December 29th 2019
Today I went to see Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker at the cinema with my Dad. It was really quite good. I think the last time I went to the cinema was this time last year to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi with my Dad. So apparently I only go to the cinema to watch Star Wars films with my Dad.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, henceforth known as just ‘Episode 9’, was by most merits and metrics and metres(???) a good film. It was a good story, well told, with great pacing and a well-balanced mix of comedy and drama. Some of the dialogue between Po, Finn and Rey is brilliant, and the jokes break up the all-action set pieces nicely. There’s just one fatal flaw with Episode 9:
There is never anything at stake.
Seriously, it got really tiring that they kept killing ‘people’ off only to bring them back in a scene or two. Like,
in one scene Rey accidentally ‘kills’ Chewbacca, which was quite a shocking and intense moment because it’s the death of an iconic character (which would be a ballsy move from the filmmakers) as well as a pivotal moment in the development of Rey’s character because she’s already flirting with the Dark Side and accidentally killing Chewie would have been pivotal in that arc. Buuuuttttt two scenes later everyone found out that she didn’t actually kill Chewie because Chewie was on another ship all along. And then they saved him and he’s fine.
So that was kind of annoying, but then they did the exact same thing three more times just in slightly different ways. One actually quite unique way of killing off one of the characters was to force C3PO to have his memory wiped in order to get around the ‘malware protection’ that prevents him from translating the Sith language. That made for some comedic moments and was again a ballsy move messing with one of the original characters. Buuuuuutttttt two scenes later R2D2 restores his memory from a backup and everything is fine again.
I’m not done.
Po finds his ex girlfriend on this planet, she helps them out, they flirt a bit, and then her planet gets blown up and we’re supposed to believe that she’s on it. Except by this point we know that she’s probably not on it because the filmmakers have established that there are no stakes in this universe and that no one actually dies.
But wait! Rey kills Kylo Ren! Shit! The triology has come to this massive crescendo, in the lightsaber fight that we’ve all been waiting for Rey stabs Kylo Ren with his own lightsaber and kills hi– oh wait she felt bad so she’s done some Jedi shit and brought him back to life. Never mind. He ‘died’ with an hour of the film still to go so we kind of knew that he wasn’t going to die. Also, because no one dies. Apart from Leia, but we kind of knew she had to die because Carrie Fisher has been dead in real life for three years and I’m not even really sure how they filmed her bits anyway.
Then Rey has to die to save the whole universe! She sacrifices herself to kill Palpatine (I am your granddaughter!) They killed Rey! Shit! Oh wait don’t worry Kylo Ren did some Jedi shit and now Rey is alive again. Oh wait Kylo Ren is dead again. Except death doesn’t even really matter in this universe because Han Solo came back for a bit and he’s dead. And the ghost of Luke Skywalker somehow lifted a spaceship out of the ocean.
I know I just slagged it off a lot, but it really was a good film. It’s definitely better than Episodes 7 and 8. It was hugely enjoyable, but there was never really anything at stake. I think it would have been ballsy to kill off Chewie, or 3PO, or even Rey, and that kind of gamble would’ve made the film even better.
Until tomorrow, also that droid with personal space issues was cute as fuck.