People who have grown up with Star Wars know what a good Star Wars film is. These criteria, though, may not be exactly the same as what others make a “good” movie, which can include cinematography, acting, writing, etc.
Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker has a 53% on Rotten Tomatoes from critics and a 86% on audience score. I have seen this movie three times in theaters and I can say that this reflects the movie pretty well. From a movie standpoint, it is all over the place. But for a Star Wars story you might be able to enjoy yourself. The movie starts out with a title crawl followed by Kylo Ren landing on a planet called Exogol. Within these first minutes of the movie tons of things have happened. The title crawl explains that there are rumors of the great Emperor Palpatine and his return. Kylo has raided and has begun slaughtering people to obtain a form of a map to find Exogol. This is were Kylo meets Emperor Palpatine. Palpatine explains how his followers have been creating a fleet of star destroyers and each one of them have their own death star cannon. He also explains that he was the one who was Snoke in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. He says that Snoke was just a clone of himself. This is all in the first few minutes of the movie. The movie has just started and there is already a huge problem with the pacing. This movie is also filled with many plot holes and fake consequences.
These are just some of the many issues with this movie.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi was directed by Rian Johnson and even though it was a box office success it was overall a disappointment for many fans. This movie and the first movie in this trilogy (The Force Awakens) were directed by J.J. Abrams. Rian Jonson’s movie clearly went in a different direction than what J.J. Abrams wanted. It was also clear from the beginning of this trilogy that they did not have a timeline planned out for these movies. This in itself is a huge red flag. Since The Last Jedi was such a controversial film, Abrams spent the majority of this movie just removing the choices of the last film. For example: in the last movie it’s established that Rey’s parents do not matter and that they were just normal people. However, in this movie the twist is that her parents were actually Palpatine’s, making Rey the Emperor’s granddaughter.
This movie also struggles with staying true to the rules of the movies before it. By making the Emperor come back it effectively makes the previous movies irrelevant. This is disrespectful to the people who love the originals. This movie is not creative and filled with cash grabs/awkward fan service. The critics consensus for this film is that it suffers from a frustrating lack of imagination, but concludes this beloved saga with fan-focused devotion. Abrams tried to basically remove the last movie which made this movie less enjoyable. By doing that the only way he was able to make this movie enjoyable was by adding tons of fan service or new creative ideas that work with the set rules of the saga. He only delivers on fan service and he does it poorly. One quick example of how this movie fails to stay true to the originals is how they just use the Force to solve almost anything in this movie and it breaks many things that were previously established (Force healing, specifically). Overall, I believe that if Abrams went with the punches of the previous movie he could have created a marginally better film.
“Adam Driver as Kylo Ren was by far the best actor of this trilogy.” -Kai Specker