View From The Vault: Star Wars The Rise Of Skywalker Review
Welcome to GeekVault’s review of Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker. The end to the Skywalker saga! The long beloved and heatedly debated series. Is it a fitting end? Does it live up to the billing? All will be discussed. We were lucky enough to see an early screening of the showing on Tuesday the 17th of December before it hits cinemas Thursday 19th, which was truly a privilege, so we’re giving you the early scoop. Firstly, full disclosure, we were not fans of either The Force Awakens nor The Last Jedi, under the belief it was only getting worse, so went into this screening without many expectations. However we do love the Originals and the Prequels, alongside Rogue One, Solo and The Mandalorian. Just to give you a better understanding of where our head-space may be in comparison to yours.
The First Order (Spoiler Free Review)
So we don’t think The Rise of Skywalker is bad, but it’s not good either. It’s not much of anything really or just too much of everything. The story is about the return of Emperor Palpatine, whilst both the good guys and the bad try to hunt him down. So there is some good, enjoyable stuff in this movie, which occurs mainly in the second half of the film, notably the ending isn’t terrible.
I do believe they did the best they could to wrap up a story that has truly gotten out of hand. That said the first half of the film and a majority of the rest is just so rushed. A play by play, A to Z, predictable mess. So much of TROS is trying to subtly rewrite what The Last Jedi did. The entire film ends up holding your hand and telling you exactly what they are doing the entire time, which came off as very cringey.
Visually, as always, it’s stunning, the sets, the costumes, the CGI are all great, especially the puppetry but those things alone can not make a movie. No scene or set seems to last more than a minute, which gives it its rushed feeling. Though scenes lengthen out nearer the end. It seems as though they packed two or three movies into one. Ultimately I think this film will divide a lot of fans again, I don’t see you liking this if you don’t like the other two and you won’t hate this if you did, however I think some TLJ fans will be upset by this film. All said and done this may be our favourite of the sequel trilogy, but that isn’t saying much. Skip past the spoilers to get our final score.
The Rise Of Spoilers (Spoiler Review)
If you have not yet seen The Rise of Skywalker, turn back now, unless you really don’t care about spoilers. Last warning!… So sufficed to say this film did not save the trilogy, though they certainly tried. The opening title scroll reveals that a broadcast was sent out from Palpatine and we just jump right into it as though he was never gone, it is quickly revealed that Snoke was just a clone and The Emperor was in charge and controlling the voices in Kylo Ren’s head all along, so mystery solved, happy days, Snoke was no one. Although Palpatine does weirdly compliment Ben that Snoke has trained him well which would surely mean Palpatine just praised himself.
The first half was like getting dragged through the mud, JJ clearly had so much he wanted to do that got ruined by Rian Johnson that he kind of crams it into this film, whilst also very obviously trying to appease fan criticisms. Such as when we first see Rey who is just floating there amongst some rocks. I guess we just have to accept she’s powerful for no real reason, except because she’s a Palpatine, shocker. She was related to a famous character after all, suck on that I guess Rian, but also her parents were nobody because they chose to be! Must please everyone.
Rey is reaching out to the past Jedi and fails, so not that powerful after-all I guess. Then just kind of awkwardly rolls to the ground before running a training course, just to please everyone. I don’t want to complain that we see her training but again it’s just so rushed they clearly want to get it out of the way and over with.
“I Have A Bad Feeling About This”
It is continuous. We move on from one place to the next, making everything seem so pointless, meeting new characters who do nothing. There is a giant slug creature on the falcon at the beginning that could be cut entirely for doing nothing. Keri Russell’s character, Zorii Bliss, pointless! She has her own poster and is in the film for less than two minutes, she effects the story in no way! At least Del Toro’s DJ did something. So it seems a lot of that happens. Dominic Monaghan was made a fuss of in the build up and was purely there to explain why we don’t pull “Holdo moves” on everything. Again very cringey.
So it seems a lot that got leaked was true. Most notably perhaps Hux being a spy, but only after the death of Snoke. Richard E. Grant basically replaces Hux, who is killed off so nonchalantly I almost like it, and does a great job as an Officer of the Empire. There is clear conflict between TROS and TLJ, the ending which opened up the possibility of new Jedi was dropped just as hard as Force Awakens thread-lines as some kind of revenge. Rey is the last Jedi.
Knights of Ren and back but still mean nothing and do nothing, except as Kylo’s proxy praetorian guard. Though it doesn’t stop a lot of fuss being made over them. Rey’s parentage means something, she is important. She is Rey Palpatine! They don’t go into how The Emperor had a son about the same age as Luke. I like to assume he’s a clone that wasn’t force sensitive.
“May The Force Be With You!”
Now you may be wondering what I actually did like about the film. Firstly I liked the cohesion of the main cast of characters in this film, which wasn’t present in Last Jedi. I liked Adam Driver mainly, and Ben Skywalker’s redemption arc although as most things, it was rushed. Though I did enjoy seeing good guy Ben and his last fight at the end. Chewie actually reacting to Leia’s death was good, capturing the emotion that he is outliving all his friends. Plus the ending had me feeling some sort of way, I will always be in Star Wars hooks, so when a bunch of spaceships show up and you hear all the Jedi speak to Rey, I enjoyed it. Han’s return was a nice surprise, though he wasn’t a force ghost which was a shame, more a force memory. That was about it.
Rose Tico and Billie Lourd’s character (Carrie Fishers daughter) both get sidelined in this film which was a waste and the promise of this being Leia’s movie falls flat in comparison to Last Jedi. The Sith Trooper’s do nothing, I don’t remember really seeing them. This film could be summed up by a lot of people not doing anything. There is a lot you could probably really get your teeth into and tear apart. Seeing Rey use the force to try and pull down a ship was cool, after accepting her all mighty power. I like that they decided to kill Ben and not keep him alive. Whilst the force healing powers seemingly come out of nowhere (it would have been well suited to show Leia training her on that) it does actually function throughout the story. So I forgive any discrepancies for that.
“Your Journey Nears Its End”
The ending was also kind of bittersweet, it was nice to go back to where it all started. However and this is my biggest qualm with the film and perhaps trilogy as a whole, we don’t get to see Chewie, Han, Luke and Leia all together again. They failed in TFA and had the perfect opportunity to rectify in this film but failed again. At the end we see Luke and Leia together as force ghosts, all I’m asking is to throw in Han and have Chewie and R2 with Rey! It would make sense for Ben to be there too, and who cares if Han wasn’t a Jedi, the force is everywhere.
There was a lack of Force ghosts on a whole, it would have been cool at the moment we hear all the Jedi talk to Rey and when she is “all the Jedi” actually have them stand behind her! A serious missed opportunity. Also Palpatine’s face was too smooth for a majority of the film and Rey’s named herself Skywalker now… Anyway, there is plenty more that we could get into, However…
The Last Comment (Conclusion)
After all is said and done this may be our favorite of the new trilogy, it strives to be middle of the park and certainly achieves that. Which isn’t necessarily a good thing. There are parts of this movie for everyone to enjoy, such as Babu Frik! Plus plenty people will complain about. If you hate the sequels this won’t change your mind. If you enjoy them you will probably like Rise of Skywalker too. Either way you look at it you will find TROS to be a fitting end to the latest trilogy.
Let us know in the comments what you think, did you enjoy it? Do you agree with us?