We Gotta Talk About the Rise of Skywalker and the Sequel Trilogy
I watch movies to get entertained and/or engaged. If I finish the showing feeling somewhat entertained and engaged, be it from story telling, good acting, intellectual stimuli, or some dumb ass comedy, then I don’t see why I have to hate it. Sometimes I watch a movie and I know that it’s not coherently good (i.e. Dumb) but I thoroughly enjoyed it, I’ll say “It’s not very good, but I liked it.”
Another thing, I love Star Wars. Having the mindset I described above, I love all Star Wars movies, even the Prequels and Solo. They could be better, but I enjoyed them anyway.
!!! HEAVY SPOILER WARNING !!!
I can say the same thing with The Rise of Skywalker. There are things that I don’t like from it, like:
- The first 2/3 parts of the movie. It’s all over the place, it’s pacing is a mess. And it’s basically trying to course correct The Last Jedi, because clearly JJ and Rian has different visions.
- The whole thing about Leia. Ugh. Completely unnecessary.
- The Palpatine connection. I’m okay that he’s still alive and pulling strings the whole time, but him being Rey’s Pop Pop is just ugh.
- How they adopt Game of Thrones seasons 7-8 travel time. “Oh we have 16 hours left before the First Order annihilate us. Let’s jump around the galaxy and have adventures! Look here in Google Galactic Maps, it’s only 5 minutes from planet A to planet B!” The concept of time in Star Wars Universe was always vague. Incorporating it willy-nilly just to up the stakes was a waste.
But there are also parts that I like, which for me doesn’t get overshadowed by the things that I don’t like, such as:
- The remaining 1/3 of the movie. Once the story foundation and pace becomes solid, it gets really good! I don’t care if you call it fan service, I’m a fan, you’re a fan, it’s made for us. For me it’s one of the finest moment of (currently canon) Star Wars.
- The Avengers: Endgame-esque final aerial battle on Exogol. Massive.
- Ghost Luke with that ‘I’ma do whatever the fuck I want now I’m dead’ attitude.
- Rey channeling all the Jedi before her, sort of like tapping into the Avatar State.
- WEDGE SIGHTING!!!!!
While I’m at it, I also have some ideas on how things should’ve went, for example:
- Scrap the whole Leia scenes. Let her rest off screen. Give Poe the command from the very start, which burdens him. He’s actually doing well, but he’s having a hard time with the responsibility and not being able to be in the front lines.
- When the plot starts, Poe finds some reason to lead the mission himself, leaving Rose in command, with Maz Kanata being the wisdom-provider/voice of reason for them. That way, these two characters would have a proper role
- If Ghost Luke can do whatever he wants, then let him appear in front of Ben and apologizes, instead of getting Ben on LSD and seeing Han. It’d be a good continuation from TLJ and adds up to whole “A Jedi must not fear mistakes but learn from it” theme. And if you’re so inclined to have Leia in TRoS, then use her footage as Ghost Leia, so Ben can apologize to her for committing patricide.
- Speaking of continuation, Rey is still a nobody. She was just born with shitload of Midichlorians, and old Palpy was hunting her since infancy because he wants to use her for some dark-side shit. I’d like to continue Rian’s view that good/hope can come from everywhere, you don’t need to be born into a certain family for that. We don’t know the lineage of Mace Windu, Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon, Yoda, or even Palpatine! But they all turned out to be alright Force-users without having the Skywalker genes.
- In the end, when asked about her full name, Rey will smile in content and replied “Just Rey.” Because you don’t need a last name to be great Jedi, like Yoda. And to follow great mononymous female artists, like Madonna, Cher, and Beyoncé. Then they can change the title to something else because we don’t really care about that.
I’m sure all of you fans out there also have some ideas of how things should go, and not just for TRoS, but for the whole sequel trilogy. And the fact that some people is having a hard time that their ideas and imagination didn’t appear in the big screen is partly how we get here.
When TFA came out, we complained that it’s too similar to ANH. Then the studio allowed TLJ to experiment and take risks, but we complained again because our fan theories wasn’t even in the movie. Now they’re trying to please everyone, we had to open our big mouth again. You do realize that no matter how good the idea you have, it doesn’t matter if you’re not sitting on the writer’s table.
The other part is Disney didn’t have a clear view on a high level, how the trilogy should play out. They hired different writers and directors for each movies, who each has their own story to tell, and the studio let them. If you compared it with the Original Trilogy or the Prequels, even though the Prequels also have different directors, they were all written by George Lucas. They all have one authority which lacked in the Sequel Trilogy. Kathleen Kennedy just didn’t get this house in order like Kevin Feige did with the MCU.
Look, all I’m saying is this is the thing we love. And like all things in life, sometimes it goes like we want it to be, most of the times it doesn’t, and it’s usually because of things we cannot control. So, instead of endlessly arguing, complaining and protesting, why can’t we all just keep an open mind, and watch Star Wars for what it is, and maybe you’ll enjoy yourself again.
Or, maybe they are right. Star Wars are made for children. Not because it brings out the child-like imagination and sense of adventure in us, but the way we throw tantrums like kids when we don’t get what we want.