SPOILERS Star Wars IX - The Rise of Skywalker SPOILERS (Off-Topic)

by INSANEdrive, ಥ_ಥ | f(ಠ‿↼)z | ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ| \[T]/, Thursday, December 26, 2019, 21:36 (637 days ago) @ Cody Miller
edited by INSANEdrive, Thursday, December 26, 2019, 21:52

I saw this yesterday. There's so much to unpack and talk about here I don't really actually know where to start with this one, so if this jumps from place to place and isn't super structured then I'm sorry.

What's this movie about? A simple question that should have a simple answer. But I don't think it has a simple, much less a good answer in this movie. The first thing (other than the frantic almost not existent pacing) that I noticed was the absolute lack of any sort of setups and motivations behind every character.

There are three answers to this, two short, and one waaaay too long, but since I have no where to show; here I go, here I go, here I go.

The message of the movie is something to the effect of, "you are not alone".
The story its self though? I am perplexed you ask this. Lets objectively reflect.

Ep 1 - 3. What's that about? It's about, in a simple term... downfall. Ep 1 shows us what we before hand have never seen before with the Jedi Order at their prime and the start of end thanks to a fearful little boy. Ep 4 - 6. What's that about? It's about, in a very simple term... redemption. Ep 4 shows us an Empire in power, doing what it can to cement it's grip through fear. Oh, and a call to adventure.


Now... I'm about to reiterate myself a bit here, but only because no one has yet called me out over here. Does what I have to say over here make sense? I made that in bold, 'cus ya'll may already know what I'm about to point out.

So then we get to Ep 7, which is supposed to be part 1 of 3 in another trilogy within the saga of films, hence Ep 7. Correct me if I'm wrong in my recollection, but most the story is, here are these new (and old) characters, doing events already in progress that you've seen before. Go. That's what I recall. What overall story is Ep 7 setting up overall? To what I recall... Mystery. Not so much a narrative (eh kind-a-sort-a), but a mystery. Nothing but mysteries. Why? Well, I'm shooting from the hip here but it's probably safe to say - because it's easy. We'll fix that stuff in post, sort of deal. After all we have two movies to go, what could go wrong? Just get the fandom so blue balled, so pent up, when the pay dirt comes they'll straight up Jackson Pollock. Or something... geeze.

Then we get to Ep 8, which without question is absolutely both awfully brilliant and brilliantly awful. Jedi and Sith. Peanut Butter and Pickled Herring with Mayonnaise microwaved... or whatever. Ep 8, film number two of a trilogy reboots all the set up from Ep 7. It does this by changing (or should I say subverting expectations of) the focus from the Skywalkers to potentially everyone else, and doing so SUPER BLUNTLY - yet beautifully. Anti-War in a film with war in the title. It flips everything. You, me, and yo mama if she was watching. Scorched earth, and there are no survivors. By the end of the movie we have an arc - that was already a flimsy start to begin with - that has been turned into swiss cheese.

Remember all the build up about Reys Linage in Ep 7? Doesn't matter, her parents were nobody important.
Remember all the build up about Snoke in Ep 7? Making him look like he was the big bad of this arc? Doesn't matter, he dead. Like... so dead.

... (I'm being lazy and stopping there.)

TL;DR - Let the past die. Kill it, if you have to. That’s the only way to become what you were meant to be.

Awfully brilliant and brilliantly awful.

By the end of the movie, Ep 7 doesn't matter and most relationships that movie has made are towards characters that are either new, or dead. Our main cast have hardly had any connection with one another at all! I guess... is rose lando in this case? I don't know.

So enter Ep 9...

In the last film Poe was humbled. His cocksure attitude was not an asset but a liability, and got him and his friends into deeper trouble as the film went on. By the end that ego and bravado gave way to trust. Trust in his commanders. Trust in his friends. Trust in what's bigger than himself. He learned about the true nature of leadership. And yet, from the very start of TROS he reverts to the cocky arrogant prick he once was. After he landed my first thought was "why is everyone being a dick to each other?". Poe suddenly has beef with Rey for some reason. He yells at her for damaging BB8. He tells her she should be out fighting instead of training. But it's bullshit because: 1. It doesn't really come from anywhere, and 2. As a character conflict it is literally dropped and doesn't effect anything in the film.

[image] "That's a bingo!"

It would be one thing if we clearly see him in a situation where Rey refuses to come with, and there be a dramatic loss he suffers where he is sure Rey could have helped. We need scenes to see the resentment fostering at him having to do all the heavy lifting when she can force lift rocks. We need that gulf to widen during the course of the film, so Rey's friends plausibly push her away creating an isolation Kylo could exploit. But… nothing. It doesn't matter and is forgotten about. Much like everything in this movie.

If only we had more time to develop these characters.

Poe merely ferries characters from Mcguffan to Mcguffan, before finally being promoted to General when Leia dies. Does he take this opportunity to put into effect what he's learned about leadership? To inspire? To make the hard choices? No of course not. He just… gives up. Literally. No rousing speech, no appeal to hope. Just… hey guys sorry but we are fucked. Lando shows up and oh look at that the tide has turned. Not only does this not make any sense for Poe's character, but it's outrageous. At the end of Last Jedi, nobody came when they sent out the distress call. So what happened? What did Lando say to everyone to convince them to come this time?! Just hand waved when it could have been a rousing emotional moment. Forget Lando. Poe should have been the one to go out and rally everyone together, having grown into a true leader and uniting everyone. And we should have seen that. But nope. Out of nowhere.

I agree. Of all the characters, Poe has had the most obvious arc from cocksure ace pilot to humbled ace pilot. That said, as I recall they did show his wavering belief in the resistances capability in the cause down on that planet where we meet Zorii Bliss. Regardless this choice squanders the whole arc, as is the pattern of this whole sequel... thing.

What about Finn? He goes from caring about nothing but himself and Rey to becoming a part of the rebellion. "I'm rebel scum!" he shouted triumphantly in defiance to Phasma, and by the end ready to give his life to save everyone else instead of run. So where does that go here? Oh wait, he just kind of is in this movie always shouting "Rey!" and not doing anything. No hard choices to make for the cause. And when did he and Poe start going at it? It makes no fucking sense. They are on each other for no real reason that I could tell. What did Finn have to tell Rey? Why constantly bring it up when there's nothing to do with it? Why pair Finn with a character you introduce late who is 'just like him'? Why not pair him with Rose? As someone else rightfully pointed out, you learn things from people who are not like you. There's no drama and catharsis in just being like "Oh hey, you were taken as a kid too? Wow cool. Let's go fight together!".

Finn feels like his character is being prepped for a spin off. Despite the incongruity, Finn seemed more focused this time to me, more sure of his place in the universe. I'm not sure how or why though. There were also moments where he seemed force sensitive. Oh, and Leia told him the truth about Rey. There.

Bonus note: I'm so glad Phasma was not in this. What cool look for such a lame paper tiger.

Hux. Why is he helping them? "I don't care if you win, I just want Kylo to lose". Ug. We need to see this discontent grow. Like every other character in this film we're simply told what they feel but we are never shown why. I kind of get it, as Kylo is being a petulant brat at the end of TLJ, but they simply needed to butt heads more for this to make and sense or track. He was perfectly fine with blowing up planets and crushing the rebellion before. We need to see him change his mind. Did you know a scene was cut out where Hux has at it with Kylo in the opening? He yells at him for chasing ghosts. Not much but it'd have been something.

Honestly, watching that sniveling shit get shot was a highlight. Dark to say but, did at anytime you feel like - yes this is a diabolical leader with a vision? I mean I suppose it's realistic, "How did this person get promoted to this position", but it's sure wasn't very compelling to watch.

What does Rey want? Why is she training to be a Jedi? She wants to find her place in the world? Discover who she is? Then why does she get that easy answer? You're a Palpatine. You and Kylo have a dyad. Here's where you are meant to be. It's much more interesting for her to forge her own identify. Realize that family isn't just blood but a bond of friendship blah blah oh well I guess the force doesn't belong to everyone and it's just about lineage and dynasty.

I've been asking that first question for two and 1 half movies. The Jedi training in this movie seemed to be a part 1 of 2 quick justification of why she wields such... POWER... UNLIMITED POWUHHHH! And... stuff. Now In my review I mention I find the Palpatine blood line angle to be potentially very interesting, but I would like to note I like this idea too. Be your own woman honey *snap snap*. I love it!

If only there was more time.

In fact I repeat this for the next two paragraphs and change (which I removed for the sake of post size) which leads us full circle to...

What is it about?


What is it about? What is it all about?

"The minute she finished, she grabbed me and said, 'I'd better be at the forefront of IX!' Because Harrison was front and center on VII, and Mark is front and center on VIII. She thought IX would be her movie. And it would have been."
Kathleen Kennedy, on Carrie Fisher's death

"To have no script and to have a release date and have it be essentially a two-year window when you're saying (to yourself), you've got two years from the decision to do it to release, and you have literally nothing... You don't have the story, you don't have the cast, you don't have the designers, the sets. There was a crew, and there were things that will be worked on for the version that preceded ours, but this was starting over."
J.J. Abrams, on taking over from Colin Trevorrow

The movie was about finishing what was started. It is about finishing what you started no matter the cost. The ups, the downs, and the unplanned weirdness of it all. Regardless the context read in, there is your answer. I'm not saying it's good, I'm saying it's an answer.


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