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Jug McKenzie

Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker (December 2019)

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The thing that annoyed me about the massive super fleet of planet destroying ships is the continued ease with which super weapons are built and destroyed. It renders it all a bit meaningless.  As soon as I saw it I was thinking ‘well that must be getting destroyed very shortly’.  No threat from it at all. At least with the Death Star there was a bit of story behind it. 
 

Also, why keep the entire fleet in the same spot? Why have two antennas to get them into orbit?  Why launch them all at the same time? If they are manned by stolen children then thousands of relatively innocent people got killed.  I know these aren’t overly pertinent issues but rather than wondering why Finn was having the grand national on the mothership and how did Lando get his massive armada together in such a short time, I was dwelling on them.

 

Perhaps I am just no fun.

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The amount of exposition and setting up necessary in the first 15 minutes to completely redirect the story, sideline unpopular characters, introduce new ones and get Carrie Fisher to sound like she was taking part from beyond the grave was impressively bewildering. 

 

At the end the sheer amount of destroyers and rebel-ships was absolutely absurd and made the fleets look like wallpaper or duvet covers. Both available at your local Disney Store. Would buy.

 

 

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9 hours ago, choddo said:

Ah now that’s where you’re wrong. I quite liked it for the spectacle and a couple of good ideas but the plot points that “needed to be wrapped up almost immediately”? That’s Abrams all over. He has no idea where any of those plot points were going to go and his wrapping up is to just drop them. It’s like the polar bear all over again but circa 20 times in 2 hours.


It bothered me less here than in TFA or the first couple of Star Treks. Poe’s girlfriend, Lando’s ‘daughter??’, Sith planet, Ghost fleet death-star rays, Meet the Palpatine’s, Snoke-on-a-rope, memory Han, when is a force ghost just a guy that can do stuff?’ and a load more, could all have had their own trilogy. None of them were as annoying as the throw away use of Star Killer base, Han or Vulcan for me, and mostly I just thought, ok, that’s a bit interesting and could be fleshed out one day. Not unlike how I felt about Rian Johnson’s script. Msin difference being that Johnson’s film at least had some kind of Pacing to its structure.

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1 hour ago, K said:

Yeah, the ancient Sith planet ran on mysterious ancient technology that was known to that extinct species but lost to the galaxy at large. It was a classic sci-fi mcguffin, I don’t think it needs to be explained any more than that. We don’t need to see the logistics of crewing those ships, any more than we need to see them loading up loo roll and pillows. 

 

The ancient Sith planet was one of the few things I liked about this, it was properly cosmic and creepy. It's also completely undermined (for me) when it's shown that this ancient mystical planet is supposed to be mass producing one of the most famous ships in the galaxy. Why couldn't it have been a fleet of something else, something original and weird and Sith like? Why did it have to be Super Star Destroyers, beyond giving the audience yet another thing that they recognise from before? It's just daft and lazy and throws up a a load of easily avoided questions, like 'why now?'. It's telling that they never cut away to any of them besides the one that seemingly has the entire First Order on it.

 

Don't even get me started on the dagger, who exactly was supposed to have made that and why? Inscribed with an ancient dead language that nobody understand but by its very nature must have been made in the last 30 years.

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Best not to think too much about it. Like, why is there an easily destroyable turret necessary to launch a million Star Destroyers? Because nonsense plot that can’t have the baddies winning. And what happened to the Star Destroyer that blew up Jumanjidax world?

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1 hour ago, K said:

Yeah, the ancient Sith planet ran on mysterious ancient technology that was known to that extinct species but lost to the galaxy at large. It was a classic sci-fi mcguffin, I don’t think it needs to be explained any more than that. We don’t need to see the logistics of crewing those ships, any more than we need to see them loading up loo roll and pillows. 

 

I liked that the people on the Sith ships had slightly different uniforms than the First Order (they had red detailing) so while he was plotting in his lair he had a team of minions bringing him different fabrics and designs...

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Caught this, somewhat unplanned, a couple of nights ago. I wasn't actively avoiding it, as I did (to this day) with the last of the prequel trilogy, but I was in no rush either, as my enthusiasm gradually waned over the course of the previous two installments. I thought originally that TFA was mostly a decent stab at resurrecting the whole thing, and probably Abrams was a reasonable choice for that one, but subsequently they - that is, everyone with the power to make any decisions on the matter - really dropped the ball from that somewhat promising starting point. None of the films offended that much individually, but I think the whole ended up even less than the sum of its parts, not least because quite a few of those parts were actively fighting against one another. 

 

I did genuinely hate the opening of this film though, and would have walked out if it had carried on in that vein for much longer. Sure, why not throw in what, in any sane world, would be a climactic death-defying escape in the Millennium Falcon in a throwaway couple of minutes at the start of the film, sandwiched in between 650 other things frantically and meaninglessly happening. Of course, here's one of the many places where the trilogy has suffered from the higher level choices made, as practically an entire film's worth of exposition has to be boiled down into a hyperactive blur of nothing. I'm always down for a bit of in media res but here it's tossed in as carelessly as most of the other techniques that Abrams has ruthlessly appropriated.

 

That Film Crit Hulk article that was linked recently better and more thoroughly articulates my thoughts on Abrams than I can but I would at least say that, unlike with TFA, he seemed completely the wrong choice for this film where, drawing the trilogy together, things needed weight and emotion and meaning and frankly he's just abysmal at all of those, deliberately and immediately undoing the few moments of gravitas that do sneak in. I find any praise for his efforts a bit bizarre when you could drop in one of a number of mediocre action blockbuster directors and get largely the same result here. Is this really much different or worse than some of Bay's results with Transformers?

 

I wouldn't even classify myself as a major SW fan; my disappointment is chiefly because this is a badly made film and overall a badly realised trilogy, not because of some notion of sacrilege. Neither are a complete disaster - that end of the spectrum is still far in the distance, firmly anchored by, respectively, TPM and the prequel trilogy as a whole - but the squandered opportunity is what grates. However manufactured the Marvel oeuvre may be, and certainly not arguing that they're perfect films, I'd say - again, as a fairly casual fan of it all - that they essentially fulfill their realistic potential and, for example, thoroughly earned everything in Endgame. I don't so much mind the new SW films catering to younger audiences and modern blockbuster expectations; I just wish I felt the same way about them.

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I just dont get what kylo achieved at all in being bad. He could have been good, still had a mum and dad and a decent life. Instead they all died for what? To be a shite supreme leader for two years? Why did thee baddies invest so much in him when he was so wet and how did no one forsee his utter incompetence at being bad? He could have killed Rey on numerous occasions and didn't, for me that would have been enough to show he wasn't up to being a supreme leader

 

Also who is good and bad is just a matter of perspective. How many hundreds of storm troopers did the goodies kill in these films and thousands at the end when they blew up the fleet. Each with families, homes. I Dont see what makes them so riteous and justified to kill everyone else. 

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I found the Hulk article quite a good read but also uneven. He accuses Abrams of not knowing how to tell a story, which is exactly what he did in the TFA. Also, the story in Rise is at least more coherent than the one in the TLJ in my opinion. The real problem has always been Johnson's film, which was a total mess compared to what Abrams had started. The Rise is just an effort to patch up and salvage whatever can be salvaged from the TLJ to create the feel -at least- of a properly designed trilogy. 

 

If Abrams was in charge of all three films the story would be more coherent and it would probably have a proper direction. Granted, it would be total fan service, which would probably make it a borefest, but it would not be the mess we ended up with.

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Is it just me, or is making three supposedly linked films costing hundreds of millions of dollars without a pre-prepared story arc somewhat daft? Worked the first time I guess, but is just ridiculous when you have Marvel plotting things effortlessly over way more movies.

 

For what it’s worth, I thought TLJ was a better film than TFA by quite some margin. Probably better than ROS as well, which was basically the blueprint for a trilogy stuffed into one movie.  

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17 minutes ago, Talk Show Host said:

I found the Hulk article quite a good read but also uneven. He accuses Abrams of not knowing how to tell a story, which is exactly what he did in the TFA. Also, the story in Rise is at least more coherent than the one in the TLJ in my opinion. The real problem has always been Johnson's film, which was a total mess compared to what Abrams had started. The Rise is just an effort to patch up and salvage whatever can be salvaged from the TLJ to create the feel -at least- of a properly designed trilogy. 

 

If Abrams was in charge of all three films the story would be more coherent and fun and it would have a proper direction. Granted, it would be total fan service, which would probably make it a borefest, but it would not be the mess we ended up with.

There's no way this is this more coherent than TLJ, some strands of it may be uneven but that film is full of characters doing things for deliberate and consistent thematic reasons. This is worse than Into Darkness when it comes to pointless, haphazard shit happening all the time.

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1 minute ago, CarloOos said:

 

There's no way this is more coherent than TLJ, some strands may be uneven but that film is full of characters doing things for deliberate and consistent thematic reasons. This is worse than Into Darkness when it comes to pointless, haphazard shit happening all the time.

 

That is exactly how I feel about the TLJ. 

 

I get your point though. I am not saying that this is some kind of good storytelling or anything, it's mostly shit. I am just saying that most of its shit comes from an effort to correct the incoherent mess of TLJ. TFA was a much more solid -if uninspired- movie than TLJ.

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Isn't TFA basically just a poor imitation of ANH.  I would suggest that is the only reason it has any semblance of coherence and even at that it is littered with plot holes.

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6 minutes ago, Gringo said:

Isn't TFA basically just a poor imitation of ANH.  I would suggest that is the only reason it has any semblance of coherence and even at that it is littered with plot holes.

 

Yep, it's all run and shout plot for the first hour too.

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He may be well past his best, but at least TFA had Lawrence Kasdan helping out scripting instead of the guy who brought us 'Martha? But that's my mum's name too!'.

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1 hour ago, CarloOos said:

 

The ancient Sith planet was one of the few things I liked about this, it was properly cosmic and creepy. It's also completely undermined (for me) when it's shown that this ancient mystical planet is supposed to be mass producing one of the most famous ships in the galaxy. Why couldn't it have been a fleet of something else, something original and weird and Sith like? Why did it have to be Super Star Destroyers, beyond giving the audience yet another thing that they recognise from before? It's just daft and lazy and throws up a a load of easily avoided questions, like 'why now?'. It's telling that they never cut away to any of them besides the one that seemingly has the entire First Order on it.

 

Don't even get me started on the dagger, who exactly was supposed to have made that and why? Inscribed with an ancient dead language that nobody understand but by its very nature must have been made in the last 30 years.

 

I really loved the Sith planet, especially the way that it was this mad alien monolith that forged starships in this huge plain of dust. It was hard to get my head round it geographically, but I think that helped make it seem weirder and more alien. I guess they could have had completely new Sith warships, but the new films have gone all-out to make frequent usage of the Star Destroyer silhouette as a storytelling device, so it works thematically and it provides a kind of visual linkage to the other films. New ships would have been a bit extended universe.

 

I liked the dagger too, in the same way that I liked the weird altar in the middle of a forest at the start of the film, protected by what may or may not be Darth Vader cultists. The film doesn't explain where either of them come from, and I quite like that kind of loose end in terms of storytelling technique. It reminds me of the caverns underneath Dagobah that look like they were carved by intelligent beings. Who built them, and why? Were they really there, or just part of Luke's Dark Side vision? Did Yoda just spike him with space shrooms? The film doesn't even ask the question, it just leaves you to speculate. It makes the universe feel bigger, and more mysterious.

 

There was quite a lot of that in Rise of Skywalker, like the O2 Arena crowds of Sith (or something) that started to fill the stadium towards the end of the film. What the hell were they? Revived Sith? A figment of Rey's imagination? A cinematic affectation by JJ Abrams? Something from the reshoots that is no longer explained, but was too expensive to remove? I don't know, but it was pretty cool nonetheless. 

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1 minute ago, Harsin said:

He may be well past his best, but at least TFA had Lawrence Kasdan helping out scripting instead of the guy who brought us 'Martha? But that's my mum's name too!'.

 

To be fair, that dude wrote Argo as well, which was a pretty good film. Even if you got the Coen brothers working on a Zak Snyder film, they probably couldn't counteract Zak Snyder's essential Zak Snyderishness. 

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I think you've may have invented that the monolith was an ancient alien ship forge, K. I mean it makes sense, and is a decent reason why but the movie doesn't say that, does it?

 

They say it's the Throne of the Sith so presumably it is a place strong in the dark side, like the pool in TLJ or the cave in ESB but it doesn't really make sense that the Sith have had a massive magic ship building machine for 1000s of years that they only just used now.

 

I think it's more a case of them doing stuff just because it looked cool, rather than because it made sense. When it's possible to do stuff that looks cool AND makes sense this feels a little cheap to me.

 

Though that is probably because unlike the previous two movies this didn't elicit any 'feels' for me. TFA awakens was a rehash but I forgave it because I was loving the ride, Liea space poppins was rubbish but I didn't mind because I liked the idea and Liea using the force made sense (it would be silly of her not to train) and I was emotionally invested so I could forgive it.

 

For some reason, this movie didn't hook me emotional so was less willing to look past the rushed plot.

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45 minutes ago, Gringo said:

Isn't TFA basically just a poor imitation of ANH.  I would suggest that is the only reason it has any semblance of coherence and even at that it is littered with plot holes.

 

 

No argue there. But compared to the TLJ is more solid and focused on what it wants to say and do.

 

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15 minutes ago, Talk Show Host said:

 

 

No argue there. But compared to the TLJ is more solid and focused on what it wants to say and do.

 

 

I guess you could level the same criticism at TFA and say where was the next film meant to go thematically, as it provided very little new content.  Rehash the ESB?

 

There are things I liked about TFA and TLJ despite numerous major issues I have with both.  I don't really think there is anything redeeming about TROS and I think it would be unfair to put all the blame for that on the TLJ.  The relationship between Rey and Kylo Ren is the best thing about the entire trilogy and was one of the major pillars of TLJ.  TROS resolved it in a pretty unsatisfactory way that made little to no sense.

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5 hours ago, womblingfree said:

The amount of exposition and setting up necessary in the first 15 minutes to completely redirect the story, sideline unpopular characters, introduce new ones and get Carrie Fisher to sound like she was taking part from beyond the grave was impressively bewildering. 

 

At the end the sheer amount of destroyers and rebel-ships was absolutely absurd and made the fleets look like wallpaper or duvet covers. Both available at your local Disney Store. Would buy.

 

 

 

I can't even remember now, but does the Resistance fleet achieve anything? It's the ground crew that take out the antenna and bridge. How does the Sith Armada get destroyed- I genuinely can't remember since by that time my brain was working overtime trying to work out what was going on between Palpatine, Rey and the Force!

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11 minutes ago, drmick said:

 

I can't even remember now, but does the Resistance fleet achieve anything? It's the ground crew that take out the antenna and bridge. How does the Sith Armada get destroyed- I genuinely can't remember since by that time my brain was working overtime trying to work out what was going on between Palpatine, Rey and the Force!

 

Finn and the Space Horse Crew take out the one carrying all the loo roll and the rest surrender.

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4 minutes ago, drmick said:

 

I can't even remember now, but does the Resistance fleet achieve anything? It's the ground crew that take out the antenna and bridge. How does the Sith Armada get destroyed- I genuinely can't remember since by that time my brain was working overtime trying to work out what was going on between Palpatine, Rey and the Force!


I think it gets destroyed because Palpatine, whilst conjuring a million Star Destroyers from the ether, forgot to make them be able to fly in a forward direction, thus making them sitting ducks for the billion rebel ships from all around the universe to destroy once the CB Radio tower is destroyed.

 

Rian Johnson was absolutely right, none of it matters. The entire series has been created on the fly. Abrams inability to do anything but throw as much guff and Star Wars tropes as possible at the screen is both depressing and the only thing that saves the cinematic-scatter-gun nightmare from being a disaster.

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28 minutes ago, drmick said:

 

I can't even remember now, but does the Resistance fleet achieve anything? It's the ground crew that take out the antenna and bridge. How does the Sith Armada get destroyed- I genuinely can't remember since by that time my brain was working overtime trying to work out what was going on between Palpatine, Rey and the Force!

 

Don't worry about it. JJ didn't.

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5 hours ago, CarloOos said:

 

The ancient Sith planet was one of the few things I liked about this, it was properly cosmic and creepy. It's also completely undermined (for me) when it's shown that this ancient mystical planet is supposed to be mass producing one of the most famous ships in the galaxy. Why couldn't it have been a fleet of something else, something original and weird and Sith like? Why did it have to be Super Star Destroyers, beyond giving the audience yet another thing that they recognise from before? It's just daft and lazy and throws up a a load of easily avoided questions, like 'why now?'. It's telling that they never cut away to any of them besides the one that seemingly has the entire First Order on it.

 

Don't even get me started on the dagger, who exactly was supposed to have made that and why? Inscribed with an ancient dead language that nobody understand but by its very nature must have been made in the last 30 years.

 

Now that you've got me started on the dagger ... wasn't it lucky they were standing where they were?

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51 minutes ago, drmick said:

 

I can't even remember now, but does the Resistance fleet achieve anything? It's the ground crew that take out the antenna and bridge. How does the Sith Armada get destroyed- I genuinely can't remember since by that time my brain was working overtime trying to work out what was going on between Palpatine, Rey and the Force!

 

Serious, unparalled quantities of pew-pew-pew

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1 hour ago, choddo said:

 

Now that you've got me started on the dagger ... wasn't it lucky they were standing where they were?

 

To be fair, the dagger runes said "from the south shore" so they at least knew what area to approach from.

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