Friday, December 20, 2019
Spoiler-ish thoughts on "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker"
Spoiler-ish thoughts on TROS ahead, so avert your eyes now if you don't want even a hint of foreknowledge.
I liked it; the first half is wildly uneven but they pull it together for the second.
Didn't care for all the callbacks, most of which just felt like fan-service curtain calls instead of moving the story along. Did a certain smuggler get an eye job?
It was obvious how they had to shoot/edit around Carrie Fisher's limited existing footage. Stand-ins used for over-the-shoulder shots. My guess is they didn't want to just CGI her in, with the result that one of the saga's most enduring characters exits essentially invisibly.
Had no idea what Chewie's "gift" at the end was, so I asked somebody who seemed to. Apparently righting a 42-year-old wrong, but I'm not sure how many will get that. Plus, why is Maz the person who a) has that item in her possession and b) has the agency to bestow it? It feels like a homeless vet taking off one of his ribbons and handing it to some random passerby.
The new characters treat the Millennium Falcon like a cum rag on a pornographic movie set. It's been trashed so many times in these three movies I lost count. And there's never even a moment to acknowledge that or express regret. It has actually become a running joke.
Han and Chewie treated that ship like an aged but adored lover, and I don't like seeing it get milked for comedic effect.
I did not guess the truth of Rey's lineage, other than it was obvious her parents were not "nobodies." So Kylo lied, but in a Ben Kenobi "certain point of view" kinda way.
My biggest beef is the use of the Force. It has become like magic in the Harry Potter movies: what are its limits? What are the rules? What are people capable of and what feats are clearly impossible? The answer is, "Whatever the writers want to happen to service the plot."
So Anakin Skywalker, the most powerful Jedi ever, was limited to telekinesis, choking people out and deflecting blaster bolts. Now they're just frickin' Dungeons & Dragons clerics. "Anybody need a rez?"
People will grouse about reusing a villain, but the sequel trilogy has recycled practically everything else, so why not?
Still, plenty of power and majesty here. I remember nearly 40 years ago when other kids first shared the speculation that there were going to be nine of these movies. I don't think child me would be disappointed in the culmination, though the adult one has no reservations about pointing out its many flaws.