How do I put this?
This was a decent way to end the Sequel Trilogy …but it was a FUCKING TERRIBLE WAY to end the whole Skywalker Saga!
I actually don’t blame J.J. Abrams for this movie. I think he did the best he could given what Rian Johnson left him with in the wake of The Last Jedi. Abrams had hardly any of his original plot points to utilize, and he also had to appeal to a very divided fan base in Star Wars fandom!
Good Lord was this movie lackluster! It felt fitting for the Disney sequel trilogy because the others were mostly hot garbage, but for the entire saga? No, this movie does not work at all!
Let me begin with what I thought was good about this movie. The acting is strong all across the board. Unfortunately, some characters are wasted here, but everyone gave a good performance nonetheless. Most of the action and special effects are very, VERY good, especially the light saber battles. While I don’t think they’re prequel-level amazing, they at least felt like high stakes light saber battles. And the banter between Rey, Finn, and Poe were the highlight of the movie for me! Where was this in the previous films? I loved every moment they were together!
Also, Mark Hamill’s return as a force ghost Luke Skywalker really redeemed what was I felt was done with him in The Last Jedi and it gave him a proper send off as I’m concerned. Same with Harrison Ford returning as Han for one last appearance. And finally, the last good thing about the movie was the chemistry between Rey and Kylo. No, I’m NOT a Reylo fan, but I will say you can really feel something is there!
Now for the bad stuff. The story is an utter mess! It’s clear that this was effectively two movies mashed into one and the result was all the poorer for it! Some of the fan-service pandering felt very hollow, like what was the deal with Maz Catana giving Chewie his medal, forty years later? And while it was great to see Lando again, his use was totally superfluous and wasn’t needed at all! Then there is General Leia Organa… once again I have to say that J.J. had no choice but to do what he did because of how she was handled in The Last Jedi. There was simply no hiding they were working around footage that was not intended for the scenes where they were used.
It was just a disappointing mess! And the finale was the most insulting. Emperor Palpatine was suddenly back from the dead, and then was taken out quickly and stupidly. What could have been epic was reduced to him shouting “I am all the sith!” and Rey responding in kind with “I am all the Jedi!” Ugh.
I will say this about the trilogy. This final movie represents the entire saga, the one where Anakin Skywalker was the “chosen one” to bring balance to the Force! It was meant to end with Palpatine dying at the end of Return of the Jedi. But when Palpatine found some way to cheat death, some unexplained way, a brand new “chosen one” was needed, which took the form of Rey, to stop him! We hear Anakin’s voice telling Rey that she’ll bring balance like he did). So this sequel trilogy, which wasn’t needed in the first place, needed to create a new chosen one, as well to stop a threat that was continuing to exist despite destiny wanting him dead! Oh, and it also had to make Disney some cash.
Does any of this make the sequel trilogy better? Hell no! But it does at least justify it’s existence to me a TINY bit! I do so wish it had been handled much better than this! I wish The Last Jedi NEVER went down the way it did, and ultimately I wish this movie would’ve been an epic send off that these characters and we the fans deserved.
I give this movie a 4.5/10