Star Wars: The Rise Of Disappointment

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John Bernat, Fluco Beat Editor

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Despite earning nearly $1 billion dollars at the box office, Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker is one of the worst Star Wars films to date.

At first, Disney’s three-part addition to the Star Wars saga showed promise with its first release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens back in 2015. While flawed, the characters were interesting enough to keep your attention, and the returning cast from the previous movies was there to help ease the audience back into the classic style of the original Star Wars series. Then came The Last Jedi, which completely derailed everything set up by The Force Awakens, and even went as far as to kill its main villain at an early stage.

Now, the Star Wars saga has ended with the final chapter in the trilogy, The Rise Of Skywalker. I wish I could say I’m a fan, but it’s just an incoherent mess, featuring plot holes, side plots that go nowhere, token appearance characters who have nothing to do, break neck pacing, and problematic, uninspiring villains. 

Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) who was seemingly killed in Episode Six (Return of the Jedi), is reintroduced within the first five minutes of Skywalker. The only explanation for his resurrection is that the Dark Side is a pathway to many unnatural abilities. What?

Soon, the Emperor raises yet another Stormtrooper army which were previously named “The First Order,” and now called “The Final Order.” The first thing I thought when I saw this was how? How did the Emperor defy death so conveniently? How did he raise another army without the rebels knowing? Where are these resources coming from? And most importantly, how does the Emperor keep losing, and yet bounce back?

Some characters, such as Rose Tico (Kelly Tran from The Last Jedi), Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams, well-preserved from The Return of the Jedi days), and the Knights Of Ren are just there. Rose Tico has about 90 seconds of screen time in total, while Lando is important for a single scene, then pushed to the background. The Knights Of Ren just stand around looking tough for 80 percent of the movie, until they’re killed off.

Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is the only redeeming character in this movie. He finally makes an irrevocable choice for the Dark Side (or the Light Side–no spoilers here) of the Force in the most heavy-hearted, emotional scene for any character in the trilogy. 

Unfortunately, actress Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), passed away before this movie began its filming, so the directors had to weave unused footage from previous movies with current actors and some CGI. But I think they handled her death very well and gave the character a nice ending.   

I can’t go further into detail without spoilers, but as a whole, this movie is incomprehensible. It’s a broken mess of a film that has a scavenger hunt for a plot, in which the characters basically look for artifacts that lead to the Emperor. Kathleen Kennedy and J.J Abrams (the leader of Lucasfilm and the director of this movie, respectively) stated the character of Emperor Palpatine was always slated to reappear. But judging by the plot, it is obvious that this decision was made as a last-minute, convenient way to wrap up the series.

To be fair, this movie was dead on arrival. Star Wars: The Last Jedi did irreversible damage to the Star Wars brand and drove many fans away. Meanwhile, the directors pointed all criticism toward the fan base for not liking the movie. This is equivalent to blaming your customers for not liking the food at your restaurant. Do you think they’re going to want to eat there again? 

In the end, the final Star Wars sequel trilogy was ruined by narcissistic directors, bad leadership, mismanagement, a lack of cohesion, political messaging, and a general disrespect for the audience George Lucas created.

Overall, I give this movie 5 out of 10 stars. Abrams and Kennedy did the best they could with what they had, but it’s the fault of the trilogy’s writers and directors for putting themselves in this position in the first place.