The Rise of Skywalker

I did it. I dared. I went to the cinema and watched “Star Wars – The Rise of Skywalker”. I was a little afraid after the eighth episode which was had been saved from being a disaster only by Luke Skywalker and Yoda. But it is the way of a Jedi to overcome his fear. Fear the path to the dark side is.

The light side

When “The Force awakens” started I went to cinema without any expectations. He, who does not expect anything, cannot be disappointed. So I hadn’t been disappointed. Back then.

Two years later I hoped, “The Last Jedi” would follow the seventh film instead of the spin off “Rogue One”. Two years later again I only hoped the finale of the Skywalker saga would be no total disaster.

No, it is not an absolute disaster. The movie show the usual good pictures and beautiful light saber choreographies. There is even a kind of space battle but the makers did the movie without jumping from one epic battle to the next.

Opposite to its predecessor “The Rise of Skywalker” has got even a story. While “The Last Jedi” appeared to me to be just some stuff to fill a gap the ninth episode tells of a search. At the surface it is the search for some ancient artifact and the Emperors secret hideout. May I say this? Yes, I think I may. We already know about Palpatine’s return from the trailers. Please unread the last lines if You don’t know the trailer.

Beneath the surface it is a search for one’s self, an identity. It is Rey’s search for who she really is as well as Finn’s search for his own destiny. The saga’s last part does exactly what the former movies missed: character developement

Though one can get over the lack of character developement in “The Force Awakens” – all the new figures just meet themselves – it should have started latest in part eight. But even Rey, the last of the Jedi, only learnes how to use the force but doesn’t get any real developement. It’s different this time.

I was most curious how the makers would deal with the far too early death of Carrie Fisher. Sadly there were many bad examples of digitally reviving the dead or rejuvenating older people. Star Wars is among them with the crappy animations of Peter Cushing and the young Carrie Fisher in “Rogue One”.

“The Rise of Skywalker” is of much higher quality. Leia is Leia just as if Carrie Fisher stood in front of the camera herself. In the one scene, where a young Leia and young Luke were needed, had been dark enough to conceal the rejuvenation.

For all those things I can praise the ninth episode. Still there is…

The dark side

Where there is light there is also shadow. Sometimes the light dominates. Sometimes the shadows are bigger.

The first shadows of this movie showed up in the opening. A mysterious signal is heard throughout the galaxy. The voice of the Emperor. Well, the return of Palpatine is no secret. We all know from the trailers. But within the story it is a secret better unveiled in the movie itself with Supreme Leader Kylo Ren finding out about the threat for his power. Or better a movie before.

Kylo Ren kills hundreds on his own. He is powerful enough. No problem with this as long as he wouldn’t do it in slow motion. Is this still Star Wars or is it “300”?

By the way: Why does every meeting of Rey and Kylo end up in a light saber duel? Both are not only strong with the Force. They are superior. To stop a starting space ship by sheer will isn’t a thing, everybody is able to. So why do they sword fights even when Kylo isn’t around in body? Shouldn’t it be a battle of minds?

Through all those duels the story, I just praised, become some stuff to fill in the gaps between two sword fights. Perhaps Rey should have escaped short before Kylo’s arrival from time to time.

While Rey finds her past – episode IX has the plot twist episode VIII should have had – there is one character who already has a past: Poe Dameron. The sad thing is that Poes past came quite suddenly. The best pilot in part seven, a stubborn in eight he is suddenly the new Han Solo.

The way Poe acts pointed that way all the time of course. But Han’s past came into play in the middle of the original trilogy in the person of Lando Calrissian. Why Poe’s shady past is playing its part – and a very small one – just now will most likely remain the secret of the makers.

I could talk about plot holes for hours. The worst thing is that could have been avoided. The film just had to be longer. “The Rise of Skywalker Part 1 and 2” would have given the story room enough to unfold, would have given the characters time to develope and Poe’s past as a smuggler to be told. It’s a pity that Disney has the courage to do so only in the Marvel Cinematic Universe but not with Star Wars.

All in all

“The Rise of Skywalker” is the better movie of the last trilogy. The finale of the Skywalker saga is far better than episode VIII. Still I cannot call the movie really good. There is a lot of unused potential.

The big highlight are those last pictures of Carrie Fisher we will ever see in a movie. They make a great monument.

There is nothing bad to say about the acting. Even Adam Driver, who made Ren a little boy I wanted to shake and say “Pull yourself together!” in the first two parts of the trilogy, could convince me this time. He even played better than in “The Man who killed Don Quixote” – and Driver actually saved the Don Quixote movie.

So all in all the movie is disneylike thin. It scores in details but not in whole. It’s solid work, not a must see.

Story:2.5 out of 5 stars (2.5 / 5)
Acting:3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)
Fun:3 out of 5 stars (3.0 / 5)
Music:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)
Average:3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

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