December 23, 2019
I just watched Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and I can’t really remember anything that happened in it. I’m literally less than an hour out from finishing it.
There were people and creatures flying around in planes, there were tedious fight scenes, there were people making seemingly emotional statements to one another, there was an evil person who was going to take over the universe, but none of it appeared to fit together into anything resembling a plot.
I don’t even think you could talk about “plot holes,” because there was simply a giant hole where one would have expected a plot.
I am here discussing the film simply as a stand-alone, without all of the baggage of the previous two films in the series, let alone the expectations created by the fact that it is the supposed final entry in the most beloved film series in cinema history.
There was no point at which any character was sympathetic. But beyond that, there was no point at which their motivations made sense. It appeared as though they were simply taking actions at random, while feeling very confused and torn about these actions.
Not only were the events and characters of the film seemingly random and impossible for the brain to tie together into a coherent story, the individual scenes themselves were intensely confusing, and it was often difficult to ascertain basic actions taking place, including simply the movements of the characters. The fight scenes featured people jumping around and shooting or slashing at people and objects, but it was unclear who was doing what, or why.
Dialogue between characters often appeared to be simply random strings of words, where the characters would pause to make intense facial expressions for unclear reasons. This was punctuated by one-line zingers, most of which I did not understand.
There were many filler scenes of people discussing things that didn’t make any sense in a serious manner.
The setting was also unclear, as the various locations were not defined any better than why the characters were at these locations.
The underlying theme was apparently “the importance of friendship,” but the viewer cannot even understand who the characters are, let alone why they should care about them, so there was zero ability to grasp why they care about one another. There was also an attempt to portray the male and female leads as choosing between good and evil, though it was never clear what benefit they would receive from choosing either side, so again, the decisions appeared random. Of course they weren’t random, because the entire “plot,” as it were, was taken from a movie we’d already seen.
I refuse to even discuss the way that this confounding debacle fits into the franchise. Mostly I refuse to discuss it because I don’t understand it. The antagonistic dynamics between the two opposing factions – the light and dark side of the force – didn’t make any more sense than the dynamics of the interpersonal relationships of the characters (all of which appeared to be mainly dependent on an inexplicable mechanism of telepathy, which in various situations was either limitless or nonexistent for no apparent reason).
It is hard to interpret this film as anything other than a brutal attack on the people who cared about Star Wars, as well as anyone else who paid money to see it. I do not believe that it would be possible to make a movie this horrible unless you were doing it on purpose.
Finishing the film, I felt intense emotions of despair and loathing.
Saying “this is the worst movie I have ever seen in my life” sounds like hyperbole, but I am truthfully unable to imagine that it is possible for a film to be worse than Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.