Spoiler Special: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

If you’ve read my spoiler-free review for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, you’ll know that I felt let down and disappointed by it. This was mostly down to the story decisions made by J.J. Abrams, so I wanted to do a spoiler special in which I could rant about my misgivings a little bit more.

**FOR ANYONE WHO IGNORED THE TITLE, THIS IS A SPOILER WARNING**

Here are some of my issues with the film:

1. Rey and Ben Solo’s kiss: I was not someone in the Rylo camp and I would have preferred them to have been close allies. I also really hate when filmmakers feel the need to give the strong female heroine a love interest – Rey didn’t need it! Him bringing her back to life was enough. There had been some foreshadowing about it though, I had definitely detected some sexual tension in earlier scenes, so some people might have found this satisfying but I let out an audible groan. What a CHOICE!

2. Ben Solo’s death: I’m not annoyed that he died because it seemed like a fitting way for his story to end (although I’d have liked to have seen them team up some more) but I’m annoyed about the way he died. Immediately after their kiss and his little smile!!!! It all happened so fast and I found it really confusing. The fact his body disappeared made me think he had projected himself and was not truly there. However, upon speaking to others, I’ve learned he simply died from giving her his life force. This obviously wasn’t clear enough! Also: I liked that he turned to the light and redeemed himself, but didn’t feel as earned or satisfying as it should have done.

3. Rey being a Palpatine: This felt forced and a total slap in the face to what Rian Johnson established with The Last Jedi. I quite liked that Rey was a nobody with Jedi powers (but I never believed that was the true answer). That would have been so much cooler than her being the granddaughter of a big bad that’s magically returned. And as it was, the revelation didn’t have the shocking weight to it that it should have and she ultimately shunned her legacy and decided to rename herself Skywalker.

4. Palpatine’s return: I could have accepted this if we were given a decent explanation but we aren’t. It also doesn’t make sense. Why has he just decided to show himself? Where has he been during the last two films? When did he have children and with whom?!!! So many questions.

5. General Leia’s death: I expected Leia to die in this movie and I imagine Abrams was limited with what he could do with the footage he had of Carrie Fisher, but Leia’s death felt very abrupt and sudden. It seemed like she was fine one minute and on death’s door the next. I’ve since heard a theory that she used up all her energy getting Han to speak some sense into Kylo Ren/Ben. This makes sense, but is that what happened? Why so vague? On the positive side, I love what they did with the old footage of Carrie and seeing her on-screen made me emotional. Her inclusion was totally seamless and I’m glad she wasn’t written out or recast or something.

6: Too much fan service: Obviously, Abrams wants to make Star Wars fans happy, but he seemed too driven by nostalgia and fan service moments as if he was trying to appease those unhappy with the bold swings Johnson made with The Last Jedi. I was very happy to see Harrison Ford as Han Solo again – and I liked that it had been kept a surprise (unlike Mark Hamill‘s return!) – and seeing Denis Lawson was cool, as were the voices of Jedis past.

7. The plot: There are a lot of cool moments in TROS but the overarching plot left a lot to be desired. It is basically a glorified treasure hunt. They need the Sith Wayfinder and they spend most of the film hunting for one but then it doesn’t really matter cause Rey’s one is destroyed and then she steals Ren’s ship that conveniently has one inside. Handy! There could have been a more sophisticated plot to get our gang from A to B.

8: Cameos: I’ve touched on this already so the only one left to mention is – Jodie Comer as Rey’s mum?! What’s Villanelle doing in Star Wars? I couldn’t deal what happened in that brief flashback scene as I was too busy trying to process her cameo!

9. Kelly Marie Tran was done dirty: I touched on this in my main review but her character was completely wasted. She didn’t have a great deal to do in The Last Jedi and in TROS she was relegated to being just another general Resistance worker. She is on screen for about two minutes! Why bring in Dominic Monaghan as a new Resistance worker when she could have been given his lines?! Poor girl. She was totally mugged off by Finn, who also doesn’t have a great deal of character progression. To be honest, that statement applies to everyone except Rey and Kylo/Ben.

10. What did Finn want to tell Rey?: When they’re about to sink in quicksand, Finn informs Rey he has something important to tell her. This comes up a couple of times but we never find out what it was. Did Abrams just forget about this thread halfway through?!

11. Jannah getting her own show?: I didn’t think there was much point to Naomi Ackie‘s new character but at the end, Billy Dee Williams basically offers to help her explore her background and where she’s from. I let out a bit of a sigh because it felt like the teaser for a Disney+ show to me! I liked Ackie but her heroics with Finn on the Star Destroyer at the end could have been easily given to Rose. #JusticeForRose

12. The title. This annoys me because it makes fans guess one thing and it’s not that. The title is literally only tied to the last minute or so in which Rey dubs herself “Rey Skywalker” when asked for her name by a stranger. Was this necessary?! It’s a nice touch but I would have been fine without it. Does she need to be a Skywalker?! What’s wrong with being simple Rey?

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