Ever since Star Wars: The Last Jedi came out 2 years ago, the debate about whether it was a good movie or not has not ceased. It’s one of the most polarising movies in recent history. Fans are divided into two factions- half of them believe that the movie ruined the franchise and the memories of their childhood. The other half thinks that the movie introduced new things in the franchise and didn’t just pander to the fans by the means of nostalgia.
Now the concluding film Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker is here, which tries in its earnest to please fans by changing things that they didn’t like in the previous film. The fandom is still not happy with the way ‘the saga’ ended. And the hundred different plot errors only further aggravate them.
Rian Johnson vs J.J. Abrams
Episode 7 (The Force Awakens) and Episode 9 (The Rise of Skywalker) was directed by J.J. Abrams, but Episode 8 (The Last Jedi) was helmed by Rian Johnson. Either they should have let J.J. Abrams direct all 3 movies, or let Rian Johnson continue as the director for Episode 9.
Abrams wanted to pay homage to the original movies, while Johnson wanted to take them in a different direction altogether. Their vision for the film series is in stark contrast to one another. Therefore, the trilogy and its theme became a mess.
Kylo Ren smashes his helmet that’s similar to Darth Vader’s helmet in The Last Jedi which symbolizes that the new films and its characters have a separate identity, but in The Rise of Skywalker, the helmet is restored. This makes Abrams’ intentions about the film’s theme abundantly clear.
People didn’t like that Luke threw away his lightsaber in The Last Jedi which embodies the theme of ‘stop holding on to past relics’, perfectly.
In Rise Of The Skywalker, Luke reprimands Rey for throwing away her lightsaber by telling her, “A Jedi’s weapon ought to be treated with more respect” which simultaneously lambastes his actions in the last movie as well. This completely undercuts the narrative that Johnson sets up.
Lando Calrissian piloted the Millennium Falcon in Return Of The Jedi and he is back in this movie doing the same. We even go back to Tatooine from the first film ( Star Wars: A New Hope). The two movies take the opposite approach to things, which makes the storyline confusing.
Palpatine is back
“Let the past die, kill it if you have to.”
Apparently, Abrams doesn’t agree with Kylo Ren. This film brings back Emperor Palpatine who was thought to be dead.
This was done to regenerate fan’s interest in the franchise as the villainous Sith lord has always been everyone’s favorite antagonist. His return was teased in the trailers to sell the tickets. During the climax of Return Of The Jedi, Darth Vader redeemed himself by throwing the Emperor down a reactor shaft leading to the Emperor’s demise. However, he is mortally electrocuted in the process.
But since Palpatine is still alive Vader’s sacrifice seems pointless. This strips away the accomplishments of the characters from the original trilogy which enrages fans a lot.
Since Rey was introduced in The Force Awakens, fans have been speculating about her parentage. There were a lot of theories on the internet that linked her to some previously established characters in the Star Wars universe. Some people really wanted her to be related to Obi Van Kenobi. Fans were very disappointed that none of their theories became canon.
To subvert expectations, Rian Johnson makes it seem that she was just a scavenger from Jakku whose parents were filthy junk traders, she was a nobody. The last scene in Episode 8 wanted to give the message that anyone can become a Jedi and that bloodlines don’t matter. He wanted the franchise to be more than just the family saga of Skywalkers and Palpatines.
However, Episode 9 changes this by revealing that she is, in fact, the granddaughter of Palpatine. In the end, Rey even proclaims that she is Rey Skywalker, why can’t she just be ‘Rey’? She was a badass, even if she didn’t have any powerful ancestors.
Rose Deserved Better
Actress Kelly Marie Tran dealt with a lot of sexist and racist trolls on social media as people disliked her character, Rose Tico. The hatred filled comments made her quit Instagram. Star Wars fans are notorious for such incidents. She is an Asian actress so people were quick to call the inclusion of her character in The Last Jedi as PC agenda.
To placate the fans, she was barely in the new movie. Some people joked that the slugs and other minor aliens got more screen time than her. Rose conveniently stays behind to repair ships while the trio of Rey, Finn, and Poe go on adventures.
She was introduced as a potential member of the group and just because the initial reaction was not good, her character was abandoned.
Her character shared a kiss with Finn in the last movie, but I guess it’s too much for people to have a Black and an Asian character as a couple because in this movie the kiss and their relationship is never acknowledged.
This year Avengers Endgame was successfully able to complete the arcs of some characters. It allowed for the culmination of the Infinity Gauntlet storyline in a way that satisfied the fans. This is something that Disney’s Star Wars series failed to provide.
This franchise is decades-old so the disappointing finale leaves a bad taste in the mouth. But maybe, with the new spinoff series that has been commissioned for Disney+, Star Wars still has a chance to get back in the audience’s grace.
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