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Seven Concerns About Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

I am a fan of the Star Wars movies, but I am cynical about the direction Lucasfilm has taken. I did not hate The Last Jedi as much as others- yet I noticed the flaws that ruined a potentially fantastic film.

Another blog post about Star Wars concerns? How original! Yet it’s time to get serious.

As the end of the sequel trilogy is scheduled to be released on December 20th, I am coming to grips with my concerns. I am a fan of the Star Wars movies, but I am cynical about the direction Lucasfilm has taken the series in. I did not hate The Last Jedi as much as others- yet I noticed the flaws that ruined a potentially fantastic film. I’m not really a fan of the title for Episode IX- “The Rise Of Skywalker.

Either way, I hope to be wrong.

This is not meant to be a complete list, as there are many more concerns I could have mentioned. To keep it short and sweet, I listed seven Star Wars concerns I have and that others may share.

If you haven’t seen the trailer already, you can watch it here:

I like this teaser- it’s about asking questions as opposed to giving answers.

Concern One: Thin Characterisation For Rey

Rey is not one of my Star Wars concerns- but I am worried of poor writing.

Rey is not a bad character. She has insecurities from her parents and has a lack of identity. However, often she is written as a mere badass who smiles cheerfully. This was apparent in The Last Jedi, where after the story built up a unique relationship with Kylo Ren- it was put aside for Rey to lift rocks. Rey is at her most interesting when she doubts herself, is allowed to be emotional and uncertain, or she stands up for herself. Not when she is a plucky, one note heroine who is meant to sell more merchandise. Which brings me to my second point…

Concern Two: Catering To Children Only

Maybe go easy on the ‘cute’ factor

What’s fantastic about Star Wars is it’s ability to appeal to a variety of age groups. Yes, this is a Disney production and Star Wars is often associated with people’s ‘childhoods’ yet c’mon. Children are not the people buying the tickets here, and nor are they the only group that should be catered towards.

On a cynical level, I get it. Adults buy alot of merchandise for their kids, which can make more money than the box office. Yet there is something tragic about seeing a franchise- especially Star Wars– existing just to make some money. Pathetic, really.

Concern Three: Too Much Humour

The original trilogy could make you smile and laugh, but still took the dramatic moments seriously. However, the sequel trilogy overuses comedy, and it’s to the detriment of the franchise. As a moviegoer, making me laugh for 2 hours is not that hard. What’s more difficult (and more rewarding) is crafting a meaningful film that will be remembered years later.

I’ve linked this video in the past, but it’s worth watching.

People are going to talk about the Star Wars moments that defined generations, such as Darth Vader telling Luke that he is his father. Not BB-8 making a silly joke towards Finn. Because of that, I am concerned that there will be too much humour in Episode IX.

Concern Four: Retconning The Last Jedi

You shouldn’t pretend a previous movie doesn’t exist because you want your film to be liked.

Out of all my Star Wars concerns, this one is probably the most controversial.

Look, people are justified to be unhappy with the direction Rian Johnson took Star Wars. That being said, it would be irresponsible for JJ Abrams to act as if The Last Jedi never existed. The decision to make Rey not Luke’s daughter should be respected, even if it brings unhappiness. I really liked the decision to make Rey a nobody, because it added a new dimension to what it meant to be a force-user, as well as adding an extra layer to Rey’s character.

We shouldn’t love Rey because of who her parents are, we should love Rey because of who she is as a person. Retconning The Last Jedi sends a bad message that filmmakers are allowed to backtrack canon simply because the fans are too immature to accept it.

Concern Five: No Satisfying Conclusion For Kylo Ren

Kylo Ren is a fantastic character that deserves a solid conclusion.

He’s the leader of the First Order, the only son of Leia Organa and Han Solo, and he’s a powerful force user. He deserves a satisfying conclusion- and that may mean redeeming him. Kylo Ren’s journey is like electricity: it’s violent and erratic, yet also sustaining to the story. I believe he’s the best character in the sequel trilogy, and I hope he is written well.

Adding onto that, I hope Episode IX shows us more depth into Kylo Ren. I’m hoping for plenty of scenes of him as Supreme Leader. We’ll see.

Concern Six: Using Palpatine As Fan Service

There is alot of potential with Palpatine’s return.

So, I’m pretty excited for the return of Palpatine in Episode IX- despite not knowing how he’s going to fit in with the story. Because of that, I’m worried that his appearance will be akin to fanservice. Palpatine will be badass and evil, yet he won’t add anything deeper to the story.

I am quite excited to see Ian McDiarmid back- he’s a terrific actor who owns every scene he’s in. Because of that, I hope Disney have the good sense to not dismiss Palpatine as fan service, but to use his character well. This can be done by establishing Palpatine as a credible threat. A tiny part of me thinks that Palpatine will be no more than a cameo, and for that, I hope I’m wrong.

Concern Seven: Trying Too Much To Be Like The Originals

The original Star Wars movies are great, yet the writers must move on from it and establish something new.

I love the original Star Wars movies, but it’s pathetic to try to be like them. Those movies were made in the late 70s/ early 80s, and represent a completely different time than the one we live in now. Things change, and so will movies. What worked in 1977 will not be as successful in 2019. Because of that, Disney should not rely too much on people’s nostalgia.

Alot has already been written about how The Force Awakens mimicked A New Hope, and there isn’t much to add to that. However, it didn’t necessarily make TFA a bad movie, just a bland one. At the end of the day, what would you rather watch? The original movie, or a passable mimick of one? I really hope Disney sat down and asked themselves that question.

We want new movies and adventures, not the same-old.

What do you think? What are your Star Wars concerns about Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker? Comment below!

Check out my other Star Wars posts here, if you’d like.

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