Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise Of Skywalker can now boast of being the worst-reviewed movie in the entire franchise, second only to the Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. At least by critics.
While Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi divided the fandom like never before, The Rise Of Skywalker will go down in history as a movie that united critics, fans, and non-fans into one camp; that it is a steaming pile of hot garbage.
In this article, I will discuss almost every detail in Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker, so stop reading this now if you still haven’t watched the movie and want to avoid spoilers. However, if you have seen it, let’s dive into this deep dark void occupied by the Expanded Universe and Kelly Marie Tran’s Star Wars career.
What is Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker?
It is the third and final movie in the Sequel Trilogy that started with 2015’s Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, as well as the conclusion to the entire Skywalker Saga (which now spans nine movies, 42 years and countless spinoffs in other media).
It is directed by J.J. “Star Trek lens flare” Abrams, with a screenplay co-written by Abrams himself and Chris Terrio. Who is Chris Terrio, you might ask?
Terrio is an award-winning screenwriter, whose credits include iconic and legendary works like 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and 2017’s Justice League. It’s no wonder that the good folks at Disney decided to hire such a prominent and accomplished man of his calibre.
How does the movie start?
Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker already begins on a bold but confusing note. The classic opening space crawl immediately announces that Emperor Palpatine is back, without any pomp or gravitas.
It’s just something we all have to accept, despite the fact none of what happened in the previous two movies foreshadowed his return.
Quite ridiculously, the opening crawl makes it sound like Palpatine suddenly announced his own return to the entire Galaxy via some sort of Force megaphone.
Why would someone who has apparently been hiding in secret for decades do such a blatantly idiotic thing? The Force works in mysterious ways…
The first scene of the movie starts with Kylo Ren (in an admittedly badass intro)who, after learning of Palpatine’s return, goes on a journey to track him down and kill him, perceiving him to be a threat to his new role of First Order Supreme Leader. He goes to an unknown planet and finds a Sith Wayfinder, the MacGuffin/plot device of this movie, which leads him to the Sith planet where Palpatine now resides.
Kylo Ren finds Palpatine in a zombified and physically-impaired state there attended by Sith acolytes of some sort. The former Emperor then reveals that he has somehow been behind everything that happened since The Force Awakens, including the rise of the First Order, Snoke, and even Kylo Ren’s turn to the Dark Side.
He also reveals that he has somehow amassed an entire fleet of new Star Destroyers after all this time and that he wants Kylo Ren to kill Rey if he wants to join him in building a new, wait for it, Final Order.
While that moniker is groan-inducing, let’s not forget that this is the same series that gave us stellar names such as General Grievous, Savage Opress, and Elan Sleazebaggano.
Wait, what? How is Palpatine still alive after his literal fall from grace in Star Wars Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi?
Also, how did he build those Star Destroyers without the resources of a Galatic Empire?
Great questions. Alas, the movie never answers them at all.
The answers are simple; Palpatine just ****ing is. All we know is that he didn’t die in Return Of The Jedi, and he somehow survived all these years on a Sith planet called Exegol without anyone realising.
Oh, and he somehow amassed an entire fleet of Star Destroyers, each of which is equipped with Death Star-level armaments, in the span of several decades without the resources of a Galactic Empire.
I had the same problem with the idea of the First Order in the first two movies. How did a guerilla faction that was formed in the far reaches of the Outer Rim have access to resources and military might comparable to that of a Galactic Empire?
It’s like the KKK or Al-Qaeda suddenly being on equal terms with the USA, China, or any world superpower. I know that this is a fictional universe and that real-world logistics need not apply. But even for a sci-fi fantasy series, this is incredibly hard to swallow.
Alright, so what happens next?
The movie then cuts to Poe and Finn on a mission to retrieve a message from a secret spy from the First Order, which conveniently confirms that Palpatine has returned. Meanwhile, on the new jungle planet where the Resistance base is now located, Rey is busy undergoing Jedi training with Leia.
Oh, yeah, the movie has revealed yet another retcon; that Leia actually trained as a Jedi with Luke when they were younger, but she stopped once she had visions of having a child (Ben Solo AKA Kylo Ren).
Just as Poe and Finn reach there with the new information, everyone nonchalantly receives the news of Palpatine’s threat like it’s nothing, and with all the enthusiasm of a blurb from today’s edition of the newspaper.