Merry Christmas, one and all. Its time we finished my revised trilogy. Today, we look at The Rise of Skywalker, which is probably the most controversial film of the bunch. Maybe even the worst of the whole series. Do I think that?
In all honesty, no. I do sincerely believe The Phantom Menace to be the worst of the bunch. While that film had good moments, and so did this film, to say this is the worst episode is wrong. Second worst? Maybe. Whatever your opinion, it is very unlikely to be nuanced. And this presents a tall order, for me. This is a tall order because I have to come up with something that is better than the original, it has to fit in with the other two, and needs to use the elements from the sequel trilogy.
Simply put, I cannot simply add Darth Plagueis the Wise, and have him be the big bad. This film has to use what we already have. And I think I can pull it off.
The Rise of Skywalker: What we Got
The Rise of Skywalker was so disappointing because of the lack of build up. Firstly, you bring back Emperor Palpatine as the mastermind of the whole evil plan, talking to Kylo Ren. He is also Rey’s Grandfather, and he…wants to die? No! What? Why would he want to die? He is the only Sith (Kylo Ren never actually falling into that), he has all that power. Secondly, why waste the other characters again? You had Rose in the last film, and she is nowhere to be seen. For Finn and Poe, I actually forget what they actually did in this movie.
Thirdly, you wasted your nostalgia on the first two movies. Lando Calrissian is all you have now? Han, Luke, and Leia appear in one form or another, but why have them? They don’t really need to be there. None of them do. It is just nostalgia porn for the fans.
The more I look back on The Rise of Skywalker, the more I feel a sense of disappointment in retrospect. I am more forgiving of its flaws, but even I have to say, it was not a good movie. And I can do it better!
The Rise of Skywalker: What I’d Keep
The last two movies, I kept elements of the original. As ever, I will do this. I will be keeping Palpatine. Not like he was in this film, but he will be in there. Besides that, this is going to be a completely original plot.
What I’d Change
Well, obviously the title. With no Skywalker in it, then their has to be another title. Though I think something like ‘Fate of the Force’ would be a good working title for my version. ‘Duel of the Fates’ would be good, but that has no relevance to the story that I would tell.
THE GALACTIC COMMONWEALTH HAS DECLARED WAR ON THE CULT OF REN. AFTER THE DEATH OF SUPREME LEADER SNOKE, SUPREME LEADER KYLO REN HAS LED THE SEEMINGLY WEAKENED CULT TO DECISIVE VICTORIES AGAINST THE COMMONWEALTH. POE DAMERON, ROSE AND REY ARE CURRENTLY BEING PURSUED BY THE CULT, AS REN PONDERS THE MYSTERIOUS NATURE OF THE SITH RELIC THAT HUX BROUGHT TO HIM…
In my ideal world, I’d actually put a few years between this film and The Last Jedi, to help with the resonance of that cliff-hanger ending, and also to let the actors age a little bit.
Finn is in cuffs, Poe is despondent, and Rose is piloting their ship through a space battlefield. We see Rey training in the cargo bay, with her new lightsaber, using old Jedi training techniques. Maybe we see Luke’s helmet from A New Hope. Meanwhile, Kylo Ren is looking at the Sith relic we saw at the end of my TLJ. This Ren is not good, the voices in his head are louder, he’s more erratic, until the voices momentarily stop:
‘My Boy. Your power is uncontested’
The single voice is Palpatine. He was the voices in his head. Unlike in TROS, Palpatine is still actually dead. He has no physical body, he appears in visions, and he is a voice. That’s how he survives, that’s the unnatural ability. Sith can enter the minds of people, and influence them, seemingly forever. We also see into Kylo Ren’s mind, and we actually get a bit more of an idea about who the Knights of Ren are, and the Cult.
Palpatine wants Ren and Rey to destroy the cult and the commonwealth, and reform The Sith. That is the main plan of the film. The Force dyad, established in the last film, actually makes the two force users a powerful joint entity.
That would be the set up for the film. I would make more plot, but that’s all you need, and if you’ve watched Star Wars, you know what will happen. Suffice to say, Palpatine is defeated, Kylo Ren is redeemed, and dies saving Rey, Finn and Poe get their redemptions too, and they all go on with their lives. No chosen one, no big destiny. They saved the day, but now life has to go on.
Oh, and there’d be no romance between her and Ren. That was silly.
The Rise of Skywalker: Conclusion
So. That is how I’d do The Rise of Skywalker, and how I would do the sequel trilogy as a whole. The main thing I wanted to do with this, with all of them, was add consistency, and to make these characters stand on their own two feet. It is my belief that Star Wars can, and has, survive and be something without Luke Skywalker, and Anakin Skywalker.
My films had a clear protagonist, a clear antagonist, and a clear arc that would be built up over the three movies. It doesn’t re-tread, and it doesn’t employ fan service. You don’t need fan service. You can have old characters come back, but only if they are relevant. And, arguably, a lot of the old characters were not relevant in the sequels. They took away from the real stars.
And that’s why I made these decisions, and communicated them in a cliff notes synopsis. Merry Christmas, my friends.