Main cast: Daisy Ridley (Rey), John Boyega (Finn), Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron), Domhnall Gleeson (General Hux), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), Lupita Nyong’o (Maz Kanata), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Naomi Ackie (Jannah), Richard E Grant (Allegiant General Pryde), Keri Russell (Zorri Bliss), Joonas Suotamo (Chewbacca), Kelly Marie Tran (Rose Tico), Ian McDiarmid (Palpatine), and Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian)
Director: JJ Abrams
I almost feel sorry for JJ Abrams. Almost, that is, because since the previous two movies in the Disney’s Star Wars trilogy, word came out that there was never a planned arc or anything. It’s no wonder Star Wars: The Last Jedi was such a turd show: Rian Johnson isn’t just a man-child troll who thought the role of a director was to overload a film with twists and turns inserted just for the sake of screwing with the audience, he didn’t even read the script of Star Wars: The Force Awakens before pushing his rear into motion for his film. Mind you, I think I’m one of the very few people who are okay with that second movie, mostly because it tries to do something different even if the results are… mixed, to put it nicely.
Because that movie left things a hot mess, plus with Carrie Fisher departing this world, JJ Abrams was left with the thankless task of salvaging a movie that would turn around the financial downward spiral of the franchise, please the old fans who were turned off by what they perceived as Mr Johnson squatting over and defecating onto the legacy of the previous movies (and you know what, I can understand why they feel that way), and hopefully bring in new fans as well. Not to mention, the Disney people are breathing over his shoulders, and the poor man no doubt has to deal with the internal political strife taking place within Lucasfilm as well, and if that is not enough, his reputation as a stylish director who is crap at coming up with his own ideas for a show is also on the line. Mr Abrams’s track record with re-imagining Star Trek and Star Wars for the new age had been more style than substance, and this movie may just be the hill he has to die on.
I almost feel sorry for him. Almost, that is – it is his fault for never planning the series properly from the start, so it doesn’t matter that Rian Johnson crapped on the bed and was rightfully to blame for messing up the whole thing – he and Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy allowed Mr Johnson to do that, so they have no one to blame but themselves.
Oh yes, this movie. It’s hard for me to give a detailed synopsis without spoiling previous movies, so I’ll keep things simple by saying that Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is basically something Mr Abrams has to do. No doubt that if he had the chance, he’d have thrown up his hands and fled a long time ago. This movie’s plot is, to be blunt, the scriptwriters pulling nonsense out of their rear ends to vomit out a script that was, by all accounts, retooled and re-written based on demand, er, feedback from Bob Iger and other suits at Disney. At one point, it was alleged and strongly hinted to be true that there were up to six different versions of the movie, with various scenes and even endings, cut and re-cut based on test screenings in order to put together a final movie that will hopefully please the mass audience out there. Due to the constant demands of changes and re-fitting, the cast were still shooting their scenes a few weeks before the movie was supposed to be released!
The result is a bland, unmemorable fare equivalent to tasteless porridge – something that is made to ensure that it is at the very least palatable to as many people as possible. Unnecessary reappearances of characters from more beloved past movies show up here, in a most unnecessary manner. Here, the big bad is Palpatine. What, you thought he was dead? Of course not – those were men trying to take him down. The force is female, bitches, so it’s up to Rey to do the job that Darth Vader was clearly too incompetent for. His appearance is the “surprise” of an eye-rolling video game plot of Kylo Ren tracking down some convenient special item that shows up only now, and it is revealed that Rey is a chosen one all along, because her grandparents were Sith and hence, she has special powers that only escalate some more for no reason. The rest of the gang show up and tag along while Rey basically saves the universe with powers pulled out from her ass without any explanation or reason or even proper training – maybe it’s because she is female, and the force is female, as Kathleen Kennedy’s now-fired useless hangers-on kept screeching a while back.
Whatever that is unpalatable from the previous movie is sidelined or ignored, so fans of Rose Tico is going to be so heartbroken that their beauteous shrill, scowling potato sack has minimal screen time here. Luke is dead? It doesn’t matter, he’s back as a ghost, as is Han Solo (don’t ask). To accommodate the fans who insist that Kylo Ren is Rey’s true love, that character becomes good after a talk with ghost Han Solo, and he basically exists now to tail after Rey like a moonstruck stalker. The “climactic” love moment of those two is straight out of Archive of Our Own hell, and it’s a befuddling one as Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver still have the chemistry of two potatoes rubbing against one another even after three movies. Fans of girl power will love how the ladies are in charge here, though, although sadly, these ladies are in charge in an informed manner, and Rey’s victory is unearned because her powers just come out of her rear end at convenient moments and she is basically handed the tool and the means by men to save the world here.
This movie – this franchise – is a textbook example of how to do diversity and female empowerment in the worst ways possible: it pushes a one-note utterly boring female lead that has everything handed to her to succeed, and dumbs down her male counterparts as well as opponents to elevate her status. It’s like letting a special needs child compete in the hurdles event in the Olympics and then sawing off the legs of the other competitors so that this child will come in first. The Rey in this movie is still the same Rey in the first movie. Character development? Who needs that when she is already female and hence, perfect in every way!
Oh, and the ending is a horrid middle finger to the original trilogy and the legacy of Luke Skywalker. While I’m not a die-hard Star Wars fan, even I feel furious after watching that scene. Who the hell does Rey think she is to do that? Bitch can go sit on her Mary Sue-branded super special snowflake lightsaber – don’t get me started on that one; fuck you Rey – and I will happily press the “On” switch. Really, Rey the Mary Sue Unicorn Bright Scowling Face Boring Bean Bag Bitch can fuck off. Can we just declare the entire trilogy non-canon?
One more thing, you may have come across Mr Abrams declaring that there is a LGBT character, so all you woke people better go watch this movie. Well, you know how Disney also wants the money of people who live in countries that aren’t so woke? The LGBT thing is inserted in a way that it can be easily censored by those countries. In addition to terrible portrayal of female leads, this movie also treats LGBT people like items on a checklist to pass itself off as woke… but only in countries that the movie folks believe will appreciate the wokeness and give them money. For countries who don’t like this kind of stuff, the woke can go, no worries, just give them money as well.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – it’s out, and it’s done. Don’t bother with it, don’t bother with the entire trilogy, in fact. Go watch the Star Wars stuff on Disney Plus instead.