Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ★½

The saga is complete yet again, until it's not again.

In a way, Palpatine's Frankenstein-like return serves as a good thesis for the film. The idea that what was thought of as finished has become resurrected, only to be killed off once again. That's how Disney's handling of the franchise went. How cynical it is to bring back this character and retconning everything the two original trilogies worked for, yet it's fitting too.

Force Awakens operated under the false premise that it was bringing Star Wars back to its barest essentials, redeeming the franchise from the alienating direction the prequels took. Although, it really didn't even commit to that with its incorporation of CGI and Marvel-like quirk. People will say it's a rehash of the original film, but this is only true in narrative beats. Tonally, aesthetically, and politically, it's fairly different.

The Last Jedi is the most interesting of the three, but it's also pretty dumb. There's a better understanding of the themes of the original films than in Episode 7, but people tend to act like it's the first to dissect or criticize the dogmatic principles and political implications of the Jedi and Sith, as if that wasn't already within the thesis of the prequel trilogy.

Rise of Skywalker is just a mess, and not the good kind either. It's ideologically all over the place, lacking both cohesion and purpose. Perhaps time will shine a bit more kindly on this film, but my initial takeaway is that it's not actually saying much of anything of value. Rey is tempted by the Emperor to kill him, but she resists... by killing him?

The production was doomed. People were split down the middle by the last film, so the direction the film would take was futile no matter what. Yet, the corporate cash cow still tried to please everyone, with what I can only describe as a marionette show with puppeteered corpses. With all this said, I still think it's better than Force Awakens.

Those who spot the lesbian kiss in the background deserve a medal more than Chewbacca does. I certainly missed it. However, the real progressive kiss scene comes from Ben (Kylo Ren) and Rey, who are technically cousins (once removed), right? WIN.

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