‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ hypes veterans and newcomers

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Qing An Chou, guest writer

As a person with a lawful good D&D alignment I am expected to tell the truth and keep my word, so I watched this movie with a blind reaction, as in I watched it without knowing any background knowledge aside from basic Star Wars knowledge. That joke aside, I tried to keep an open mind while watching the film to try remove any anchoring biases I might have against the movie. Other things I did to be as unbiased as possible while watching the movie, was going in without watching the trailer and the reviews as they often give you an anchoring bias of what to expect. The only thing that mattered to me was that they sponsored the 2020 FIRST Robotics game. Now onto the actual review.

For those who haven’t watched The Force Awakens (2015) or The Last Jedi (2017), the first two movies in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, fear not because if this movie is a standalone movie in the trilogy. While some may assume since it is a standalone movie it didn’t need to have been in the trilogy in the first place, which is the same thing that has been said about The Last Jedi (2017). However, I feel as if that truly is the intention of the movies in the trilogy. Some may say that it is a blatant cash grab meant to lure nostalgic fans who want to see what good old Palpatine was up to all these years, I would agree. I agree it is a cash grab, which the point of all big budget films is kinda to make enough money to cover its budget, the film however tries to lure more newer audiences in by being a standalone film.

If all trilogies were to be deeply interconnected to each other that you must watch it in its sequential order to understand anything. It would be really frustrating for people who know nothing about Star Wars to watch the movie, as they probably wouldn’t know it was a trilogy that worked like that in the first place, and therefore it would be really hard for them to understand what is going on. Adding Palpatine also was a great idea, because many fans were left speculating why a random scavenger girl would have force potential in the first movie, The Force Awakens (2015). Adding him in answers a lot of the questions that fans have, such as who Rey’s parents were, why she has force powers, and what her relation to Kylo Ren was. Fans have also been theorizing that Rey was a Palpatine since The Last Jedi (2017), even though that film shot down every expectation of Rey’s parents being an important character in the franchise, the power of theorizing never stops (I’ve watched enough Film Theorist to know that literally anything can happen, thanks Matt Pat), and so for it to be confirmed is all the hype for the fans in the theaters.

On a side note, the Kylo Rey shippers were right all along, but contrary to what some believe as unnecessary fanfare, the ship actually makes a lot of sense now. Before the movie I was indifferent to the ship, however as the movie progresses I was literally jumping from my seat anticipating the kissing scene, luckily I had friends in the theater with me to stop me from imploding into myself from excitement. The fact that Disney had written this into the movie really does show how much they really do care for their fans. However like most films, it is not without flaws. Cue CinemaSins title card!  A few things that didn’t make sense was what Finn wanted to tell Rey, as it literally was only mentioned as a running joke throughout the movie. However this can be ignored as a flaw because in the context that Finn said it, he thought he was about to die, it is also probably something personal because he wouldn’t tell it to Poe when they were about to get executed. The first few minutes of the film had no dialogue at all and followed Kylo Ren. Some people may say that this has lead to bad pacing as they explain later on what the opening scene was about, however it is better to show than tell.

What actually lead to bad pacing was them adding convoluted plot points for no reason, such as the time wasted on the dagger encryption when they could have just flown off immediately, as it risked all of their lives trying to retrieve it. Also it doesn’t make sense why Chewie would take the dagger in the first place when they could have kept it in the ship, but the plot needed a way for Kylo and Rey to talk things out. Personally think that they could have written it differently to save time and to make more sense.

Other than that, I came into the theaters with no hype, just to come out ecstatic at everything my eyes witnessed. I would say it is probably the best movie I’ve seen this entire year, even Avengers: Endgame (2019) didn’t get me hyped up. I totally recommend anyone and everyone to watch this movie even if you haven’t watched any of the movies at all. That is why I believe regardless of any flaws of the film, it is an absolutely stunning film that will have you at the edge of your seat every five minutes. Ever since the beginning scene, there is already a whole lot of foreshadowing and reveals that begin the hype, you are left wondering what Palpatine and Kylo’s motives are, then as more is revealed, you start anticipating that what is revealed isn’t true. However, as the movie goes on, the reveals back up a fear that Rey really is a Palpatine, but in the final battle scene, it didn’t matter if she was related or not as the famous proverb says “Blood is thicker than water” which can be interpreted as the bond from bloodshed from the Sith spirits Ben (Kylo Ren) and Rey fought in the very last battle of the movie is stronger than whatever water Palpatine is drinking to think that Rey would accept his offer to rule the galaxy.