I Have a Bad Feeling About This ... Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Review
Updated: Jan 11
Star Wars: The Last Jedi was undeniably a divisive film amongst critics and fans. Subsequently there was a lot of hype and dubious anticipation for the final film of the new trilogy. Unfortunately, this film has similarly divided fans and critics. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was like Marmite, you love it or you hate it.
Be warned, this post will contain multiple spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, so if you haven't seen the movie and do not want it spoilt, click away now.
Starting off with the good points about the film, I have to praise the impressive visual effects and the brilliant musical score. Star Wars has always been consistent with special effects particularly this time in its fight scenes. The musical score fittingly reflected those from the previous films and notably the original trilogy.For these, I honestly have nothing negative to say, in fact I feel it was the main highlight of the film.
Now onto more spoiler-y pieces, I was glad to have Lando returned as he'd been blatantly absent from the previous two films, even though it wasn't really explained why this was the case. It was good to re-introduce known and loved characters, although I feel that Lando didn't have anywhere near enough screen time.
I particularly liked having the main trio of characters - Rey, Finn and Poe - spending a vast amount of the movie on screen together which seemed to lack in the previous two films. This was quite anticipated and I feel they all had a good chemistry and worked well on screen together.
I found this film's plotting was far superior to The Last Jedi in the sense there was a clear main plot and contained a lot less filler plots. However, the storyline was still quite unimaginative and bland.
For some fans, this entry into the Star Wars story could have delivered a very emotive conclusion, but personally the flaws of the film outweighed this.
I liked seeing Leia be trained by Luke as Leia's force sensitivity has often been overlooked in the movies. However, I found it strange to introduce this so late on considering nobody had ever mentioned Leia being trained before.
One point I did enjoy was seeing Kylo Ren's turning point to the light side, but sadly it was so overshadowed by other events and ultimately felt disappointing when he died. I wish the writers kept him in the story until the end as he had redeemed himself. However, these scenes felt well choreographed, but I just wish we got more than the film delivered! Although it can be argued that his redemption arc was complete, it just fell flat for me.
Now onto my criticisms of the film. The first being that even though we have seen characters such as Rey for the past few movies, to me they still seem like quite dimensional characters. I feel that some characters were not well written from the beginning of the trilogy in order to draw a connection to them. Instead were basically told 'these are the new main characters, you must like them', but they don't begin to compare to strong characters such as Luke, Han and Leia.
I still do not understand why Rey is so overpowered. Even though we now know her powerful heritage and see her be trained in this episode, it is completely counteractive when we know she is already overpowered. To me, this makes Rey a rather unlikable character as she isn't very relatable.
I felt the film drew a lot of plot holes or things not quite making sense, some I have already mentioned. Firstly, I don't understand how there was the majority of the Death Star still intact, when it clearly exploded. Secondly, wouldn't Luke or Leia have sensed the Emperor was back in some form? Also why did Palpatine kill Rey's parents in the first place? To me it seemed a little bit far fetched. In addition to this, why would Rey be able to use the lightning when this is a sith power, not something exclusive to Darth Sidious.
I felt the conclusion was actually quite unfulfilling, I feel that Disney made a big mistake killing off Luke, characters we know and love and instead leave us with characters we still don't have that much of an attachment to.
Finally, I do not understand why Rey took the Skywalker name at the end when she could have honoured her parents' memory and created a positive association with the Palpatine name. For this reason, I feel Ben should have survived to literally be the last Skywalker in a sense.