Monday, December 23, 2019

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Earlier today (it's Sunday as I'm writing this) I got in my viewing of the new Star Wars movie, The Rise of Skywalker. I've been looking forward to this all year and had a great time with the movie. I've loved Star Wars my entire life and have really appreciated having a new movie every year for the past 5 years. Though after this movie, it's going to be a few years before the next. I guess a break is in order (grumble grumble). I'm no movie critic or reviewer, but I thought I'd discuss it a little. Just in case I get spoilery, it'll be under the break. Mobile readers... uh, it might get spoilery below.

I really liked this movie. It's fun and full of action and outright Star Wars flavored thrills. While I was ok with The Last Jedi, a lot of folks weren't and you can tell an honest effort to make that up to them was in force here. In fact, so much was going on, it almost felt like I was watching two movies. Something I loved, but also leads into my main problem with the movie. So much was going on that there was times that it was going on too fast. Like slowing down here and there would have helped the movie tell it's story a lot better.

There is a ton of fan service going on here. Like the aforementioned fixing what people didn't like about TLJ as well as stuff here an there. For whatever reason fan service sets off some people and for the life of me I can't figure out why. To me, pleasing your fans and giving them what they want is a good thing. Most often when I see people complain about this, it's usually folks trying to look like they have more to say than they actually do. While an argument could be made that it takes away from originality or creativity... it's also a 41 year old franchise. It's already set in stone for the most part. Not to mention, being happy is a good thing.

It's hard for me to be super critical about this movie. I love Star Wars. But just like loving a family member, that doesn't make me ignore it's faults, just more patient with them. I loved the Force Awakens. Loved. It was 100% what I wanted and hoped for. Sure, I wanted more adventures of Luke Skywalker fighting with his light saber. But I'm also a damn adult, I know time moves on and if I was getting a new movie it was going to be a new movie. I liked the prequels, but TFA was 100% more of what I wanted. TLJ was a drastically different movie, but not for the worse (for me anyway). This movie was more of a follow up to TFA than TLJ, and that's probably one of the reasons I liked it as much as I did. It was more of what I liked better.

I loved the Emperor. I loved his whole Sith Army and everything that went with it. Could he have been explained better? Absolutely. At one point they mention clones, another you're mentally drawing back to his talks with Anakin in Revenge of the Sith. There's a whole lot of force magic going on in this movie, so it's not out of the realm of force magic... but there's a test tube holding what's left of Snoke and well all the other sci fi stuff going on. So, which is it movie? I loved how he had a zombie like look. In fact that's one thing I really have liked about these new movies, the Sith are downright scary. In the original trilogy and prequels... they were bad guys no doubt, but in these they're clearly evil wizards with all sorts of spooky shit going on.

Speaking of the Sith Army... MAN the Sith Troopers were rad! They could have just been regular Storm Troopers, but that final battle scene with all those red troopers running around just looked great. I've been super fond of The First Order since their introduction. Yes, I know they're just the Evil Empire with a new name and updated costumes. But man they're just more threatening in these. The Empire showed up, here's bad guys doing bad guy things. The First Order show up and here's bad guys doing bad guy things really menacingly. Like there's bank robbers and then there's scary monsters. That's the tonal shift in presentation. Speaking off them, they were awesome in this. I love the Jet Troopers and the new Treadspeeders. That chase scene was super cool.

I could go on and on forever and I just stopped myself from doing so. I'm not going to tell you if you should or should not watch this movie. I'm not going to tell you what to think or what to enjoy. I will say however, I liked this movie. Is it perfect? No. It's a little rough around the edges at times. Is it enjoyable? Yes. I was completely entertained the entire time and wanted more when it was over. I felt like I watched two Star Wars movies and I don't think that's a bad thing. Because it was two Star Wars movies I liked quite a bit.

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