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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Spoilers. Seen it? Discuss it here!)


  • MattMatt Posts: 4,413

    I’m looking to get a viewing in the next 2 weeks, but I’ve been reading the reviews and comments. It seems if you dig The Last Jedi, you’ll hate this one, and vice versa.

    The biggest issue seems to be retconning of Rey’s heritage. I only saw reviewer complain that it reduces a strong female character to only being important due to a male ancestor. The rest were basically that making Rey the daughter of “nobodies,” it empowers those fans who were orphans, from broken homes, and/or had deadbeat dads (arguably, this was Anakin’s story). By dismissing Rey’s parents, TLJ shows that ‘anyone’ can be important.

    I’m all for that...but not in the core Star Wars story. I described TLJ as more ‘world building’ then actually continuing the story. Reassessing that, it seemed like a backdoor pilot for a spin-off series. Remember how Maude spun out of All in the Family? What about The Roepers from Three’s Company? Or Top of the Heap from Married with Children? You did get the primary characters, but there was time to focus on the characters getting the spin-off.

  • VertighostVertighost Posts: 327
    edited December 2019

    Ugh. The fact that anyone is complaining that Rey is in any way diminished by having a male ancestor is preposterous (and sexist) IMO. What Abrams actually does is - thankfully - make her far less of a Mary Sue (or Gary Sue if you prefer) and actually bother to come up with some kind of cool reveal that helps to explain how she was able to do things that were impossible to novices, much less someone who appeared to know nothing of the Force at all.

    (Although given the epilogue Johnson gave us and the way Luke “trained” her in Jedi (he didn’t), Johnson wants the galaxy littered with Gary and Mary Sues in his version and there’s nothing anyone needs to learn and anybody can do anything. I’ll pass on whatever he’s got planned.)

    Rey remains unequivocally awesome and ultra badass in this movie (even more so) and anyone who thinks she’s diminished bc of having a male ancestor is really trying a little too hard to see sexism where there is none in my (and Kathleen Kennedy’s and Daisy Ridley’s) opinion. And is also kind of sexist themselves.

    I thought this film was as good as Last Jedi, which I think a lot of critics who aren’t actually fans overrated bc it crapped on what had previously been established about the Force. I may be wrong but I think Abrams ended the trilogy the way he and Kasdan initially imagined it, given how utterly lame Snoke was as a villain and that he originally appeared only as a projection.

    It’s not a great film but I do think it’s good and it also provides - for once in this new trilogy - a solid villain AND gives Finn more to do than be sent on a wild goose chase bc Johnson doesn’t know what else to do with him.

  • MattMatt Posts: 4,413
    edited December 2019

    This is amazing, I’ve read about a dozen articles about the movie by people who didn’t like it. Aside from one centering on Rose Tico’s reduced role, they’ve all been about Rey not being a ‘nobody’ who made it. They’re nearly word for word to the point where I had to make sure the same writer isn’t submitting the same review to different websites.

    My interest in seeing this movie has increased. I thought Palpatine was by far the more interesting character in the prequels. To make him the ‘man behind the curtain’ in the very end is great. That’s what made the Dark Empire trilogy interesting.

  • mphilmphil Posts: 448
    edited December 2019
    I liked it. It wasn't the best movie I've ever seen but it certainly was enjoyable.

    What I liked:

    The chemistry between the "scooby squad" was really good. I felt like they were actually friends. Poe, who I thought was kind of a stiff anonymous character in Force Awakens showed real personality and like I said chemistry. I wish we had gotten more time with these characters together in the trilogy.

    Kylo Ren's "face turn" was believable, even though predictable. Of the trilogy, he was the least annoying emo guy in this one. There were certainly moments, but overall I liked his character a bit more.

    What I didn't like:

    There was some repetition to this movie where Rey would run off on her own, her friends would follow behind and catch up with her, then she'd do it over again. It was like 3 times or more. This made the Finn / Poe / Chewie crew feel less important to me. They didn't really have a story of their own.

    Bringing back a bunch of original trilogy characters just feels fan servicey to me. There were too many characters overall. A lot of the periphery characters could have been given more "meat" had not so much time been spent revisiting older characters. Don't get me wrong, I look forward to older Lando being in the universe again, but it didn't need to happen here.

    Yes, this includes Palpatine. His death in the original trilogy was perfect. Bringing him back cheapens it. I mean, why are we to believe he's even dead now? He's basically Michael Myers now, can just keep coming back. And he wasn't needed.

    The fact that Palpatine is Rey's grandfather. I just find this lame. Why is it the only plot scifi writers can think of is to make everyone related? Why did they even waste the time of making Rey's lineage a thing? Who cares? She has force powers, she's essentially alone to learn them on her own; that's enough plot for her to overcome.

    It also makes the idea of force sensitivity become... weird. It's like there are only a handful of families that can do force stuff... but then now Finn has sensitivity as well apparently. So which is it, is it super rare and almost no one has it, or is it fairly common and it just takes training?

    I was somewhat disappointing that Rey never really went full Jedi master. She seemed to be at the level that Luke was at in Empire. I really wanted to see the "nothing can stop her" scene where she just blows through a bunch of baddies but that never happened. Just the brief moment where she out does Palpatine.

    Lasting impression:

    I think my biggest feeling coming out of the theater was that I didn't really need to see this movie ever again. That's despite enjoying it quite a bit. There's something that's changed about the big budget event movies to where *most* of the enjoyment you get out of them is in their connection to the wider "universe". Once the movie is over you are interested in what comes next.

    I wish there were more movies in this genre that beg for rewatching like Empire and Raiders did. Like Black Panther does. But so often the "core" movies of these franchises are essentially throwaways, no matter how good they may be.
  • MattMatt Posts: 4,413

    I’ve seen others have issue with the notion of “only the elitist families are Jedis”. I’ll admit, I never got that, especially with the end of TLJ. Sure this core 9 part story focuses on one core family, with the interference of another, but I was always under the impression that was THIS storyline.

    The overall arc of The Phantom is the lineage of one family. That never meant (to me) that no one else could serve as a protector to the Bangalla jungles. It’s just we are reading the exploits of one lineage.

  • mphilmphil Posts: 448
    My issue isn't that only elitist families are Jedis, but that figuring out who Rey's family was a central focus of this trilogy even though they already did that exact plot with the Luke Skywalker trilogy. And science fiction in general has done the "who's my daddy" storyline ad-nauseam for the last 40 years since Star Wars came out. At this point it's a worn out and uninteresting trope.

    In this case it was done especially sloppily. Even though figuring out Rey's family was a focus of the trilogy it really wasn't an important part of the plot until *this movie*. It was just a background question. You could have removed the plot and the trilogy wouldn't have changed hardly at all.
  • MattMatt Posts: 4,413
    edited December 2019

    I haven’t seen the movie yet, but some of the more favorable articles noted there’s a lot of reversals from TLJ that took away from solid plotting in this one.

    I don’t know exactly how it visually came across, but it feels like Rey needed to be connected to someone for this trilogy to continue the story from the last 2. If not, then wouldn’t it be more a spin-off trilogy? To be honest, when Kylo said Rey’s parents were nobodies (followed by killing of Snoke with no information about his backstory) my interest in this trilogy plummeted like Luke’s chances with Leia after he found out they were siblings.

    I was watching some of the prequel trilogy this weekend and kept thinking about how “Anakin will be balance to the Force.” Did that actually happen? I’d argue Luke brought balance to the Force in Dark Empire, but that’s no longer cannon.

    Is Rey shunning her Palpatine bloodline to become a Skywalker balancing? A Sith would really just be a Jedi gone bad (or a Jedi is just a Sith gone good), so how much balance would there really be?

  • I honestly don’t understand why people are having problems with Rey coming from an elitist bloodline. They’re missing the point IMO. She comes from an elitist who is the most evil being in the galaxy. Her birthright is to become evil. That is her struggle.

    I don’t understand how it’s somehow more “empowering”/inspiring to come from nothing and build a name for yourself than it is to reject your birthright/legacy/the rest of the world’s expectations for you, and decide for yourself what kind of person you will be.Especially when coming from nothing fails to explain how she’s so powerful when she knew nothing about the Force. Mary/Gary Sues are the epitome of lazy/bad writing IMO. “How does the hero manage to do the impossible? Is he an alien being? Did he train? Is he descended from the Gods?”

    “He just is, don’t worry about it” is a profoundly unsatisfying answer IMO. But a lot of people are fine with that I guess. It’s also worth noting that Abrams seems to have always had this in mind from the start if his interview in the new Rolling Stone is any indication.

    I also disagree with the idea that we don’t get to see Rey be as powerful as Luke. I think she’s been repeatedly shown to be far more powerful. Luke never actually fought half a room full of Red Sith guards and, more to the point, he never actually fought Palpatine and the combined might of all the Sith joined together. Rey did both.

  • mphilmphil Posts: 448
    I'm not sure that this really was her struggle; it was her struggle in this movie, but didn't come up beforehand. Even if so, that's the same struggle that Luke went through. I don't want to see the same plot-lines play out over and over in the Star Wars universe. And as I said before, it didn't contribute anything to the trilogy; you could have removed it and not much would have changed.

    That might be the biggest problem with this trilogy; there's not a ton of connecting tissue from movie to movie. Each are in some way standalones, plotlines that are created in one movie; yet they also don't stand on their own very well. This might be why Force Awakens is preferred by so many, it stands on its own better than the other two.
  • MattMatt Posts: 4,413

    I agree with that. I don’t think there was ever an outline for the trilogy & the main characters (or at least one that was shared with Johnson). I still think Rey needed to be connected to someone to make this trilogy the final chapters in the Star Wars story, but she didn’t necessarily need to repeat the same beats as Luke to get there.

    Again, I haven’t yet seen this movie, but I think Rogue One: A Star Wars Story* is the best of the Disney movies & it’s not even close.

    *if Rey wasn’t connected to ‘someone’ from before, then this trilogy should’ve been “ : A Star Wars Story”.

  • I honestly don’t understand why people are having problems with Rey coming from an elitist bloodline. They’re missing the point IMO. She comes from an elitist who is the most evil being in the galaxy. Her birthright is to become evil. That is her struggle.

    I don’t understand how it’s somehow more “empowering”/inspiring to come from nothing and build a name for yourself than it is to reject your birthright/legacy/the rest of the world’s expectations for you, and decide for yourself what kind of person you will be.

    While I don’t really disagree with you, to be fair, America seems to be much more caught up in the DIY, lift yourself up by your own bootstraps, “self-made man” ideals that have been with us since the very beginnings of our country. The “self-made” millionaire is given much more respect than the millionaire who was handed everything on a silver platter, regardless of what either actually does with their money. The “American Dream” is built on the idea that you can become anything you want regardless of your position in life if you just work hard enough. So in a way, Rey coming from nothing is representative of that American Dream, whereas Rey being a descendant of Palpatine is like the daughter of a wealthy robber baron becoming a philanthropist—it’s nice, but it’s using dirty money to do something that should have been done in the first place. For better or worse, in general it just doesn’t carry the same emotional impact in our culture.
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 6,459
    edited December 2019

    In the first prequel, sure. And it’s Luke’s story through the original trilogy. Luke’s story is the more pure version of the two, though. Anakin/Vader’s story in the larger scheme of the first six films is, “the hero rises, the hero falls, the hero is reborn”. Luke’s story is the same as Anakin’s at first, then switches to Yoda’s: “the hero rises” in his first arcs, and “the disenchanted hero finds new purpose” in his second arc.

    There are only a handful of tropes you’re going to find in the epic style of storytelling Star Wars deals in. It’s why I maintain that the main story should have ended after the original trilogy. I’d much rather have smaller stories like The Mandalorian, where you can tell different types of stories, fill in the universe than have the same tropes repeat over and over again.

  • MattMatt Posts: 4,413

    I thought the Dark Empire trilogy finished the story nicely. I wonder what Lucas planned for the final trilogy.

  • VertighostVertighost Posts: 327
    edited December 2019

    I agree with everyone on here that Rey’s tale is a repeat of what we’ve seen before and I agree with @nweathington that society highly values a genuinely self-made success. What I don’t agree with is that Johnson’s take of “coming from nobodies” was offering us something new. Anakin came from nobody. A single mom who was a slave.

    Is the argument that Anakin becomes evil? And we need an Anakin who becomes good? I would have loved that if Rey’s story were a tale of someone who is genuinely self-made (no immaculate conception) and builds herself up from nothing. (Sort of like Hermione Granger who has to study and work harder than the more magical beings around her.) But I sincerely don’t see how Johnson was doing that. IMO he doubled down on what Abrams had set up but wanted to leave out Abrams’ backstory explanation of how she (or Broom Boy) can do what they can do.

    Rey does literally nothing to earn the ability to use Jedi mind tricks and physically and mentally fight Kylo Ren (an elite offspring himself with years of training under his belt) to a stand still. If that’s the story being told, I’d prefer that magical blood is offered as some explanation. The underlying message of Johnson’s film is “You can achieve great things - no matter who you are - without doing a lick of work for them.” Why people prefer this over Abrams’ message (With Kylo as well) that you are not defined by your past and can shape your own future, I have no idea.

  • mphilmphil Posts: 448
    edited December 2019
    Thinking more about it, my issue is less about Rey being part of the Palpatine lineage (which, to be clear, I still don't like), and more about the choice to make it a multi-movie tease. Had they established the relationship from the first movie and made "am I inherently evil" Rey's struggle then I would have had much less an issue with it. They could have even still done the Palpatine is alive reveal (which again I dislike on its own).

    Making the mystery about her lineage the central plot of the series I think cheapens the entire thing. Not only a mystery, but one where you fake-out your audience multiple times. "Rey is Luke's child! Nope psych, her parents were nobody. Just kidding she's Palpatine's grandchild." This is just not good storytelling.

    What's bad is that all anyone is talking about is the Palpatine angle when there's a good movie underneath. A good trilogy even. The chemistry between Rey and her friends is genuinely great; Luke, Han, Leia and Lando level great. But it's buried under the Rey's lineage fake-out. I guess they just thought that a movie's not worth watching unless you don't know who the main character's parents are.
  • MattMatt Posts: 4,413
    edited January 2020

    All of the articles I’ve read, they’ve focused on:

    • Rey’s bloodline (most articles)
    • Rose Tico’s reduced role (a few articles)
    • Fan service (an article or two)

    The articles about Rey being from ‘somebody’ have issues (nearly all of them) about undercutting Johnson’s “anyone can become someone”. It’s not even about who she’s related to*, but THAT she’s connected. — I still contend the 9 movies are about a specific family; it started with Episode 1 and the last of the actual bloodline died in Episode 9.

    The articles about Rose Tico see her as being Jar Jar Binks-ed. They were about “racist, misogynist fans getting there way.” — I didn’t see her a prime character to focus on. I think there are several characters that served more of a purpose then she did.

    The articles complaining about the fan service are doing just that. — I contend, just like with Endgame, there’s zero wrong with rewarding longtime fans for their loyalty. I think ending a long running series ignoring its fans & spitting in their faces is a poor business movie.

    *As mentioned above, there was an article or two complaining that making Rey a relative of Palpatine/male it undercuts her empowerment — I think this is silly

  • luke52luke52 Posts: 1,391

    I watched it last night. I liked it.

    For me, I liked this new trilogy. It wasn’t great, and it wasn’t terrible. I didn’t even mind the prequel trilogy, they were ok. I’d have been just as happy if they’d left it to the original three though. Those are the ones I’ll watch over and over again. But, as ever, in this day and age, money talks.

  • MattMatt Posts: 4,413

    I finally saw the movie this morning. It’s definitely my favorite of this trilogy. I’m glad Rey’s heritage wasn’t revealed in the third act. I didn’t care for the scroll revealing Palpatine’s alive. And aren’t there ever only 2 Siths at one time? I was hoping you’d see the hooded audience members were Snoke clones.

    There wasn’t as much TLJ walkbacks as I was led to believe. It really took some of the threads and advanced them forward. I also thought Poe finally got some fleshing out. Out of the three new starring characters, I thought he was the one given the least screen time in the prior movies.

    It was great seeing some old faces & new ones; specifically Keri Russell’s character.

    I thought the CGI magic with Carrie Fisher was apparent. The dialogue worked, but I wasn’t buying her physically in the scenes. I was also underwhelmed with the Endgame-like cavalry scene. In Endgame, the music and scenes built up to everyone appearing then assembling to take on Thanos’ horde. I thought this scene in RoS was Lando’s radio reply...then ‘everyone’ was just there.

  • As is usually the case @Matt , you provide a different perspective on things. Loved your appearance in the most recent Comic Talk and I wish you were on more episodes.

  • I'm late to this thread, and hopefully I don't step too heavily on anyone's toes, but I have a lot to say about the saga as a whole and this movie really stirs up feelings in me.

    First and foremost, did we really need the sequel trilogy? RotJ really wrapped things up nicely. There isn't a reason or question anyone really had about anything beyond "I wonder what Han, Leia, and Luke might be doing in 30 years." That's not trilogy worthy. Does Disney need to make movies? Sure, but you didn't need VII, VIII, and IX for that. Just make other movies, this trilogy is completely superfluous to the other 6.

    I've said since I've seen tRoS: it's a potentially great 8 season TV series jammed into 2 hours with a fairly cohesive 30 minute sequence at the end to finish it off. There wasn't much cohesion in the first 2 hours, some like the macguffin to macguffin chase but not me. There were also characters added that could have easily been replaced by characters that already existed (way too many new characters that got zero development beyond some passing lines).

    The last major complaint I'll lay out is that Abrams spent more time undoing what Rian Johnson did than doing what he should have been doing: moving forward with the story. Why can't Rey's family actually be nobodies? This isn't actually a galaxy anymore, it's a cul-de-sac. The Solos live in the beige house at the end, the Skywalkers over there in the white house, the Calrissians are in the blue one, the mailboxes are in front of the Palpatines's house on the right, and everyone has a wookie in the yard.

    Now that I've gotten that out, I want to tell you that I did find stuff that I did like about the movie. I watch Star Wars for the lightsaber battles, and this one did not disappoint. There were several, and though they weren't the best of the series, they weren't anything to scoff at.

    I love a treasure hunt movie (Goonies, National Treasure, Pirates of the Caribbean, etc) and having that Sith dagger be part of a treasure hunt for the Sith tracker. Leading to the scene it led to was even cooler!

    This movie introduced (probably) my favorite Star Wars character ever: "hey, Babu Frik!" This guy is the bomb. He definitely needed more screen time but I was so happy with the time I got.

    Moving into the future, as long as we get away from this saga issue, I will be much happier. I want stories about Darth Bane and the Old Republic, or about things not related to the Skywalkers even remotely. Let's expand well out of the cul-de-sac explore the galaxy so we can all be happy watching epic stories again!
  • MattMatt Posts: 4,413

    why should Rey not be “somebody” in this saga? It’s the “Skywalker Saga”. If she was in a completely unrelated Star Wars trilogy, then, yes, don’t connect her. If this trilogy focused on Kylo/Ben instead of Rey, then it’d make some sense. It doesn’t, though. It’s about Rey.

    Since Daisy Ridley is done, and the rest of the Solos, Skywalkers, & Palpatines are dead, they can stop make “Skywalker Saga” episodes & expand.

  • VertighostVertighost Posts: 327
    edited March 2020

    Not sure if this is the right spot for this, but fans may enjoy it. I love the new film but this made me laugh. Comedian Josh Robert Thompson as George Lucas watching The Rise of Skywalker trailer:

  • MihawkMihawk Posts: 397
    Still haven't seen this movie and never plan to. I didn't like 7, I hated 8.

    I just think it was a terrible continuation. I feel like it made everything that happened in episodes 4-6 irrelevant and pointless. Nothing they did mattered.

    I don't understand why even bring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher back if you don't have at least 1 scene with the 3 of them in it together? Not even a flashback?

    So for me I'm going with the old books Canon as my mind Canon.

    I enjoyed Rouge One and Solo was OK. And the Mandalorian was really good. So I'm interested in seeing stuff that has nothing to do with the Skywalker stuff.
  • Mihawk said:

    Still haven't seen this movie and never plan to. I didn't like 7, I hated 8.

    I just think it was a terrible continuation. I feel like it made everything that happened in episodes 4-6 irrelevant and pointless. Nothing they did mattered.

    I don't understand why even bring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher back if you don't have at least 1 scene with the 3 of them in it together? Not even a flashback?

    So for me I'm going with the old books Canon as my mind Canon.

    I enjoyed Rouge One and Solo was OK. And the Mandalorian was really good. So I'm interested in seeing stuff that has nothing to do with the Skywalker stuff.

    It's easy to continue an IP, make it your own, and disregard or disrespect the past. (Thel Last Jedi, Rise of Skywalker)

    It's much harder to continue and IP by building on the past, and being a good, respectful steward of the characters and concepts. (The Mandalorian, Rogue One)
  • MattMatt Posts: 4,413

    I actually think the Dark Empire series felt like a great ending to the Skywalker saga.

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