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The Rise of Skywalker Criticism Thread *SPOILERS*

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9 hours ago, FTS Gecko said:

Let's go deeper.

Why did SHE have to make the sacrifice in the first place?

Holdo was a new character to the franchise - one we had zero connection with going into the movie and who gave us very little incentive to connect with h during it.

The way I saw it, she was a potential successor to Leia - again, passing the torch to a new generation of characters and actors.

And we had a beloved Rebel leader from the original series WRITTEN OUT OF THE STORY OFF SCREEN.

Just imagine for one second, if it had been Admiral Ackbar making that sacrifice.  Fatally wounded during Kylo's attack, with nothing left to lose.  And he contact Hux over the intercom to surrender.

Only to say..  "one more thing: it's a trap".  Boom.  Hyperspace.

 

So... fan service ?

 

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9 hours ago, Marinealver said:

Well if there is to be some good that comes from all of this...

 

It would have to be the inevitable Mr. Plinket Review.

I'm waiting for Mauler and Voxis to get stuck in.  Critical Drinker's already started, but rather than one 70-minute diatribe he's sensibly decided to cut it into smaller, easily digestible parts.  What a novel idea.

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10 hours ago, FTS Gecko said:

Let's go deeper.

Why did SHE have to make the sacrifice in the first place?

Holdo was a new character to the franchise - one we had zero connection with going into the movie and who gave us very little incentive to connect with h during it.

Just imagine for one second, if it had been Admiral Ackbar making that sacrifice.  Fatally wounded during Kylo's attack, with nothing left to lose.  And he contact Hux over the intercom to surrender.

Only to say..  "one more thing: it's a trap".  Boom.  Hyperspace.

Thanks been my able on holdo this whole time too! 

And dude, bro, friendo... It's a trap would have been @#$&&$#@+ awesome.

Caveat. Its not the first time I've heard that idea and I believe there's a good reason they didn't/shouldn't. I'm not sure it's a good look too have the brownish guy with a deep accent, do a suicide vehicle attack, with the name Ackbar. It's a little too close to certain real world things you know? Especially for a band of Rebels constantly getting falsely accused of being terrorists.

Now if he led them into say a secret minefield, or a gunnery Killin zone. We'd be Scott free.

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55 minutes ago, ForceSensitive said:

...Caveat. Its not the first time I've heard that idea and I believe there's a good reason they didn't/shouldn't. I'm not sure it's a good look too have the brownish guy with a deep accent, do a suicide vehicle attack, with the name Ackbar. It's a little too close to certain real world things you know? Especially for a band of Rebels constantly getting falsely accused of being terrorists...

Good point... but... 

...dude was a lobster.  A talking space lobster.  If we learned anything from Ruin Johnson's Force Fiasco, it's that we can safely keep real world politics OUT of our space opera!  😂

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20 minutes ago, That Blasted Samophlange said:

Mon Calamari are not lobsters...  despite the name they look more fish like. 
Thurm Scissorpunch is a lobster

solo-db-therm-scissorpunch-main-image_29

You're right, Calimari is much more squid than lobster.  The only thing lobster about Ackbar is the hard-boiled attitude.  OK, walking, talking, strategic space squid then.

 

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17 hours ago, ChahDresh said:

Wall of text incoming. Also spoilers.

The highlight of the sequel trilogy has always been the chemistry between and amongst the leads. RoS has that in spades-- makes it, in fact, the fulcrum upon which the movie rests. The connection between Rey and Kylo, and all that this enables and entails, is as solid a foundation as you could hope for. The actors sell it so well, even with the movie doesn't know what to do with it. Finn punches above his weight, as well, bubbling with faith-- in the Force, in the cause, in Rey. The other characters are as well drawn, charming and engaging and slimy as they should be, depending on who we're talking about. They carry the movie.

It's a movie that badly needs carrying because of flaws both subtle and gross, both generically applicable and unique to the Star Wars mythos. It's too easy to call it a bad movie and leave it at that. Make no mistake; it is. But it is one that is able to push enough buttons, to lean on its stars and wars just enough, to be a worthwhile diversion.

We can start at the micro level. One of the rules of fantasy or sci-fi stories is that you can make whatever rules you want, so long as they're consistent. Barely a few minutes in, RoS violates this with its "hyperspace skipping". The first time we hear about travel through hyperspace, it's from Han "never tell me the odds" Solo, who insists that they jump only with proper calculations done first. In RoS, the Falcon makes multiple jumps in rapid succession with nary a mention of doing the math first. I was annoyed when Cassian did a single jump in Rogue 1; this movie amplifies, magnifies the mistake. Almost as bizarre: the TIE Fighters following the Falcon follow it in its jaunt. Tracking through hyperspace was introduced in Last Jedi, of course, but it was resident only on capital ships. 

There is, throughout this movie, a tension to it in its relations to The Last Jedi. Some things it explicitly undoes, such as Rey's parentage or repairing Kylo's helmet (only for Kylo to doff it for good in the first 1/3rd of the movie); other things it grapples with uncomfortably, like hyperspace tracking, and some it handles clumsily, such as Finn's hurling at Poe "You're not Leia" (when Poe's main character arc in TLJ was growing into a leadership role Leia and Holdo were grooming him for).

Because of this entanglement, some people are using RoS as an opportunity to relitigate TLJ-- either accusing RoS of trying to bury the better movie, or blaming RoS' failures on TLJ as the unworthy predecessor. I would say that RoS commits plenty of unforced errors; many of its decisions, like hyperspace skipping, are bad in-and-of themselves, regardless of where the ideas originated.

The weirdness starts almost immediately. Kylo confronts zombie Palp and puts his lightsaber to Palp's throat. Palp offers him a fleet if he'll kill Rey. Kylo agrees, only to leave so he can go recruit Rey so she'll come with him to kill Palp and... seize the fleet...

That is, the plot only happens because Kylo inexplicably decides to take the long way around to something he could have done in the first two minutes.

This is typical of the movie: choices are made for spectacle or to give characters things to do, rather than because they make sense. The cavalry charge across the deck of a Star Destroyer turns out to be as inexplicable in the movie as it was in the trailers. Per the story, the Star Destroyers' shields are down because of the environment; in that case, if the goal is to destroy the Star Destroyer's comms, wouldn't a single starfighter strafing run be far more effective than a boarding action? If the bad guy who stabbed Rey's parents needed a wayfinder, knew he needed one, and knew where it was, why didn't he just take it instead of engraving its location on a dagger so he could come back later?

The movie makes an ambitious grab for Lord of the Rings' record-setting number of death cheats. Rey is afraid she killed Chewbacca when she blew up his transport-- oh, but he was in the *other* transport! C-3PO's memory gets wiped-- ha ha, jk, R2-D2 has him backed up. Poe's spice runner gal pal (because if we're gonna make Poe be like Han he's gotta be LIKE HAN) gets blown up along with her planet... oh, turns out she has a ship after all, good timing. Pulling this sort of thing repeatedly makes us feel as if there are no stakes. This is a series in which character deaths have meaning. When plot armor gets too visible it undermines the whole enterprise.

The film also has some JJ Abrams-specific quirks and failings: an abundance of bottomless pits and nary a guardrail to be seen; superweapon inflation; a complete mangling of time and space scaling. The Star Wars galaxy has never been large, but Lando traversing its breadth, rallying a huge fleet and escorting them all to the site of the battle, in a matter of... what, thirty minutes? Maybe an hour? I know the Falcon is fast, but darn!

And yet... when that rallied fleet arrived, when they came to the rescue when all hope seemed lost, it was still emotionally affecting. I reacted to it.

The movie can do that. It has that power. When Rey slipped Ben the lightsaber through their ForceTime connection and they engaged their respective foes in parallel, it was awesome! And when Rey and Ben came together to engage Palpatine...

...the movie let opportunity slip through its fingers.

Duality is a theme of these movies, of the Force writ large. Some people were weirded out by Rey and Ben being a "dyad in the Force"; I dug it. It was foreshadowed in TLJ and paid off brilliantly here.

For one to live and one to die, even in the fashion in which it's done here, is to let the promise of that concept go unrealized. It's especially so in light of the Kylo-Rey relationship. What Kylo offered Rey-- explicitly in TLJ but implicitly here-- is the promise of belonging. What Rey offered Ben was acceptance and forgiveness. Those are powerful themes! There are so many things they could have done, directions they could have gone, in mining those themes. Instead they flee from them.

There's so much more I could talk about, so many choices that are weird or ill-fitting or that don't pay off. But that, I think, is what I come away with most strongly from this movie: that sense of squandered potential. RoS is an entertaining but bad movie. It could have been so much more.

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I'm a father of four. Today as I was putting on my 4-year old's shoes I looked around the apartment at the mess of wrapping paper from Christmas morning. She asked me, "When the kids left with Mom, why did you shut the door? It closes by itself."

"Well, dear," I replied, "Daddy doesn't like loud noises, and the door makes a loud noise if we don't close it gently." I then added, "I also don't like messes. Messes and loud noises are two things I really dislike..."

My brain caught up to my words and I said, "But I love kids. I'm not sure how that works. Kids are basically loud messes, but I enjoy being with them so much. Especially you." We hugged and then followed the rest of the family out to the car.

I share this little anecdote because this is what the sequel trilogy was for me. Yeah, sure, the movies have flaws, but they mean so much to me that I dare not define then by their flaws. I just don't let it get to me because I love the material so much. In the case of the characters, Kylo Ren won me over in The Force Awakens, and he has kept me going back to see each successive movie. And I wasn't disappointed with his or Rey's arcs in the slightest! Boy, did I cry during The Rise of Skywalker. The whole movie was extremely rewarding. What a great ending!

***

P.S. Where's the thread that I'm supposed to gush about how much I loved this movie? I couldn't find it on these forums, so I posted here.

Edited by Parakitor

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Hey, If you liked it, more power to you.

I've been having a bit of a think about Dark Empire - the comic series that always was one of two suggested "follow-on trilogies" alongside the zahn trilogy.

Now to a degree, it's what we got. Secret sith capital world, resurgent empire from hidden fortress, Luke losing himself to despair, Palpatine reborn and looking to consume Han and Leia's kids, superguns wasting planets from the other side of the galaxy, the new republic collapsing back into something that looks more like the old rebel alliance, an ancient jedi temple world older than recorded history, you name it. 

It might be worth a comparison of the two.

Things that spring to mind:

  1. The war against various imperial warlords is still going on in DE. Now given the time gap to TFA, this isn't workable - if "The war" was still going on after a quarter of a decade, it's going to undercut the victory of endor.
  2. The imperials make heavy use of droids. This is - ironically - pre prequel films, so the separatist droid armies hadn't been seen on screen yet, but a heavy component of battle droids helps underline how the reborn empire copes with a lack of manpower. Having the xystons being droid-based would help explain why they were sat there like lemons with their shields down.
  3. Byss is secure and hard to find, but the heroes are still able to smuggle themselves onto it with good-guy-smuggler contacts. Since it sounds like half of Seinar-Jaemus relocated to Exegol to build stuff there, implying the only way to find the place was ancient magical mcguffin seems wierd.
  4. The galaxy gun is basically a hyper-accelerator - flinging a shielded warship through hyperspace. It doesn't really affect anything per se, but the sequence of kam and Luke trying to stop a warhead is kind of cool,  and you don't have the shot watched from a third planet light-years from firer or target in real time.
  5. You do have a superlaser-armed ship, but it's an SSD - the Eclipse.
  6. Palpatine is revealed pretty early on, but his return is still not thrown out in the opening crawl...

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10 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Hey, If you liked it, more power to you.

I've been having a bit of a think about Dark Empire - the comic series that always was one of two suggested "follow-on trilogies" alongside the zahn trilogy.

Now to a degree, it's what we got. Secret sith capital world, resurgent empire from hidden fortress, Luke losing himself to despair, Palpatine reborn and looking to consume Han and Leia's kids, superguns wasting planets from the other side of the galaxy, the new republic collapsing back into something that looks more like the old rebel alliance, an ancient jedi temple world older than recorded history, you name it. 

It might be worth a comparison of the two.

[snip]

Woah, I almost read that, but I stopped myself. I've actually never read the Dark Empire series before, but my friend loaned me his copy after we saw the movie together. I'll come back and read your thoughts after I've finished it. I'm excited because it's always been there in the periphery of fandom, but I never made the effort to track it down and read it myself.

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3 hours ago, LTuser said:

I have the full comic collection of it, but the art really turned me off a lot.

I rather liked it.

https://tatooinetimes.com/from-dark-empire-to-the-rise-of-skywalker/

There's actually another person's comparison of the two here, with a few points of similarity I forgot; the over-the-shoulder luke v walkers show, and (as it happens), dirty tricks via force projection (I'd forgotten that was in there!)

luke-vs-walker.jpg

im9rapbn1c401.jpg?width=640&crop=smart&a

 

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I enjoyed, but some of the choice are just baffeling and stupid. Other things are amazing. Very prequel-esque in that regard, only that those have a coherent vision. First impression ranking now would be

  1. ESB
  2. ANH
  3. TLJ
  4. TFA
  5. RotS
  6. (R1)
  7. RotJ
  8. PM
  9. (Solo)
  10. RoS
  11. AotC

Although the last 4 are very close to each other.

I liked how much it pulled from old canon force abilities (force healing, essence tranfer) without just making carbon copies and did enjoy how the force-bond was developed. Some character moments (especially the intel-run in the beginning) worked very well. Rey being a Palpatine is just awkward and I seriously need some explanation on how Sheevs familiy planning went. Always was one of my least favourite fan-theories. Every Star Destroyer being a Death Star feels excessive (though to be fair with the hard-on Sheev has for planetary destruction that is exactly what he would comission). Palpatines return felt way too abrupt and in a better planned trilogy it would have closed out the last movie.

Trilogy-closing thoughts:
It is the trilogy with the weakest vision but with two of my favourite movies. One of my favourite times to engage with Star Wars media. I'm overall very happy it was created and though the end is a bit dissapointing it did close things out well enough for me.

Edited by Admiral Deathrain

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34 minutes ago, Admiral Deathrain said:

Trilogy-closing thoughts:

It is the trilogy with the weakest vision...

I'm not sure I agree entirely.  I think the vision was there, it just went - in a lot of cases - unrealised.

There was so much potential.  Reuniting Carrie, Mark, Harrison.  Introducing an entirely new generation of protagonists and passing the torch.  With modern effects, Star Wars has never looked so beautiful.

My favourite film of the sequels was The Force Awakens (for the first half, at least).  The introduction of Kylo, Poe, Finn and Rey were all well done.

The biggest argument in favour of unrealised vision would have been Finn.  Finn as a conflicted character was so full of potential during the first film, but he never again reached the heights he did when standing up to Kylo in The Force Awakens.

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40 minutes ago, FTS Gecko said:

I'm not sure I agree entirely.  I think the vision was there, it just went - in a lot of cases - unrealised.

There was so much potential

I'm pretty sure @Admiral DeathrainDeathrain meant that it was the trilogy with the least cohesive story. As in, the story had no vision of where it wanted to go. You're using an interpretation of the word that is slightly different (though I think I agree with you if that's how you define vision). Even the original TFA teaser made us believe we'd have our heroes back in the foreground with Han's comment, "Chewie, we're home." Not sure if their vision was having a new cast and the OT heroes as supporting characters, but maybe it was. If so, that vision was realized.

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9 minutes ago, Parakitor said:

I'm pretty sure @Admiral DeathrainDeathrain meant that it was the trilogy with the least cohesive story. As in, the story had no vision of where it wanted to go.

That's fair enough - one of the biggest criticisms of the trilogy has been the apparent lack of plan or outline for a three-film connected narrative, which has led to it feeling... incomplete at best, incoherent at worst as a trilogy.

For clarity, I never really expected that the OT characters would be front and centre - this should definitely be Rey, Kylo, Finn and Poe's story, with the OT characters in support passing over the torch.

I just wish it had been handled with a but more care and forethought.  If it had, we could easily have been talking about this being a new beginning for the film series, rather than a very final end.

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The story has a near literal torch that can be passed and they just threw it away over their shoulder in the second film.

Of course they wasted the first firing up of the hero saber in Force Awakens on Finn who gets his butt kicked. Any "potential" that they knew what story they were trying to tell went out the window right there in my opinion. But then I already knew what kind of film-maker JJ was. 

 

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1 hour ago, Frimmel said:

The story has a near literal torch that can be passed and they just threw it away over their shoulder in the second film.

But you do understand that JJ put RJ in a horrible spot with that ending, right? Throwinging away the lightsaber (or any comic relief) was one of very few ways to get out of it.

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