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blog Rise of Skywalker — Held Back by Damage Control?

Discussion in 'Film & Television' started by Black Dragon, May 10, 2020.

  1. Featured Author

    Featured Author Scribe

    Featuredauthor submitted a new blog post:

    Rise of Skywalker — Held Back by Damage Control?
    This article is by Derek Chuff.


    How shall I describe Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker? It’s a much better film than its immediate predecessor, and — despite what J.J. Abrams has claimed — it’s a complete retcon of The Last Jedi. In tone, character, and story arch, Abrams does his best to deliver a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy, while being burdened with undoing so much of Rian Johnson’s folly in The Last Jedi.

    Beware… spoilers lie ahead!

    A Missed Opportunity

    Early on the film establishes Emperor Palpatine as the omniscient puppet master behind the events of the previous two films. As Kylo Ren ventures into Palpatine’s lair, clones of Snoke float in a tank while Palpatine tells Kylo — complete with voiceovers — that he was every voice that Kylo ever heard inside his head. This scene is enough to give any true Star Wars fan the chills. It establishes the unfathomable power of the Emperor, and distracts, for a moment, from all the questions about his return (unfortunately, those questions go unanswered).

    How J.J. Abrams can say with a straight face that he was not trying to undo The Last Jedi, while eviscerating its main points in this scene, is unfathomable.


    Yet I still feel that not making Snoke turn out to be Darth...
    Continue reading the Original Blog Post.
  2. Black Dragon

    Black Dragon Staff Administrator

    To be clear, there were many things that I enjoyed about The Last Jedi. However, I felt that it really missed the mark with the portrayal of Luke Skywalker. I found it hard to believe that the Luke of the original trilogy was the Angry Hermit of TLJ.

    Luke Skywalker was willing to sacrifice his own life to bring his father back from the dark side. He never gave up on Darth Vader, even when Vader had killed millions of people with the Death Star. In contrast, the Angry Hermit of TLJ was on the verge of murdering his own nephew while he slept, simply because the young man was being tempted by the dark side. This behavior cannot be reconciled with the philosophy of Luke Skywalker. It's so inconsistent that it's nearly impossible to accept Luke and the Angry Hermit as being the same character.

    Worst of all, TLJ robbed many fans of what we were most looking forward to: scenes of Jedi Grandmaster Luke Skywalker using his refined skills to kick First Order ass. This never happens. Instead, we get countless sequences of Angry Hermit chasing kids off his lawn, and then an illusion at the end. And then he dies... just like that. It made my heart sink.

    All in all, The Rise of Skywalker was a definite improvement. But The Last Jedi so seriously effed up the character of Luke Skywalker that it made it hard for Rise to recapture the magic. Luke Skywalker never got the send-off that he deserved, and Rise wasn't able to undo that.
  3. pmmg

    pmmg Auror

    I wanted...really wanted... to like the new Star Wars stuff, and even went to see this movie on opening night. I have nothing nice to say about this movie, and after a lifetime of being a fan, I truly feel Star Wars is dead to me. I will never return. I could list out a lot of reasons, but I would have to use words that would be impolite, and would not likely illicit receptive responses.

    But you have asked for some feed back...

    First, I had forgotten most of my feeling on the Rian film, and after reading this I am reminded that I also thought that film was terrible. I am personally disappointed that JJ Abrams gets to do both Star Wars and Star Trek, I much preferred these two space stories to come from different minds. I don't know how I can say this, but I miss George Lucas, and I've been pretty down on him since the prequels. I was interested in his vision. I don think this is that, and I have no use for this new stuff.

    I agree with the statements in the article. I liked Adam Drivers conflicted Kilo Ryan presentation, that was the only decent part of the entirety of the films. I wish I found this movie and story wrap-up to be worthy of working out the deeper hidden meanings of all the choices, and how now that we know X, that means this to Y, but I need better than this for that. Palpatine back...weak. Better to let him stay dead and let Vader and Luke struggle to be meaningful.

    I would call this whole movie Hollywood garbage, it will be the first Star Wars movie I will not personally own, and will be the last one I see.

    A much better example of someone taking a franchise that has been hurt by recent additions, and brought back to cool is the most recent Terminator Movie, which took some bold moves and made a better story for everyone. Cameron is the best. Abrams...so far he has made two movies that killed an entire series for me.

    I've heard some talk that Rian had a personal stake in undoing some of Abrams work, and I have seen him personally make comments that he was sorry for mistakes in the last film and did not think his poor choices would mean so much, and create so much disappointment. I can forgive him, but perhaps best would have been to push the movie aside and the way Cameron did, and go on as if it did not happen.

    I too was impressed that manage to get Carrie Fisher to fill out the movie. What a tragedy it has been that she passed on. But I must say, I question the ethics of that. With CGI no is really gone. When I saw Grand Moff Tarkin on one of these films, I was like…Wow… that’s really impressive, but also I wonder, should his legacy include stuff he did not actually do? Its weird world we have now.

    This movie, however, is not worthy of articles, and for me, Star Wars ends in disgust.

    PS: C3PO was never really one of my favs either ;)
    Reaver and Black Dragon like this.
  4. Black Dragon

    Black Dragon Staff Administrator

    My understanding is that when Disney bought Star Wars, George Lucas presented them with a story treatment for the new trilogy. It laid out the broad strokes of his vision, for Disney to flesh out. I recall reading that Lucas was disappointed when he learned that his planned story arc was essentially thrown in the trash.

    Personally, I would have loved to see his vision come to fruition. My biggest problem with the prequel trilogies were 1) not enough Darth Vader, too much little boy Anakin and 2) poor direction of actors, resulting in stiff, wooden performances (with the notable exception of Ewan McGregor, who somehow managed to be terrific). Yet the overall story was interesting, and could have been great if the actors were handled by a different director, such as Spielberg.

    If Disney had taken Lucas's story treatment for the new trilogy, fleshed out the story and brought in great directors, it could have been amazing. Instead, the decision to allow each director to take the story in his own special direction with no planned arc proved to be disastrous.

    On the whole, though, I did enjoy Rise of Skywalker. It was fun and kept my attention, which is hard to do. But if there had been a narrative arc in place from the beginning, it could have been so much better.
    Reaver likes this.
  5. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

    Is Lucas' vision available online anywhere?
    Reaver likes this.
  6. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    I don't have any interest in dwelling on what I liked or disliked about the movies. But I did feel the new trilogy was mishandled from the start. All three Lord of the Rings movies were filmed before the first one aired. That's also what happened with Infinity War and Endgame. I felt that Star Wars should've followed that precedent. Nevermind the Rian Johnson vs. J.J. Abrams thing for a moment. It's my understanding that the decision to bring back Palpatine happened after The Last Jedi went into theaters. If you're telling a three part story that's just too late in the process to be making a decision like that.
  7. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

    I'm weird I guess. I'm not a huge Star Wars fan to begin with...but I loved The Last Jedi and think it was the best of the three. (Rise of Skywalker, the worst.)

    Having grown old and curmudgeonly myself, it spoke to me. Heh. So I could buy it fairly easily. In that mad world, isolation like he found appeals to me as well. :sneaky:
    Black Dragon likes this.
  8. Kalshion

    Kalshion Dreamer

    I find this rather interesting, everywhere else I've been people were at each others throats. Yet here there is meaningful discussion! Granted its still only page one but still! :p

    Anywho, for me my biggest issues with the last three films had a lot to do with how the main character (Rey) was portrayed as being superior in all areas. While it took Luke three films to master his techniques, it seemed to only take Rey one (maybe two) and she was able to beat someone more experienced than she was. To me that put a bad taste in my mouth, as I wanted to see a character struggle, not one that had it all figured out. It was also why the way they portrayed Luke really rubbed me the wrong way.

    Having read the novels, and even some of the comics, at no point was it ever shown that Luke would act in this manner. He came *close* in one of the novels, but pulled himself back and didn't fall to temptation. Killing his own nephew *is* a dark side decision when it comes to star wars, which means that the way it was shown meant that Luke had been falling to the dark side when he tried to kill his nephew which again makes no sense.

    Sadly, based on what I've read so far about the way Disney has chosen to treat the character, I think this was done more to try and get him out of the series. So that the other characters would have more screen time. I'm not against that, but if they wanted to get rid of the character, they should've remained true to that characters story and personality.
    Black Dragon likes this.
  9. FifthView

    FifthView Istar


    For me, the biggest problem was the way the creators of that final trilogy attempted to recreate the original trilogy, giving it a few "tweaks" to make it seem "fresh." But the original was better, heh. The reboot Star Trek movies did something of the same with Khan, only this time "killing" Kirk rather than Spock. What is it with directors thinking fan service=mere repetition? Annoying.

    For me personally, Rey seemed most likely, of all of them, to turn to the dark side. She was very dark throughout the movies in the way she handled her abilities. Very aggressive, very angry at times. It was off-putting. In the first two trilogies, that kind of attitude/approach was always a signal of being in danger of going to the dark side. (First w/ Luke, then in the young version of his father.) But this aspect was simply ignored or brushed over too lightly in this latest trilogy. There was no authentic fear/suggestion that she might go dark.
  10. I am an old man who actually grew up with this crap and I agree with FifthViewFifthView - whatever the various lines and characters there is no actual tension to the plot- and after the second one where Finn was sidelined.. I frankly lost interest. A lot of bait and switch going on and it just turns me off.

    I went with my daughter to the second movie and we walked out- and it may have been the second movie ever for me to do that. but I did not regret it.
    Black Dragon likes this.

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