First off I am going to have to preface this with a bit of serious talk. I haven't liked discussing Star Wars - or Doctor Who - or Star Trek - (and I am very concerned about Lord of the Rings with the up and coming Amazon Prime series) on the internet due to the fact that I am usually accused of being on 'the wrong side' of the fence.
It gets trying being referred to as a Toxic Fanboy, and a Misogynist.
Seriously. Getting off Twitter was one of the best things I ever did.
After awhile the negativity starts to grind you down. You start not enjoy that which you enjoyed anymore because it's only ever negative press.
Which is why, I don't want to talk too negatively here - to me, Star Wars has always, fundamentally been about hope.
Star Wars - at its core - is a Space Opera about a Family: The Skywalkers.
You can say it's about the Jedi, the Sith, the Empire, the Republic, the Force, and everything in between - but - the MOVIES - at their core - are a Space Opera that follow the Skywalkers.
And I LOVE Space Opera and more importantly, I love Space Opera that follows a family line. Therefore, Star Wars is the type of genre I adore.
Now I'm not saying you can't expand the Star Wars universe outside of the Skywalkers - you obviously can - but the movies themselves, from the Prequels, the Originals, and the Disney Era Sequels should technically have had a subtitle in my opinion "The Skywalker Saga."
I'm sorry. I cannot see it as anything else.
It's The Skywalker Saga.
This is why I was so excited when The Force Awakens came out. Yes. I knew Disney had stupidly ditched the Expanded Universe Books (STUPID, STUPID, STUPID) but I had hope in my heart that we'd get Princess Leia and Han Solo's kids, Luke and his chaotic awesomeness, and gosh I really wanted to see Mara Jade on big screen.
Princess Leia and Han Solo - my favorite couple in the UNIVERSE - broke up. THEY FREAKING BROKE UP. YOU BROKE UP MY FAVOURITE COUPLE. NO. NO. NO.
The first movie really wasn't bad. It was fine. I left the theater skipping. It set things up for the next movie really well. I was really looking forward to seeing who Rey was, how she came to be so amazing so quickly - yes - I'm sorry - I'm in that basket. She was a bit OP - and that's not bad, right, I personally write super OP characters. You just have to do it skillfully. Explain why over your series, or throw in a training montage - especially if your two movies are only set over several days.
I don't dislike Rey's character - I actually like ALL the new characters, I have Funk Pop's of them all. (Finn is my favourite. Could have made the whole series about him and I'd have been happy.)
The second movie.
I almost walked out.
I have never, in my life, almost walked out of a movie.
I was so upset at what they did to my childhood hero, Luke Skywalker. My writing brain refused to accept it - the entire movie - I kept trying to rewrite his character, over and over, and over, I kept trying to fix him. It was so annoying. I couldn't focus. Then the Holdo Maneuver. I freaked out. Because they actually did it. They actually DID IT. Oh my gosh. Who was in the writer's room, why didn't anyone say anything about this...
Okay. I won't say anything else about that. Just know. I completely FLIPPED out. I have a thing about world-building and it broke my brain.
Now that we all know who Rey is - that she's Emperor Palpatine's Granddaughter I can say that I would have really appreciated knowing this in the second movie. I think it would have really improved that movie, it would have improved her character development, it would have improved the storyline with Ben Solo. I deeply wish there had been no Snoke and the Emperor had been the focus of all three movies, whispers of him in the first, a reveal of Rey being his Granddaughter in the second, and defeating him in the third. Luke could every well still have died in the second movie, but he didn't have to be a hopeless old bum, depressed and alone. Luke symbolised hope and trust, he was a beacon of light in the darkness. I could never, ever picture him running off and abandoning the galaxy - no matter his mistakes. Yes, he would for awhile, but he would always come back. His light would return again, burning even brighter than before!
That is what he should have taught Rey.
My favourite things about Rise of Skywalker?
The connection between Rey and Ben Solo - personally - that was my favourite part of The Last Jedi. And no, not as some "shipper" or anything, it was more the interesting way they used the Force to connect the two. I actually really appreciated this added level to the universe law. But I wish it had been introduced much sooner so even more of their character could have been established and a bit more of a 'push-and-pull' effect could have been created as they fought to yank each other to the Dark and Light side. Like, wow, imagine if Ben knew she was Palpatine's Granddaughter in the second movie! Ohhhhh, the tension! XD
I also loved the bond between Poe, Finn and Rey. They really worked on that in this movie and I am so glad to see they did. It was sorely needed and I appreciated it. In actual fact, the whole cast felt more like a community. It felt a lot more like the original movies when everyone casually talked to each other.
I appreciated there not being as many "Marvel Style Jokes." Oh my gosh. Thank you.
Are you all going to be surprised to learn that Ben Solo is actually my favourite character. Yeah. Even from the very beginning, when everyone was calling Kylo Ren a whiny little boy, having temper tantrums, and saying other nasty things, I really liked his character development. Oh, it wasn't perfect. Blahhhhhh...nope....but it had such glimmers in it. Like Rey had glimmers of good character writing too.
Ben Solo came alive in Rise of Skywalker. So did Rey.
This movie rounded them off well. I am just left feeling like their characters deserved so much more - especially Rey. But that is the cynical writer in me that sits in a movie thinking "how would I rewrite this entire series?" it's a horrible thing sometimes...a writing brain...
The only perfect character in this whole new series is Finn. Finn for Disney Prince!
Personally. I think they did the best they could with The Rise of Skywalker.
And I really, deeply, appreciated the effort.
I was so nervous. I wasn't even sure if I should go and see it. But I knew I had to, because I love Star Wars. I think what my Dad said afterwards really sums it up well, "It felt like Star Wars again."
If my Dad said it felt like Star Wars, and if I feel like it felt like Star Wars, well, good job guys. Good job. I was relieved. I was happy. I was comfortable. It was a good movie. A round of applause. Thank you to everyone involved. Thank you.
There is so much more I could say - but really - it's all been said before.
This saga is over.
This adventure is done.
It was a good adventure.
And no I haven't seen the final episode of the Mandalorian - so shhh...