*This is my opinion, fresh from the theater.*
The Force Awakens was the resurrection of the original trilogy, and this is its’ end. For better or worse.
J.J. Abrams toodled back into the Star Wars sandbox after Rian Johnson was done with it and put things where he wanted them. This was not a collaboration. This is a smooshing of how J.J. would have played out 2 on top of 3. Why? I do not know. It’s weird to come into the theater to. You have to glean the missing J.J. parts, since there is little building on Rian’s work.
Frankenstein. Literally, so much Frankenstein for a Star Wars film. No, it does not fit in, it’s weird. Poe has to go back to some old friends to help with a C-3PO issue, and the entire town is a Frankenstein village set. Plus the whole Palpatine thing, but I’ll get into that more later.
National Treasure. Clues. Obelisks. What universe are we in? Maps, books, and robots are Star Wars. This looking for clue nonsense takes us to a clue triangle that Rey loses but then it’s okay because she found it’s twin. Even though she blew it up, it still works.
No Hope. Where did the hope go? It was charged up by the end of Last Jedi, and we should have seen it here. Even at the end, when the cavalry comes, the hope is flat. Star Wars is something that should pulse with hope. It’s dramatic. It’s alot. It is a space opera, after all. But there is also hope and light. They talk about the good they get from Leia, but you do not feel it. Even seeing Carrie Fisher, it is like she is not there. They worked around what they had, but it was not enough. Maybe trying so hard to make these parts fit is what turned everything so cobbled.
The feels are a hammer. There is no subtlety to be had. Everything is layed out, but nothing is properly explained.
It’s a snowglobe. Rise of Skywalker is a bunch of answers that do not make sense together floating around and landing wherever. Shake it up, turn it upside down. The snow all falls, and is never more than a muddled mess.
Leia is Rey’s Jedi Master. This is shown in brief flashes. It pans away too quickly from this.
Leia’s Lightsaber. Badass and needed.
The Ben Solo/Rey Kiss. There was a lot of build up here, so the kiss became the most fully realized part of this whole deal. Damn, that’s some good chemistry as well. No getting around Adam Driver and his bad sexy emo baby vibe. Would I ship that in real life? Nope. On screen, however, I am weak when it comes to these two. Sigh. Do I think that Rey is gonna live at Luke’s old house that I’m pretty sure burned down long ago and live a life with her ghost husband and his ghost family? That appears to be where this ship is going. I am not on board with that bullcrap. Ghost kiss Kylo/Ben all you want, fine. I’m here for that, but do not stop going on adventures. Ever.
Rey is a Palpatine. This is not palpable. He is a dead grandpa that should really be a great grandpa puppeting around on force juice. This is all unnecessary nonsense. There was a moment when he revealed a huge fleet of Star Destroyers that can actually do as advertised, where I assumed something. I thought that dead pop pop had brought back a bunch of ghost ships crewed by dead people. The soldiers of the Empire that had died, coming back by way of Sith stuff. Somehow, I was wrong. The crew was all regular old live First Order folks, even though they had just talked about being low on members. So staff was an issue. And they were going to steal more kids that would take a while to grow up. But suddenly, they could man a ton more ships. Next to other plot holes, this is not a big deal, it’s just the one that messed with me the most.
This installment does not call to me. It either will or it won’t for you.
There is little point to this movie, even with some good moments.
The success of any fandom is what you take with you. You watch and find things that you love. Carry these things with you. What you love is what makes up Star Wars for each person. My fandom heart is still full. Nothing has been ruined, and there will always be another.
My Star Wars Heart:
John Williams’ music, Finn being honest and true, Poe at all times, Rey and the way she sees the world, Luke being his perfect curmudgeon self, and Leia above all.