This December, after a staggering 42 years, ends the Star Wars trilogy of trilogies. With J.J. Abrams back on the helm, the ironically titledmarks the end of the Skywalker Saga's nine-feature film.
Here's the big question: Can Abrams hold the landing? After his generally well received first Star Wars actionand the decidedly controversial episode of Rian Johnson Abrams has the chance to send the trilogy: ̵
Can he do it? Will he tell a story that is both exciting and satisfying? Give answers to burning questions? Let yourself be surprised on the way?
Let us discuss. Do not worry, no spoilers. But to fully understand my predictions and perspectives, you need to know me a little better. So here's my Star Wars origin story.
It's 1977. I'm 9 years old and behind my parents who did not tell me anything about the movie we're going to see. War of stars? Sounds completely uninteresting. Granted, films have not played a defining role in my life. I remember laughing at Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor at Silver Streak and Burt Reynolds at Smokey and the Bandit. In fact, the latter opened on the same weekend as Star Wars, and I'm sure I saw it first.
But on that fateful day, I had seen precious little sci-fi except for a few Star Trek reps. I liked the spaceships, but beyond that it had little appeal. So it was a very downed little Ricky dropping into his seat. No runaway trains? No trans-ams? No thanks.
I can not remember how long it took for my brain to catch fire. Was it when the robots strolled Laurel and Hardy through a barrage of blaster fire and the theater burst out laughing? Or when the monstrous figure in a black cloak lifted a man by the neck and gasped for air collectively? My general memories of this first look are blurry, but I know for sure: Two hours later, I turned up in a transformed way. Over night, my world became Star Wars and all its ancillary aspects: computers, robots, technology, space, spaceships, movie binders, magazines, action figures, soundtracks.
I remember exactly how I went crazy when a TV commercial. (Little did I know what I was aiming for.) I still remember arguing with friends who insisted the film was fantasy, not science-fiction. (Technically, they were right – because of The Force – but they were crazy jerks too – when I think of science fiction, I think of Star Wars.)
Review of 1999. I'm 31 and like everyone else on the planet who owns a ticket to The Phantom Menace, the first of three Star Wars prequels. Three! If the original 70's and 80's technology films looked incredible, imagine what they would look like at the height of the 21st century.
Two hours later, I appeared … well, like everyone else on the planet, confused and disappointed. What the hell was that? Trade disputes? Midichlorians? Jake Lloyd?
Um, okay, even George Lucas can breathe now and then. He will contract it for Attack of the Clones. And the revenge of the Sith.
No. And no. I'm not saying the prequels are bad, only that I do not feel like ever seeing them again. They are boring and soulless and dumb and I hate them, I hate them, I hate them.
Review of 2015. Star Wars continues! Fortunately, George Lucas' misguided pen was nowhere to be seen. Instead, the power under the cautious eye of J.J. Abrams, the man behind Alias, Lost, an excellent Mission Impossible outing, and a darn good Star Trek reboot. This is going to be good.
But it was not good. Although The Force Awakens had more nuances in the little fingertips than all three predecessors put together, it gave us flat characters and nonsensical (not to mention refurbished) storyline. It asked us to love Rey and Finn, not because we felt for them or identified with them, but simply because they were the stars of a Star Wars movie. Nothing about the story felt organic; Instead, we were force-fed by our heroes, villains and action points. The Millennium Falcon is just sitting around with the keys in the ignition? Finn and Poe Dameron are BFFs after spending five minutes together. And, come on, another Death Star?
I will not say much about The Last Jedi because that was a Rian Johnson Joint and we are here to talk about Abram's latest. I will praise it if I at least try to confuse the formula, even if it sometimes failed miserably. The worst offense is turning our innocent Tatooine Farmboy-cum-Jedi, our beloved hero, into a dick. If you want to dig up Luke Skywalker, do not make him grumpy and unlikely. And if you want to kill him in the end, think of a way that will not make everyone scratch their heads. "Huh? He died … Exhaustion from power projection?"
Now we have a movie left and Abrams quarterbacking is back. Sure, I hope it will be great, or at least good, but my inner child, pouting in the closet since 1999, is doubtful. The truth is that I have low hopes for The Rise of Skywalker, also because Abrams has a mixed track record of closure (see: Alias, Lost, etc.).
But the bigger problem could be the script: Abrams co-wrote it with Chris Terrio, who wrote the two incredibly bad movies Batman vs. Superman and Justice League. Part of the blame goes to director Zack Snyder, but I'm afraid The Rise of Skywalker has putrefaction in its bones. There is no solid foundation to build on, no way to end a story that, to be honest, was completed at the end of the return of the Jedi. Where I ask for something original or at least logical, we expect nonsensical moments (a decades-long dormant R2-D2 suddenly wakes up because … the movie is nearing its end and it's time to find Luke?) And intelligence-insulting storylines ( the fleet of the First Order can only catch the Resistance ships when they run out of fuel?!).
Ah, but what about the followers? You look cool, right? I have to take my word because I do not watch trailers. Trailer ruin movies. I do not want to spoil jokes, reveal pictures, telegraph surprises. I want to go into the movie cold, with an idea of almost zero, what's coming. The more you have seen in advance, the less you will enjoy the movie. Period.
Full Disclosure: I briefly violated my rule just because I feel overwhelmed with the entire franchise. I saw the first teaser, the one with Rey, who stared down and then ran away, a TIE fighter, which seemed only out of context. T
When I finally heard this familiar, threatening cackle, I knew that I would get involved in another disappointing Star Wars excursion. So is Emperor Palpatine apparently alive? How original. The Force Awakens gave us Death Star 3.0; Looks like The Rise of Skywalker is going for Big Bad 1.0. Yawning.
Another shadow threatens The Rise of Skywalker, which is sad and inevitable: Although the film gets a grip on the death of Princess Leia, it will feel artificial and artificial as it forces us to die to the beloved one Carrie Fisher to remember. It will bring us out of the history of Collective In Memoriam Recognition.
Think of the best moments in Star Wars. Luke and Leia swing over the abyss. Han appears at the last second ("Yee-haw!") To give Luke the all-clear. Yoda lifts the X-Wing out of the swamp. Darth Vader spilled the beans; Luke's nervous reaction. The shock of Lando's betrayal. Vader rescued his son from the Emperor (before George Lucas ruined him with that bland "Noooooo!").
No modern Star Wars movie has given us a single goosebump moment to keep up with them, and that's proof that the Skywalker saga airs with only a minimum of effort. Prove that I'm wrong, Abrams.
Originally published on the 12th of October.