|Title:||Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker|
|12.28.19||Bullock IMAX|| Huh! I don't know if it's just absolute minimum expectations or what but I liked this pretty good! Not only does it manage to undo a lot of what The Last Jedi made a point to scuttle, it also makes both the weird stuff in Last Jedi and Force Awakens make a little more sense! I see this as a nice feat of storytelling if nothing else. But I also liked a bunch of other stuff!|
At first I was really nonplussed about them bringing the Emperor back but after a bit of exposition I was totally on board. We get answers for why:
-The first order basically looks just like the old empire
-how the first order could take over after the empire fell
-why it's called the first order
I also got satisfactory answers for:
-How Rey and Kylo were talking to eachother with mind meld
-Why Snoke didn't really matter
-Why Luke had to die
-Why they didn't kill Leia off in Last Jedi when they had two perfect opportunities
-Why Leia did that weird fly-through-space thing
I definitely felt like Abrams did a fair amount of clean-up after Rian Johnson. Like, wait no! I put a lot of work into designing Kylo's helmet! And you hired your buddy Noah Segan as a random X-wing pilot instead of MY buddy Greg Grunberg / Dominic Monaghan / Keri Russell! A little bit of tape here, cool welding sequences there, and voila everything's back together again just like how he left it.
I am also a little softer on Last Jedi now. A lot of crappy and hard-to-explain things had to happen between the first and third so it was probably more of a thankless task than I thought for Rian Johnson to take it on. OR, he did whatever he wanted and Abrams did an even better job of wrapping things up than I already think. I wish there could be a candid book of interviews or something about both the prequel trilogy and the sequel trilogy after everything dies down. I wonder how much planning went into the trilogy at the beginning and how much of Colin Trevorrow's input remained on screen.
I should say I'm also relieved they didn't do anything stupid with the droids. Giving Chewbacca a medal at the end felt a little like Abrams made a long list of popular internet fan gripes and tried his best to fix each one, like referring to the "Holdo maneuver" as being a one-in-a-million shot. However I think it's kind of unfair to criticize him for this since the movies basically belong to the fans now. It's not like we're going to find new depths of character and drama here... we're just hoping each movie plays with our action figures in a cool way and doesn't pull any shit like inventing new rules of play or breaking old ones. In that regard, I think this movie succeeds.
I liked the new cast, liked the new worlds. Good to see Lando again. The beginning of the movie felt like it was on fast-forward... I guess to get under the run-time of Last Jedi. I liked all the symmetry built in with Force Awakens... again, I think they did a good job wrapping things up.
I guess now we'll see how the movie ages in my brain and what I think of it whenever I watch it again.