By: Jackson Dino, Editor-In-Chief
"They fly now!"
"They fly now?"
"They flow now!"
Following the recent release of Star Wars, Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker, it is now safe to say that the Star Wars franchise is officially on life support - kept afloat only through the brilliance of Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni and Baby Yoda memes.
The riveting dialogue highlighted above is a mere example of the poor writing exhibited by this mess of a film.
I’ve seen The Rise of Skywalker 3 times now (all in the span of 5 days). Every time I have watched it, I have increasingly noticed a plethora of canon-breaking plot holes. Director J.J. Abrams, much like the preceding Director of Star Wars, Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, elected to ignore basic Star Wars lore in his film. The aforementioned plot holes and narrative inconsistencies are far too numerous to count, although I will try my best to list some of the most glaring.
Finn, Poe and Chewie on Ajan Kloss in The Rise of Skywalker
From a technical standpoint, the film isn’t particularly impressive as a Star Wars movie. The visual style is largely bland, particularly in the Exogol scenes, where dark lighting obscures too much of the scene. The visual effects are decent - but then again, anything beneath “decent” would not pass as a film in this franchise. The editing and pacing, however, are atrocious, particularly during the movie’s first act. Too much happens too quickly for the audience to adequately digest what is happening in the film.
I should note, however, that John William’s score is as brilliant as always, and he certainly deserves an Oscar nomination (though I am partial to the award going to Hildur Guðnadóttir’s score for Joker).
Likewise, the film’s acting is sufficient at best. The film is carried by Adam Driver and his attempt at a layered performance of Kylo Ren (though the script, unfortunately, works against him). John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Ian McDiarmid and Oscar Isaac are solid in their respective sequences, though nobody stands out.
Perhaps the most compelling aspect of the film from an acting perspective, however, is the portrayal of General Leia through deleted footage of the late Carrie Fisher. Leia’s scenes, unfortunately, are rather awkward, and clearly written around the dialogue from Fisher that they had available. The scenes are heavily manipulated and edited, but they still leave a stiff impression on the audience. I understand that the filmmakers had limited options and wanted to play adequate tribute to Fisher, but the scenes are poor irregardless. (Disclaimer: I am not attacking Fisher’s acting, just the portrayal of the character in Episode IX).
All told, Star Wars, Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker is a disappointing, convoluted, confused and surprisingly poor end to the Star Wars saga. This Sequel Trilogy clearly lacked the vision of George Lucas’ prequels, and will academically be used as an example of poor management by Disney and Kathleen Kennedy in the future. We can only hope that Star Wars continues in the path of The Mandalorian, and not The Rise of Skywalker.