Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker (WARNING: may contain BOXED spoilers}

Tetsujin

The Game Thread Dude
#1
I've seen the new movie twice now (once for work and once via tickets I bought before said work thing came in) and all I'm gonna say without veering into spoilers (although considering how simultaneously plot-heavy and nonsensical parts of this movie are I don't think I could if I wanted to) is that it is absolutely amazing that JJ and a lot of Team Star Wars threw Rian Johnson under the bus during the press tour only for their new film to wind up getting absolutely thrashed for veering back into the opposite direction and pandering to some of the most radical and nasty factions of their fanbase for some reason.
 
#2
That's a bit depressing. I haven't rewatched 8 so no idea if I'll see this during my trip or wait until I get back. I still don't really get all the controversy about 8 but the worst Star Wars movies for me have been the ones that pander to some subset of their perceived audience.
 
#3
I saw it last night. The only discussion I’ve read about it here was @Tetsujin non-spoiler short review in the ‘Disney buys Marvel’ thread which is an altogether different topic — so I thought it deserved its own thread.

I also won’t provide any spoilers, but wanted to provide my own feedback while also learning whether any KF brothers and sisters liked or disliked it.

As for myself, I went into the movie cautiously optimistic hoping to not be disappointed. However, yet again, I’m sad to report that I was quite disappointed with it. IMO, it had as many or more roll-my-eyes moments as The Last Jedi — which is saying a lot.

IDK whether JJ Abrams was setup for failure by the last film, or whether he just doesn‘t get it. Might be a combination of both. I say that having enjoyed a majority of Abrams prior films. While I was largely disappointed by the Star Wars sequel trilogy as a whole, ’The Force Awakens’ was the lone film I thought was ‘OK’. Not great, but not terrible. So I have no preexisting issues with Abrams work and actually consider myself a fan.

So I half way expected him to fix the train wreck Rian Johnson caused in between. But alas he did not.

The film was too fast paced, disjointed, and bloated. I never felt emotionally connected to this or any of the prior sequel films or it’s characters. So I didn’t much care about what happened to them in the end.

There were too many new characters introduced in the 2nd and 3rd films that just didn’t matter in the grand scheme and it took away from development and backstories of the others.

George Lucas rightfully received a lot of criticism for his dialogue throughout the first six films and overly cheesy, nonsensical moments. Well, this film suffered from the same problems IMO.

I keep reading that there was too much ‘fan service’ (can’t stand that term), but I don‘t really see how. I’m a lifelong, diehard fan that saw the original film when I was 6 years old. Opening day with my parents. I was hooked ever since. But this film never provided a single thing I hoped to see.

That‘s my non-spoiler take, how about you?
 
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#4
I'll be waiting for the 4k Dolby Vision release on disney +. I don't even bother going to the cinema anymore seeing as how my oled is producing a better quality picture. If we had an amc theater with dolby cinema I would go, but i'm not going to pay more money for a lower quality viewing (lower contrast and lower peak brightness)
 
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Mr. S£im Citrus

Doryphore of KingsFans.com
Staff member
#6
That's a bit depressing. I haven't rewatched 8 so no idea if I'll see this during my trip or wait until I get back. I still don't really get all the controversy about 8 but the worst Star Wars movies for me have been the ones that pander to some subset of their perceived audience.
Huh? Which Star Wars movie does that not apply to? Because I'm betting that you're sense of that question and mine are waaaaay different. From my point of view, it really comes down to which subset of the audience is being "pandered to" ( :rolleyes: ) and, to my way of thinking, the "pandering" being done in the third trilogy is a definitive improvement.

Unless, of course, what @Tetsujin says is correct, and they've pivoted back to appeasing ****bois in the new movie.
 

Mr. S£im Citrus

Doryphore of KingsFans.com
Staff member
#7
Very devious. A thread which will allow all sorts of verboten behavior on KF.com while I studiously avoid it until I see the movie. Curse you clever people!
No worries, Capt. I got you; I don't have the attachment to Star Wars you do, nor do I have the commitment to avoiding spoilers. I'll keep an eye on things.
 
#10
Huh? Which Star Wars movie does that not apply to? Because I'm betting that you're sense of that question and mine are waaaaay different. From my point of view, it really comes down to which subset of the audience is being "pandered to" ( :rolleyes: ) and, to my way of thinking, the "pandering" being done in the third trilogy is a definitive improvement.

Unless, of course, what @Tetsujin says is correct, and they've pivoted back to appeasing ****bois in the new movie.
Mostly Jedi and Eps 1 and 2. Which were geared towards toy and merchandise sales (imho) and elements of 7 which was geared towards winning adult fans of the original back. I liked 7 but I also thought it was overly formulaic. Arguably that was necessary to get the series going again and they undid that with 8. But if they reverted, then it's a net negative.

Also, Solo - which is on my shelf waiting to be watched, is of little interest to me because it just feels like a lame cash in.
 

Mr. S£im Citrus

Doryphore of KingsFans.com
Staff member
#11
Mostly Jedi and Eps 1 and 2. Which were geared towards toy and merchandise sales (imho) and elements of 7 which was geared towards winning adult fans of the original back.
There's not a single movie in this franchise that wasn't geared towards toy and merchandise sales, including the first one.

I liked 7 but I also thought it was overly formulaic.
They're all formulaic. And the one that was least formulaic generated tons of noise on the internet (which I do not relate to the movie being hated, because of the Fandom Menace), even though it made over a billion dollars.
 
#12
Saw it last night. I thought there were some plot holes and tried a little too much but I enjoyed it and was entertained. I just have never developed the same attachment to the new cast of characters in this trilogy. I have enjoyed much more the Mandalorian series on Disney+ which is now 7 episodes in.
 
#13
There's not a single movie in this franchise that wasn't geared towards toy and merchandise sales, including the first one.


They're all formulaic. And the one that was least formulaic generated tons of noise on the internet (which I do not relate to the movie being hated, because of the Fandom Menace), even though it made over a billion dollars.
The first one was formulaic sure but it was also groundbreaking because what it was. I thought Empire took risks and was the most original of the series until 8 entered the equation. And sure, it also had some really cool toys that spun off but they worked in the story. Everything on Hoth was just awesome on screen and in the toy world. That is where later chapters failed. IMHO.

Ok I was 5 and saw it 5 times in theaters when it came out but it is still the one that I watch the most.
 
#14
*semi spoilers*

There was some really cool parts/visuals (The flashback of Luke training Leia in the forest was pretty dope.)
A lot of the movie felt forced and the writing seemed lazy and rushed. Some of the main characters were a little to OP for my liking.
With that being said I had fun watching it and I think I enjoyed it the most out of all the sequels.
 
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Mr. S£im Citrus

Doryphore of KingsFans.com
Staff member
#15
I've never understood the notion of complaining that characters are "overpowered" in a fictional medium, that is not based on the real world.

Also, my experience is "OP" is a complaint that often gets thrown around by people who are arguing in bad faith about what they don't like about a movie, TV show or book. Like, I'm not assuming that you are arguing in bad faith, buuuuut... you're not in good company.
 
#16
I've seen the new movie twice now (once for work and once via tickets I bought before said work thing came in) and all I'm gonna say without veering into spoilers (although considering how simultaneously plot-heavy and nonsensical parts of this movie are I don't think I could if I wanted to) is that it is absolutely amazing that JJ and a lot of Team Star Wars threw Rian Johnson under the bus during the press tour only for their new film to wind up getting absolutely thrashed for veering back into the opposite direction and pandering to some of the most radical and nasty factions of their fanbase for some reason.
Radical and Nasty? Lol, more like pissed that Disney screwed with the entire series and pissed on the legacy of the original movies. Notice how almost every original character was killed off. JJ dug the grave, Rian laid it to rest, and JJ returned to take a smelly poop on top of it. It feels like a game of hot potato with who can ruin the franchise while getting someone else to take the blame for it. JJ got the last laugh in this case. Aside from all the garbage themes the new trilogy have (everything old is bad, everything new is good), they are just badly written. Search your feelings...you know it to be true.
 
#17
I've never understood the notion of complaining that characters are "overpowered" in a fictional medium, that is not based on the real world.

Also, my experience is "OP" is a complaint that often gets thrown around by people who are arguing in bad faith about what they don't like about a movie, TV show or book. Like, I'm not assuming that you are arguing in bad faith, buuuuut... you're not in good company.
Yes, because all good stories of heroism involve a character that never encounters real conflict in amything they do. FFS even superman has a weakness.
 

Mr. S£im Citrus

Doryphore of KingsFans.com
Staff member
#19
Radical and Nasty? Lol, more like pissed that Disney screwed with the entire series and pissed on the legacy of the original movies.
I'm sure that there's no chance that people who use these terms to describe movies they don't like are, in fact, radical and nasty. None whatsoever.

Notice how almost every original character was killed off.
The "original characters" were played by actors who are all forty years older. Killing them off was the least objectionable alternative.

JJ dug the grave, Rian laid it to rest, and JJ returned to take a smelly poop on top of it. It feels like a game of hot potato with who can ruin the franchise while getting someone else to take the blame for it.
#Ruined

JJ got the last laugh in this case. Aside from all the garbage themes the new trilogy have (everything old is bad, everything new is good), they are just badly written. Search your feelings...you know it to be true.
Oh yeah... definitely not radical and nasty.
 

Tetsujin

The Game Thread Dude
#20
Radical and Nasty? Lol, more like pissed that Disney screwed with the entire series and pissed on the legacy of the original movies. Notice how almost every original character was killed off. JJ dug the grave, Rian laid it to rest, and JJ returned to take a smelly poop on top of it. It feels like a game of hot potato with who can ruin the franchise while getting someone else to take the blame for it. JJ got the last laugh in this case. Aside from all the garbage themes the new trilogy have (everything old is bad, everything new is good), they are just badly written. Search your feelings...you know it to be true.
They pretty much relegated one of the main characters in The Last Jedi (and the only Asian character in pretty much the entire franchise aside from the racist caricature alien dudes from the prequels) to pretty much three lines of dialogue after this group of "fans" who were "concerned" about how Disney "pissed on the legacy of the original movies" trolled and death-threated the actress who played her off of the internet and then happened to segregate pretty much all the other PoC characters into their own little corner of the film so all the "important" characters could do all the "cool things" like shoot lightning from their fingers and randomly turn good for no reason because Darth Vader did it in a movie from 30-something years ago.

Also the "garbage themes" that you listed pretty much only apply to the Last Jedi but only in the sense that that film was about the power of learning from past mistakes and of breaking the destructive cycles of old to improve the future. Overall that film was of the mind that anyone, no matter birth or standing or skill or stature, can be a hero so long as they have the courage to do the right thing. This film on the other hand was largely of the mind that, sure, anyone can make a difference but only if they have the right blood coursing through their veins.
 

Mr. S£im Citrus

Doryphore of KingsFans.com
Staff member
#21
Also the "garbage themes" that you listed pretty much only apply to the Last Jedi but only in the sense that that film was about the power of learning from past mistakes and of breaking the destructive cycles of old to improve the future. Overall that film was of the mind that anyone, no matter birth or standing or skill or stature, can be a hero so long as they have the courage to do the right thing.
Funny how, magically, people can easily comprehend that message, when it's Into the Spider-Verse. But, make it about Star Wars, and suddenly it's, "Muh CHILDHOOD~!"
 
#22
Rian Johnson did everything he could to rescue Star Wars from self-referential redundancy but the so-called fans wouldn't have it so that presented Disney with a choice: do we continue telling a new culturally-relevant story about how people can learn to grow through failure or do we retreat into emotionally inert pop optimism and hide behind a wall of nostalgic callbacks and character cameos? It's pretty obvious which way they chose to go and I'm afraid it's killed off any remaining interest I had in seeing what this franchise has left to say. Look it's Luke's X-Wing! Leia's lightsaber! Remember the Death Star? Wasn't it cool when that hooded evil character shot lightning out of his fingers? A lot of this was visually arresting but that's the only compliment I can manage because there wasn't even the faintest thought given to developing a plot point, character lesson, or thematic motif that lasted longer than 5 minutes. I don't go to movies to holler when something I recognize flashes across the screen. Tell me something about being alive, show me something I couldn't imagine on my own. This was the cinematic counterpart to Star Wars Land and everything in it was just as hollow as the spray-painted concrete facades and dress-up stormtroopers of that amusement park anticedent. God forbid we learn anything from one of these films! What if we learn not to mindlessly snap up every fake lightsaber and toy Droid they have to sell us? That would be a disaster. Nope, what we really need are more planet destroying lasers and hundreds of computer generated space ships shooting at other computer generated spaceships over a beautiful computer generated tableau.

Anyone who dismissed the genuine optimism of the original trilogy (which, once upon a time, actually presented a refreshing antidote to a decade of deepening cynicism) as audience pandering nerd-bait is fully justified at this point in asserting that Star Wars doesn't matter. It used to matter. Unfortunately, what mattered about it is hard to convey anymore and I doubt anyone who didn't grow up before it became a billion dollar enterprise will ever understand it. No, Star Wars is dead now, no matter how many times Disney plans to reanimate its corpse. The new hope for this generation is that someone will come along with a different story which has the same capacity to unite people, uplift people, and remind us that the fight against tyranny in all its forms belongs to all of us equally if we're brave enough to heed the call.
 
#23
As a moviegoer, I want to choose what movies to see based on "quality", whatever that means to me. That does not mean that Disney has any obligation to do that. They have to worry about the nuts and bolts of making a movie, while I wait to see what they came up with. Since they're a business, their #1 priority is making money. Good movies usually make more than bad ones, so quality is at least of secondary importance. Tweaking the plots to meet marketing objectives will produce more revenue. It's not their responsibility to be the Keeper of the Franchise. In a way, the real problem is that there isn't one. That's how great movies can lead to bad sequels. If putting Star Wars in the title will make more money than having a worthy script, there's no financial incentive to invest a lot of money there.
 
#25
You appear to be conflating "Doesn't get their ass handed to them" with "No weaknesses."
Rey literally takes no damage in the entire trilogy. Maybe when snoke holds her up in the air in tlj or when kylo is interrogating her in tfa? Don't get me wrong, i think rise of skywalker was far better than the last jedi, but to say Rey is not over powered is to deny the arcs of this franchises previous lead characters who largely all lost hands/limbs in the pursuit of their goals.
 

Mr. S£im Citrus

Doryphore of KingsFans.com
Staff member
#26
Rey literally takes no damage in the entire trilogy.
This is literally not true. You appear to be confusing
"doesn't suffer debilitating injuries, that would seriously compromise her ability to fight"
with "takes no damage."


... but to say Rey is not over powered is to deny the arcs of this franchises previous lead characters who largely all lost hands/limbs in the pursuit of their goals.
So, you're mad because Rey
didn't get her hand chopped off?
You're upset that the protagonist is not completely derivative? Anakin lost his hand, and then, later, all his limbs, because of pride and vanity. Luke lost his hand because of his naivete.
Are you angry that they didn't make Rey as vain and gullible as Anakin and Luke?
 
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#29
i mean, she is the granddaughter of the most powerful Sith Lord ever. If she was constantly getting hurt or losing a limb, that doesn’t exactly bode well for the new most powerful person in the universe.
 
#30
When I was in college, my father and I used to have this minor tradition of going to see a movie when I finished finals and came home for the holidays. Just the two of us. Sometimes we’d see a small film, sometimes a winter blockbuster, sometimes an older movie at a repertory theater. It was always a fun time, and a good opportunity for my father and I to bond on the rare occasion when I’d visit.

I’m now a college instructor, and we occasionally manage to keep this tradition going after finals week concludes. The last few years we’ve usually attended a matinee showing and then “debriefed” our experience at a brewery afterwards. Today we saw ‘The Rise of Skywalker,’ decamping to New Glory afterwards for a delicious taste of their new imperial pastry stout. It was one of the most interesting conversations I’ve had with my dad in some time (and we tend to have pretty interesting conversations with one another).

To be clear, I had no interest in seeing TROS beyond sheer morbid curiosity. The reviews were sufficient to confirm the majority of my fears, and I was more interested in seeing ‘Knives Out’ a second time while also introducing my dad to its twisty pleasures. But my father was insistent; we saw both of the prior two trilogy films in theaters together, and he wanted to finish it off, critical reception be damned.

We went. We saw. We left the theater in a daze. I was displeased and perplexed in equal measure. And my father (who is easier to please than I am) was likewise confused by what he’d seen. We both agreed it was a bad film. But then, over beers, we started to talk about why.

I figure I’ll just spoiler tag the rest of this post, just to be on the safe side.

I was predisposed to hate this movie, to be forthright. I find JJ Abrams to be a hacky, derivative director who doesn’t deserve the budgets he receives to play in other people’s sandboxes. Conversely, I think Rian Johnson is a bold, inventive writer/director that deserves every opportunity he gets behind the camera. I absolutely adored ‘The Last Jedi.’ And I cannot tell you how deeply uncomfortable I felt in that theater, watching JJ Abrams systematically dismantle almost every single one of ‘The Last Jedi’s innovations and ideas. It’d be one thing if there were only a couple of instances of conflict between these two competing visions borne out in TROS, but it’s almost as if Abrams’ primary intention in making this film was to satisfy those who were dissatisfied by ‘The Last Jedi,’ which is a remarkably low aim, indeed. Despite a few stunning setpieces and really strong performances from Driver and Ridley both, the movie felt like it was being directed by a child who was throwing a tantrum after having his toys taken away from him. It was like watching a two-and-a-half hour exercise in passive aggression. I’ve never seen a film constructed in such bad faith before, nor a sequel that was more mean-spirited in its attempt to retcon it’s predecessor out of existence. I mean, seriously, completely sidelining the one Asian actor in your film because some overgrown man children objected to her presence in the previous film, while adding two new female characters as an exercise in “no homo”ing the bromance between Poe and Finn? It’s ugly stuff, as if the film was assembled by a committee of angry Redditors and basement-dwelling trolls.

Now, my personal objections to Abrams’ attempt to disappear TLJ would hold considerably less water if the film built on top of those attempts was worth watching. But it isn’t. It just... moves... relentlessly. From planet to planet, from one scene to the next, with little room to breathe or reflect or meditate on any of the themes present in any prior Star Wars film. It’s an avalanche of rickety plot devices and shallow Macguffins and winking fan service, with almost no development of character or poignant revelation that further illuminates our understanding of these characters. In fact, at nearly every opportunity Abrams feels the need to exhume characters who have already died in order to remind the audience what they loved about the original trilogy, rather than give the audience a reason to admire the film they’re watching and to care about the new characters Abrams himself introduced the audience to in The Force Awakens.

And that’s one of the oddest things about TROS. Not only does it betray the compelling ideas introduced in the film that preceded it, it also manages to cheapen Abrams’ first foray into the Star Wars universe. While I found TFA to be inessential and far too devoted to paralleling the structure of episode 4, it remains a thrilling little adventure, and I did truly love the early scenes of Rey scavenging on Jakku. Those scenes told us much about the character, her resourcefulness, her curiosity, her aspirations. But there is nothing in TROS that comes close to replicating the quiet power of those early scenes in TFA. Instead, we’re treated to massive excretions of exposition. In fact, the majority of the dialogue in TROS takes the form of exposition. Almost every character appears to delight in explaining the most mundane ephemera to the audience. “We have to get this thing to do that thing because reasons!” If Abrams’ first goal was to trample all over the best ideas from TLJ, then his second goal seems to have been to deliver the Star Wars movie equivalent of a Wikipedia entry.

I surely expected ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ to be less satisfying than ‘The Last Jedi’ in terms of offering imagination, invention, and intonation, but I really didn’t expect it to be this bad and this poorly made. It sure looks expensive, but it’s just a gigantic mess from top to bottom. Whatever I might think of JJ Abrams’ forever backwards-looking approach to movie-making, he’s a professional filmmaker who consistently produces professional, workmanlike films. I can’t believe what he turned in for TROS was acceptable to Disney. That it was acceptable to Disney says a lot about how they view their bottom line. They are no longer a company that innovates (and it’s easy to forget just how innovative Disney has been during different eras of its existence). They are exclusively a company that panders as we head into 2020, and they’re now also a company whose products can be held hostage by the most vile of online trolls. Deliver something that surprises or (gasp!) actually manages to upset expectations, and ensure that you never do so again for fear of alienating “the fans.” Forget for a moment that fandom is not actually monolithic. It’s diffuse. Not everybody thinks the same thing about that which they claim to be a fan of. Try to make a movie that pleases everybody, and perhaps you’ll end up making a movie that few hate. But you’ll also end up with a movie that few love. Even worse, you might end up with a movie that few remember.