The Rise of Skywalker: Suprisingly, The Best Of The Newest Star Wars Trilogy

Ok, so I know many of you have heard how just wretchedly awful The Rise of Skywalker is, but I’m here to tell you: fear not. From the very beginning of the film, I began to think “this might actually be good”. I am not a Star Wars fanatic, but have always liked Star Wars. I was highly disappointed with the travesty known as The Last Jedi, but was pleasantly surprised with The Rise of Skywalker.

At least a couple times it inspired me to genuinely laugh, a couple of times brought me near to tears, and more than once I was on the edge of my seat. The story was compelling and there were many original elements and surprises. The Rise of Skywalker is definitely a movie worth watching.

The Good

The Rise of Skywalker: The Best of the New Trilogy

First of all I am proud of the writers from repairing the damage cause by The Last Jedi. For example, it seems Disney listened to how people were outraged that Luke would be this depressed loser – nothing like his original character – and just throw his saber away like it was nothing. This time, in multiple scenes they repaired this by showing the importance of the light saber. Not only that, but they explicitly showed a scene where Rey was handed a light saber, in the exact way that is the polar opposite to the way The Last Jedi trashed light saber lore.

Next there is the fact that throughout the film they continued to use scenes and events and locations that played homage to the original movies. When the movie opened with classic Star Wars music from the original movies, at first I thought, “couldn’t come up with anything original I guess”, still in shock from The Last Jedi; but as the movie went on, I realized they used elements in creative ways that played homage to the original films.

For example, when Rey jumps into the crashed Death Star, she literally climbs on the same tower where Obi-Wan Kenobi had climbed when he was working to disable the tractor beam ** https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/aekkzk/this-is-the-most-satisfying-moment-in-star-wars in A New Hope (1977). Then she looks at the broken throne room where Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine, and Luke Skywalker had their epic fights in Return of the Jedi (1983). There were many examples of this throughout the film, if you’re looking for them.

Original Elements

Unlike The Last Jedi, The Rise of Skywalker had many pleasantly new elements. The least of these was the flying storm troopers which was a bit ridiculous, but nonetheless believable. The new motorcycle-like land speeders the Storm Troopers were flying were really cool. Even the quick sand gave a surprise.
Unfortunately, the planet-killing weapons left a lot to be desired. It felt rushed, barely believable, and not near as cool as it could have been. When Alderaan was destroyed in A New Hope (1977), there was an epic scene with the coolest sound effects as the Death Star (I) geared up for its epic multi-laser slowly connecting into one. This was one of my favorite scenes from all the films. I was very disappointed as to how that played out in The Rise of Skywalker and the way that weapon pathetically executed its function.

Rey did many abilities that were missing from recent films. It was pleasant to see her do these, but yes, there was a new one as well. The healing ability is one of the scenes that really touched me toward the end, coming very close to bringing tears to my eyes. I’m not going to give anything away, but there was even foreshadowing. I am proud of the writers for actually using a literary element like foreshadowing (and using it effectively) – it’s worlds above previous new films.

Dual Saber – Yes or No?

A lot of people were worried when then saw the dual Rey light saber in the trailers. Don’t worry. It is easily explainable, and the way it is portrayed in The Rise of Skywalker is just fine. Yes, in real life it’s a good way to slice yourself in half; but even without the “but you’re a Jedi” excuse, still do not worry, it is fully explainable. You’ll have to wait and see.

Light Saber Fight Scenes

The light saber fight scenes were fantastic and very enjoyable. The backscape of the stormy waves, the way it played out, the usage of emotion, good storytelling, and epicness, among other elements, made these scenes fantastic, especially the scene with Rey and Kylo Ren on the ocean. The scene is far more believable than The Force Awakens (2015), having a strong backstory, believable fighting, and an extra surprise.

Surprises

The Rise of Skywalker is full of surprises. This is in itself surprising since Disney has really trashed Star Wars since they bought the rights to it a few years ago. The surprises in The Rise of Skywalker are absolutely fantastic and really make the movie great. I’m not saying the movie is up there with Return of the Jedi or Fight Club, so don’t get me wrong – but it is a very good Star Wars Film. In some ways it even superseded Rogue One. I’m not going to give it away, but… Palpatine. Yeah.

Minimal Leftist Agenda

The biggest reason that The Last Jedi failed was its over-the-top anti-male outright and obvious feminist agenda. Other reasons for criticism are the flying Leia and the ridiculous lightspeed crash, but it was mainly the leftist agenda that gave The Last Jedi such criticism. Now, there are some subtle feminist themes in The Rise of Skywalker, but besides minor themes that you have to look for, and the obvious fact about Rey being the epitome of leftism – not that she is a woman, but that her character is devoid of all sexuality, an asexual, boring mess; besides this, leftist agenda is surprisingly absent from the film. Leftist agenda is there, but it isn’t overt like in The Last Jedi. It’s not the first film to be good recently either – Ad Astra (2019) with Brad Pitt was another science fiction movie this year that was surprisingly devoid of leftist agenda. Is Hollywood finally waking up and realizing “go woke, go broke”?

As a result, the movie is actually enjoyable, and you don’t have to set your mind on constant guard for the next leftist problem. There was a lesbian kissing scene that the camera panned past at the end – it lasted only a second, but there was no reason for it being in the film and someone could easily edit it out to make it kid-friendly. Still, it’s much better than being explicit, and one second out of the whole movie is bearable. There are no other LBGT scenes in the film that I noticed.

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The Bad

While there’s a lot of good compared to The Last Jedi, there is some bad as well, but I don’t think it outweighs the good this time. The actors are C-grade at best, although they have definitely improved. Rey’s dull emotionless character even displayed some real emotion and the rare true smile and signs of excitement. Poe isn’t able to make a speech sound profound (more like “cleanup on aisle 5” in a grocery store), but at least he has marginally improved in his acting abilities enough to allow the suspension of disbelief – most of the time, anyway. And then there’s the diversity agenda, but that seems unavoidable today. Still, casting bad actors just because they are “minorities” detracts from the film.

Then there are the ridiculous elements. Come on, Rey can literally fly? What the heck! That’s so stupid and does not line up with Star Wars Lore, or even common sense. And what is this thing with actual teleportation and hybrid-reality visions? Are they creating a worm hole with the force? This is not in line with the original lore. People could “sense” other people due to the force, but they could not literally teleport or fight through a “force worm hole” as I’ve decided to call it. But hey, what do you expect from Disney. If you can look past these ridiculous elements, including “light speed jumping” and landing in a perilous cityscape or asteroid field, then you might actually enjoy the movie.

The actors. The main problem is that due to leftists’ ideas about gender not existing, or a million genders existing – take your pick depending on the day, Rey is this asexual character who you could cast as either a woman or a teenage boy and no one would notice, because her character is completely devoid of sexuality. That said, I’d take a dull character any day over a homosexual one. At least with a dull character, the rest of the movie is watchable.

This progressive movement to create gender-neutral characters has damaged many franchises, and Star Wars is no exception. It’s not the fact she is a woman (we were happy to have Leia as a leading character in the original movies), but rather the fact that they refuse to give her character any depth. Or, perhaps the actor playing Rey simply has no personality – but you can blame the directors for that, because they are the ones who chose her. The other actors are quite bad as well, but overall it is not too atrocious if you maintain a strong suspension of disbelief, however hard it is to do at times. It’s actually the same problem as the prequels in the early 2000s – dull actors with no depth – but these take the dullness to a new level.

Unanswered questions. It’s true. The final film in this trilogy does nothing to address the many unexplained problems. That’s ok though, because the movie is altogether a decent movie. If you were hoping for this movie to answer your questions, sadly, you’re going to have to wait – basically forever.

Comparing Rise of Skywalker To the Other Films

The Last Jedi was by far the worst of every Star Wars film (although not far behind Solo, 2018), with the original three films (4, 5, and 6 from the 70s and 80s) indisputably taking the top three places. Following in fourth best place is certainly Rogue One (2016), the first Star Wars movie since the originals to have the true Star Wars feel. It’s difficult to compare how Rise of Skywalker compares to the early 2000s prequels (1, 2, and 3), but I have to say that Rise of Skywalker is a movie that at the very least lived up to its hype, and far outweighs The Last Jedi (2017) and The Force Awakens (2016).

Conclusion: The Rise of Skywalker Is Worth Watching

It is definitely indisputable that there were certain ridiculous elements in The Rise of Skywalker, but the quality of good Star Wars themes, compelling and mostly believable storytelling, and the lack of leftist agenda, made this film, in my opinion, about as close to a true Star Wars film as we’re going to get from Disney. Is it a fantastic movie? No; and the actors are mainly to blame for that. But is it a decent Star Wars film that is worth watching? When you compare it to The Last Jedi, I would say definitely.

The bottom line is that The Rise of Skywalker is a truly enjoyable movie, and I definitely recommend for every Star Wars fan to see it. I truly think that The Rise of Skywalker saved Star Wars, if hardcore critics can get over the minor unbelievable elements or elements that stray beyond the original Star Wars lore. We’re just going to have to accept that Disney writers are taking their creative freedom to make unexplained leaps in storytelling; but as long as Disney keeps the leftist agenda out of Star Wars, we may be in for some great new Star Wars films.

Did you like or hate The Rise of Skywalker? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

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