‘Star Wars 9: The Rise of Skywalker’ (Second Look) by a Star Wars fan
Note: No spoilers.
I say ‘second look’ but in fact, I’ve only just seen the film, managing to avoid all the gossip and reviews that emerged on release since, quite frankly I didn’t care for them, nor trust them. I’d say I’m a true fan (not a crazed one), having grown up with Star Wars, so I can make my own informed judgement, and recognise where the heart of a good film lies, and what it’s bringing to the table. I’ve accepted that the most flawed areas of the saga lie in the wooden, varnished prequels, which could have been restructured and also bolstered considerably, but have come to accept some good things about those too. And I have given myself time to reflect on the still-new, final Skywalker instalment, and the saga as a whole.
Plus, I’ve now had a look at some of those reviews and comments which emerged, and they’re all as expected. It’s mainly Youtube reviewers who make a living getting hits by adopting an amusing, critical line, filling up their streaming time with enough talk and not enough thought, and who generally end up missing out on the greatness of a film. They highlight phantom clickbait traits, or examine plot holes in sensational detail and end up digging and falling down those holes themselves. And then there’s the supposed ‘Last Jedi’ ‘backlash’ they can supposedly tap into. Or some at least, who tried.
But the truth (to me) is that this film managed to deactivate nearly all of this commentary and swollen expectations, and on second viewing these guys will start to eat their words. Many film critics too, may also re-think their original views, and their frankly strange ratings. Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score, as one example, is already proving it.
This is because The Rise of Skywalker really is a quality film. Simple as that. It infuses all the Star Wars traits you’d expect, with a deep emotional center, superb parallels between characters, tributes and references to the previous films (yes, including Last Jedi) and ramping up the energy to greater levels. The action and pace is souped up and with essential, interwoven humour, emotion and battle scenes. The cracking pace is set from the outset, and escalates continually from there. There is a sense, again, that these characters are in danger. There are…