The Skywalker Experience: A Sort of Review for the Latest Movie

When Joker came out, I actually bailed on writing a review of it. I had the most tumultuous time after watching that movie and trying to suss out how I felt about it. I didn’t want to touch a review of it with a ten-foot pole.

The Rise of Skywalker came out last week, and it felt almost as divisive as Joker, which kinda freaked me out a bit about reviewing it.

But this is Star Wars we’re talking about here. I love Star Wars.

No way am I not going to talk about how I felt about the supposed end of the Skywalker saga.

Besides, the name of my blog should serve as a disclaimer that I have no idea what I’m talking about and will hopefully deter anybody from getting pissy about what I say. It’s a below average review, people.

Also SPOILER WARNING!!!!!!!!

So, basically, The Rise of Skywalker ties up the story we started in The Force Awakens. Rey’s journey with her friends is concluded, Kylo Ren’s “villain” arc is resolved, and Palpatine is introduced as the big bad. (Or has he been the big bad from the very beginning?)

With that said as a general overview, it’s time for my thoughts on it, right?

I loved it!

Yup, I’m solidly in the camp of people who enjoyed The Rise of Skywalker. I had so much fun while watching the movie. I’ve seen it in theaters three times, and I probably wouldn’t mind watching it again. For me, it was a blast from start to finish. I was constantly entertained, and, at the end of the day, that’s what I want from my sci-fi-space-wizard films.

If The Last Jedi or The Force Awakens bored you a tad, The Rise of Skywalker won’t. There are these sweeping fights and escapes that seem to happen every ten minutes in the story, and who doesn’t like a good lightsaber fight, am I right? Plus, the callbacks to the original films, the prequel films, and even the prior sequel films, all hit the nail on the head. This movie made me look back fondly on everything that has happened in the Star Wars universe.

That’s not to say that it’s a perfect movie.

The Rise of Skywalker is rushed as fuck. The action is nonstop, so it doesn’t let quiet moments in the story breathe properly. (Tip of the hat to Danny, who worded this perfectly.)

Critics of the movie also appear to dislike it for two major reasons:

  1. It erases the tonal shift and overall plot changes of The Last Jedi.
  2. It makes Force usage and power levels ubiquitous.

To the first critique, yeah, I can see why that’s a complaint. If you adored The Last Jedi, The Rise of Skywalker might tick you off with how casually it dismantles the foundation its predecessor lay. Though to be fair, The Last Jedi itself deconstructed what The Force Awakens set up, so it’s a total case of what goes around comes around.

To the second critique…

Well…

It’s space magic. This isn’t some Christopher-Nolan-intellectual-head-scratcher or Martin-Scorsese-realistic-crime-thriller type of movie. If a director wants to introduce crazy-extreme Force powers in a Star Wars movie just for the heck of it, I’m more than willing to accept these surface-level changes.

And to those of you saying that it forever ruins the original trilogy…no. No, it does not. Those originals still exist. You can watch them, and they’re the same. If you so choose, you can ignore the sequels for the rest of your life. Don’t waste your time hating on these new movies and crying that they’re ruining your childhood when your childhood is over and done with, and it is essentially pristine thanks to the unalterable effect of having happened years in the past.

Anyways, let’s get into the nitty-gritty.

The big reveal of The Rise of Skywalker is that Rey is a Palpatine. Apparently, someone was willing to bone the Emperor, and he had a son. Presumably, this son grew up, got married, and had Rey, and he decided that he didn’t want her to be influenced by Palpatine in any way. That’s why Rey was abandoned on Jakku.

This revelation wasn’t given much breathing time, so aside from shocked expressions, we don’t see Rey processing it as much as I would have liked. However, it does explain why Rey is so OP. She’s got that Palpatine blood coursing through her.

As you might have guessed, this is what makes The Rise of Skywalker such a middle finger to those who loved The Last Jedi. The Last Jedi was all about deconstructing the importance of bloodlines when it came to the Force. It proudly stated that Rey was a nobody, and there was no rhyme or reason as to why she was strong in the Force.

I’ll be honest with you, I wasn’t a big fan of The Last Jedi. The structure of the story felt a little off to me, and certain plot holes kind of grated on me more than usual. But for me, Star Wars is Star Wars, and I like seeing people try new things with it. So I was not upset about Rey’s lack of notable parentage. Its sudden reversal in The Rise of Skywalker also did not annoy me simply because I kind of expected the last film in the trilogy to shake things up once more.

And even though The Rise of Skywalker dismantled what The Last Jedi built, it funnily enough made me appreciate the black sheep of the sequel family. By far, The Rise of Skywalker is my favorite movie of the sequel trilogy, but I can now look back at The Last Jedi with more fondness than I did before.

The Rise of Skywalker also introduces new characters to the franchise, like Zorii, Babu Frik, D-O, Jannah, and the Knights of Ren. For the most part, these new characters are handled well, and their introductions, while rushed, are entertaining.

Well, all except for the Knights of Ren. When you first see them walking around, you’re all, “Ohhh, so cool. Hashtag squad goals.”

But then you realize they essentially do and say nothing important in the movie, and you feel a disappointment you haven’t felt since Boba Fett’s fall into the Sarlacc Pit.

But alas, that’s the way things go sometimes.

Fans of deep Star Wars lore also have a lot to dissect in The Rise of Skywalker. It introduces something called a Force dyad, and even I have no clue what that means yet. It does give me a hankering to buy Star Wars books as soon as possible, which might be what they intended to happen all along.

Which brings me to that whole Reylo thing.

Look, I’m not a Reylo fan, but I’m not not a Reylo fan.

The Last Jedi featured some definite chemistry between Rey and Kylo Ren during those moments when they were bonded in the Force. The Rise of Skywalker ups the ante for that in a major way. I was definitely shocked that they went as far as they did in establishing and solidifying Reylo as a thing, but it actually seemed kind of…logical? It seemed like a natural progression, in a weird way.

Still, there is a part of me that kind of wishes they had left it more understated than they did. I don’t need much romance in my Star Wars movies, and after Anakin and his I-hate-sand flirtations, I kind of reached my limit.

Side note: At no point does The Rise of Skywalker reach the cringe-levels that the prequels did. The prequels still hold first place when it comes to cringey, yet awesomely quotable, dialogue.

So yes, long story short, I enjoyed the heck out of this movie. I don’t need my Star Wars movies to be a top-notch critical experience. The Rise of Skywalker swept me up in a thrilling adventure and made me forget about my life for a good two and a half hours. And that’s exactly what the first Star Wars film did for me too, all those years ago.

9 thoughts on “The Skywalker Experience: A Sort of Review for the Latest Movie”

  1. I’m looking forward to seeing it. I’ve already come across a load of spoilers, but I’d kind of guessed most of them anyway. Not all of, them. But I expect to just enjoy it for what it is. And then watch all the YouTubers complaining that’s it’s the worst thing ever to happen to humanity. Of course.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like to find enjoyment from most everything I can, and if it’s fun, I’m all onboard. (Though sometimes shit just pisses me off, i.e. The Crimes of Grindelwald.)

      What were your least favorite things about the sequel trilogy?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That’s a good ideal to aim for 🙂

        Um, the commonly parroted criticisms. No plan or cohesion between the movies. Mishandled legacy characters. None of the new characters have a meaningful arc. JJ’s stupid artificial mysteries. New Force powers invented on the fly to lazily solve plot complications.

        Probably my least favourite thing is the foundation set by Farce Awakens. From the opening title crawl this trilogy was effectively doomed. Luke Skywalker is missing and the First Order have inexplicably risen to power were two of the worst developments possible for an Episode VII treatment. Those alone effectively undermined the struggles of the original trilogy and neither were satisfactorily explained or justified. Luke’s self-imposed isolation was a joke and I can’t believe they basically reset the Empire so soon after RotJ. I would have preferred something new, or to actually SEE the First Order’s slow rise to power (and Ben Solo’s slow corruption). JJ basically skipped over the most interesting developments in the universe for a cheap narrative reset.

        In terms of what I think these movies do well… They’re beautiful to look at, for one. I like the idea of creating an army of conscripted Stormtroopers (not that they did anything with this; Finn is practically the comic relief, which doesn’t ring true for me for a character who was kidnapped and indoctrinated as a child). Kylo Ren was a genuinely new sort of character for the series. I found his idealization of the dark side interesting. Shame they botched his arc for a Hail Mary Palpatine revival.

        Sorry. I don’t mean to spew negativity. I was just really spurned by these movies. I’m happy some people like them, but it hurts that the creators took so little care with something I love. In many ways it’s like Halo 5’s campaign all over again.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I feel you man. It can be incredibly disappointing to have something you care about altered in ways that are unsatisfying. It feels like a perversion of something you loved.

        That damn Halo 5 campaign nearly wrecked me, and I’m actually a major fan of the extended Halo lore. It just wasn’t a major draw for me because I liked different things from my Halo campaigns, and Halo 5’s included none of them.

        I think it’s a gargantuan task to try and please so many different people, and the Star Wars fandom is super diverse. That means a TON of people were disappointed with the sequels while some really liked it.

        The thing that keeps me going is that as long as I’m alive, there will always be that next thing. The next Halo, the next Star Wars, the next whatever. And I’m here for it. At least until I die.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your reviews. For me, movies have to entertain. I mean, obviously I expect more from something like “Schindler’s List” but for the most part, I just want them to transport me. You clearly show whether that’s a thing. I probably won’t see it in the theatre – my depression is being very effective at keeping me home – but I’m looking forward to it nonetheless, especially now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s an incredibly entertaining film, especially if you’ve seen the others. The nonstop action truly helps you just get swept up. However, there are people who really dislike it, so don’t take me at my word 😂

      Liked by 1 person

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