Review: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Fan service isn't enough to rise over familiarity and laziness.Star Wars. Episode IX. The Rise of Skywalker. J.J. Abrams. The dead speak! ... sigh
The Rise of Skywalker is directed by J.J. Abrams and stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Richard E. Grant, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver ... yeah you know the rest of the Star Wars cast.
First off, this movie is more disappointing than enjoyable. As a "conclusion" to the Skywalker Saga, I must say from both fan and film standpoint, this is disappointing and underwhelming.
The good parts: the movie looks great. J.J. Abrams and his crew nailed it once again as they did with The Force Awakens. The visuals are stunning, definitely worth watching on the big screen. I mean, if a Star Wars movie can't get their visuals right then, is it even a Star Wars movie?
Some of the performances were also great, especially by Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver (once again). The rest of the cast did what they could with what they were given. I have to say, they did a pretty good job with Carrie Fisher's (RIP) performance and how they stiched it together with unused footage and deleted scenes. It went right by me and I thought they did an amazing job.
There's also plenty of fan-service throughout the whole movie, so fans calm down you'll all be pretty satisfied. The score by John Williams is (once again) nice, nostalgic and perfect for the movie.
Now, onto the not-so-good parts. My main flaw/disappointment with The Rise of Skywalker is how familiar it is. I suppose they were afraid of the criticism from The Last Jedi that they decided to play everything safe and satisfy as many fans as possible. The thing is, they played it too safe and it gets to the point where the plot becomes predictable and unsurprising. There's nothing new or original to be excited about. And that just lost majority of my interest in the movie because you can guess what's about to happen next and you're going to guess right (unfortunately). It's almost like the movie's just spoiling itself.
That also leads to a lack of emotional weight throughout the movie. You just stop caring about the characters because you pretty much know how the movie's going to end. There's all this action and spectacle going on but you just don't care about who it involves.
The plot and narrative is also (apart from being unimaginative) very messy. The entire first act feels extremely rushed. From the very first line of the opening crawl, it almost feels like they're trying to jump right into the second act. Scenes are just so short and rushed that you end up just forgetting the point of it.
I also found the writing to be quite...lazy. There were just so many plot holes and conveniences that it's hard to look over. Yes, every movie has plot holes and sometimes it's fine to look over them. But this movie has just hole after hole that it just starts annoying you. There were also scenes and characters which were safe to say, pointless. Some of the dialogue, especially by Finn and Poe, were disappointingly poor and cringy. There were just weird lines and one-liners that did not feel natural or normal at all. It almost felt like a 6-year old wrote it on a fan-fiction.
I think the lesson from The Rise of Skywalker is that fan-service doesn't always cut it. Yes, as a fan I was hoping that this movie would satisfy, but I was also looking for a bit of change and fresh air with the saga. The Force Awakens was nice but familiar. The Last Jedi was not-so-nice but it was something different. So, I was hoping they'd maybe find some middle ground between the two. But alas, I was mistaken.