The New “Star Wars Movie” is, in Fact, a Star Wars Movie


David O’Grady, Staff Writer

Let me explain. Although you most likely went in and out of the movie, or will, knowing it is an installment in the franchise, I’m pushing you to go further. Your “typical Star Wars movie” is a war in the stars, a classic battle of good and evil, and maybe some fun characters along the way. The Last Jedi is an example of what not to do in Star Wars: It’s boring, goes off-task by moving between too many characters, and is ultimately too grounded.

Previous installments that pull off the “typical Star Wars movie” better are the entire original trilogy, Revenge of the Sith, and The Force Awakens. The latest installment, The Rise of Skywalker, pulls this off as well.

The character arcs in Rise of Skywalker are actually pretty well-done for a movie that puts its exposition into an hour-long first act. Without getting into heavy spoilers, the characters all have a game-changing event happen to them. Kylo Ren has the biggest arc in the movie, and was my personal favorite character in this trilogy and in the movie.

Poe Dameron, a character that was mostly overshadowed in the past two movies by other characters, really gets a chance to shine in Rise of Skywalker. His grappling with responsibility and his past is a compelling arc that lets Oscar Isaac finally have some time to shine in the role.

Finn’s character specifically is one that has already had his character developed. Nearing the end of The Last Jedi, Finn was apparently going to sacrifice himself for his friends, but was saved at the last second. It turns out that he still has ways to go, as throughout the story he meets people that he can relate to (a seemingly new idea for the franchise). I am still a little disappointed with his lack of use in this movie, but his inclusion isn’t a negative.

As for the plot points, they aren’t really on-point for the first hour or so of the movie, but as the pace picks up, the characters and conflict are further fleshed out and actually are pretty well done. For example, at around the two-hour mark, a huge lightsaber battle that the whole trilogy has been building towards does not disappoint.

One of the best stories in the movie is Rey’s slow turn towards the dark side. She does some pretty messed-up things in this movie as the pull of evil slowly changes her mannerisms and general state. Without giving too many spoilers, she’s a lot more compelling and has what I considered to be a good twist on the past movies’ story.

The amount of fan service in this movie is one of the most contentious points of most reviews. The return of many characters and past references in the movie appear to be aimed at catering to older Star Wars fans rather than newer, having apparently alienated the general audience as opposed to the older fans. The problem with integrating this much fan service into a movie is that those who aren’t hardcore fans won’t understand it and feel left out. Additionally, some hardcore fans may even get angry over the amount of fan service as opposed to actual new content.

The “big bad” of the movie is probably the worst part. They’re not badly acted, but the pure inclusion of the character in the movie needs explanation, and we don’t get any explanation at all. The“JJ cut” is a rumored directorial cut that included all the stuff the people wanted out of the movie, but it’s not necessarily confirmed. However, it’s what the movie needs. That many plot points and details would require more time than the movie itself took, creating a movie with a 3 hour or more run time, which Disney didn’t really feel like was needed. Taking risks in the Star Wars franchise has never really worked before, which is assumed to be why this movie plays it safe and keeps the fan service to the max.