Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker review

Rey and Kylo fighting on the Death Star The Rise of Skywalker is what you get when you mix The Fast and the Furious with Star Wars. It’s a collection of fun action sequences that have no meaning behind them. Despite my tweets saying it’s my least favorite of the franchise, I did have a fun time. It wasn’t until Rey and Kylo kiss that I threw my arms up and thought “who wrote this fan fiction?!” Many scenes had me rolling my eyes before that though. I won’t go through every negative that I had with the film, and I don’t want to discourage anyone from going to see the movie or enjoying it. I hope people come out of The Rise of Skywalker liking the movie, it just wasn’t for me.

The movie has some positive moments. I liked the lightsaber battles, the progression of Rey and Kylo’s force connection, and I loved Rey’s new Lightsaber. As a self-contained 3 minute video the Kylo Ren vs Knights of Ren battle was really fun, although the circumstances of the battle don’t make sense so there’s more on that in the negatives.

What ultimately turned The Rise of Skywalker into a bad film for me is the lack verisimilitude. The catalyst of the story is driven by convenience, previous canon and lore is thrown to the wind. The movie felt more like a parody or fan-film. It became something other than Star Wars. Every film, whether it takes place in our real world or a fantasy one, has rules that help us believe in that world. If Bilbo was suddenly driving a sports car through Middle Earth it might be fun, but you wouldn’t believe in that world anymore. That is basically what happened with Rise of Skywalker for me. Everything that happened or was shown was for the sake of looking cool or for convenience.

For instance, the Knights of Ren have no purpose in this film. After 2 movies wondering about this group, we only get to see them follow Kylo Ren, stand on a rock, follow Rey, and then die on Exogol in battle with Kylo. Not only did it make these characters less interesting, but now I have a dozen questions. Why are they fighting with Kylo Ren? He shows up on Exogol and they just walk out of the shadows expecting him. How did they get there? Are they following the orders of Palpatine now, and why? They were demystified to be a weak group of fodder with no thoughts of their own and served no purpose to the plot of the film.

I thought planet-killing devices were already a tired threat in the Star Wars franchise with The Force Awakens, but this film takes it to a new level with Palpatine controlling 10,000+ ships with a planet-destroying laser on every single one of them. Nothing is explained about them such as who built them? Where did he get the resources? Who’s on each of the ships? We don’t know. All the heroes have to do is blow up a gun on the underside of each ship and the entire thing explodes too. The ships really had no purpose besides making way for a (pretty lame IMO) space battle at the end. The time could have been better used to flesh out Palpatines plans or make a more interesting fight between Palpatine and Rey. Palpatines plan also didn’t make any sense. He wanted Rey to strike him down so the Sith could pass down into her and turn her to the dark side. She would have striked him down directly if he didn’t narrate his plan to her, but she still killed him 2 minutes later and nothing happened. I could go on and on with the plot holes but I’ll end here.

People who like the film will say I’m nitpicking but is it really too much to ask for a movie to make a little sense? I could forgive one or two bits of nonsense if the rest of the movie was good, altogether though it just doesn’t work for me. I wanted to enjoy this film but after a hundred conveniences, Rey falling for a man who by-hand murdered thousands and blew up 6 planets, and previous Star Wars lore and logic thrown out the window, I could no longer believe in the world of Star Wars.

Getting back to reality, this movie didn’t “ruin my childhood” and we are just talking about a movie. I look forward to the next one and hope they do better. And pray they don’t go back to the well with planet-destroying threats, we’ve seen it. Thank you for reading my review and I’d love to hear your thoughts of the movie, just let me know @MaxHasADHD.