The end of the saga…or so we were told.
To have a good story, do you need a good plot and good characters? Yes, but I emphasize the characters a little more. To me, characters are the ones that stay with you. Plot is important too, but if you have an amazing, intricate and compelling plot, and the characters are weak and bland, then the story probably won’t be memorable. I’d say with the Rise of Skywalker, we had OKAY characters and an OKAY plot (well I personally like Rey a lot). You can read my review on writrwave.com to see that I didn’t hate this movie. However, from a storytelling aspect, this failed to deliver some things. First of all, the explanations. This is the most glaring. From Palpatine returning, to the dagger being shaped like the Death Star that we clearly saw blow up, and the powers that Rey and Kylo have that just appear out of nowhere…the word rushed is an understatement. Then, the character deaths have nearly no emotional impact except for maybe one. Why? Well, Chewy’s death did impact Rey (I barely remember anyone else being sad actually), but that doesn’t count because they show us he’s alive very soon after. Then C3PO’s death is also erased, literally. Leia died ALONE, and we only see Poe sort of sad later…So I guess that can count a little bit…and then when Kylo dies we see Rey reacting, which I’d say was powerful because you can see her face processing something that she will remember for the rest of her life. That death worked. See, on screen, and it can be a little different in books because you can get into people’s heads, but on screen for a death to really hit you, you have to see the reactions in people. The deaths in Lord of the Rings, for example…heck, Obi Wan’s death in New Hope where Luke screams, and the Force Awakens did this well with Han’s death. In fact, Han’s death affects Kylo for the entire trilogy.
Then you have the characters bonding. Did they really bond? They argue a little bit In Rise of Skywalker. Rose had bonded with Fin and they still have a small connection. Rey and Kylo’s bond is the strongest. The strength of the series is their bond. However, to kill him off was a bit strange to me. We knew his redemption was coming…and you can argue that was up in the air. But I would say we knew it would happen, just like we knew Rey wasn’t going to turn to the Dark Side. This is DISNEY.
Personally I like Rey, and everyone okay…except Palpatine, and Rey’s parents. Palpatine had no reason to come back. He could have been compelling…if he was back in episode 7.
There are also things they did as reactions. Barely including Rose, making Luke respect the lightsaber…when you tell a story, how much are you supposed to do for the reader, vs to tell a good story. How much of the story do you need to sacrifice in order to satisfy people? Well, I think this made sacrifices. However, the sacrifice were very technical. What I mean by that is, the things I mentioned earlier – the explanations – were mainly what they left out. I think if you are going to sacrifice something, leaving out explanations is better than leaving out certain things. However, so many of these explanations, like Rey’s parents, were tied to the characters so much, that it crossed over the lines of sacrificing that character development that we need.
Overall, the movie is good…just like eating candy is good. Stories should be about people, growing and changing…and they impact the audience. At the end of this, Rey calls herself a Skywalker. Truth be told, that was bold…yes, calling herself a Palpatine would have been bold on Disney’s part. But for Rey to say that…I think is intriguing on HER part.
The story may not have been fully satisfying, but it’s not as if it wasn’t compelling. If I can root for the characters, there’s something right with the story…it doesn’t have to be perfect.