Star Wars: The Rise of Beth’s Opinions

While those in the 9 to 5 workplace have been off enjoying holidays, and parties, and fun I just got released from two months of retail hell. Consider that the person you’re being rude to is a real human being the next time you’re shopping on Thanksgiving or Christmas Eve. By the time I got New Year’s Eve and Day off I was so tired I thought I was going to keel over before I even got to the party I was going to. I basically slept, worked, and had a drink (or three) alone before going back to sleep from mid-November through this week. I’m pretty proud of myself for getting even two posts up in December honestly. I haven’t gotten to see the last three Star Wars movies of the Skywalker saga on opening weekend. Not because I don’t love Star Wars, but because I am so sick of people by the time I get off work that I want to be as alone as possible for as long as possible. I can’t stand the idea of going to a crowded movie theater surrounded by the same jerks who just made my day hell. So since I couldn’t see The Rise of Skywalker on opening weekend I also couldn’t do the podcast Dave and the guys did the Sunday after Christmas. Even if I had I was working at 5am the next day so it would have been impossible either way.

After missing out on the podcast recording I felt like I needed to throw in my own ten or twenty cents. I am aware that the standard amount is much lower, but I will always have more than two cents worth of opinion about anything Star Wars. I do feel like I need to see it a few more times to be able to go into excruciating detail, but I enjoyed it. I didn’t hate The Last Jedi. It doesn’t offend me the way it seems to do so many others. There is good and bad in every Star Wars movie. It doesn’t feel right in context to the rest of the series. But I’m not here to spend 20 minutes talking about The Last Jedi. I’m here to talk about The Rise of Skywalker. Like Dave, I felt nothing during the opening fanfare. That made me sad too. Every other time I’ve seen a Star Wars movie in the theater I’ve gotten chills during the opening. I know that makes me sound like the biggest dork in the world, but so be it. Unlike Dave I didn’t get that feeling from the crawl. I just had questions. Not questions about how we got there because I read Resistance Reborn. My questions were about why none of that was covered during that book. It’s not like they were hiding the fact that Palpatine was coming back. But I had certain expectations: the remaining rebels were supposed to be out finding help, they also should have already some help, and Poe, Finn, and Rey should be going out on the Falcon for adventure. So I got one of those things at least. First question – what the hell was Lando still doing on that weird planet alone after all this time? Was he just hanging out drinking Colt 45 with the party aliens for years rather than going home or anywhere else in the galaxy? Why are there new force powers that we’ve never seen ever before? What is all this life swapping healing crap? What the hell is Charlie from LOST doing with the Resistance, and why couldn’t I get the Drive Shaft song “You Are Everybody” out of my head after seeing him? I also read Phasma, and was under the impression that Hux was the big boss of the First Order. How does he suddenly have a boss? I love Richard E. Grant, but I didn’t understand where he came from. When and how did Palpatine have a family? I just read an article that put the general time of Rey’s father’s conception well after Palpatine had been blasted into spooky town. Who had sex with him, and why? It doesn’t make sense to me that Rey is related to him in any way. And for the love of all that is good and holy why is Wedge only in one fucking shot?

But all questions aside let’s move on to what I did and didn’t love about it. Threepio was not nearly as annoying as he usually is, and he made a brave choice to give up himself to help his “friends”. It was actually kind of sweet. Artoo was sadly underused, but I can see why they took BB-8 around with them instead. He’s far more mobile than Artoo, but it didn’t seem fair. I also agree that Rey and Leia training together was great, and would have liked to see more of it. There’s a lot I would have liked to see more of, but this is almost two movies crammed into one so it would be impossible for everything to get the time I thought it deserved. They may have spoiled Lando and Palpatine showing up in this movie, but I was very surprised to see Han. It was a wonderful scene, and I loved that it was done. I think the thing I loved most about The Rise of Skywalker is that it was fun. Everyone was together the majority of the movie. There was a lot of good filling in of Poe’s backstory, and I think it made him a much better character. I’m glad none of the three main characters ended up romantically involved too. It would have felt a little to formulaic unless they’d made the choice to have Finn and Poe hook up. I’m not saying as a social or political statement, but those guys hugged all the time and had better chemistry than any other couple in the series. I almost thought it was coming, but then I remembered that Disney isn’t quite ready to make that leap yet (see Avengers: Endgame for reference).
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Ben’s redemption felt like a no-brainer. I mean obviously that was coming from back in The Last Jedi when Rey told Leia there was still good in him. It would have been nice for there to be any kind of question or tension around the outcome though. I’m also not thrilled with how people are sexualizing the relationship between Rey and Ben. I don’t think that was a romantic kiss, nor do I think that they had a romantic relationship. They were pretty much cousins after all. The way people choose to see it is not the fault of the movie, but they could have had them do a Poe/Finn style hug and expressed the same sentiments. She was happy that her faith in him had paid off. She won, and saved him from the dark side. He was happy to be saved. That doesn’t really require kissing. Let’s leave that to the generals shall we? The ending did get more schmaltzy then I had expected. Maybe I should have expected it, but the only way it could have gone farther was to play the Yub Nub song while the ships blew up around the galaxy. Despite the many questions and few gripes I still have I do think this was as good a movie as it could have been given what J.J. Abrams had to work with after The Last Jedi. Could the final installment of a series I’ve been with since I was a tiny child have ended in a way that would have made me happier? Sure but it’s not my story, and I didn’t write one (yet). All in all I think we were left with enough open to keep books, comics, and Disney+ series going for a long time. If we didn’t get everything we wanted out of the movies then plenty of other mediums are going to pick up the slack for us. I will see The Rise of Skywalker again because there was just too much to take in at once, and also because I just need to say goodbye one more time. I realize that I agree with a lot of what was said during the podcast. I’ll try not to let that happen too often. Now that I’ve actually got time to live and breathe I’m sure I’ll be back to my old disagreeable self soon enough.

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