Scanlyze

The Online Journal of Insight, Satire, Desire, Wit and Observation

Rise of Skywalker is a Film Designed by a Committee

Rise of Skywalker is a Film Designed by a Committee, and when we say that we mean not only an indictment of how the Lucasfilm and Disney execs worked over the story, but the obvious and huge retcons of the story line not only from eps 7 and 8, but also the original trilogy.

In the original trilogy, we cared about the characters. We were curious and even inspired by the force and samurai wizard mentors such as Obi-Wan and Yoda dishing out ice cream koans like [The Force is] “an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together” and “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

Episodes 7, 8 and 9 eschew the samurai warrior/wizard mentor stuff and goes for an origin story of the protagonist Rey. But after three movies, we still know almost nothing about her, and she knows almost nothing about her origins. Why is it that so many strong female characters are devalued by spending their entire story line angsting about “who am I?” I mean does John Wick or James Bond get all emo about their identity?

Special effects are wonderful, of course. The script is just miserable. Lawrence Kasdan this is not. Acting is serviceable. Adam Driver still seems weirdly miscast to me as an evil Sith wannabe overlord. He comes off more like a creepy abusive satanist boyfriend. Daisy Ridley gives a solid performance as Rey. She really gives it her all physically and emotionally. Her whole fierce elf aesthetic made me think of Elfquest.

The music was not John Williams. It was bombastic, overly dramatic and had only sound and fury, nothing really memorable or lyrical.

One of the things which made Fury Road a great movie was how the battles were set up, you could tell exactly who was where doing what. Ep 9 is the opposite, it’s a huge mess.

Trying not to be too spoilerish but there are also big issues in terms of even the internal logic of the third trilogy leading to a problematic and improbable deus ex machina.

The best I can say about ep 9 is that it re-retconned a lot of the scurrilous and disrespectful retcons in ep 8. But continuity is out the window totally. And for folks who enjoy the Old Republic and the legends continuities these three last Star Wars films gave us nothing and disrespected or devalued a lot of what we thought we knew.

Skywalker is a well-made movie in terms of production values. As a story, it is very unfullfilling as a way of ending the Skywalker series and fails in theme, plot, characterization, and continuity.

2 of 4 stars.

Copyright © 2019 Henry Edward Hardy

20 December, 2019 - Posted by | scanlyze, Skywalker | , , , , ,

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