Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Symbolizes the Death of Cinema

Apparently, it takes only 2 hours and 21 minutes to show that J.J. Abrams needs writing lessons.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was released in 2019, and was directed by J.J. Abrams. The film stars Daisy Ridley as Rey, John Boyega as Finn, and Adam Driver and Kylo Ren. A year after the events of The Last Jedi, the evil Emperor Palpatine has mysteriously returned. The First Order, eagerly searches to find him and use him to their advantage. The Resistance must once again face the First Order in an attempt to stop their plans. 

Adam Driver does a good job at expressing emotion, and the use of facial expressions to illustrate Kylo Ren’s pain. Oscar Issac as Poe Dameron, is witty and funny, maybe twice. Daisy Ridley is not good. She just stands around making the same face throughout the majority of the film. Every actor lacks emotion. Maybe the performances might have been better if they had been given a better script to work with. 

The film’s script does 2 things right. The use of the late Carrie Fisher is a creative and original idea. The other would be the amount of time given to our lovable sidekick Chewy. Seeing his reactions to big moments is satisfying, and adds to his character. Other than that, there is not a single original new idea to be found anywhere in this film.

It takes from other films in several different ways. For example, there are certain lines of dialogue (some literally word for word) taken from other films, including The Force AwakensRevenge of the SithRogue OneThe Empire Strikes Back, and Avengers: Endgame. These lines aren’t used in a clever manner either, they’re simply there when the screenwriter didn’t want to come up with something new. 

The use of one major plot McGuffin, a mysterious dagger, is ripped almost directly out of The Goonies.

The entire third act is a mixture of Return of the JediThe Last Jedi, and Avengers: Endgame. Many situations that occur in this final act are done in the exact same way as Endgame. No spoilers, but there are several examples. 

It ignores the previous films. With the story of The Last Jedi, it is set up that Snoke was bridging Rey and Kylo Ren’s minds to communicate. At the end of that film, they establish, with clever camera work, that the connection between the two is no more. That is completely disregarded in this film. Also, in Last Jedi, they very clearly establish that Rey is a “no one,” meaning she’s from no known lineage. That is changed in this film. 

They explain nothing in the film. This is in part due to the terrible pacing, but also that even when they do explain something (first off it’s not done in an interesting way at all, ever.) it doesn’t make sense. Especially with what has been set up in the previous film. Along with that, the script is too fast, and doesn’t give you enough time to register the information. Numerous major plot points, and questions from this film and the previous are never explained either.  

In screenwriting 101, it is taught that if you shoot someone in the third act, you introduce the gun in the first. Also known as Chekhov’s Gun. This script seems to think that means, “introduce something, then use it five minutes later.” 

The script decides to aimlessly spend time introducing us to new characters, instead of spending more time with the ones we already know.

Things just happen because the script says so. Sometimes it very much so introduces that something can, or can’t happen, and then ignores its own decision later in the film. It forgets basic rules of the Force set up in previous films. For example, one character who died in a past film, shows up with no explanation, and then just leaves. Again, for no other reason than the script says so.

At one point in the film, a character “switches perspectives,” we’ll call it, and the reason they do this makes the Martha scene from the atrocity that is Batman v.s Superman: Dawn of Justice, look like the most creative screenwriting choice in the past decade. 

The script simply has too much going on, even more so than a film like Avengers: Age of Ultron. It tries in many ways to be a sequel to Force Awakens, apology for The Last Jedi, be its own movie, and close the Skywalker saga, and at then end it tries to set up a spin-off film. It successfully fails at all of these.  

The best way I can summarize my thoughts on the “twists” in the film is a quote said by Indiana Jones, from Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. “Be careful, you might get exactly what you wish for.” 

One shot, late in the film, does a good job wrapping up a character’s arc (which the film ignores 10 minutes later.) without the use of dialogue. The special effects and productions design are competent. Other than that, the directing and cinematography are not good.

There was one scene in particular that was out of focus, and it wasn’t even that complicated of a shot, it’s literally just a medium shot with characters talking. There are shots made simply to look cool that add nothing to the story. The final shot is taken from a Force Awakens poster.

John Williams’ score is truly awful. I don’t think there was one single piece of original music, and if there is, it’s incredibly forgettable. 

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is easily in the top 3 the worst movies I’ve ever sat through. It sickens me that someone approved this script. You would get more enjoyment taking a quick dive into the lava filled rivers of Mustifar than suffering through this mess.

[My grade for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is an F-]

One comment

  1. Goddam awful bloody film. JJ seems to have made this film if only to prove its possible to make a worse Star Wars film than The Last Jedi, something I’d have believed impossible beforehand.

    Liked by 1 person

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