Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ★★

When JJ signed on to come back for Episode IX, I made peace with the fact that he would likely renege on much of what I felt made The Last Jedi so special, and so going into The Rise of Skywalker, I told myself, "Just have fun, it's still Star Wars." What I didn't expect out of the final installment in the Skywalker saga was for it to be such a half-assed and joyless affair. I can't imagine even the TLJ haters will find much to like. I have my problems with Abrams' direction in The Force Awakens but at least he manages to build an impressive sense of scale. Even that is gone this go-around. The myth is dead and in its place is perfunctory product content to peddle the cheapest kind of fan service; the curse of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child strikes again. The first forty five minutes are virtually incoherent on account of some shockingly poor editing. Things hardly improve when the plot–more a series of fetch quests, really–kicks into top gear. There's an over abundance of lore. Characters come and go like it's the final season of Game of Thrones. Rey is so dour now, her character freighted with flattening importance; gone entirely is the youthful spark and sense of wonderment that made her such an effervescent heroine in the first place. Even the worst Star Wars movies have at least one memorable sequence – Phantom Menace has the Duel of the Fates, Clones the Coliseum and Padme's midriff, the finale of Sith. I've already forgotten everything about ROS. It moves so fast, rushing from one plot point to the next that nothing leaves a mark. The Skywalker saga goes out with a whimper. What a fucking bummer.

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