I don’t want to spend too much time bragging on the fact that they’ve made mistakes in the Rise of Skywalker, so instead, I want to talk about maybe the things that could be fixed. In all honesty, as much as people said, “Oh poor JJ he didn’t have much to work with”, and “He had limited time and he had the Last Jedi to deal with”, I think he could have made a plenty good movie with all those limitations. He’s like the biggest Hollywood movie maker right now – he could have done anything. So here are three main things I think could help this movie:
Slow the Movie Down
There was so much content they tried to pack in this movie that this probably should have split it into two. Almost every scene feels like an exposition dump instead of character development. There was never a scene where two characters are talking just for the sake of talking, instead, every scene is used to set up the next one.
Literally, the first line of the movie is telling you Emperor Palpatine is back which makes it feel like that scene from SpongeBob Squarepants where SpongeBob is getting driving instructions from Mrs. Puff. During the driving test she asks Spongebob, “Okay, so what do you do next?” and he asks “Floor it?” and she says no. He asks her again, “Floor it? She says no again but he says “Okay, FLOOR IT!” and they go flying off the road and crash into something. That was JJ Abrams making this movie. This movie really had no sense of letting things slowly ramp up to a high speed at the end of this movie.
Here’s another thing – the Sith Wayfinder is crap. It’s got to go. Bye Wayfinders! There’s three MacGuffins in this movie and we didn’t need that one. We already know that R2D2 knows everything in the galaxy and has every map so just make it so he knows how to get to Exegol. Why not? Maybe there’s the fact nobody knows there’s stuff happening in Exegol, so nobody would have thought to go there, but R2 could have said, “Sure I’ll show you guys how to go there”. That way you don’t have Kylo go to Mustafar or Exegol right away because that just killed the entire vibe for me. The reason is the movie goes something like this –
Kylo goes to Exegol.
Palpatine says, “I’ve been every voice inside your head”
That line would have been really cool later in the film if you gave it a chance to breathe. If they had cut some of that stuff and spent more time on the stuff we liked, because there’s some cool stuff in there, I think it would have made a lot more sense.
Give Us Some Real Stakes
Almost all of the more intimate risks get the rug pulled out from under it immediately. We see Chewie is supposedly blown up in a ship and everyone’s like, “Oh God they’re really going for broke on this one, they just killed off Chewie!” and then literally about thirty seconds later we find out it was a different ship. It feels like a cheap punch. Later, C3PO’s memory has to be wiped and it seems like another big risk of basically killing the C3PO we all know, but actually no, they have a backup. Then we have both Rey and Kylo getting killed and then brought back to life. If you’re going to kill our favorite characters, do it. Don’t fake it.
There’s also the idea of Rey using the dark side. She uses force lightning to allegedly kill Chewie but she pays no price for using her anger and Dark Side force powers. As the Jedi had preached, and later Luke as well preached to Rey, anger is a tool of the Dark Side. The Jedi are supposed to avoid strong emotions but Rey does this without remorse or any sequences. The movie likes to play with the idea of Rey going to the Dark Side, but they don’t want to commit.
We know there’s going to be a happy ending at the end, but that doesn’t mean there can’t be any consequences for our beloved characters.
Ditch the Palpatine Plot
Palpatine is a simple man with simple needs – he is pure evil and just wants the galaxy to bend to his will while he drinks his Red Bulls. There’s nothing else really there. Kylo Ren, on the other hand, is a lot more interesting. He has way more complex motivations, and you can understand why he’s doing what he’s doing. He’s also conflicted, and there are big stakes with people he has relationships with. Palpatine is basically Dracula – he’s the bad guy. The most interesting thing about Palpatine during The Rise of Skywalker was that he was decaying.
We knew that Palpatine would show up at some point, but we didn’t know how it would happen. There was a lot of mystery around it before the movie, but right from the crawl, they give away everything. This completely killed the intrigue surrounding his return. Instead of bringing back Palpatine they should have focused more on Kylo as the villain.
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