Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker is so inexplicably conceived and so poorly thought out that it bears the distinction of being the single worst Star Wars film ever. J.J. Abrams’s latest foray into a successful franchise is a shocking departure from his previous work. Nothing about the 9th episode in the Skywalker saga worked. The special effects and cinematography (which are consistently strengths in a Star Wars film) were forgettable. The plot seemed forced and, at times, ripped from a delusional super fans Reddit thread. The emotional beats in this film seemed contrived and out of place. There were moments where the main characters in the movie were reduced to being scenery. If the goal of Chris Terrio and J.J. Abrams was to create a narrative that appeases a fan base, then I guess mission accomplished. At least, with Cats, anyone can appreciate that Hooper took a risk, but what Abrams and Terrio did is downright infuriating.
Part of the reason why we all fell in love with Star Wars is it made us believe in other worlds. Whether it was Tatooine or Hoth, the worlds were terrific to discover and hard to forget. Our heroes went on the craziest of quests to galaxies beyond our imagination, leading to unpredictable outcomes. That’s what drew us in. That’s why we were shocked when Vader told Luke he was his father and got emotional with Han Solo was frozen in carbonite. That is the legacy of this franchise, and episode 9 shattered this.
Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker attempts to cover-up for lack of plot, direction, or purpose by taking us for a trip down memory lane. No amount of Palpatine, Lando, or trips to Endor can make up for the feeling of “What’s the point,” which overcomes you while sitting through the film. For those who had a massive issue with The Last Jedi, at least it felt connected to episode 7. This felt like a forced studio-backed apology for Rian Johnson being an original thinker which blew up in their faces.
Now, for anyone who wants to accuse me of not being a Star Wars fan, I’ve loved the franchise for well over 40 years, but there comes the point where one has to separate fandom from the product. Quite frankly, any positive reviews of this film are likely tainted or clouded by the critic’s passion for the franchise. There’s no other explanation. Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker is as bad as they get.