ASIJ Reacts to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Article by Maia Macek, Writer

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The first day back from winter break and the library was buzzing with all sorts of opinions on the latest and final Star Wars movie, The Rise of Skywalker. There is a lot of controversy surrounding the film which generated 374 million dollars internationally on its opening weekend. 

Skywalker is, of course, the final film in the nine-part saga spanning over four decades, with the first film (A New Hope) appearing in 1977. I decided to talk to some ASIJ Star Wars fans to figure out what they think about the ending of this epic series. 

Two Star Wars fans, Jacob Foster ‘20 and Archer Plotz ‘20 agreed on one thing: the film should have been different in some form or another. Jacob went so far as to say, “I would scrap all three movies [of the recent trilogy] and start again. I think if they took any of the expanded universe novels — there are thousands of them — took any of those and took the plots from there, they could do a better job. It was just pretty bad.” 

For Archer, it was his favorite character’s fate that he disagreed with. Archer commented on Rey, the main Jedi of the three-part Skywalker saga, that “She was awesome in The Force Awakens but in the next two movies, I got bored of her.” He added that her internal struggle in The Rise of Skywalker was too basic and “really annoying.” 

Among other criticisms, Jacob argued that the Skywalker creators “destroyed whole character arcs,” noting that they “introduced new characters that ultimately did nothing, [and that] past characters they introduced turned out to just do nothing.” Archer agreed that the latest film was “just a movie that seemed put together at the last minute.”

Overall, these seniors, like other Star Wars fans with high expectations, were “unsatisfied when [they] came out of the theater.” Jacob came out of the theater feeling like “it was bad if not a little bit worse than [he] expected, which is actually saying a lot.” Archer was expecting a good ending but Jacob’s hopes were not too high: “I wasn’t excited because I saw Last Jedi, didn’t like it. I was more anticipating something very bad… I was mildly excited when The Force Awakens came out and I thought that was okay but then things went exponentially downhill.” 

In addition to these expectations, both fans mentioned that 2019 was an important time for endings with the final season of Game of Thrones, Avengers and Toy Story. This just added to the tension and expectations leading up to The Rise of Skywalker’s release date. Ultimately, Star Wars fans were let down. “I felt like they totally annihilated all the rules that Star Wars had previously established,” Jacob said disappointedly, adding, “It was a very unsatisfying conclusion — everything felt really forced and yeah, it was bad.” 

Even among all these criticisms, these two seniors say that they would recommend the film to anyone who hasn’t seen it. “The Rise of Skywalker totally clashed with all the other movies but if you don’t care about the other movies, Rise of Skywalker is just a flashy action movie which can be cool.” For any Star Wars fans who somehow didn’t see the movie, Jacob suggest they “should watch it even if it’s horrible just so they can… suffer the way I have.” Perhaps this is why the film has made so much money; because people are recommending it even if they thought it was awful, just to spur more opinions and conversations.

The Star Wars franchise has become such a prominent part of pop culture that it doesn’t matter if this latest movie is good or not; it will still make lots of money. Even though these two Star Wars enthusiasts weren’t fans of the movie, they are still talking about it and encouraging others to see it so they can discuss it further. It’s not about the quality of the movie anymore, it’s about the shared experience of watching a film from such a popular series.