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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Review

U/A Sci-fi 2 hrs 28 mins Dec 20, 2019
Bearable
2.4

Critics

2.4

Users

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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Review & Rating

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Review: A Fractured Mess 

Star Wars - the Saga

What Star Wars evokes in the minds and consciousness of people is a sense of wonder and ownership of that friendship which is a result of getting accustomed to it and it's world. And of course the characters.

Princess Leia Organa

Luke Skywalker

Obi-wan "Ben" Kenobi

Han Solo

And of course, million others. Some the fans love and identify themselves with. Some they love to hate. And then some they outrightly hate. Like Jar Jar Binks - for no fault of his. And the films too.

An American equivalent of mythology

While the first-ever Star Wars where... "Ever since Luke Skywalker left his homeland - the planet Taatooine - and joined with Obi-wan Kenobi" it all began... Star Wars was forever associated with a sense of wonder. The second film - The Empire Strikes Back - carried the same feel and took the storytelling to the next level, while the third though not as artistically satisfying as the first 2, consolidated the position of Star Wars as modern-day folklore. And an American equivalent of mythology.

While the original fans of Star Wars derided the Prequel Trilogy, it has since risen in stature with at least The Revenge of the Sith is treated as good as the best of Star Wars. With a huge cosmos at disposal to explore and experience, Star Wars has become as uncontrollable as the universe itself. Hundreds of books, millions of toys, and dozens of storytellers exploring whatever they could.

After 42 years of travel through space-time, the moment has come to bid farewell to The Skywalker clan. Time to move on? No. Time to explore newness in Star Wars before Star Wars become rotten inside as it has nearly become with The Rise of Skywalker.

A compromised version

While this J. J. Abrams' film is not bad at all, this is a compromised version. There's no artistic vision except to forcibly wrap it off. To bring the entire saga to a conclusion rather than organically helping it reach a logical end. While The Last Jedi had tried to explore the pathways through the future of Star Wars can go, The Rise of Skywalker is an exercise of nostalgia once more. And while The Force Awakens set things in motion for the new characters to take the mantle, The Rise risked everything that's good and tried to massage the egos of the fans who stopped from growing since the first of these trilogies concluded.

Where to begin?

So, where to begin? We'll obviously get the mandatory Opening Crawl. And then there's a space dogfight reminding us of the good old days of Star Wars. Then killing through his path, Kylo Ren reaches the place where Emperor Palpatine is hiding waiting to strike back and rule the Galaxy without opposition.

On the other side of the spectrum is the Resistance whose numbers are dwindling with each passing moment. Rey who is now the sole Jedi in the Galaxy, and the guardian angel of the Resistance and her friends - Poe Cameron, Finn (Just Finn), and the others (the fans don't like the names) alongside the well-loved droids C-3P0, R2-D2, and BB8 set on an adventure to find the Sith Wayfinder which help them to locate Palpatine.

To Kylo Ren, the Emperor reveals that it was he who created Snoke. And it was he who had talked to him through Snoke, Darth Vader, and an inner voice. Emperor wants to bring in a perpetual rule of the Sith. And to establish an heir of his. Now, it's Kylo Ren. Kylo is now tasked to eliminate Rey Nobody. And we all know how it ends.

All ends how we know it ends

The Rise of Skywalker is as predictable as you guess that you drink water if you fill your glass. Or hot water is hot and cold water is cold. Films influence people if there is a sense of wonder, unpredictability, and give them a feeling that they have discovered something new. But this J. J. Abrams directorial has none. It's like Cortlandt Homes which Howard Roark dynamited. Built on a brilliant premise and undid it.

Rian Johnson had brought Star Wars up to date and made it the own of the current generation kids. But The Rise of Skywalker catered to the grownups, 50 somethings who never really grew.

Lackluster direction

The direction lacked assuredness. The screenplay is a fractured mess. The first act is like a poetry reading session where the thumb rule is back scratching each other. Everybody reads. No one listens. But everyone praises every other person. Like a collective orgasm. The second act is a bit better but we all know beforehand how the film is going to end. It doesn't even try to give the expected, rumoured but still satisfyingly surprising climax of Captain America in Avengers: Endgame.

Just fan service

Just a fan service. What could have been a rousing benchmark of a film has become an exercise of piecing together of good moments here and there and feel: okay! It's not an outright bad film. As long as The Rise of Skywalker is its own film it's terrific blockbuster material. Alas! It's not its own. It's hijacked by those so-called fans who wanted The Last Jedi to be undone.

The performances

Performances are great as expected from a series and Saga finale. Daisy Ridley has given her best yet as Rey on whom this entire film could have been centred on (Emperor couldn't have been brought into the picture at all stealing the thunder from Rey). John Boyega has shown the sense of urgency we expect from him. And the charismatic Oscar Isaac as Poe Cameron is every inch the modern-day Han Solo. Kelly Mary Tram's Rose Rico is relegated to the background as the fans wanted.

Billy Dee Williams returns as Lando Calrissian and he is good. There are the others and an obviously grumpy Luke Skywalker played by Mark Hamill in his inimitable style. And Carrie Fisher returns through unseen footage as General Leia Organa. She could have been recreated than being insulted with not so great footage (it's already deleted from a film or two, no?). But it's nostalgic and makes it all the more tragic watching her wielding the lightsaber. Her tandem work with Rey is good as long as it lasts ( a few repeated moments).

John Williams mastery

John Williams is a master and his operatic and epic musical score is the best part of this film. He knows when to give what sound to bring out which emotion from the audience. The cinematography and other technical work of the film is top class as expected from a Hollywood mega-blockbuster. Only that Lucas Film could have stood firm with its own vision than to massage the egos of the fans.

We want Rian Johnson's Trilogy quickly

You can watch it? Certainly. As it's not a bad film. And it closes it all here. An end of an era. Long live Star Wars. We want Rian Johnson's trilogy as quickly as possible. Adios J. J. Abrams. 

Positives

  • The closure of a sprawling and epic saga
  • Nostalgic moments
  • Thrilling lightsaber duel between Rey and Kylo Ren

Negatives

  • Pure fan service - fan service is good  but this film took Star Wars away from newer fans
  • Listless, visionless direction
  • No artistic integrity

Pycker Rating: 2 out of 5

Reviewed by: GitacharYa

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