I have finally reached the end of my re-watching of the Skywalker Saga. The three trilogies each have their own distinct styles, and some I preferred to others.
Coming out of the cinema, I enjoyed The Rise of Skywalker. The Palpatine plot did seem to come out of nowhere, and maybe that’s a side effect of the rather broken planning for all three films. I didn’t have a problem with it in itself (it was very much out of the ark Empire comics, which was one of the better EU storylines, and the visuals were very WH40K like, which is good), but some hints before hand would have nice. The end of the film was also very well done, with Rey returning to Tatooine and claiming the Skywalker name.
Re-watching, my thoughts are that it felt a lot like a Marvel film. For me, that’s not a positive comment – it was very disjointed, with action scene following action scene without anything to make them flow together in a good way. Unfortunately for Marvel, I’m not a fan of superhero stories, so there’s rarely enough their to keep my interested. At least in RoS there were interesting characters to make up for that.
Rey and Kylo Ren have definitely grown into their role, and their characters have become more interesting as the the films have progressed. Fin is no longer annoying, and Poe is slightly more grounded.
There were fewer amazing visuals in this film compared to the previous two. The imagery for the fight on the Death Star ruins was probably the ones which stood out the most. The end scenes on Exegol could have been good if there had been a bit more lighting. As I said, it felt very WH40K in theme which I very much approved of, I just would have liked to have been able to see it better.
I did really like the way they’ve gone with the Force connection between between Rey and Kylo – not only being able to see other, but to interact and for items to pass between them. It makes no sense, but as a cinematic effect I thought it worked really well. They also took it to its conclusion at the end – Rey being able to pass a lightsaber to Ben in their final fight.
I think the question of whether Ben would turn and survive at the end had the same problem as it did for Vader – realistically, how is that ever going to work? Okay, their friends and family might welcome them back, but after murdering billions and bringing suffering to possibly trillions more, how is any form of apology and redemption ever going to make up for that?
I have mixed feelings about The Rise of Skywalker. Though bits of it were good, much of it felt disjointed and just not that exciting. The ending was good, I like Palpatine coming back and I thought the Rey/Kylo arc went about as well as it could have. It just wasn’t as well put together as I would have liked. Still enjoyable to much, but I preferred the middle film of the final trilogy.