Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Review: The end of the Skywalker saga is too foreign to the past

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the rise of skywalker skyline Star Wars The rise of skywalker

After the turmoil behind the scenes of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – the final chapter in the new Star Wars trilogy and the Skywalker saga as a whole – that led to J.J. Abram's attitude had immediate concerns. Which path would the Force Awakens director take after first entertaining A New Hope but giving Rian Johnson a subversive middle chapter in The Last Jedi? Would Abrams honor the values ​​of his direct predecessor, or would he return to devote himself to nostalgia? The first trailer for "The Rise of Skywalker" indicated that Abrams was leaning towards the latter, as was expected, which would have to do with the unveiling of Sith Dark Lord Palpatine, who was killed by Darth Vader over 30 years ago was going to be involved in some way.

The rest of the film confirms our worst fears. The rise of Skywalker – on December 20 in cinemas in India and around the world – proves that Abrams clearly has too much love and respect for the original trilogy. Forget building on where the splitting yet brilliant The Last Jedi left the Star Wars galaxy. Abrams and his co-author Chris Terrio (Argo, justice League) decide to ignore the movie altogether, be it its news or its characters. Instead, The Rise of Skywalker decides to collapse. It is full of references, cameos and flashbacks that are, to put it mildly, unfounded. And turning inward instead of looking outward is not only a betrayal of what The Last Jedi has produced, but also a disadvantage for George Lucas & # 39; imagination of the franchise.

The Rise of Skywalker is ultimately so safe that you wonder whether it was designed by a committee – or a global forum of Star Wars fans who put everything they love in a blender. It's too scary to really commit to anything. Large follow-up moments, whether character death or narrative revelations, are set up to be abandoned. This penchant for exhaustion also applies to The Rise of Skywalker, as there is a cute family-friendly ending about good that triumphs over evil. As such, this lesson is not a problem, but in the context of the events of the film – and a nine-chapter story that started four decades ago – everything seems pretty disappointing. Surely there is more than that in the Skywalker saga? Obviously not.

Abrams tries to cover up his many problems by furnishing The Rise of Skywalker with a veneer of breakneck speed from the start. The traditional opening round informs us that the voice of apparently dead Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) has been heard throughout the galaxy that is driving Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) – the new chief of the evil First Order – to hunt him down. to prevent any contestation of his authority. Meanwhile, the good guys of resistance in Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega) and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) are also looking for Palpatine, where they'll have to find a MacGuffin, one of many lazy spellings in Skywalker's rise. This essentially powers the first half of the film as the Millennium Falcon crew hops across planets in their quest.

This way, The Rise of Skywalker can incorporate new characters to think about the core characters. There is Zorri Bliss (Keri Russell), an old criminal friend of Poe's who hasn't left to the best of her knowledge. And there is Jannah (Naomi Ackie), an ex-stormtrooper who, like Finn, said goodbye to the First Order. The film also makes room for resistance leader Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), who died in 2016, who appears with unpublished footage and digital magic, as well as parts of Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) and Leia's twin brother Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). But The Rise of Skywalker is always in such a hurry that there is no time to think about the end of an era, let alone serve its new characters or develop existing ones in a meaningful way.

The failure of the new Star Wars film with characters takes all depth from him. The mystery of Rey's ancestry – Abrams said there is more to The Rise of Skywalker – is solved in a lighthearted and highly questionable way that undoes what the last Jedi had done bravely. In the meantime, Ren's trip is not properly earned and suddenly feels interrupted. But that's more than you can say about the others. Although both Finn and Poe are constantly involved in the process, their arcs hardly progress. A little villain is advertised by acting stupid, and even if the film claims to never underestimate a droid, it treats it mostly as furniture, except for an important subplot. Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran), Finn's girlfriend from The Last Jedi, is in a corner because the film doesn't know what to do with her.

the rise of skywalker skyline Star Wars The rise of skywalker

Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Photo credit: Disney / Lucasfilm

Still, The Rise of Skywalker got away with everything that made up its emotional core – Reys and Kylo Ren's connection – perfectly cooked. And to a certain extent it can do it. The deeply felt scenes with Ridley and Driver are the rare cases in which the film slows down and takes a breather. Their exchange, which largely uses the skillful connection introduced in The Last Jedi, concretizes the characters' mental states, their respective struggles with the light and dark side of the Force, and their mixed feelings for each other that drive them to try the others to bring their side. But The Rise of Skywalker also tarnishes this yin and yang by unnecessarily falling into an old villain whose return is not justified and whose presence affects the relationship between the central duo.

As two of the remaining lightsaber bearers, Rey and Kylo Ren are also responsible for some impressive duels in The Rise of Skywalker, although the battles are far from zenith when dealing with the Praetorian of former Supreme Leader Snoke, guards in the last Jedi , The new Star Wars film also has nothing to offer in terms of action sequences that could compete with the previous ones. The set pieces in which star fighters are involved are not coherent and emotionally powerful orchestrated. Abrams lacks the thrill he showed at The Force Awakens and Johnson's ingenuity and imagination from The Last Jedi. The Rise of Skywalker also lacks the humor and humor of its predecessor, even though it does have a few funny moments with Poe, C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) and the new alien Babu Frik.

Combine that with poor dialogue and a tendency to cheap presentations, and you'll be left with a movie that gets the characters to say things out loud that don't need to be said. Abrams seems to have forgotten the principle of filmmaking “Show not tell”. The Rise of Skywalker sometimes feels disconnected, almost as if it were the result of patchwork that has left visible seams, just like the red scars in Kylo Ren's haphazardly repaired helmet. But Abram's biggest crime is that he's so committed to the Star Wars past. His obsession – or fear, you might argue – drives him to link as many points as possible, ignoring the message his predecessor announced: "Let the past die." It's called The Rise by Skywalker, but if anything, it's a death blow to the Skywalker saga.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be released in India in English and Hindi on December 20.