accepted she can do everything, or because you can see she has actually been training now, and Jedi pretty much can do anything.
     

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