Rise of Skywalker Review (Minor Spoiler Alert)

This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
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May the Force (of the Box Office) Be With You

It appears that with this latest release, people are still licking their wounds from the atrocity known as Star Wars: The Last Jedi (TLJ).  Episode 8 split the fan base. Either people have lauded that movie, or declared it to be the biggest stain that has perhaps single-handedly ruined the entire Star Wars franchise. Some fans have stated that they would not see the last installment.

What we simply intend to do is put forward the good, the bad, the ugly, with the pros, the cons, and the final conclusion. This movie has in fact done some things that many anti-TLJ Star Wars fans have decided that they love this movie for. Others have decided that due to the nature of the failed leadership at Lucasfilm, and by proxy Disney, they will not spend a penny on this last installment.  But because this is a piece of popular culture, we do need to keep you all abreast on our opinion regarding this film.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, poster art.

The Numbers

Opening weekend for any movie ensures the rise or fall of it. In both domestic and international markets, those numbers will prove whether the movie is a hit or not.  That being said, “Rise of Skywalker” had some surprisingly low numbers for opening weekend, in comparison to the previous installments. Coming in at a low ball of $175.5 million is just not a good thing nowadays.

Projections have stated that the movie would open with numbers as high as the $200-$300 million mark.  For this Star Wars movie, $175.5 million is just not impressive. It will be the second week that determines the gauge of the movie. You can see a breakdown of the numbers here.

The Responses Have Been Split

Star Wars fans, commentators, movie reviewers, and anyone with a Youtube channel regarding stuff like this, are completely split down the middle.  People either loved it or hated it. Jeremy from the Youtube channel “Geeks and Gamers” absolutely despised it.  Political and social commentator “The Amazing Lucas” on Youtube basically said, “F@*& this movie!” 

On the flip side, the channel devoted to creating pretty plausible theories about the Star Wars Universe known affectionately as “Star Wars Theory”, who admits to hating The Last Jedi, liked this movie.  Likewise, political commentator and Youtuber “Mr. Reagan” who also did not like “The Last Jedi” also admits to liking this movie.  So the responses have been clearly split.  Interestingly enough, we have done plenty to cover how grotesque Rotten Tomatoes has been in recent years. This is suggesting that “authorized critics” are completely out of touch with the masses.

Not surprisingly, 359 “authorized critics” gave “The Rise of Skywalker” a below average 59% approval rating.  Contrast that with over 34,000 audience members who gave this movie a surprising 86%.  Take into account that at this moment on Rotten Tomatoes, “The Last Jedi” has a critic approval score of 91% out of 400+ critics, while an aggregated audience percentage of a little over 215,000 gave this a horrid 41% approval rating.  Again, showing that elitist critics are completely out of touch.

What To Expect: The Good

Everything that The Last Jedi was, this movie is not.  J.J. Abrams attempted to do his due diligence to reverse everything that Rian Johnson pulled off. Many lines and occurrences in this movie attempted to retcon stuff from “TLJ”.  It was essentially a big middle finger to Johnson’s attempt of weaving intersectional feminism into a story that did not call for it.

J.J. Abrams made some huge efforts to redeem this movie by the aforementioned retconning of the previous one. Notably by making that infamous Rose Tico character nothing more than an accessory. Still utilizing Rey as a “Mary Sue” was good, but providing some context and backdrop now as to why. It is a bit riveting how they went about doing it, the relationships and redemption-arcs of some of the characters felt compelling enough to invest emotionally in. In short, it felt more like a Star Wars movie.

The jokes were campy like the first trilogy we were offered (episodes 4, 5, and 6). The lightsaber battles were choreographed with more effort. The special effects are nothing short of breathtaking as is the cinematography, the landscapes, and the lighting were. That is a signature of J.J. Abrams, with less than the usual lens flare, however.

The writing was a bit better in terms of character, and the story itself makes it compelling enough to regard this as a real Star Wars movie, much like the original trilogy. There were also parts in the movie where you definitely get a bit emotional with regards to some of the redemption that the characters face.  Anyone can appreciate a good redemption arc! This did not disappoint in that regard.

What to Expect: The Bad

Plot holes, plot devices, lack of any explanations, lack of any conclusive connections, flat characters, and convenient plot devices galore!  Yes, we said plot devices twice! Granted the trailer we were given was a bit deceiving but make no mistake, you heard what you heard and yes you are right.  The Emperor is back! Why?

We don’t know. How? We don’t know. And what about Snoke? Nope. A useless plot device to push forward both episode 7 and 8, much less 8 since the build-up of who this guy was is about as riveting as curling linoleum.   The retconning though was so noticeable that it made you both like and hate the movie. 

You began to like the movie because it course-corrected all the nonsense and garbage that Rian Johnson pushed through his “subversion” addiction. It was because that a lot was hideously misconstrued from his direction that much of the storyline was lost. With this movie, J.J. Abrams did what he could to use what was already set from the previous story and build off of a smoldering dumpster fire.  Because of all the retconning, it’ll make you hate the movie because no investment in the plot was spent.

There were no consequences as The Amazing Lucas points out! For example, Ren breaks a specific object needed to move the story forward, but don’t worry, there’s another. Convenient! Rey is truly a Mary Sue. Sure you get her back story, but there is no motivation for that back story. It’s simply rehashed stuff with a twist.

While there is not much of a feminist bent to this one, people are attempting to assert a “bromance” in this movie between two of the main characters. The Alphabet mafia is attempting to fan the flames of controversey, as they always do. Once again, the plot holes mingled with the plot devices coupled with the flat characters (that seem more to be a rehashing of the old ones just younger) is played out in a way that is tiresome. There is definitely a lack of respect and a very lackluster send-off for some of the characters as well.

Final Verdict: One Big “Meh

Ultimately, it does show that Lucasfilm didn’t have a clue what they were doing in this movie.  While trying to tie everything back through retcon and plot devices, there were still a plethora of plot holes that did not resolve some glaring questions raised since Episode Seven. Between the lackluster story line delivered in Episode Seven, the dumpster fire that is Episode Eight, and this movie, a lot of questions still arise. While the attempt was valid, it was under-delivered, considering the numbers clearly show that it will not hit the billion mark the first two weeks.

This seems to prove that SJW and intersectional feminist themes do not sell.  While they did not inject such themes directly into the movie, the homosexual push was there as there was a moment of that in this movie which isn’t Star Wars, but pure SJW. Disney has embraced the Alphabet people, after all. At least there was no Jar-Jar!

Epilogue: The Left Aren’t Liking it

All things considered, while this is a movie that did not pack the punch Disney needed to properly close out the Skywalker saga, it did provide some glaring insights into the culture.  Namelythe SJW crowd, who did not enjoy the movie, because it did not embrace their message. They arrogantly believe that everything in all media requires the intersectional message. It may be that because this movie did not fully, they are not liking it. From what we’ve seen on Rotten Tomatoes, it might be the movie we should see only to prove that the “authorized critics” are the toxic ones and that their disconnection from the general public is proving to be more and more evident!