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Post Posted: December 18th 2019 3:54 pm
 

Title: MeMyself&I
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I was at the world premiere in LA on Monday. Had a great time. My Thoughts:

- George was not there - Red Flag #1.

- The vibe before and after was nothing like TFA or Rogue One. It had a brace for impact vibe to me.
- The movie seems like two movies in one, therefore it does not breath and seems choppy.

- I did not like TLJ. but it seemed more well-crafted editorially, not in terms of tone and pacing. TLJ was allowed to breath.
- In retrospect, TLJ had a better script, but was mis-directed. I would like to see what JJ could have done with TLJ script. TROS seems like a rushed script and a rushed movie, but more enjoyable to watch than TLJ. TROS plays tone and style like a SW film. TLJ played like a LOTR film in terms of pacing and tone to me.

- There are a lot of throwbacks to IJ in TROS. Some Palpatine scenes played like the Mola Ram sacrifice scenes in IJ:TOD.
- My biggest realization since TFA is that Bob Iger has no business calling shots on filmmaking or final cut because he's a CEO, not a filmmaker.

- Rey's heredity was not well done. It can easily be interpreted as a usurpation of the Skywalker line. She should have been a Kenobi and the Reylo thing could have ended the series with the marriage of the two families/clans.
- It also seems to be pushing the choose your gender/identity thing, going with the current zeitgeist. If this is the case, these last few films are beyond SJ issues. This is an agenda. Have they not learned from Ghostbusters, Terminator and SW by now? Why keep pushing this and lose money?

- BTW, People loved Ahsoka, Leia, Ripley, etc. These characters and their development was strong. It was not because we were told to like them or else.

- We may have a Terminator: Dark Fate situation on our hands. LONG LIVE I-VI.
- Maybe George will take Disney to court for breach of contract and win the company back ;)


Post Posted: December 18th 2019 4:38 pm
 
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Via Antiqua wrote:
- George was not there - Red Flag #1.


Why is that a Red Flag? He didn't go to the ESB premiere in 1980 either.


Post Posted: December 18th 2019 4:41 pm
 

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Via Antiqua wrote:
I was at the world premiere in LA on Monday. Had a great time. My Thoughts:

- My biggest realization since TFA is that Bob Iger has no business calling shots on filmmaking or final cut because he's a CEO, not a filmmaker.

- Maybe George will take Disney to court for breach of contract and win the company back ;)


Unfortunately, he won’t wanna come back to deal with people saying he ruined Star Wars again but Bob Iger will be gone from Disney in 2021.


Post Posted: December 18th 2019 4:43 pm
 
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Via Antiqua wrote:
- George was not there - Red Flag #1.

Bandersnatch wrote:
Why is that a Red Flag? He didn't go to the ESB premiere in 1980 either.


Thank you.

Saw someone bring George's no show up as well. We all know by this point George doesn't enjoy being a public person plus his presence there would be distraction given what we've learned about the sale to Disney over the past few months.


Post Posted: December 18th 2019 4:47 pm
 

Title: MeMyself&I
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Hence, next point - very strange vibe.


Post Posted: December 18th 2019 5:32 pm
 

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I just saw the film and liked it. Was it flawless? No. Was any of the SW flicks flawless? Hell no.
Too early to talk about details; most of you haven't seen the movie yet.

I'll be missing the Skywalker saga on many, many levels.


Post Posted: December 18th 2019 5:39 pm
 

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Han scene is great. I wonder what the prequels could have been with an Adam Driver level actor. He is the best thing about these.


Post Posted: December 18th 2019 7:26 pm
 

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I have not seen the movie, but your issues really hit home with me. I have read all the leaks, etc. I find the biggest issue is that JJ had to do too much in not enough time.

Saying the film was rushed and seems like two films in one has always been my biggest concern since TLJ. There are so many issues with TLJ, but one that never gets discussed is the lack of a time-lapse. Go watch ROTS after Clones and we see how the Clone Wars hardened Anakin as he's able to best Dooku with ease after being dominated. Look at Jedi after Empire... Luke shows up and is a Jedi Knight. Or even Empire after ANH, we see how Luke has risen the ranks in the Rebellion and is training.

TLJ had no off-screen development between it and TFA. The overall story was not pushed forward off screen and we really weren't close to any sort of climax or end goal. TFA set TLJ up nicely to have a few months where Rey can grow with Luke, develop a bond, and we can learn why Luke went to the first temple, etc, etc. Snoke even says to Hux that it was time to complete Ren's training. This could have set up a nice pair of master-student relations or whatever.

I think TROS had a lot of good ideas, but they should have pulled as Harry Potter 7 and split this into two films. It didn't need to be a trilogy. This whole project never had a plan and a road map. It relied on discovery writing and the result was TFA setting things up and TLJ coming in and dismissing what had been presented in a very awkward way.

It's not that "fan theories were wrong" - I hated how critics claimed people were pissed over that. It's that no one was wrong or right. No one Snoke theory was wrong, because nothing was answered. Or the answers we were given (Rey's parents) had to be retconned and we get this tug-of-war resulting in JJ bringing back The Emperor because why not. What else is there to do?

Rian killed off Snoke but it was very obvious that Kylo wasn't fully evil. He hesitated to kill Leia in the same movie and didn't even pull the trigger. We were left with an antagonist who wasn't impressive. We never felt like he was more powerful than Rey. Actually, no, we did. At one point in the trilogy... in TFA before Rey goes all Mary Sue and speed runs the force.

Which is another problem... Rey is unlikable. People ask "who is Rey" but really who is she? Like what does she even like? Can we even describe her? What personality traits? At least I can describe Anakin's personality in the prequels and the dude develops... he faces challenges. Rey is here going through Star Wars on easy mode. That isn't fun. That isn't a good character. There is no growth.

People claim that TROS is undoing TLJ, but the truth is that TLJ undid a lot of TFA and pretty much wiped the slate clean. But even worse, the slate wasn't even just clean, it was straight up cut in half. As such, JJ had one movie to wrap up a trilogy that sadly undoes the prophecy and hurts the original films by taking away their purpose in the greater story.

There needed to be a map. A roadmap to dictate where each movie would end and what the goal was. It's clear they had no idea what they were doing with Rey. It's awkward, like Luke and Leia being brother and sister.

I honestly feel like if JJ had a chance to do 9 and 10 and combine TROS into two movies then we'd actually have something good. An actual fitting end. As such it's like we got episode 7, and episode 8 was sort of a 7.5 that hurt TFA in a big way, the trilogy and whatever other movie had to come after it and finish the story off.

The sad truth is that there was something here, but it was too much to pack into one movie without ending up with a 4 hour film.

I'll give my full thoughts after seeing the thing, but hopefully having poor expectations will help.


Post Posted: December 18th 2019 9:20 pm
 
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I think people who will have seen this movie fully will probably be better to give a valid opinion on it, so i'm going to wait until then, but from all i've read and seen, it seems like there were some very questionable choices made and I don't think this will be the slam-dunk that Disney was hoping it would be. I also hope that this really isn't the actual end of the Skywalker story, because if it is....it would be a shame.


Post Posted: December 19th 2019 3:29 am
 

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I saw it yesterday here in Belgium. It was the premiere of the movie and the seats were half empty. I remember VII being way more crowded. Oh how the 'flame' has died out... I went in unspoiled, apart from some merch I've seen like the Sith Troopers and a few of the trailers (I kind of expected Palpatine).

Things I really liked in the movie:

- The first half felt like a great adventure quest, bit of an Indiana Jones feel to it. I really enjoyed it.
- The humour and banter. I think they did great this time. I remember the 'Hux/Hugs' joke all to well in the very first two minutes of VIII and how it ruined my entire experience for the movie.

- A few new fun characters. The horseriders being defectors just like Finn was a great idea. Babu Frik was great too.

- The turn of Ben. I felt relieved he redeemed himself.
- Small cameo of Harrison. Still wonder how fat the cheque must have been for him to come back one more time.

- Visually the movie looked great. Cinematography was top-notch. I liked the variety in the new worlds.
- A few Force powers we knew from the games are now canonized! Force Healing just like in Jedi Outcast... I see the Mandalorian did the same with baby yoda in Ep 7.


Things I did NOT like:

- The rushed explanation how Palpy came back.
- Palpy his OP lightning. like what the actual fuck.

- The Force teleportation of physical objects. Kylo should have pulled Rey's chain to examine it with the Force but not actually pull it through space. It kind of was hinted with the water droplets in Episode 8 but... damn. Is there anything the Force can't do? Soon we'll have time travel with the Force...

- There is little room to breathe in the movie. So much going on, so fast.

- Apart from Snap Wexley and Leia (from sheer exhaustion), no one dies. A gazillion Star Destroyers but everyone lives. Ok. This should have been a more weighty battle with a few important casualties.
- Lando was in there just to pull the nostalgia string. The guy is old and tired, and it showed.

- Rey Palpatine. Though I liked the message it portrayed that family is more than a bloodline.
- Palpy's convoluted plan. My god, how many steps are there to Galaxy domination really? What was the point of starting the First Order? Do the Final Order and have your planet destroying ships park next to every planet you control and DONE. Why build the Starkiller Base just to one-shot 7 or so planets? DAMN. Where did all the people in the Star Destroyers come from? A whole army hidden in a location only to be reached with two Sith compassas that were not even found at the start of the movie so how the F did they even GET THERE?

Overall, setting questions aside and letting the movie come as it is, it's entertaining and a visual spectacle. A few genuine laughs here and there and a really nice quest for the first half. It ends with a feeling of pointlessness though. The trilogy was really hurt by giving it to two different directors with no final game in mind at the start of the first movie, and it shows. It tried to fix a few things people really hated in XIII but it's just irredeemable what happened in that one.

The big baddy should have been Darth Plagueis, really. It would have arced the entire saga in a coherent way. Palpy's plan was the Empire and it failed. The way I see it is that Plagueis cheated death and gathered strength in the secret Sith Exogol. The rest could basically have played out the same. In that way all that has happened, was contained in this even bigger overshadowing threat. Revealing that even Palpy was but an apprentice... imagine the evil Plagueis must've been....


Post Posted: December 19th 2019 9:55 am
 
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Just seen it. Really enjoyed it. It's not perfect but then no Star Wars film ever has been.


Post Posted: December 19th 2019 5:12 pm
 
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Saw it last night... it’s not very good in my opinion. It’s part course correction from TLJ and part fan service. It’s hugely disjointed and doesn’t feel connected to either TFA or TLJ, and of course it undermines the journey of both Anakin and Luke. I think they’ll be quite a critical backlash against it (it seems so badly put together), and I’d imagine that it will ultimately be more divisive than TLJ, as it only serves to underline what a missed opportunity the sequels have been collectively.


Post Posted: December 19th 2019 11:08 pm
 
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Just saw it. It’s kind of a nonsensical mess but I’m getting too old to care about these things. It’s entertaining and has some good scenes. Zombie Emperor was awful, Abrams is an awful writer, but at the end of the day, I’ll still buy the BluRay and enjoy it from time to time.

Adam Driver saved this trilogy. He’s the best thing about it for sure.


Post Posted: December 20th 2019 12:00 am
 
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Doctor When wrote:
... of course it undermines the journey of both Anakin and Luke.

TROS undermine's itself. Based on the film's logic, Palpatine could be duct-taped back together once again, and presumably, a new world killing fleet could poof out of the ground for him. If ROTJ's ending can be undone, so can TROS's, right?

After viewing TFA for the first time, I felt like I got my money's worth for a Star Wars-lite popcorn movie. Because of Luke's presence at the end, I was optimistic for Episode 8.

After watching TLJ for the first time, I felt confused and concerned that my interest in future Star Wars films had passed. Upon further thought and after watching TROS, TLJ clearly stands as the best and smartest film of ST. The film has problems and is too much of a smart ass for its own good, but at least it has depth.

J.J. tries to use TROS to undo TLJ, but doesn't undo TLJ as much as Johnson undid TFA in TLJ. (Thanks again for the relay race approach to the ST, Kathleen.)

TROS - like the other ST movies - is enjoyable at times. However, the convoluted and out-of-nowhere premise really kills any momentum for the film and the trilogy. As others have stated, there's clearly no trajectory for a nine part saga. The first six episodes lead somewhere. Then, somebody tries to crazy glue another three on after the first six. Ugh.

In terms of the characters, Rey is plainly likable hero. Whatever, throw away line Zori said about respecting Rey is how I feel about her character. Her "The Force Unleashed" powers are corny, but not the worst thing in the world (I guess). I'm 1000% on board with the fan service of Rey's Red 5 flying.

Ben/Ren is likable when he is emotionally torturing himself. He's obviously a do-over of Anakin. So, his quick turn is appropriate, because Anakin's was as well. However, Anakin turned in a much better movie. So, he got to do some explaining and few other things afterwards. After going all-Ben, Kylo runs, gets poofed Anakin's lightsaber, kills the pointless Ren knights, gets thrown down a pit, saves Rey, gets a kiss (which is nice), and then keels over. All of these things seems like the right choice for his character, but damn they were rushed.

Ben/Ren's earlier Death Star chat with memory dad Han rises above it's contrived premise for a few moments. Leia dying in the same manner as Luke seems just right (even if the "found footage" approach to her character was awkward at times).

Overall, Finn has the best arc of all the ST characters. He starts off as a caricature and ends-up as close to a normal admirable fleshed-out character as you can when you've been created and directed by J.J. (Observation #1: J.J. Abrams is Michael Bay with slightly more depth, but less skill for action sequences. Observation #2: I wish J.J. never wrote or directed a Star Wars movie.)

Save for the nice three-way hug, the celebration after Exogol is emotionally empty. It's a ROTJ special edition-cribbing once again ending - except we don't get to see any PT worlds. Plus, is it really the end or is "all the Sith" Palpatine going to make another come-back 20 years later and kill everybody for real this time? (The whole "all the Sith/Jedi" premise is so literal in the film it's inane.)

The Tatooine / "I'm all of the Skywalker's" ending is okay even though any unimaginative idiot could of thought of it. At least, I finally(!) get to see a yellow lightsaber in a live action Star Wars movie. (Your turn, Hasbro.)

After watching TROS, I feel thankful that the ST is done. It's the worst thing that ever happened to Star Wars, but it's not all bad. I will probably re-watch this film and the other two at least once more in my lifetime.

My biggest questions about TROS remain outside of the film's final cut:

- I'll ask this again: How in the fuck did Jedi Paxis get all of the spoilers? (Palpatine: "All of them!")

- Who was Matt Smith cast as in the film? Was he in fact the Mortis Son (at one point)?

- How pissed/disappointed/indifferent is George to all of this stuff? (Why couldn't Praxis leak Lucas' treatment for the ST instead of the plot to this movie?)


Post Posted: December 20th 2019 12:54 am
 

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Just saw it and while all of my previous thoughts are accurate I want to state once more than this film has A LOT of good ideas, but unfortunately, it has wrap everything up in one film when it would be been so much better as two.

The whole Sith world element is cool and would have benefited nicely from more screen time. The Emperor in general needed more time. Again, not explained how he survived and how he gets his strength back comes sooooooo out of nowhere.

I feel like the sequels were influenced by Harry Potter or something... objects being brought into other worlds through a force bond is so insane I feel like the "force dayad" or whatever and how rare it is should have been touched upon more. I kinda like the idea, but with too much of this series, concepts are just thrown to us.

Don't like how OP Force Ghosts are... Luke lifting X-wing is a nice callback to Dagobah but come on.

I think JJ did *very* well with what he had to work with after the MESS that was TLJ, but man did not having a roadmap really throw this trilogy off.

I do, however, want to throw an idea to everyone. Imagine if at the end of TLJ instead of the dumb broom boy sequence, we saw Kylo on a throne or something and suddenly The Emperor's message began to play setting up a big plot twist or leading into this one much better... or if the Resistance wasn't crippled so badly at the end of the second film and Lando came in on Crait with a large army to put Resistance on even footing with the First Order...

It's weird having cavalry show up in TROS but not TLJ. Again, TLJ really fucked this trilogy up so hard.

As crazy as this sounds, the sequels would benefit from special editions. TROS as a whole I think could use some sort of extended edition. I think JJ did well honestly. You look at what he inherited and I say good on him. It's not perfect. AT ALL. And this movie doesn't ever really stop, but I think he corrected the error that was TLJ. Again tho, this really needed to be two films.


Post Posted: December 20th 2019 1:47 am
 
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prox wrote:
I think JJ did *very* well with what he had to work with after the MESS that was TLJ, but man did not having a roadmap really throw this trilogy off.

I do, however, want to throw an idea to everyone. Imagine if at the end of TLJ instead of the dumb broom boy sequence, we saw Kylo on a throne or something and suddenly The Emperor's message began to play setting up a big plot twist or leading into this one much better... or if the Resistance wasn't crippled so badly at the end of the second film and Lando came in on Crait with a large army to put Resistance on even footing with the First Order...

For me, the ‘mess’ started with TFA. A film devoid of any new ideas/concepts, indeed narratively regressive, with paper thin characters and a story that wouldn’t have filled a comic.

The issues with TROS aren’t as a result of TLJ, they are a result of the corporate approach to filmmaking, which has been applied to the entire Disney era of Star Wars... where films are greenlit and rushed to market based on the popularity of ‘brand’ rather than a compelling story, or even compelling concept... and as you allude to, don’t have a single vision or a single person with creative control. The notable exception being Rogue One, which obviously was a high level concept, that was relatively simple to expand/develop into a 2 hour movie.

A cliffhanger at the end of TLJ would have made anticipation for TROS greater, but IMO, it wouldn’t have helped the train wreck of the ST overall.


Post Posted: December 20th 2019 1:51 am
 
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Doctor When wrote:
... of course it undermines the journey of both Anakin and Luke.

E_CHU_TA! wrote:
TROS undermine's itself.

Indeed it does, but the single biggest thing it does is make the story of episodes I-VI completely pointless...


Post Posted: December 20th 2019 2:12 am
 

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10pm showing. 18 people in theater. Adam is great. I’d love to see more of Ben. Emperor was freaky. TFA felt like it was in the SW universe... TLJ veered so far off course it took a series of quick vignettes and serious dumping on TLJ to get it close to the universe, but so derivative and “poetry/it rhymes” that it’s a wash of awesome visuals only.

The hug at the end between Rey, Finn and Poe seemed like a little 3PO action was coming up.
Ending was strange.


Post Posted: December 20th 2019 2:22 am
 

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prox wrote:
I think JJ did *very* well with what he had to work with after the MESS that was TLJ, but man did not having a roadmap really throw this trilogy off.

I do, however, want to throw an idea to everyone. Imagine if at the end of TLJ instead of the dumb broom boy sequence, we saw Kylo on a throne or something and suddenly The Emperor's message began to play setting up a big plot twist or leading into this one much better... or if the Resistance wasn't crippled so badly at the end of the second film and Lando came in on Crait with a large army to put Resistance on even footing with the First Order...

Doctor When wrote:
For me, the ‘mess’ started with TFA. A film devoid of any new ideas/concepts, indeed narratively regressive, with paper thin characters and a story that wouldn’t have filled a comic.

The issues with TROS aren’t as a result of TLJ, they are a result of the corporate approach to filmmaking, which has been applied to the entire Disney era of Star Wars... where films are greenlit and rushed to market based on the popularity of ‘brand’ rather than a compelling story, or even compelling concept... and as you allude to, don’t have a single vision or a single person with creative control. The notable exception being Rogue One, which obviously was a high level concept, that was relatively simple to expand/develop into a 2 hour movie.

A cliffhanger at the end of TLJ would have made anticipation for TROS greater, but IMO, it wouldn’t have helped the train wreck of the ST overall.


There are concepts introduced in TFA that are solid. I mean, it's flawed and very familiar, but the concepts of Snoke, First Jedi Temple, The Awakening, Rey's identity, why is she so strong, Knights of Ren, etc.

Rian Johnson dismissed these ideas with non answers - answers that were central to advancing the plot.
It really left things in a bad position with Kylo not serving as a believable antagonist.
The whole ST needed a plan and it didn't have one, but man shit got derailed so hard with TLJ.


Post Posted: December 20th 2019 2:58 am
 
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The Rise of Skywalker is pure Star Wars cocaine.

Yeah I'm sure we'll all babble on about this and that and add our own psuedo nonsensical long-winded diatribes, but at the end of the day most of us will eventually own the blu-ray and in time to come it will be just another episode in the saga.


Post Posted: December 20th 2019 3:12 am
 

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Agreed. It kept my attention and distracted me at the same time.


Post Posted: December 20th 2019 3:50 am
 
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Fucking loved it. :heavymetal:

I can finally enjoy the trailers, TV spots, featurettes, soundtrack, etc. Not to mention the mad frenzy of spoiler-fueled fear and excitement on this board these past few months. :lol:


Post Posted: December 20th 2019 8:05 am
 
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Saw it last night.

I absolutely, honestly and unabashedly loved this movie. It had me by the nutz from start to finish and wouldn't let go.
I don't see it as a "course-correction." I see it as a sequel. One might as well call ROTJ a "course-correction" to ESB.
This movie actually makes TFA and TLJ better, and I really liked those too (despite a few minor qualms I had about specific details). Hell, for me it's a much better finale than ROTJ (which I've bitched about since 1983 anyway, so that's just me). ROTJ and TPM both could have used the Act I pacing that TROS has.

Also, this is one of the only Star Wars movies in which the acting did not make me cringe.

Incorporating Carrie Fisher into this movie was damn near flawless. I didn't even once think about the fact that she had died before they shot this movie.

One of my biggest questions from Ep.7 & 8 was answered - Who the hell was Snoke? It was answered as well as it needed to be. There are at least two Snokey figures in tanks early in the film, and Palpatine says "I created Snoke." That's enough explanation for me.

A couple of random observations based on what others have said here and elsewhere:

- "Palpatine's return isn't explained." Yes, it is. Or at least as much as it needs to be. This is mythology, not sci-fi. We have no problem with stuff like this happening in Tolkien or Ovid.

- "No good guys got killed in the big battle with all of those Star Destroyers." Yes, they did. Watch the movie.

The ending was powerful and beautiful on every level for me.

I'll be seeing it again on Sunday, and I'll see if anything strikes me as objectionable the 2nd time around.

Also - Did anybody else notice the Wedge (Denis Lawson) cameo?


Post Posted: December 20th 2019 10:54 pm
 
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Just got home from my first viewing. My theater was packed...not a single seat was available in the 20 minutes before the lights dimmed.

I too, loved this film. The two words that come to mind are "Epic" and "Relentless." This movie had a LOT of territory to cover, and JJ and his crew did about as admirable job as anyone could do.

Let's get this out of the way...I cringed at the kiss between Rey and Kylo. It felt totally unnecessary for a scene that already had a lot of weight. My opinion...it was there to appease the Reylo faction of fans. The actions of the two characters - Rey vs. Palpatine and Kylo saving Rey - were enough to make that scene have the proper weight.

The only good part was the quick smile Kylo had just before dying.
That was a nice touch.


Now, for the rest of this packed film.

My highlights:

Everything about this movie was BIG. Big landscapes, environments. JJ and his crew didn't hold anything back here, and the settings were magnificent.

The X-Wing being raised out of the Ahch-To ocean was a gorgeous callback to Empire Strikes Back.
The music was the same and Luke "redeemed" his earlier failure to lift his submerged ship.

Lando's reveal.
Totally unexpected and fun.
I wish he had a little more screen time, but I enjoyed every second he was on there.

I found Poe and Finn more likable and easier to cheer for throughout this film. I get why people think Finn has Force sensitivity, but I attribute some of his actions to being more mature and experienced. He knows his way around First Order ships and protocols, and that came in very handy throughout. I liked the adversity and self-doubt placed in Poe, more in this film than the previous two. Made his character journey more investment-worthy and payoff-worthy.

Palpatine... Ok, so I wasn't clear on the *how* part of his comeback...wish that had a bit more explanation to it. Or are we saying he did learn Plaguies' trick of immortality, at least when it came to being thrown down reactor shafts? His death, at the hands of Rey, had a neat callback to the deaths in the climactic scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Melting faces and heads do the trick every time.

Rey was an awesome character in this film. The way she carried herself, she reminded me very much of Luke in ROJ. She had a different, more powerful aura about her, and yet, she didn't have all the confidence and bravado. Her force lightning at the transport shocked me.

Chewie not being in that transport was also a neat callback to Raiders, when Marion wasn't in the truck Indy shot and blew up in the Cairo marketplace.

I liked that Rey didn't just sail through this film unharmed. She was beat the hell up on Exegol, and that was essential to see. She needed adversity, consequences and visible and physical pain. I felt all that through her character. But her strength growth was also easier for me to accept due to the in-universe time distance from TLJ. That element alone helped correct what was, in my mind, the biggest thing that held TLJ back, was its immediacy after the events of TFA.

Kylo Ben... was the most fascinating character to me in this film, and probably for the entire ST. One issue with TFA, TLJ was that we were told of his internal conflict, but never really saw it. It was a "tell me" not "show me" situation. We were "shown" more of that in this film, and the character and film benefited from it. Rey had become more powerful than him, and I bought it totally. He was more vulnerable and less sure of himself for most of the movie. I sort of expected him to be redeemed right after TFA, and I wasn't sure if that could be believably pulled off. In my opinion, it was.

Han Solo showing up was a fun surprise.

R2-D2 being at Leia's bedside when she died ripped my heart out. I didn't expect her passing to have as much of an emotional effect on me as it did. Her death was expected and necessary, and yet, it still hurt. Does anyone else think she was Force-projecting to get Kylo's attention during the Death Star duel, a lesser version of Luke's same trick in TLJ? We didn't see her in that scene as we saw Luke in TLJ, so maybe she did, maybe she didn't...in my head, she did, and that sets up parallel deaths for the two twins.

I came away from the film being emotionally drained, but satisfied and thankful I have survived long enough to see this story through to its completion. I probably look at Star Wars uniquely from anyone else. To me, this is a story that's already happened, and parts of that overall history are being revealed to us, one bit at a time. So I don't actively try to critique the finer points of filmmaking, dialogue, stuff like that when it comes to Star Wars.

I accept what I have been given, and I accept it as the gift I consider it to be. Are there aspects of any and all films I would change, if I were writing or directing? Sure, of course. But Star Wars has given me so much over the past 42 years, going back to when I was a 4 year old toddler seeing A New Hope in the theater. I remember that day well to this day, and I recall being so mad that Darth Vader got away. This franchise has allowed me to retain the essence of 4 year old me, 7 year old me and 10 year old me (my ages when the OT films came out) well into adulthood. What else on earth can do that?

So I say thank you to George Lucas, Irvin Kershner, Richard Marquand, JJ Abrams, Rian Johnson, Gareth Edwards, Ron Howard, John Williams, Ben Burtt, Joe Johnston, John Knoll, Ralph McQuarrie, Doug Chiang, Ryan Church, Eric Tiemens, Ken Ralston, Dennis Muren, Roger Guyett, Dan Mindel, David Tattersall, Rob Coleman, Matthew Wood, Rick McCallum, Kathy Kennedy, Michelle Rejwan, Rick Carter, Phil Tippett, Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Ian McDiarmid, Frank Oz, Hayden Christensen, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Ahmed Best, Jake Lloyd, Samuel L. Jackson, Christopher Lee, Temura Morrison, Oscar Isaac, Daisey Ridley, John Boyega, Kelly Marie Tran, Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Alden Ehrenreich, Joonas Suatumo, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke and everyone else, in front of the camera and behind the camera for this saga. What Star Wars has done will never be duplicated and everyone involved in these films are geniuses at what they do.

Thank you all for the ride of a lifetime.


Post Posted: December 20th 2019 11:08 pm
 
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For those who liked it - if you also saw the new Terminator film, you were ok with the choice to have young John Connor die in the first five minutes of the film?


Post Posted: December 20th 2019 11:24 pm
 
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Monari wrote:
For those who liked it - if you also saw the new Terminator film, you were ok with the choice to have young John Connor die in the first five minutes of the film?


It was OK and I didn't care either way about John Connor dying so early.

Should I have?


Post Posted: December 21st 2019 4:58 am
 

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royalguard96 wrote:
I probably look at Star Wars uniquely from anyone else. To me, this is a story that's already happened, and parts of that overall history are being revealed to us, one bit at a time.


Oh no, my friend, you're not alone :) . Moreover, in my opinion this is the only approach that allows us to see and enjoy Star Wars in the way that was intended from the very beginning: as a tale told to children. When I watch Star Wars, I am the six year old I used to be when it all began. And don't give a flying fuck about corny stuff, pacing issues, Disney raping someone's childhood or J.J.'s lens flares. I enjoyed ALL Star Wars movies, because they are a journey in time.


P.S. My wife hated the Rey-Kylo kiss, too (but for practical reasons, I guess - she finds Adam Driver particularly unattractive :) ). And people around us giggled when Rey revived Kylo and then Kylo revived Rey... like they could do it all day ;) .


Post Posted: December 21st 2019 8:13 am
 
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Monari wrote:
For those who liked it - if you also saw the new Terminator film, you were ok with the choice to have young John Connor die in the first five minutes of the film?

SI wrote:
It was OK and I didn't care either way about John Connor dying so early.

Should I have?


No, if it didn't bother you, that's absolutely legit. I had the opposite reaction, but I know that a lot of people were fine with it. I asked because I am, legitimately and without trolling, trying to understand where the praise for it is coming from. Having seen it myself, I felt that while it had one or two good moments (the Han/Kylo exchange in particular), on the whole it was not good, and also retroactively destroyed pretty much every character from the first 6 films (except maybe Leia, but even she I felt was tarnished in this movie).

I'm not going to go on some idiot rant like you know who, but I'd really appreciate it if you guys could elaborate some more on why you loved it so much. Maybe I don't have the right mindset. I know that there are others out there who also feel the way I do, like Scott Mendelson, who usually praises the ST, but called it the worst of the 9. But honestly, seeing reactions to this film that say its the best ever and that it was amazing, makes me feel like i'm living on some other planet.

I guess my other question is, were there any parts that you didn't like, and what were they?


Post Posted: December 21st 2019 9:28 am
 
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I'm glad people are enjoying themselves. Perhaps, I read too many spoilers to be emotionally attached to the movie. (The guy sitting next to me in the theater was audibly upset about Chewie's "death" at the hands of Rey. I felt bad knowing that the poor guy just needed wait a few more minutes.)

Again, I enjoy the film in parts, but find it's conclusion to be a hack-job resolution for a supposed 9 part saga.

I get what J.J. was going for - "All of the Jedi" in Rey defeat "All of the Sith" in dead-guy Palpatine. However, it's hard not to be cynical and think that some future writer can simply undo TROS's ending in the same way that J.J. undid ROTJ's ending.

I'm not arguing that everything should be sacred and untouched. If someone has a good idea, he or she shouldn't let precedent hold them back.

With the TROS and the ST overall, I feel that precedent should have given Disney caution. Or - at the least - it should have spurred more interesting and original ideas.

Oh well; I'll live.

Bandersnatch wrote:
One of my biggest questions from Ep.7 & 8 was answered - Who the hell was Snoke? It was answered as well as it needed to be. There are at least two Snokey figures in tanks early in the film, and Palpatine says "I created Snoke." That's enough explanation for me.

It could be that the clones were originally designed to be vessels for Palpatine's spirit. Maybe Snoke was a clone that took on a life of it's own. As such, he was treated as an apprentice and sent out to the greater galaxy to do Palpatine's bidding while he regained his strength.

Perhaps, TROS's Palpatine is not the original Palpatine. Maybe he's a patchwork of reconstructed Sith corpses with cloned memories that were manufactured and supplanted by the Sith cultists.

(I'm definitely putting more thought into this than J.J.)

Bandersnatch wrote:
Also - Did anybody else notice the Wedge (Denis Lawson) cameo?

Wedge's having a brief close-up in the climax is an appropriate way to treat his cameo. After all, that's what he's know for in the OT.

In general, OT characters are treated like celebrities in the ST. I find that a bit weird.

royalguard96 wrote:
I get why people think Finn has Force sensitivity, but I attribute some of his actions to being more mature and experienced.

Either explanation works. Rey rebuilding the Jedi Order with Finn as her first apprentice sounds like an interesting story to me.


Post Posted: December 21st 2019 9:43 am
 
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Bandersnatch wrote:
One of my biggest questions from Ep.7 & 8 was answered - Who the hell was Snoke? It was answered as well as it needed to be. There are at least two Snokey figures in tanks early in the film, and Palpatine says "I created Snoke." That's enough explanation for me.

E_CHU_TA! wrote:
It could be that the clones were originally designed to be vessels for Palpatine's spirit. Maybe Snoke was a clone that took on a life of it's own. As such, he was treated as an apprentice and sent out to the greater galaxy to do Palpatine's bidding while he regained his strength.

Perhaps, TROS's Palpatine is not the original Palpatine. Maybe he's a patchwork of reconstructed Sith corpse's with cloned memories that were manufactured and supplanted by the Sith cultists.
(I'm definitely putting more thought into this than J.J.)


That's pretty much what I imagined as well. Palpatine's spirit, like Sauron, was waiting for his cloned self to be rejuvenated.
There's even dialogue in the movie that states "Sith Dark Arts and cloning."

That's really all the explanation that is needed, imo.
There will probably be more insight into it in the novelization or some other thing like the final Clone Wars season. I'm sure JJ did put thought into it. This movie didn't need to spend any more time on the concept that it did.


Post Posted: December 21st 2019 2:24 pm
 

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I liked he was missing fingers and such... I think they found his tattered body and brought him back to what we saw.


Post Posted: December 21st 2019 3:00 pm
 
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For a film clogged with expositional dialogue, I found the whole ‘Palpatine has returned’ to be the most god awful thing about the film. It was very much a case of ‘because he can’... Indeed, I would rather the films remain focused on Snoke and Kylo Ren. Alternatively, if Palpatine had to be used, it would have made much more sense, and given the sequels much more structure, if Kylo Ren/Hux et al where trying to find/resurrect Palpatine in TFA. As it stands, TROS feels like a rushed sequel to another set of films. It feels disconnected, both in terms of narrative and plot, to TFA and TLJ. And whilst I genuinely like a couple of things in TROS (e.g. the hunt for the Sith holocron or whatever it is), it’s too little too late IMO.


Post Posted: December 22nd 2019 1:45 pm
 
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There can be no debate about it, Abrams has a supreme eye for visuals. The visual tone set to every scene was about as perfect as one could get. He needs to ratchet down the "Michael Bay action aesthetics" in a major way. What's the point of showing astounding action if most of the time it's all blurred out from speed effects and 1,000 layers of overlapping chaos? Hollywood in general, needs to cut this action aesthetic out entirely. Rogue One's impeccable depiction of what I'm describing is what SHOULD be The Standard.

Soundtrack? Perfect.
The acting? Better in every regard from the prior two outings of these characters. And Ian McDiarmid? Proves yet again why he's one of The Finest performers ever. He chews up every scene like it's candy.


But the plot?

They say that given enough time, a room full of monkeys, randomly typing on keyboards, will reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. That is certainly not true (look at the fruits of the internet). But that room full of monkeys WILL type out the script to Rise of Skywalker a thousand times over.

I started to list all of the plot holes, big and small. Several dozen "minor" plot holes, at least half that of "major" ones. I gave up, knowing full well that there were many more to be recorded. It is a nauseating endeavor, as its scale is so vast, and the wounds that they produce are so deep...

Let's just take a quick look at Palpatine, shall we...? Actually, I don't even think that it's accurate to call "him" by that name, as he states that he "...has died before..." and he also expresses that he is inhabited by "...all of the Sith..."
Henceforth, I will refer to him as "The Dark Son," and with the plural pronoun of "them."

They strongly stated numerous times that by killing them, The Dark Son will inhabit their killer's body, and then they shall rule the universe together. As Rey takes her Three Steps of Total Victory towards The Dark Son, they don't stop shooting out lightning at her lightsabers, even though it was gravely hurting them by doing so. Palpatine himself was laid out flat by Windu the last time he did it. They certainly know better than to keep doing that. Unless, of course, they WANTED her to keep reflecting the lighting till their physical form disintegrated.

And why's that?

Because they plainly stated that they had to be slain in order to inhabit the body of their killer. Maybe, technically, it wasn't Rey who directly killed them, because it was THEIR lightning that was REFLECTED BACK at them; it was THEY who were the SOURCE of the lightning. But then, why it does it REQUIRE ME to declare this? Isn't that ABRAMS' job?

Rey killed The Dark Son. As far as we know, Rey wasn't inhabited by even a single Sith spirit. Was that because her body was topped off with Jedi souls, so there wasn't any room left at the hotel? Quite timely that many of those whispering Jedi souls were never exposed to Qui Gonn's discovery of maintaining one's consciousness once one's physical form was abandoned by one's spirit. But I digress...

I could go on and on just about Palpatine. But what's the point? Not an officially sanctioned word of dialogue will change because of it.

THIS is IT.
The Final Word on the Skywalker saga.
I have to face facts.



The monkeys won.
:lost:
:armshead:


Post Posted: December 22nd 2019 4:01 pm
 
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Kyle wrote:
:armshead:


Bravo you, posting an actual legit review of something you actually saw.

You've taken your first step into a larger world.


Post Posted: December 23rd 2019 12:06 am
 
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Kyle wrote:
:armshead:

Bandersnatch wrote:
Bravo you, posting an actual legit review of something you actually saw.

You've taken your first step into a larger world.


A surprise to be sure...but a welcome one


Post Posted: December 23rd 2019 12:28 am
 
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This captures the movie well I feel:



Post Posted: December 23rd 2019 12:39 am
 

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I like Kyles rants! Saw it a 2nd time tonight with 13 yr old daughter... she loved it. I think I liked it on a second viewing also. The digs at TLJ make me laugh.


Post Posted: December 23rd 2019 11:57 pm
 
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Hokusai wrote:
I like Kyles rants!

Why, THANK YOU Hokusai...! That's very kind of you. It means a lot to me.

The way your fingertips strike the keyboard...
So seductive to me for some strange reason!

:bouncin:


Monari wrote:
This captures the movie well I feel: https://youtu.be/b2zZFtq13c4

It's the ONLY good thing about that film! It sounds JUST like me! Actually...no. It sounds like...

...DOUBLE-me!

Honestly, this YouTubers approach to pointing out just how fucking stupid Hollywood films can be is sheer brilliance. He gets to stick his tongue out AND both middle-fingers at the same time, and because he sounds like two kiss-assers kissing each others' asses (as Hollywood works most of the time, sadly), it comes off as being funny, and makes the poison go down SOOOOO much more smoothly than just giving it via two smoking shotgun barrels (which is my style).

I really like his work. *subscribed!*


Post Posted: December 24th 2019 1:25 pm
 
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I didn't really like it to be honest. It had some great moments, but it was so disjointed (and not because of the Carrie footage.)

One thing I kept on thinking while watching...it was obvious that this went through super extensive reshoots and there were so many things that were either cut or simply changed and worked around. That's how I felt at the end with Palpatine, it's how I felt with the first half of the film. It wasn't cohesive at all, just randomly jumping around from location to location and throwing shade at RJ and TLJ. Which is really funny considering I reported how JJ hates TLJ and that it totally fucked up the ST. And everyone I talk to now says that there's literally no point to TLJ now. Honestly you can just skip it and go on to TROS.

As someone who's really familiar with the editing process and who edits things myself, I can tell this is like four different films in one. which is why I buy the rumors that are going around right now, but that's for the other thread.


Post Posted: December 26th 2019 2:58 am
 
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The first half jumped around so quickly it made me feel carsick. I really enjoyed the middle. The shoehorning of Palpatine right from the opening scroll really underlined how off-script the middle film was, how unplanned this trilogy's arch was. Oh well.


Post Posted: December 26th 2019 3:00 am
 
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ki adi moonshine wrote:
(and not because of the Carrie footage.)

This stuff was a little jarring, 'here's a soundbyte from Fisher edited into context!'. I wish I could suspend my brain for those parts, maybe I would have been less fish-slapped by her (non) presence.


Post Posted: December 31st 2019 1:04 am
 

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I enjoyed the ride! It was 42 years in the making, and the final chapter was fast paced, with many elements that I probably missed and I'll need to see again.

I think watching this story unfold, I had a way that I thought it should turn out, and those damn writers paid absolutely no attention to me!

I think the criticisms of the sequels, with the swerve back and forth between the story each director wanted to tell was evident, and I think that ties into this being such a loved and studied franchise, everyone sees things how they would like to tell the story. I actually find some pleasure in seeing and thinking about the differences in what each storyteller had to say.


Post Posted: December 31st 2019 1:32 am
 
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Thanks for not weaponizing Star Wars, homergreg. Much appreciated! :)

And I very much agree.


Post Posted: January 3rd 2020 6:42 pm
 
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Back in 2012, when the ST was announced, I wasn't filled with excitement and enthusiasm. Instead, I thought: why?

The story that George set out to tell was completed with Revenge of the Sith. He said as much a hundred times, despite the early drafts of The Star Wars referencing a nine-chapter story and some off-hand comments about their being a trilogy of trilogies. But much of those later chapters found their way into Return of the Jedi and there was never a true outline about what would happen after the victory on Endor. As George would say over the years, the story of the Star Wars saga was a family opera chronicling the rise, fall and redemption of Anakin Skywalker over the backdrop of a millennia-long war between the forces of good and evil. In his vision (much to the chagrin of Gary Kurtz), the story was meant to culminate with an idilic fairy tale closeout where good has finally triumphed over evil, balance to the universe has been restored and our heroes lived happily ever after. This was the modern myth George set out to create, and its story was fully told.

So where then, would the story of Episodes 7-9 go from there? I saw three paths this could go down:

1. There was some major plot thread or story beat left unsettled by saga's end that needed further examination, possibly the galactic consequences of the dark side creating the unnatural Skywalker bloodline. While I was skeptical of this, Toy Story 4 has proved that adding more story to an already perfect ending can work with an interesting conceit

2. The ST would be an epilogue, extraneous and irrelevant to the story of the Skywalkers but possibly value-added in a "so that's what happened afterwards" kind of way. We're talking creation of the Jedi order kind of stuff with some new lore sprinkled in

3. It would completely undermine all that our characters had fought and suffered for in Episodes I-VI

So maybe I wasn't excited, but I was certainly interested to see how this would play out. I've also learned that making great Star Wars movies is hard (arguably this hasn't been done since 1980) and after the prequels, I'd kind of had enough of the cycle of hope, speculation, disappointment, and cynicism. With so much stacked against it, and all of the needle threading that would need to be done to pull this trilogy off, I believed there was far more risk of further harm to the franchise than any potential reward.

But it's Star Wars! Star Wars is supposed to inspire hope! First news of the original cast returning brought hope, so did hearing that John Williams was coming back, then Michael Arndt (who did an entire talk about 'how Star Wars is the perfect movie') was writing the script based on Lucas's treatments, then holy shit! Larry Kasdan was coming on board, and then JJ Abrams - who had already made a damn fine Star Wars film called "Star Trek" - was directing Episode VII. Oh, and longtime Spielberg/Lucas collaborator and mega-producer Kathy Kennedy was holding the wheel at Lucasfilm. She'd NEVER release a poor product with stakes this high.

If there were ever a list of ingredients that could legitimately deliver a good result, this seemed to be it.

Here we are seven years later at the end of the sequel trilogy and the now dubbed "Skywalker Saga." I'm writing this at a time when anonymous reddit posters and their "sources" are coming for blood with stories of boardroom drama and production meddling. This post isn't about that. I'm going to try my best to stick to the films in my commentary, not re-hash all the alleged behind-the-scenes garbage going on at Disney/Lucasfilm. I want to get my thoughts down about what's actually been put on screen, and what inferences I can draw about the production therefrom. It's hard to talk about The Rise of Skywalker without talking about the other instalments in the sequel trilogy, and commenting on the broader saga now that it's all in the can, so there will be a bit of that as well.

Where do I start...

I can't believe there was no overarching idea for how this trilogy of movies would end. That was my honest to God reaction as I walked out of The Rise of Skywalker.

I honestly can't believe that filmmakers this accomplished, who I truly believe love and respect the legacy of this franchise and, more importantly, understand the business impact of honouring that legacy, would embark on producing a trilogy of sequels without a vision - even broad strokes - for how this 42 year epic should end. My mind went back to this image of the creative team (JJ, Kathy Kennedy, John Knoll, Rick Carter, etc) prepping for Episode VII, which at the time gave me confidence that smart people, not the yes-men that surrounded Lucas during the prequel era, were going to help shepherd the future of the franchise. So I thought back to that image and said to myself: If there was any discussion in those endless meetings about how the Star Wars saga should end, or what the purpose of this trilogy should be, it sure as hell didn't make it into Episode IX.

I want to make clear that I do not believe that Episodes VII, VIII and IX should have been written or even fully treated before they rolled film on VII. That's not how the OT was made, nor was it how the PT was developed. There should be room for organic creative discovery as these films are produced. In other words, we can take side routes on our way to the destination, but we need to fundamentally know where we're going. We need to know the purpose of the journey we are taking. Episode IX is what happens when you pack your bags for a family vacation, get in the van, drive around your neighbourhood aimlessly for a few hours while you figure out where you want to go, but then just decide to drive back and spend the holidays at home.

There is no fucking way that Kathy, JJ or Jesus H. Christ knew that Sheev Palpatine would return to this saga from those story meetings.

Quick acknowledgement: I respect the art and process of screenwriting. It is hard. It's clear that this film's production had to be rushed in the wake of Trevorrow's (rightful) firing, and although that doesn't excuse some of the poor choices that were made with TROS, it does speak to the notion that these sequel films needed more time to breath. They should have stuck with the instalments being separated by three years instead of two and we might have had a far better result here and with this entire trilogy of films.

THE DEAD SPEAK

There is more plot in the opening 10 minutes of TROS than there is in the entire OT. I'm all for a rip-roaring adventure (Indiana Jones is all about McGuffin chasing and hopscotch plotting), but the problem is that none of it holds up when you stop to ask why? to anything that's happening in the story. Why is Palpatine back? Why did he broadcast his return to the whole galaxy? Why did Palpatine make Snoke? Why are there a vat of Snokes if after the first Snoke is killed, Palpatine just steps in himself? Why did there need to be a First Order at all if this Final Order is seemingly a hundred times larger with a hundred times more recruits? Why did there need to be Starkiller base if Palpatine had been building a fleet of planet-killing SD's for 30 years? Why did Palpatine need to hide these SD's under ice if Exegol was impossible to find without Wayfinders? Why are they called Wayfinders when they are obviously inspired by Sith Holocrons?

Why do we need a secret intercepted message to get to a crashed ship, to stumble upon a dagger, to get another secret encoded message, to point us in the direction of a secret place, where we need to use the dagger to find the entrance to the secret place, all to find a space compass to point us in the direction of another even more secret place? Wait...what? Ultimately, this film just wants to be about "let's find out where the bad guys are so we can blow them up before they blow up the galaxy" but instead of getting to the point, like ANH or even ROTJ does, we go on this meandering artifact chase that sucks the life out of the characters and gives the drama no room to breathe.

Let's pretend for a second that this convoluted plot, ridden with holes in logic as it is, was somehow executed in a compelling way. It still contains so many ideas that are completely incongruous with the canon established outside the films, the films in prior trilogies, and the films in this trilogy, that it makes the suspension of disbelief impossible for anyone paying even mild attention to what's been happening in this story. If it's the assassin's ship that dropped Rey off on Jakku, why did Ochi have to question Rey's parents where to find her? This whole Rey being dropped off on Jakku business doesn't make sense to me and I've seen the film twice. If Palpatine was controlling Snoke, why did Snoke want Ren to kill Rey in TLJ? Why was Luke looking for Exegol? Did he suspect Palpatine was alive? If he did, why wouldn't he have suspected Palpatine was behind Ben's seduction? Worse, if he did, why would he seclude himself on Act-To if he knew that the ultimate evil was back? Would the return of the Sith not validate the need for Jedi to return, at least until Palpatine was dealt with? Luke ("who are you, Rey from nowhere?") and Leia both knew Rey was a Palpatine? Bullshit. Didn't Chewie get his medal in the new Star Wars comics? Didn't the books explain that Luke and Snoke knew each other years before Ben was seduced? Doesn't the most recent Kylo Ren comic speak of a Snoke prior to facial scarring (the visual dictionary for TROS says that Snoke was engineered to be scarred)? Since when is Exegol the Sith world? Why wouldn't Palpatine have used it as his base of operations in the PT to fortify the Sith's strength while the Jedi were running the show in Coruscant? Oh, and isn't Morriband canon as of the Clone Wars? This Dyad in the Force you're telling us about...wasn't Snoke the one who bridged Rey and Ren's minds? That doesn't seem as unique as what Palpatine or Kylo Ren tells us in TROS.

This is just what's coming off the top of my head. Does nobody think of this stuff in story meetings?

LIKE MY FATHER BEFORE ME

In ANH, Luke Skywalker was a simple farm boy. He has ambitions of being a hero pilot and as he came to learn about his father's life as a great warrior, he aspired to live up to that legacy. Luke is not a mystery box. The reason why "I am your father" is a plot twist and not a revelation, is because up until that very moment we don't even give a shit about Luke's father. We've just accepted, as Luke has, that his father is long dead, murdered by the villain of the story. ANH didn't need or care for us to know who Luke is; it just needed us to want to root for him. Making the identity of the central protagonist of the sequels a mystery out of the gate was the single biggest flaw of this entire trilogy.

Daisy Ridley is a star. I'd argue she's as good on screen as any of the Star Wars leads that have come before. She carries the weight of these movies on her back. But it's Daisy's charisma is what makes me like and cheer for Rey. The character however, is never given a chance to just exist in this world because all the scripts (and consequently, the audience) just ask who the hell she is for three movies without letting her just be a hero. What's her last name? Why does she longingly reference her family? Who are they? Why did she say her identity is classified, a big secret? Why is Kylo Ren particularly interested in her identity? Why is Maz curious? Why does Luke's saber call to her? Why does it choose her over Kylo Ren?

If the character was called "Rey Solo," or "Rey Skywalker," or "Rey Jansen" in Episode VII, the world would have just accepted the character's place in this story instead of theorizing endlessly about it, and the filmmakers wouldn't have had to spend so much of the third film in this trilogy retconning the previous two, and arguably the previous eight. Rey's lineage as a Palpatine and the fate of her parents makes no sense to me. First, when does Palpatine fuck? Second, why would Palpatine kill his son instead of trying to turn him to the dark side? if the Force is so strong with Rey that she's overpowered in TFA, I assume her father would have been strong with the Force as well. If so, and if he rebuked Palpatine once upon a time, then why didn't he defend himself and his wife? If he's not, does the Force sometimes skip a generation? If so, that's in conflict with the way the Force has been explained in the prior films.

Star Wars doesn't function well when there's too much plot. Not only did this film have to really stretch with the whole Final Order/Palpatine/Exegol stuff, it had to use multiple flashbacks and introduce multiple new characters as crutches to stabilize the plight of its protagonist instead of being able to just organically propel the action forward with what had been established in the prior canon. As a result, we don't fucking care about any of manufactured backstory. It's artificial and weightless. We're told some bad guy we have never met kills Rey's parents, whom we never knew nor have cared about. Then we're told that her grandfather, who we the audience have long-believed to be dead and Rey the character had no awareness of, is the one pulling the strings. That's too much to ask of the audience. We can't relate to the drama because the stakes can't even be fully appreciated by the characters themselves.

After TFA, I broke down what I thought of Rey Palpatine/Skywalker/Kenobi/nobody. Kenobi/Palpatine might have been operatic, but far more challenging to pull off as I assumed both characters could not return to the franchise and there would be an implausibility to their having any offspring. Luke made sense, since he was clearly staying out of sight on Ach-To (maybe he tried to save his child by sending her far away from Kylo and the Jedi killers?) and he could have explained away Rey's mother the same way Padme was explained away in the OT. Rey the nobody could work if it served a story function that connected her to the Skywalker saga. Whichever way the filmmakers decided to go, it had to be resolved by Episode VIII if we were to resolve the story by IX. I don't gush over TLJ by any means, but once that choice was made the filmmakers had to accept it and just go and tell the best version of why Rey from nowhere makes sense. Backtracking from that decision meant wasted runtime retconning Episode VII and VIII at a point when our characters just needed to move the story forward. It failed.

There should have been a cinematic rule that no flashbacks can ever be used in these movies to convey story information. The narrative of the saga should have been built from what the audience knew going in. If it did, we wouldn't have thankless mysteries like "who is Rey" or "who is Snoke," both of which resulted in major storytelling problems for the sequel trilogy.

DO OR DO NOT. THERE IS NO TRY

There are many narrative flaws in this film: Palpatine returning without the slightest tease in the prior two films, Rey's connection to Palpatine being a head scratching development at best, everything to do with the First and Final Orders, the McGuffin-filled plot, the complete retcon of character actions and events in TFA and TLJ, and the continued confusion about Force ghost powers. However, I'd argue that good execution - a well-paced film with likeable characters, inventive sequences, great technical filmmaking (cinematography, production design, music), and strong dramatic beats - can trump an undercooked script. A good part of TFA works because it's largely well-made. Its energy comes from the character interactions and the sense of fun emanating from well-paced sequences.

I can't believe JJ Abrams made this movie. That was the second thought I had after leaving The Rise of Skywalker.

I was prepared to disagree with narrative choices, forced fan service and maybe even second half plot developments that feel hamfisted into the story (Super 8 and TFA both suffer from this). I did not expect sloppy pacing, awkward character interactions, an overwhelming amount of new toys worthless character introductions, largely stale set pieces, and lifeless drama. None of the stakes are properly set up. There is no time for any scene in this film to breathe. There are no consequences for character actions (including Threepio, four people "die" in this movie only to come back to life moments later). There are no real plans for what our heroes need to do in order to win or a clear description of the obstacles in the way of accomplishing their mission. Success feels totally random and unearned (Lando rallies the galaxy to rebel in ten minutes. Something Leia and the Resistance couldn't do on Crait, Luke couldn't inspire after his sacrifice, and our heroes failed at doing in the year or so between TLJ and TROS). As a result of all of this, the resolutions don't feel earned and the film feels completely unsatisfying. Even Luke's role, and Mark Hamill's performance, felt mailed in.

I felt like I was watching a shell of a Star Wars movie.

But I didn't think all of the execution was bad. There were clearly some narrative beats and set pieces that were more well-developed, and that JJ was really passionate about nailing. The entire sequence on Death Star ruins is the highlight of the film for me. We get stellar production design, great performances from Ridley and Driver, a unique lightsaber battle, and a more emotional resolution than anything else in the film. Ridley really sold it with the final exchange: "I did want to take your hand. Ben's hand." I even welled up during the Han Solo scene: "Dad..." "I know." The Kylo-Rey ForceTime lightsaber encounter is another well done sequence but there's nothing else in the film that comes close to the Rey-Kylo drama, largely because the characters are too busy hopscotching around the galaxy for a compass to allow us to invest in their emotional journey.

There was some really well-written/performed comedic beats, which would have been more fun if the story were more engaging on a dramatic level. This is as funny as Threepio has been, maybe ever; Poe smashing the Falcon against the cave wall and apologizing to Chewie for it was a pure Star Wars moment; and Babu Frik - who would have thought this little thing could steal the show.

Unfortunately, there's also a bunch of potential that went completely wasted. Force healing is an ancient Jedi power that hasn't been used in the 8 previous movies - cool, so tell us why this is so special, and why that makes our hero(es) all the more impressive for using it? Imagine there were Sith acolytes who were loyal to the resurrection and maintenance of the Sith Order - great, so tell us about them! Maybe these were the same kind of folk who surrounded the Emperor in ROTJ? Rey and Ben form a "Dyad in the Force" - cool, so develop this concept if you think it's so key to their connection. The Knights of Ren seem cool - nope, they're just stormtroopers. This film is meant to be the resolution of 9 movies and a millennia-long battle between the Jedi and the Sith - so tell us more about what "Balance" to the Force means since nobody seems to be able to agree on it. You might have even saved the film from the biggest sin, which I'll get into later. In other words, if you're going to bring new lore to the saga in its final instalment, why not bring depth to what's come before versus adding brand new layers to this already unwieldy stacked cake? And, lightspeed-skipping - sounds like a fun concept, but it's short-changed as an action sequence and never comes back to play a role in the plot the way we expect it to.

I cannot stand poor technical filmmaking, and what breaks these films for me is when John Williams' music is butchered or poorly edited into the final mix. Next to AOTC, TROS might be the worst offender in this regard. There are entire motifs from the OST that are completely absent from the movie. There are sequences where music from previous films is used instead of original music. There are moments that need the music to be at a 10 to deliver emotional impact and the volume is at a 5. This kind of stuff breaks my heart, and it tells me that this film was being edited until the last minute. Rushed production impacted the final product.

WHO IS LUKE SKYWALKER?

"Who is Luke Skywalker?"

This is the question that Kathy Kennedy used to lure JJ to the Star Wars franchise and direct Episode VII. Apparently, there was a giant mystery or further story to be explored about the "Son of Suns," the hero of the Rebellion to helped his father bring Balance to the Force (whatever that means).

Based on the events of this trilogy, I gather that Luke is the following:

A) a disgraced Jedi Master who got his mojo back in time to help a small group of resistance fighters escape
B) the spark that tried to light the fire to bring the First Order down, but was unsuccessful
B) an inspiring armorer who powered up our hero on her quest to defeat the bad guy

Based on the above, I would say that Kathy Kennedy was not seriously interested in answering this question. In fact, I honestly couldn't tell you what question the sequel trilogy was actually interested in asking, never mind answering.

In the end, TROS doesn't settle any lingering story threads and doesn't add anything of real value to the lore or canonical story of the Skywalker family. Unfortunately, it takes the third of my expected routes: it undoes the narrative impact of Vader's fulfillment of the Chosen One prophecy and effectively minimizes the entire resolution of the Galactic Civil War. The sequel trilogy ended up being a less dramatic, less cohesive and less coherent retelling of the original trilogy.

The Rise of Skywalker itself is a title that bears little relevance to the actual film. What is Skywalker rising from or aspiring to? Are we meant to take the title literally as Ben Solo emerging from a pit, recalling the "The Dark Knight Rises"? Or is this a way of saying that Rey, as a now adopted "Skywalker" has risen from her dark origins as a Palpatine? I'm not sure Kathy Kennedy knows the answer to that either.

I KNOW WHAT I HAVE TO DO, BUT I DON'T KNOW IF I HAVE THE STRENGTH TO DO IT

I imagined quite a few outcomes for this trilogy but what took me most by surprise is that there would be no vision, no roadmap, no plan for how this narrative would play out. For those alleging that this is a Disney problem, look no further than the studio next door who in 2012 released their first of several "team up" films and was preparing for the second phase of their interconnected cinematic universe. In 2019, Kevin Feige had put the finishing touches on the 22nd film in the MCU's third phase, a crown jewel picture that culminated the major storylines of the films that preceded it. The nearly two-dozen films were written and directed by 15 different directors and more than a dozen writers. Meanwhile, at Lucasfilm, the creative team was focussed on producing six pictures between 2015-2020. The sequel problems didn't have to do with the Mouse House: they had to do with creative mismanagement at Lucasfilm Ltd.

There is a fundamental misunderstanding about what makes Star Wars special by this team. This franchise thrived when content was sparse, not excessive. When the movies were cinematic events, not flavours of the month. When they stood for universal themes and allegories, not overly politicized message platforms. They are modern myths that need room to grow, not pander to broken fandoms or recycle story beats.

"It's all connected" was a popular saying back in 2012, when the expanded universe was washed away in favour of a new canon. But Episode IX, and the sequel trilogy as a whole, have undone that a fair bit. There's been so much investment by fans for the past seven years into absorbing everything new canon. So much work that book writers, TV producers, game developers, and comic writers have put into this universe that has been marginalized. What the hell was the point of the (now defunct) story group if not to make sure this universe was cohesive?

I JUST GOT A FUNNY FEELING I'M NOT GONNA SEE HER AGAIN

I'm not sure how TROS will impact my love for Star Wars. I still love the OT. I love Clone Wars and Rebels. I enjoyed the Mandalorian's first season. I even love certain aspects of this trilogy, which I still believe on the whole delivers a higher quality of production than what the PT did; it just has the opposite problems.

I am grateful for Rey, Finn, Poe, Kylo Ren, BB-8, "Chewie, we're home," Rey's theme, "that's not how the Force works!," Carrie Fisher's return, Luke's and Artoo reunited, Captain Canady, "I will not be the last Jedi," seeing Lando again, seeing Wedge again, and "send Leia my love."

Whatever the future of Star Wars brings, it's time the fandom accept that there will never be Star Wars content that can replicate or approach the magic delivered by the original trilogy. Expectations for this franchise need to change, or fans will risk being perpetually disappointed. I do really hope that toxicity in the fandom finds a way to cool and accept the product for what it is: one with strengths and weaknesses, still capable of delivering joy, albeit not in the way it used to.

The reality is that nothing is ever as good as it used to be and the OT truly was lightning in a bottle. Remember, once upon a time, a can of Coke cost 50 cents and they served free meals on airplanes. Now we have to take our shoes off at airport security.


Post Posted: January 3rd 2020 8:52 pm
 
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CoGro, your post exceeded all my expectations. Brilliantly said.

I agree with much of this. I disagree with some of this. I hold the PT in equal regard to the OT. But I respect your knowledge and passion. You make this place better.


Post Posted: January 3rd 2020 8:55 pm
 
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I knew it was coming. Great read!


Post Posted: January 4th 2020 11:54 am
 
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anyone have a tl;dr? I can't read that. (eye problem)


Post Posted: January 4th 2020 12:59 pm
 

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Been waiting for that. Thanks for the insight. Always my favorite commentary.


Post Posted: January 5th 2020 8:57 pm
 
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Thanks CoGro and I won't lie and say I read every word but I certainly understand the sentiment.

100% the fanbase must realise that never will any SW movie EVER AGAIN live up to the magic of the OT. That time is passed and as you said it was"lightning in a bottle". Only disappointment remains for anyone who believes otherwise.

I too wondered what the ST could be about once Disney announced it. I was confused as to where the story could go. While it's my least favourite of the trilogies I still hold it very dear. I hope Disney stick to their word and end the Skywalker saga here, but I don't believe it will happen. They will revisit within the next 10 years or so.

In saying this the TROS blu-ray can not get here soon enough!


Post Posted: January 6th 2020 4:02 am
 
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Notions of cohesion and oeuvre-spanning design are artistic concepts rarely applied to mainstream filmmaking. We were spoiled with an auteur like Lucas who treated these endeavors as art.

In the studio system, the reigning dictate is flashy entertainment value with a negligible interest in elaborately applied principles of design. What did we really expect from a massive corporation and their endless history of crass and cynical practices? Lucas built his whole empire in direct opposition to their whole rotten ethos and constantly voiced his criticism of it all.

Although I enjoyed the initial thrill of new Star Wars in TROS, it's remained as a kind of still-birth to me given everything that appears to have come to light about its making.

Damn shame. :|


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