“‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ Falls Under the Weight Of Its Own Franchising”

What a king bummer that my first time professionally reviewing* a Star Wars movie, the movie happens to be The Rise of Skywalker.

Two days after the press screening, my already sour feelings have soured further; this is, and I cannot stress this enough, a disaster of a movie, less of an actual picture than an attempt at damage control. First Rian Johnson made The Last Jedi, which is basically designed to reset the entire franchise by disposing of nostalgia elements. (It’s also really good.) Then came the fan campaigns against The Last Jedi. Then came those comments from Abrams and Boyega on the junket train, easily interpreted as displeasure with Johnson’s work. Now comes Abrams’ climax to the “Skywalker Saga**.”

There’s a nice little moment in this movie where Rey, faced with the prospect of walking downhill on sand, decides to sled downhill on sand with a piece of metal debris. I love that moment. I wish the whole movie felt like that moment. I’m not even kidding. It’s a joyful aside, the kind of thing that makes movies like this worthwhile. The Rise of Skywalker needed more of that playful, unvarnished energy. It has next to  none. 

I could go on. But I already did that in my review, which you can read over at Paste Magazine.

*I’ve written editorials and interviewed Chewbacca before. Never a review, though. The distinction is meaningful even if it seems trivial at first glance.


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