What Was Your Reaction After Watching Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker?

Happy Festivus! While this is typically a day of grievances, the main focus of what I’m going to write below is that I very much enjoyed The Rise of Skywalker, and I’d certainly recommend it to anyone who any Star Wars fan. I think JJ Abrams did a good job at wrapping up the 9-movie series, which is no small feat.

I’m going to freely discuss the movie, so there are spoilers below.

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Here’s what I really liked about the movie:

  • Just like the previous movie, I thought the visuals were incredible. The fight seen on the ocean world was particularly stunning.
  • Speaking of that fight scene, I loved that it was a lightsaber duel where the characters realized as they fought that they weren’t fighting to kill. There are so many lightsaber duels across all other Star Wars movies where the characters seem to be aiming for the sword instead of the person, and this battle was no different–except it actually mattered, as they were processing their connection during the fight.
  • I think my favorite part of the movie was that Rey used the Force to heal instead of just to fight. The closest we’ve seen to this in any Star Wars movie (that I can recall) are a few scenes like Yoda extracting Luke’s X-wing from the swamp.
  • I loved the way the movie let us say goodbye to so many different characters. I really did not like how Leia was handled in The Last Jedi, and while it was a bit odd to see Carrie Fisher posthumously, I’m glad we had a specific, no-confusion opportunity to say goodbye to her here, complete with a proper warning. I also like that Lando got his ship back.
  • I really enjoyed the moments of levity and humor in the movie, with my favorite being Poe’s suggestive expression at the end to his former lady friend.
  • My biggest fist-pump moment was when Rey grabbed the escaping ship out of the sky, pulled it back to her, and then unexpectedly unleased lightning. It showed that she’s not only super powerful, but also even more powerful than she knew she was.
  • In so many movies, evil minions never seem to question what they’re doing–they just do evil stuff, over and over again. One of my favorite things about The Force Awakens was the introduction of Fin, a storm trooper who decided he didn’t like killing innocent people. So I really liked seeing in this movie that Fin isn’t alone–there are other First Order deserters too.

Here’s what I didn’t quite like as much:

  • Through many of the Star Wars movies, we’ve been told that certain characters will bring balance to the Force. While watching this movie, I started to get excited that Ben and Rey really would end up on the throne today (literally or figuratively), working together to provide balance to the world. So I was sad to see Ben die at the end.
  • The beginning of the movie was a bit frenetic. I like how Abrams throws the audience right into the action in his movies, but in my opinion there were just too many settings and too many new characters.
  • I rolled my eyes a little in exasperation when it was shown that Chewie brought the special knife with him when he tried to get Rey back into the ship. It felt like an unnecessary plot device instead of a logical choice.
  • I’ve read some criticism that Rey is a much more interesting character if she doesn’t come from famous lineage. In some ways, I agree–one of the things I liked about The Last Jedi was the idea that the choices we make are more powerful than destiny. Yet it also didn’t bother me all that much that she was a Palpatine.
  • The Rise of Skywalker made me wish that Abrams had directed all 3 final episodes of the Skywalker Saga. I appreciate Johnson as a director, and I like that he tried to mix things up, but the 8th movie of a 9-movie series is not the time to mix things up. I’ve read some reviewers reference that movie as one of the best of the decade, and it certainly has some amazing moments, but do you remember the 15 minutes it spent on the casino planet? And the mutiny subplot that was straight out of every poorly written sci-fi show? And Leia Force-flying through the cold vacuum of space? Come on. Beyond that, it seemed like Johnson was intentionally ditching certain storylines that Abrams set up, and Abrams had to come in and salvage them to give us a cohesive arc. I’m thinking of Snoke’s death in particular. If Johnson hadn’t killed off Snoke, the addition of Palpatine wouldn’t have been necessary. Also, if Johnson had been on board for some overarching story beats, he could have introduced some of those elements in Episode 8; instead, those elements had to wait until The Rise of Skywalker.

That’s me! What about you? What did you enjoy the most about The Rise of Skywalker?


2 Responses to “What Was Your Reaction After Watching Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker?”

  1. While I enjoyed the movie my biggest beef was pacing. The story needed way more time to breathe. When I was a kid and Vader through the emperor down the shaft it was a total hell yeah moment. In this story when Ren comes back I didn’t have that same feeling. It wasn’t because I didn’t care about REN or his journey but because they rushed it so much I didn’t feel invested. I would be interested to see a a directors cut of this movie. There are a lot of rumors that a 4 hour cut of this movie exists. Which means you probably should have just bit the bull it and made it two movies.

  2. […] (perhaps one in the very near future) will impact its position. I do know that I still LOVE that the Force was finally used to heal instead of destroy–that alone elevated this movie several notches […]

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