Star Wars Movies
|This article or section is about a topic that is particularly prone to Skub (that is, really loud and/or stupid arguments). Edit at your own risk, and read with a grain of salt, as skubby subjects have a bad habit of causing stupid, even in neutrals trying to summarize the situation.|
- 1 The rise of the original trilogy
- 2 The coming of the prequel trilogy
- 3 Disney and the sequel trilogy
The rise of the original trilogy
A long long time ago, in a galaxy far far away....etc etc you all know the lines.
A man called George Lucas had the idea to create a series of epic sci-fi space operas that would become so successful that Disney would take notice and give it the franchise fluttering eye lashes, trying to seduce it.
They would be called... Flash Gordon.
Unfortunately for Georgie boy, and fortunately for modern nerddom, Dino de Laurentiis already owned Flash Gordon, and were busy making his doomed, hilariously eighties version, so he said, screw it, I'll make my own!
He decided to start with the fourth movie in the series he envisioned, for at the time he didn't have the special effects to create the first three to the standard he wanted, and/or he just kinda made up the first movie as he went along (drawing heavily on Akira Kurosawa's seminal samurai action film, Hidden Fortress in the process as well as the book The Hero with a Thousand Faces, a complex 1949 Joseph Campbell analysis of the various mythologies of human history all boiled down into the basic archetypes and elements required in heroic myth). Alternatively, he melded together all his great personal loves into one film: swashbuckling sword fights, heroic democratic resistance against fascist pigs, Eastern mysticism and sage samurai warriors, sassy princesses who sometimes need rescuing and sometimes do the rescuing themselves, World War II dogfights, gamblin', hard livin', outlaw gunslingers, and stories of friendship and love between comrades in war, then attached a buncha pretentious mythopoeia onto it when all his fellow New Hollywood directors started talkin' shit about how they wished he'd finish with these stupid space movies and get back to making films like American Graffiti. So Episode Four A New Hope was created (simply titled Star Wars at the time) and it is not an exaggeration to say it changed the face of sci-fi and general moviemaking forever, bringing a new era of special effects and imagination to cinema and changing the lives of many who would go onto to become dedicated fan boys.
Originally, the studio had forced Lucas to take ever-increasing paycuts for what they were sure was going to be a flop, and only let him keep merchandising rights. However, whatever his flaws, George Lucas was a man of vision. Having helped pioneer the summer blockbuster, he went on to do the same to ginormous piles of movie-tie-in memorabilia. His production company, Lucasfilm ended up rolling in dosh, and with Episode Five The Empire Strikes Back and Episode Six The Return of the Jedi, the legend of Star Wars and its place in cultural history was assured.
tl;dr: Pretty much this.
The coming of the prequel trilogy
With the year 2000 coming, George Lucas felt that special effects technology had reached the level he wanted and began to create the first three movies in the star wars story he had envisioned. (As a side-note, he also made some touch-ups to the three original films, re-mastering them with special effects and a couple of extra scenes that weren't doable with the eighties' animatronics. But those were mostly accepted/shrugged away since they didn't deeply modify anything.The fandoms opinion on the matter however, remains a very heated debate.)
The hype for the movies was immense.
And then the first movie, Episode One The Phantom Menace came out.....and there was nerd rage beyond expectation.
Part of the problem was that the immense expectations of the fandom had grown until anything less-than-perfect simply would not do, so perhaps that is somewhat to blame for the reaction to the prequel trilogy. In a vacuum one has to admit that they aren't completely terrible films, not even Phantom Menace. But there were a lot of problems that had grown out of control, from the infamously-ill-received comic relief character of Jar Jar Binks to stilted and/or child acting.
Episode Two Attack of the Clones and Episode Three Revenge of the Sith followed after a few years each and didn't garner nearly as much hatred, though fans complained they didn't match the greatness of the original trilogy, more concerned with flashy action and effects than competent story-telling; but hooo-boy did it deliver in flashy action, with laser armed MI-24's full of
stormtroopers extracting jedi from a coliseum full of shooty killbots.
Revenge of the Sith did, however, receive higher ratings than Return of the Jedi, and is generally seen as the best and most-complete of the three prequel films as a story and many even consider it their favorite Star Wars film by those who don't find it boring as shit until the Order 66 scene. Unusually the novelization alters some details and is considered a legitimately good book on its own merits.
What was generally more well received (despite a rocky start with a two hour pilot being pressed into service as a movie and an art style that took some time to gel) during this time for Star Wars was the Clone Wars animated series (both the traditionally-animated Clone Wars and the later seasons of the CGI show The Clone Wars, the latter of which most everyone agrees is what the prequels should have been), following the war between the Republic and the Confederacy that sprung up during the time between the second and third of the prequels.
It'd be really hard to find a group of movies more skubtastic than the prequel trilogy, and saying a good or bad thing about it in front of the wrong crowd's sure to provoke huge amounts of nerdrage. In defense of the prequel trilogy's sins, they did at least do their own thing. Because of how much money the original trilogy made, practically every form of media in the 80s and 90s aped it to some form or another, and instead of falling back on the same old shit the prequels branched out and tried to get out of the franchise's comfort zone a bit. While a lot of it sucked, it blazed a trail for better writers to follow and helped liven up the universe by showing us the galaxy beyond fuckhueg spaceships and faux-Western shitholes like Tatooine. And all but the most diehard OT purists can get behind shit like Naboo architecture, the Clone Army and Mace "The Ace" Windu. From a story perspective the worst sin of the prequels was demystifying the force, and subsequent works have largely swept that detail under the carpet. Then Disney bought Star Wars and prequels become popular. Makes sense considering they had good scenario, sense and original events and characters and other things sequels do not have. Not to forget that they are a goldmine for memes.
Disney and the sequel trilogy
Finally, all the efforts by Disney to woo George Lucas paid off and in 2012 Disney acquired the Star Wars franchise for 4 billion dollars, with LucasFilm becoming part of Disney, appointing film producer Kathleen Kennedy as its president. This was immediately followed by an announcement that they would produce a new trilogy of films set after the original trilogy.
Expectations were almost as high as the private fears of the fans. Bringing on the creative talent behind the skubtastic Star Trek reboot was equally... well, take a wild guess (and that's before we factor in identity politics). The end result saw millions of voices cry out in terror, and were suddenly subsumed into hitherto unseen levels of Skub. Tellingly, even SEVERAL OF THE LEAD ACTORS THEMSELVES have criticized the filmmakers or how the film was made, including John Boyega, Daisy Ridley and Luke Skywalker himself - Mark Hamill; also, Kathleen Kennedy and Rian Johnson have become to Star Wars what C.S Goto is to Warhammer. Rumors are circulating that the Disney trilogy may even get declared non-canon, which is bound to create a shockwave of skub so powerful that oldfags might actually side with the prequel fans for once.
For sake of sanity, these section have been condensed. Read at your own peril.
Episode 7: The Mouse Awakens
Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens debuted in December of 2015, and reception was what you would expect: the film was immediately a massive success from a monetary standpoint as everyone (almost) everywhere rushed to the theaters in response to the hype, with children engaging in as many repeat viewings as their parent's money could allow as fans did the same thing with their own. It has become a financial hit with the general public and a (critically) generally well-reviewed piece, with decent cinematography, special effects, technical stuff, etc. It also went on to become the third biggest financial success in film history (at the time), when not adjusted for inflation.
Fan response was a good deal more mixed. Many criticize the plot for rehashing Episode IV, without doing anything to establish its own identity and claim that it had a bland main character, who had too many abilities whereas others find the replication of Star Wars feel an acceptable trade and praise it for being a decent action film, and claim the lead doesn't outdo any of the previous main characters.
Some would argue that by rehashing the original trilogy it basically nullified the accomplishments of the original crew; the Empire's still around, they've got yet another superweapon, Han & Leia split up, Luke failed to rebuild the Jedi, etc. Other fans praised it simply for being a new Star Wars that was better than the prequel trilogy (expectations were lowered due to those, to be honest). Some see poor storytelling when there was no proper showing of what went on in the galaxy 3 decades since Palpatine died, and not explaining what caused big character changes like why Han returned to his old ways or Luke ran from his friends was critical. Other say this is going to be explained in the next film and people should keep their curiosity. Some argue even with their superweapon, none of the villains feel threatening. Others argue the incompetence of the main villain is a fresh change and the point of the plot will be to see him change, to be more competent, or even learn to become good.
Overall, those against argued JJ Abrams' mystery box approach may do well for a TV series but does not mesh with films that take years to make. Defendants held the position that fans should wait to see whether the next film will do anything with the unexplained plot points.
Coincidentally, when Hamill and Fisher were originally approached by Disney to reprise their roles as Luke and Leia, they didn't want to do it right from the start. But, they didn't want to give an out-and-out "no" answer either, so they told Disney they'd return if Harrison Ford agreed to return as Han Solo as well. Knowing how much Ford hated Solo, Hamill and Fisher figured they were safe, until Disney irresistibly sweetened the deal for Ford by agreeing to kill off his character, thus forcing a reluctant Hamill and Fisher to make good on their deal... only for the three characters to never appear on the screen at the same time, and now that Carrie Fisher's dead... To be fair, Hamill has a history of saying he won’t do something only to immediately agree like he’s making a standard sitcom gag in real life, even if that usually just applies to still voicing the Joker in Batman media.
Star Wars: Rogue One
December of 2016 brought us the first standalone Star Wars movie, "Rogue One", showing the theft of the original Death Star plans.
While "Rogue One" can be justly criticized for lacking in character development, that was basically mandated by being set just before another movie whose actors were now decades too old (or, in the case of Peter Cushing, too dead) to reprise their previous roles. The cast of the movie includes almost no one who appears in Episode IV, and the few familiar faces who do appear show up as cameos. (Fair warning: spoilers)
Accordingly, every main character dies by the end. It still manages to pack quite a lot of awesome into the movie, with Donnie Yen, Alan Tudyk and Darth Vader all used to great effect. Rogue One also answers several questions, plugs several plot holes, and just generally makes A New Hope make a lot more sense in retrospect ("I'm on a diplomatic mission from Alderaan." "Bitch, I saw the tail end of this ship over Scarif twenty minutes ago."). It also has the distinctions of being the only Star Wars movie to focus on regular soldiers instead of Jedi, and being more like the original Star Wars than any of the sequels, including the other two of the main trilogy. The original, back before it was "A New Hope", was a genre mashup of samurai + gunslinger rescue princess from space Nazis, then team up for a World War II dogfight. This one is wuxia cast + heist crew rob a space Nazi base, then team up for a World War II dogfight in the South Pacific. Much, much Skub still exists of course, since no Star Wars movie will ever please all the neckbeards but out of the five post-Disney Star Wars movies released so far, this one is definitely the least divisive and arguably the best of the bunch.
Episode 8: The Last Royalty Check (aka zomg Luke dies!)
On December 14 2017, Star Wars Episode 8: The Last Jedi was released world wide. The critical reception was extremely positive, with many critics considering it the best movie in the series since The Empire Strikes Back. The fan reception has been a great deal more negative and mixed, and a number of fans are convinced that Disney leaned on media outlets to shill the new movie or else. If you have watched the Empire Strikes Back, you WILL be disappointed at best, if you want to see a Star Wars film that would finally expand the characters of Kylo Ren and Rey, you WILL be satisfied and disappointed at the same time, if you want to watch the film because it is the last film starring the great and wonderful Carrie Fisher, you WILL feel hollow and sad inside, and if you came to see a pair of lightsaber-wielding punks involved in one of the greatest lightsaber battles of the franchise, you WILL be pleased. The Last Jedi is seen as the most divisive film in the franchise by the fandom, which is one hell of an achievement considering other films.
The complaints about The Last Jedi are many: the treatment of Luke (which even his actor, Mark Hamill, hated, to the point that he has no interest in playing Luke again), Leia's Superman asspull, Finn's plot arc that serves practically zero purpose and has him undergo the same character arc as the last movie, the forced humor, the complete disregard for established fluff, disregard for even the most basic laws of physics, the fact that the central conflict is essentially the same as the one in the originals right down to the last stand ripped straight out of Empire, the PC bullshit (a hipster admiral who the plot always treats as being in the right despite killing 90% of the Resistance, the Gilded Age planet arc that sucks up a third of the movie to no benefit, Rose expressing her desire to get BLACKED with a horrendous and forced #LoveTrumpsHate one-liner in the final act) added solely to virtue-signal and the whole thing being basically a 2,5h screed against the franchise it belongs to and the culture which spawned it.
Fans have also criticized the movie for dropping or discarding major plot points from TFA and repeatedly invoking Shamalamadingdong-tier plot twists for cheap gotchas that are somehow less interesting than the recycled cliches they play off of. Director Rian Johnson responded by shitting on said critics - including also mocking them with a character in his next film "Knives Out" - and trying to defend the film on social media like something out of an ED or RW article (Important note: George Lucas never tried to defend the prequels, despite the huge backlash at the time, and he agreed with fans that The Star Wars Holiday Special was an abomination.) It later came out that Johnson had not been given any kind of roadmap beyond Lucas' old and unfinished concept scripts and was not allowed to see what Abrams had done until TLJ was too far into production to write in most of the previous movie's plot points, which makes the fail Disney's fault just as much as it is Johnson's. Except we also know that he had at least a modicum of influence over the ending of TFA, so they must have talked on at least some degree, and Rian's 100% to blame for his shitting on critics. As with TFA Lucasfilm has tried to paper over the holes with tie-in material, and just like TFA the fans recognize the damage control.
World-building is also of major note as The Last Jedi not only disregards fluff but also fails to come up with anything of interest. The best it could do is a casino planet which solely exists to preach about capitalism. Meanwhile by comparison, while The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones were the most skubtastic Star Wars movies before the sequels, each of them still did arguably more for world-building than all three originals combined, laying the groundwork for things to come, most notably The Clone Wars. People simply wanted to see more of the universe. Meanwhile TLJ only managed to lead to Star Wars:Resistance and the lack of fan interest in it speaks for itself as many have decided to not watch it solely due to it being set in the sequel era. What I am trying to say is that Star Wars is by nature a very lore-heavy franchise so how could they fuck it up so badly? The reason is quite simple: Rian Johnson outright admitted that canon, lore and world-building is of no interest to him and he doesn't care about anything outside the story he is trying to tell. Lore contradictions? Don't matter. World-building? Waste of time. What happens to the story after he is done? Not his problem  Why a guy like that would ever be hired to make a movie in such a lore-heavy franchise and why was he allowed to contradict canon as he wished is beyond us. But with that taken into consideration, it is certainly no wonder that The Last Jedi was so hated and that it caused people to lose interest in not only the trilogy but the sequel era as a whole.
The Last Jedi has without a doubt torn the fanbase apart in ways even the prequels and most of the Legends didn't come close to, with many fans declaring that they have dropped the sequel trilogy. Even Star Wars' famous merchandising has taken a mauling, as /toy/ giggles at Rose Tico, Admiral Holdo and General Hux figures warming shelves while new product shipments go straight from the transport case to the clearance bin. Many had even said that The Last Jedi caused them to lose interest in Disney Star Wars as a whole until The Mandalorian managed to drag the franchise back up again.
On May 25th 2018, the 41st anniversary of the franchise, Solo: A Star Wars Story was released. The general consensus seems to be that it is the most average film in the series. At the very least, most people agree that it is at least better than The Last Jedi (if barely) and the backlash from that movie can be felt even in Solo: many fans have chosen to boycott the movie. Even before release, many fans had derided the whole affair as unnecessary: no one was really asking for a Han Solo origin movie, particularly one without Harrison Ford. Han Solo's entire life history had already been explored thoroughly in EU novels and comics, so the movie could only be a retread or a retcon, both things most fanbases tend to disapprove of.
Whether it is because of this boycott or not, something no one expected happened: Solo was a box office bomb. Its opening weekend performed way below expectations and it didn't even manage to break even. Disney still continued to labor under the delusion that China would save their bottom line regardless of the fact that Star Wars has never been popular in China.
So what is it like? Well, rather than being a space opera like the other films, this is a space Western. Rather than being about large-scale battles and saving the galaxy from tyranny, it's about heists and the galactic underworld. (Except for the Mimban sequence, which you'd swear was lifted from a live-action Imperial Guard movie.) It's essentially Disney's reboot/retcon of the old EU Han Solo novels, taking things that were mentioned offhand in the original trilogy (like how Han did the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs) and making that the subject of an entire movie. The film was perhaps cursed from the beginning due to its troubled production. How troubled? The lead needed an acting coach to get through his shoots (Han may have walked away with the Falcon, but Donald Glover's Lando stole the spotlight every time) and 70% of the movie had to be reshot by a different director due to creative differences between Lucasfilm and the original directors.
The fail only compounded when it premiered and fans got to see what those "creative differences" may have wrought: the writing staff started spewing bullshit to the press about Lando being "pansexual" with no precedent in any Star Wars production including Solo (not to forget he was quite a ladiesman in the originals), the film's tone is a schizophrenic nightmare to the last-minute reshoots. Perhaps the most damning sin is that these are the movie's only notable qualities: take them away and you're left with a movie that would make you think "Huh, that was okay," and then never think about it again for the rest of your life, were it not for the crippling disappointment of seeing one of the most beloved franchises in the world fall so far. Between the boycotts, the mediocrity of the movie itself, and certain news outlets claiming that the driving force behind said boycotts was /pol/, Solo cratered so badly that all non-Episode 9 Star Wars movies were for a short time shelved indefinitely, and the only side-movie still being worked on is the obligatory Boba Fett origin movie, which is more likely to sell tickets based on the name alone. Incidentally, one of the writers picked by Lucasfilm to handle Solo's tie-in content, Cavan Scott, has been hired by Games Workshop for the Warhammer Adventures series.
Episode 9: The Rise of Skywalker (aka Plan Palpa-Nine from Outer Space)
Your opinion of this movie is very easy to predict based on what you thought of the others; if you found The Last Jedi to be "refreshing", you'll absolutely HATE this one. If you hate all Disney content aside from maybe The Mandalorian, you'll hate this one as much as the others. If you absolutely detested The Last Jedi but have mixed opinions of the rest, you'll probably consider this to be the best of the new movies to varying degrees of actual enthusiasm. The movie largely undoes or ignores swathes of the previous one.
After finishing shooting, the film was shown to test audiences (which JJ Abrams lied never happened). The film was extremely poorly received, one of many reasons being because it had Rey curb-stomping Palpatine by herself in the final battle (test audiences reportedly either laughed at the film or had to be stopped from walking out of the test screenings). The poor showing made Disney CEO Bob Iger - who was overseeing the screening - furious, and he immediately ordered the film to be reshot. The resulting reshoots were so extensive, they spanned months and the film didn't have a final edit till December 2019, the month of release, causing trailers to be so desperate for footage that wouldn't be cut they had to fill half the length with footage from prior films and stuff used in prior trailers. To make matters worse for Disney, the plot was leaked months before release, and said plot turned out to be very stupid. Despite Disney spokespeople and media outlets extensively denying the leaks, the leaks were proven correct by getting then unrevealed names and plot objects right. Camera leaks the week before release showed very little of the fantastically stupid content leaked months beforehand was changed, only minor details.
Before reading on, be aware that Rey and Kylo are no longer movie-type Force users, they have been changed to video game characters. Like KOTOR and Jedi Academy type where you just get powers by killing enough dudes. None of the powers are new to the franchise, but have been rarely seen and in some cases never before have in movies. You should also know that unlike the first Visual Dictionary that mostly just gave little prop trivia and plot hooks for other works, and the second which was mostly irrelevant until it gets referenced in a decade or two, the final Visual Dictionary is damn near required reading (this shit will get a "VD" to indicate it) since a lot of explanations were cut in the reshoots and recuts. Like for example the connection between Rey and Kylo is a "Force Dyad", basically one soul in the Force that inhabits two bodies (setting up a bit of a snarl what happens when one dies and not the other, and implying the personality is mostly in the brain which is why they can have unique experiences, but whatever) and warps space/time. This is why Rey was inexplicably powerful and knew how to do shit instinctively, because Kylo's training passed onto her, and likewise her nonstop playing with X-Wing training sims as a child made him a badass pilot. Dyads used to be far more common in the KOTOR era, and were apparently the inspiration for the Sith Rule Of Two. This is never mentioned in the final cut of the film, but leaks show it was in one of the earlier ones.
The movie pressed on with breakneck speed that doesn't have time for musical interludes or wipe transitions, the opening crawl informing you that Palpatine has somehow returned and sent a message to the galaxy with the Resistance trying to rebuild and gather information, Rey being trained by Leia on the planet Ajan Kloss (AKA not!Yavin #2, VD) after repairing Anakin's lightsaber (VD) who had received partial training from Luke before stopping for reasons explained later in the movie and supplementing the rest with her pouring over the Jedi texts, and Kylo Ren trying to find Palpatine because his existence is a threat to his rule. The movie takes a lot of inspiration from KOTOR era lore with Ren finding a Sith McGuffin Holocron-type navigation device on Mustafar (VD) showing him the secret planet of the Sith (not Korriban/Pesegam/Moraband, this one is a planet in a red nebula that is under constant lightning storms called Exegol). There he finds a MASSIVE Sith cult that has kept itself secret and managed to not only build a fucking massive fleet of Star Destroyers equipped with planetkiller guns like something straight out of the old canon, but divisions of Stormtroopers, technicians, and officers to fill them along with the typical cultists in robes who administer to keeping Palpatine alive and seeing to his Sith alchemy shit...which includes tanks containing multiple clones of Snoke, revealing the guy was literally born looking like that with a manufactured backstory all so Palpatine could use him as a puppet to create the First Order (which is almost a meta commentary about the backstory controversy).
Kylo is offered the chance to be the new Emperor by Palpatine, who is a corpse kept barely alive through methods some would consider... Unnatural, while strapped to a machine with his spirit sticking nearby (the filmmakers zig-zagged on the nature of this; first it was the original Palpatine who had somehow duped everyone in Return of the Jedi with a clone stand in, then the reshoots changed it to the original's zombie-like rotting corpse animated by his lingering spirit and Lucasfilm later retconned him to be a zombie-like clone of Palpatine after the film's release). The only requirement for Palps to pass him Emperorship is killing Rey, although Ren is immediately suspicious of the other strings attached (including choking a guy in a hissyfit when that concern is voiced) and decides instead to recruit Rey again, this time as a co-Emperor.
Finn and Poe obtain information about a spy within the First Order (yeah, you know its fucking Hux even before they say there is a spy at all) while Rey gets visions during her training with Leia. The spy confirms that Palpatine is legit and the info about the fuckmassive deathfleet is legit, and Rey finds the Jedi texts contain notes from Luke about his search for that planet. They go to his last clue, a desert planet that isn't Tatooine and is the middle of a festival where they find Lando has been holed up enjoying himself since him and Luke traveled there. They are immediately spotted by the First Order and escape from them to find the ship of one of Palpatine's servants who had last been seen there. They fall into sinkholes around the ship created by giant tunneling worms, and find the skeleton of Sheev's boy as well as a Sith dagger. 3PO is programmed with the Sith language, but his programming from the Old Republic era forbids him from giving the translation to civilians. Rey manages to get the sand worms to leave them alone by using Force powers to heal one's wound, and they attempt to get the Sheev's servant's ship up and running before they are attacked by the First Order. Chewie is taken prisoner and Rey wrecks Kylo's TIE Fighter before the two engage in a Force tug of war to pull the transport Chewie is on, which ends in Rey accidentally Force Lightning it and causing it to explode when she becomes frustrated with the stalemate. Chewie is revealed to have been on another transport and is taken to Ren's flagship Star Destroyer while the heroes, instead of do something sensible like seek a Rebel leader who can give security clearance for 3PO's protocol (Leia's the obvious choice), they head to a planet under VERY Nazi-like occupation to find a droid technician who can hack 3PO's memory. They encounter a woman from Poe's past, revealing he was a former spice smuggler like Han until abandoning his crew (causing them to fall into debt and become bitter at him) to join the Resistance. She threatens to turn the group in to pay off their debt but Rey kicks her ass, earning her respect and she takes them to the technician without further incident. The technician unlocks 3PO's memory at the cost of wiping him. The translation reveals the dagger is the key to finding the Sith navigation McGuffin they are looking for. During this BB-8 reactivates Sheev's servant's old droid, who doesn't do much.
The heroes proceed to board Ren's flagship with the help of a First Order officer's badge, and shoot their way through as they free Chewie. Rey and Ren have another linked vision where her parents are revealed to have attempted to hide her from her grandfather Palpatine, who wanted to merge the souls of himself and ALL other preceding Sith (presumably not Revan, since his redemption is canon) while he discovers they are on his ship and orders it put on lockdown. Rey is confronted in the hangar by Ren, who offers her to join him again. She refuses and the Falcon appears, the engines blowing away the Stormtroopers while Rey jumps aboard. The crew head to Endor after finding out from Sheev's servant's old droid that it was where he was going to go next (this is the only thing the droid does other than serve as a "pet the dog moment" for the cast a few times) where the Death Star wreckage of the disk and throne room landed, encountering a division of former child-soldier Stormtroopers like Finn who went AWOL. The dagger has a slide-out metal prong from the handle which perfectly lines up with the corridor leading to Sheev's throne room. The team work on repairing the Falcon while Rey presses on ahead, alone, to the Death Star wreckage. Once in the throne room a hidden door opens, revealing a sanctum full of crystal mirrors that are the same as the ones she saw in her vision in The Last Jedi (the scene where she snaps her fingers and all the mirrored ones do as well). There she finds the Sith McGuffin and gets a "The Cave" vision of herself as a Sith with a red double-bladed lightsaber which she fights. Kylo is waiting for her in the throne room, and crushes the Sith McGuffin in his hand before informing her they are linked in the Force as one soul inhabiting two bodies and offering her again to be the Vader to her Palpatine which she again refuses. The two fight while Finn and one of the Stormtroopers try to rescue her. They fight their way onto the remnants of the Death Star hangar, reminiscent of Anakin and Obi-wan in Revenge Of The Sith with water instead of lava, before Ren freezes as he senses his mother start to die. This pause gives Rey time to grab his lightsaber and stab him before she freezes sensing Leia actually pass away. Rey uses the Force to heal him, then steals his TIE Fighter while Poe and Finn return to the Resistance base. Rey initially attempts to hide on Luke's monastery to let Palpatine's bloodline die with her, but after lighting Kylo's TIE on fire (so she's destroyed 2 of his personal TIE Fighters at this point) Luke appears as a Force ghost to tell her
Rian Johnson he was wrong, and was motivated by fear when he tried to hide. He reveals that all the Jedi who came before are rooting for her, and tells her where Leia's lightsaber is hidden. He reveals she stopped her training because in a vision she saw that her son would be destroyed by the Dark Side, and a Light Side counterpart would take up her blade instead. Meanwhile, Kylo is visited by the memory of Han. The two reenact the scene from Force Awakens, only this time Kylo throws his lightsaber into the sea and renounces the name Kylo Ren to become simply Ben again. Meanwhile the First Order blow up Poe's home planet where the droid technician and Poe's old crew were, although they had managed to get offworld by that point. Also, R2-D2 restores C-3PO's memory wipe by finding a backup which contains everything from before the mission.
Luke lifts his X-Wing from the waves and Rey scavenges the Sith McGuffin from the flaming wreck of Kylo's ship. As she proceeds to the Sith planet she sends out a beacon to track her progress, giving the entire galaxy a map to the Sith fleet. Poe, now leader of the Resistance, sends Lando with the Falcon and Nien Nunb to gather any forces they can, all the ones who refused to aid them in The Last Jedi, while the rest of the Resistance gears up to attack Sheev's fleet before they can leave the storm cloud. The initial plan is to destroy the navigation device which orients them to the rest of the galaxy without which the fleet cannot leave, until the commander of the flagship (a former Imperial officer) realizes what they are doing and orders it to be shut down so his own ship could serve as the navigation for the rest. Rey confronts Sheev in a coliseum/throne room full of the Cultist parents of the personnel of the fleet (VD) and is informed of his plan to have her kill him so all the Sith could merge with her and rule as basically the God Emperor of Star Wars. She raises her lightsaber before using the strange wormhole Force connection thing they have to pass it to Ben, who had gotten there with a salvaged TIE from the Death Star wreckage and was being beaten by his former servants, the Knights Of Ren. Armed with Luke's old lightsaber he kills them and proceeds to the throne room. Ben arrives and the two attempt to fight him. He simply Force Pushes them back and forces them to kneel before draining a portion of their souls, the "two bodies one soul" thing apparently being a massive source of Force power he can heal himself with to rule in his own rejuvenated body again (but with Darth Maul eyes) rather than Rey's. Meanwhile, the ex-Stormtroopers and Resistance ground personnel lead by Finn land on the flagship Star Destroyer (its still in the atmosphere of the Sith planet, thus gravity and breathable air applies) and due to bringing goat-horse things from Endor are not affected by onboard EMP that would otherwise short out speeders and tanks (which is a thing from past canon, mostly comics and novels, which they use to explain why such a thing doesn't happen more often). Meanwhile, Lando appears with a fucking enormous fleet (remember the backstory that the New Republic didn't have a fleet, instead paying for every planet to have a militia of their own which would unite when there was a big enough threat? Well, JJ finally remembered because all those fucks show up alongside a neat little game of "spot that ship from the series you know" in a few shots). They begin attacking the superweapons underneath the Star Destroyers directly, causing chain reactions that blow the entire ship.
Ben is Force-pushed by Sheev into a pit as revenge for how Vader did the same thing to him before taunting the dying Rey and unleashing a MASSIVE Force Lightning storm which shorts out the fleet. While this is going on the spirits of all the dead Jedi (like pretty much anyone they could find to record a line from any of the past movies or shows, including Ahsoka; which is pretty lame since it means she was killed off-screen, with natural causes being unlikely since Ahsoka wouldn't have been 80 yet, and even that's below the average Togruta life expectancy, though this may not necessarily be the case according to Filoni) who inhabit her body the same way that Palpatine is currently full of all the Sith. Rey manages to stand and deflects his Force Lightning with Leia's lightsaber, which isn't enough until Ben manages to climb out of the pit and throw her Luke's lightsaber; with the two together she's able to walk close enough to Sheev for his Force Lightning to burn him, and despite this being the third fucking time this has happened he does not turn off the lightning and instead Raiders Of The Lost Ark's himself into a skeleton before blowing up and destroying not only himself but the spirits of all the past Sith. Despite Palpatine's plan being to possess Rey when she kills him, for some reason he doesn't do so. The Jedi spirits leave Rey and she dies, with the barely lingering on Ben healing her. They share a kiss (
reminder that since Sheev created Anakin, they're basically cousins Innacurate him and Plagueis tried to build a "weapon" using the Force but having none of that shit it backlashed and created Anakin, and their relationship is so adversarial it makes Edward and Bella's from Twilight look healthy, something the novelization tries to claim is "purely platonic") before Ben dies. His body vanishes, as does Leia's. The Resistance/Militia fleet destroy all the Star Destroyers after Finn's ground crew hijacks one of the cannons of the flagship to shoot at the ship bridge, killing the last of the old Empire and First Order leadership.
The heroes return to the Resistance planet where they celebrate, scenes showing the rest of the galaxy shooting the last of the First Order Star Destroyers play, Chewie is given Han's old medal from A New Hope, and the ex-Stormtrooper leader is hinted to be Lando's daughter or grandaughter implying a spinoff with the two (also shares a gay kiss with another woman... which was cut to appease China's and Singapore's media watchdogs). After the celebrations Rey returns to Luke's old home on Tatooine where she buries Anakin and Leia's lightsabers, revealing she built her own from her Force vision only with yellow blades instead of red ones. An old woman who was a neighbor of Owen and Beru comments nobody had been to that place in years and asks Rey's name. Seeing the Force Ghosts of Luke and Leia, she tells the woman her name is Rey Skywalker. The End.
Because the fandom has become fractured like never before, there was immediately fan wars going on everywhere Star Wars fans are found. Fans accused haters of review bombing, those who hated the movie claimed the critic score (which, if you recall, is mostly people who liked The Last Jedi and hate this movie for doing a U-turn on it) vindicates them. The fan fighting probably won't ever end, since now we apparently have to reevaluate if A New Hope and the Kenner Star Wars toys were ever good in the first place because some contrarians now claim the prequels are the pinnacle of Star Wars. Whatever the case, Disney CEO Bob Iger resigned in the middle of the work week in late February 2020, before coming a couple of months later, with insiders saying he's "livid" over certain changes, and there's an absolutely chaotic mess regarding the possibility of firing Kathleen Kennedy for the whole situation that happened under her charge and as a producer for each sequel trilogy film.
For anyone interested, here is a video explaining why the Rise of Skywalker failed musically. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_8-dWSLDWI
|About:||The Franchise, The Setting, The Movies|
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