The countdown has ended and the final movie in the Skywalker saga has arrived. I sat on this post for a couple weeks for a few reasons (since I obviously saw it on opening night): 1) I wanted to avoid easy access to spoilers and 2) I wanted a chance to see it a second time to have more concrete thoughts.
All bets are off now, however, so here are my totally SPOILER-filled thoughts about The Rise of Skywalker. No images this time because they are not yet posted on www.starwarsscreencaps.com.
-I left the theater feeling a pretty high sense of satisfaction and enjoyment. The movie was fun and entertaining. Most of the people in the group I went with also had pretty positive reactions.
-C-3PO had a great role in this movie that made me laugh out loud several times. His humor was missed during the last two movies.
-There were a bunch of great characters with whom I really want to spend more time. Keri Russell's Zorii Bliss and Babu Frik being two big ones that come to mind right away. Plus, Keri Russell is just awesome in anything she does.
-Anyone who read my countdown series knows I love spaceships, and there were LOTS of spaceships. I need a visual guide to see all the different ships that showed up for the final battle at Exegol. Sad note on that battle: RIP Black Squadron pilot Snap Wexley, aka JJ Abrams' best friend Greg Grunberg.
-There were many emotional moments with Princess Leia and Kylo/Ben that had me in tears. When Leia dies to bring back Ben from the depths of Kylo, I had to hold in the sobs. Just ask my neighbor in the theater...
-The visuals at the end of the movie with the burial of the Skywalker lightsabers and the twin sunset on Tatooine were perfect.
-This movie had far too many plot devices and twists. There was a lot of exposition because the plot moved so frenetically. It was possible to follow it all, but I also immerse myself in a lot of the additional media that the average viewer probably does not.
-I visibly cringed at the moment of the Rey Palpatine reveal. Something about it did not feel earned, deserved, or even wanted. If it was supposed to be the big twist reveal that blows everyone's mind, it did not work positively for me. I may have been able to get more on board with the reveal if seeds had been planted earlier.
-The kiss between Ben and Rey at the end was not a great choice. On my first viewing I was actually repeating "don't do it" several times in the hopes that they were not going to kiss. I was hoping for a forehead touch at the most.
-Finn still did not have a lot to do other than play the sidekick. Out of all the new characters, he feels most deserving of his own spinoff movie.
-The biggest feeling of disappointment I had after thinking about this movie a while was the clear lack of vision for the sequel trilogy as a whole. Perhaps some of the plan was derailed by the untimely and unfortunate passing of Carrie Fisher, but the movies still feel a little patched together. The last movie brought in too many new plot points while attempting to wrap up a lot of previous plot points.
My hope for the future of Star Wars is that Lucasfilm will be willing to take risks and try new things as they attempt to define the essentials of Star Wars in new and interesting forms of media.
To finish off this countdown I will be compiling my definitive (for now) ranking of all the Star Wars movies. Check back soon!
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