The story in the rise of skywalker, is not existing. It just chaos. People running around doing stuff in a pace which seems to be an attempt to hide an incredible high amount of plot holes and inconsistencies. Even the ideas which could have been awesome fall flat due to the lack of an overall structure in the story and what seems to be a fear of surprising the fans.
The use of the force and the depiction of the power structure in the galaxy, is so vague and not in line with what was established in the previous movies, that it almost break the logic of the franchise.
And the new band of heroes just doesn’t have the same charm, personalities or chemistry together (actually this is the first movie in the new trilogy, where they do stuff together). They more feel like they have been cast for a United Colors of Benetton commercial, on behalf of their skins-color and sex, more than what type of character and personality they had to portray – they are all just so empty, like cardboard-cutouts with calculated screen-time and one-dimensional personalities. Most of them, hardly even have an arc or any real character-development over the course of 3 movies.
And the same goes for the new movie itself. The action is bland, nothing we haven’t seen a 100 times before. Often way better and more impressive in other modern movies. Sure it’s state of the art, but some of the CGI actually looks rather rushed and unfinished, considering the budget behind this movie, while at other times, there’s just too much going on at the screen at once, for you to get involved, focus or care. And the action often doesn’t serve a purpose to the story – it’s just more timely inserted space-battles, chase-scenes and sci-fi fights. Mostly just overblown shiny CGI stuff, with a few practical puppets, sets and costumes thrown in to pander to the old fans.
Nothing flows naturally, most events seem to come out of nowhere and aren’t explained in the slightest. Kylo Ren needs to find a thingy. Why? Don’t ask. look at the flashy lightsaber. The crew finds an ancient weapon that leads to some important thing. Why? They were lucky i guess, it’s not important, look at the shiny lights. The screenplay is absolutely predicteable, even the big twist in the middle is a horrible rehash.
The relationships between protagonists feel forced and constructed. Rey and Finn try their best to resemble Han and Leia, but it’s done very clumsy and artificial. Not Anakin-Padmé-clumsy, but still far from natural. Lightsabers are swiss army knives for Jedis instead of mystical weapons which should be used with caution. The force is super-powerful, unless the screenplay doesn’t want it. Rey jumps around like Super Mario in one scene and struggles heavily to climb a rock in the next. And the humorous scenes mostly fall flat beside some minor exceptions.
There are only a few good bits. The lightsaber battles feel a lot less like some ridiculous dance coreography or circus act, but more like a struggle between two opposing characters. And there is a beautiful homage to Carrie Fisher, which actually felt dear, honest and respectful. But most good ideas here are merely touched on and dropped in favour of more spectacle.
Some plot points were completely pulled out of nowhere with no explanation, and since this trilogy never did a good job developing its characters, I had no care for what would happen to them. Certain characters who looked promising in TFA were just wasted. There was such little weight to any scene, with no proper buildup. Stunning visuals and honest performances aside, Rise is the most uninspired film in the entire saga, and more focused on damage control and desperate fanservice than telling a good story. It baffles me that Disney can churn out Mandalorian, which is great, and this at the same time.
It’s a shame that the main branch of Star Wars films centred on the Skywalker story has become such a corny, trope filled shill. But hey, it’s over now. So let’s all breathe a collective sigh of relief and hope all future Star Wars anthologies and tv shows focus on mythology, characters and story.