Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ★★½

The retcon is strong with this one... (which retcons the retcon of the trilogy opener).

On the plus side, I welled up once, cried twice, and after two episodes of greatest themes musical wallpaper, somebody actually woke John Wiliams up for his final time conducting in a galaxy far, far away. Was moved by the occasion.

Ian McDiarmid also goes some way in atoning himself, striking a nice balance between the sinister persuasion of the classic trilogy and the cackling camp of the prequels.

Have also realised far too late, the way you fix Rogue One's fatal, exhaust port-sized flaw. Instead of the digitally resurrected abomination of Tarkin, they should've simply cast Richard E. Grant (the standout here in a small role) as the Grand Moff. With some skillful makeup, the resemblance and the imperviously clipped manner would've been uncanny instead of the uncanny valley.

The flyboys within the Resistance continue to totally lack the charisma of any the '77 players, with Oscar Issac and John Boyega blown off-screen the moment Billy Dee Williams appears, but despite not being particularly inspired—and for the moment, disregarding the two far more successful spin-offs—this is still quite easily the best of the bad bunch trilogy, managing to assert something of an identity resembling actual Star Wars, rather than a Marvel space movie with Star Wars branding like the previous two installments.

Time now to finally expand that universe and never hear the name of Skywalker again.