In the interest of avoiding the current topic which is dominating global headlines and is something of a buzzkill, let's have a little fun. My last post (a whole three months ago) was Star Wars-related, so let's keep the joy going.
I have previously mentioned my affection for the series and my anticipation for the conclusion, The Rise of Skywalker. Seems like that happened a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Doesn't it, though? Disney rolled out the digital release sooner than expected, which has allowed me to revisit the film and put it into perspective vis a vis the previous eight. In short, I'm pleased with where we ended up 42 years after the saga began. NOTE: Huge spoilers ahead. But if you're reading this, and you care, you've already seen this flick multiple times.
ROS was not without its glaring flaws (anyone with a discerning eye or brain can pick apart all nine, truth be told), and J.J. Abrams packed a wallop of a story into less than 2.5 hours, which did make it feel a bit rushed at times. But three elements stay with me that call to the success of the final episode.
1/ We end where we began (i.e. with A New Hope), and the Skywalker name permeates to the final line. Rey can carry on the mantle if she desires, but even if this story means peace for the galaxy and an opportunity for the last Jedi to take early retirement, the great spiritual and political challenges of the saga have been resolved.
2/ I love how J.J. managed to bring us Luke, Leia, and Han in meaningful roles (even if cameos) in a way that felt right. Seriously, did anyone truly believe the big three were going to survive this latest trilogy (with or without Carrie Fisher's passing)? Each made a sacrifice for the greater good to move the galaxy forward. Purpose served.
3/ Rey as the granddaughter of Palpatine and as a Force Dyad with Ben Solo works for me. It explains her mysterious origin story from The Force Awakens and her staggering (and stunning) ability to use the Force. Like with Luke, she was pushed to her limits in order to avoid the dark side of her nature.
Only wee little complaint that I wish were answered (and I'm not alone here): How did Palpatine and his creepy Siths-in-shadow build that massive fleet with planet-killing ability without anyone in the New Republic finding out? This is where space opera requires a wink and a nod and shouldn't be taken so damn seriously. Also, revealing that Palpatine was actually a clone (the movie novelization tells us this) would have helped answer the question of how he "survived" the destruction of the second Death Star.
Quibbles. No more. I'm satisfied.