Give Me Those Star Wars 32: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER Review

The saga ends… but the podcast lives forever.

On this episode of Give Me Those Star Wars, Ryan Daly welcomes Rob Kelly and Chris Franklin to discuss STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER, the ninth and allegedly final episode in the Skywalker saga that began in 1977. What did they like? What did they not like? What did they like in spite of all logic and reasoning? Find out in this SPOILER-FILLED review episode.

Plus, Nathaniel Wayne drops his own lightspeed-fast review at the end.

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14 responses to “Give Me Those Star Wars 32: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER Review

  1. Before listening to what I’m sure will be an excellent discussion, I just wanted to give my initial unadulterated impressions of Rise of Skywalker.

    I have to start by saying this is the first Star Wars movie I’ve seen that left me feeling disappointed, and, yes, that includes the prequel movies. This is mainly because there was a lot of new (and arguably unnecessary) stuff introduced in RoS that seemed to come out of left field, without the proper groundwork being laid in the previous two films. As a result, those new things had no room to breath and grow in this film. Basically, I felt like I was watching railroad workers laying down new tracks as quickly as they could, while the train was racing towards them. I don’t know if this is the fault of Abrams or Lucas Films, but I suspect the latter, given the apparent lack of a consistent and coherent storyline tying the movies of this latest trilogy together.

    Not wanting to be a completely Negative Nathaniel, I also want to share some of the things I genuinely enjoyed about RoS. For example, it was great to see the Finn-Poe bromance in full bloom at the start of the movie. Seeing them work together as a well oiled machine was a nice contrast to their inaugural escape from the star destroyer in Force Awakens. I was surprised and elated to see Wedge Antilles in the final space battle. Likewise, it was nice to see the Ghost from Rebels make an Easter egg appearance there, as well. Lastly, I liked the final payoff to the Rey-Kylo mind-link with the handoff of Luke’s old saber.

    Okay, I’m going to stop there, and go listen to the episode. I’ll be back in a bit.

    1. I’m back. I enjoyed your discussion, agreed with a lot of what you had to say, and it helped me to understand my own reaction to the film. I was a big fan of Last Jedi, and liked that Johnson took things in a new direction. Therefore, even though I knew it was coming, I was disappointed to see Abrams walk all of that back, which led me to focus on the shortcomings of RoS, which pulled me out of the movie enough that I couldn’t enjoy the good bits. I’ll be seeing the movie a second time this weekend, and will hopefully be able to enjoy it more this time around.

      Finally, I have to confess my deepest regret regarding my RoS experience. On the way home from the theater, I was venting about my disappoint with the movie to my wife and daughter, and fear that I negatively influenced my daughter’s impression of the film. I’ll deserve it, if she ends up running me through with a lightsaber some day. #BadSWDad

  2. Great discussion!

    And that post-credits audio! Oh, majestic! I could listen to hours of Shag admitting he’s sorely wrong! So sweet a plumb!

    Good job, Ryan! Glad to see you’re back!

  3. Shag was right!

    Hear me out! Per An early version of the screenplay makes this clear, in an exchange wherein Palpatine tells Anakin, “I arranged for your conception… You could almost think of me as your father.”

    Meaning that the entire Skywalker line from Anakin on down are descended from Palpatine.
    Meaning of course that the the first and last kisses in the Star wars Saga were incestuous.

    Seriously, who writes this stuff?

    I loved the discussion, especially the fact that I could hear the Star Wars joy in the voices of all involved regardless of the flaws. It does my heart good to hear Ryan taking Star Wars again. Welcome back!

    Star Wars is like pizza, because even bad pizza is better than good root canal.

    Be like pizza.

    i really need to get off these meds.

    Brian Hughes
    3rd Degree Byrne

  4. The weird thing is that the Rey/Palpatine connection was there from the start, in their musical themes. So Abrams knew, and told John Williams from ep VII. It’s a bit beyond belief that neither of them told Johnson.

    Favorite shot was honestly the Ewoks. I will not be convinced otherwise: they absolutely took down two star destroyers using improvised forest weapons. (And salvaged planetary shield generator components.)

    And while it cleared the low bar of best conclusion to a Star Wars trilogy (III is worse than I, guys), it still was disappointing in its cowardice. And it is haunted by the ghosts of the better films it might have been.

    Mostly I’m unhappy with redeeming Kylo, and especially that kiss in that context. If they wanted to do ReyLo at all, it should have been in the context of Rey’s fall. Now that would have been something, if Disney could have maintained full opSec: Palpatine is diminished, just a ghost, Rey falls to the dark side, it’s Finn who ends up taking the Skywalker name, and they announce three more episodes, new cast only, only after release.

    1. Sorry Jeff, I have to disagree. That would have left millions of little girls, including my own, scarred that their hero turned evil. No thanks. I dreaded the thought they may actually do this in the last two films, and was relieved they didn’t.


  5. I think the greatest failing with these recent sequels is twofold:

    1. Too many homages/nods/references to the original films. How many versions of a Death Star or cantina-like scene have we had? Another hidden relative plot? Palpatine again? The Carrie Fisher scenes became unfortunately & unavoidably awkward. Honestly, Leia should have exited offscreen. Having Luke return in such a thankless role was a wasted opportunity. Harrison Ford was obviously having fun, however.

    2. The new characters: Poe, Finn, Phasma, & even Rey are more ciphers than anything. Who was Laura Dern exactly & why were we supposed to care about her? Why have Keri Russell for an an extended & pointless cameo? Why hire Oscar Isaac & give him nothing to do in 3 films? Finn’s story really went nowhere in the last 2 films. I liked having a female lead but Daisy Ridley (for me anyway) has little screen presence. She’s as bland in her own way as Hayden Christensen. I was 8 years old when I saw Star Wars (that’s the title, not A New Hope) & obviously cannot come to these films with the same un-jaded eye of a child. I’m not sorry I’ve seen these movies but have no interest in returning to them. Honestly, I think I’ve had my fill of that galaxy far, far away. No disrespect to those who thoroughly enjoy the current iteration of Star Wars, it’s just time for me to get off this bus.

  6. I’m under no delusion that the prequels were stellar films. When Disney took charge, I told my bros. that even the worst of the new films will still be better. Where the Sequel Trilogy is concerned, however, I had no idea how wrong I was. This experience has truly been disjointed, cringing, eye-rolling, and head-scratching.

    TLJ may be the most competently made of the ST, explaining the uncertain feeling I had walking out, but I’ve come to regard it as one of the worst Star Wars films for its treatment both of Luke Skywalker, the new leads, and “advancement” of the plot.

    ROS was greatly hobbled by its predecessor but fails in its own right. Its grand ideas and moments don’t feel earned. Palpatine can pull off a Death Star Armada and Maximum Snoke-age, but he can’t extend his life beyond getting his hands on his granddaughter? Rey who bonded more with Five Star Jedi Grand Master General Leia closes things off on miserable Tattoine, and does not take the surname Organa?

    While misogynists and racists do exist in fandom, I’m grateful for the infamous “Fandom Menace” to assure me of my sanity throughout this process.

  7. Thanks for a great episode, gentlemen! I loved your combined discussion on this movie. It’s great when you get together to have unscripted conversations about these big tent pole movies. It certainly makes me think harder on why I like or dislike a certain movie. And I certainly liked Rise of Skywalker. I feel like the most of you where I enjoyed the movie but can see the cracks in the movie making, as Rob put it. But I felt all those cracks were there because this was just a giant love letter to Star Wars by J.J. Arbrams. He was trying to cram in everything that he loved about Star Wars into one film. It doesn’t make it a great movie, but I can understand why some things were the way they were.

    It’s funny because I saw an interesting article about how people’s expectations of Star Wars highly determines their enjoyment of the movie. Because of that, I try to go into every movie as neutral as can be (even though I love Star Wars) and just hope to be entertained and, generally, that’s why I’ve enjoyed every Star Wars film (originals, prequels and sequels). Also, I find watching all the films with my kids has made me greatly appreciate the films I didn’t enjoy as much on first viewing. In my 20’s, I didn’t care for the prequels but now really enjoy what Lucas was doing. My kids think Jar Jar is hilarious and I can see why a young kid with unlimited power (and people telling him his destiny will be great) can have terrible mood swings and lured down the wrong path. I’m not saying people have to start enjoying the prequels now, but I find that perspective has helped me immensely.

    Rob, Head Cannon is a great term for Star Wars fandom. I think all of us have this certain ideal of the galaxy far far away in our heads and it can colour our view of the movies. I know for me, when I first saw Rise of Skywalker, I was convinced that Rey wasn’t the literal granddaughter of Palpatine. More of a daughter of nobodies that Palpatine manipulated and put his blood/life force into. I countered that with maybe she was a clone of Sheev, in some way. I mean, he’s a master manipulator, after all. Why would he tell her the truth? I also thought that also those hooded figures in the temples were all clones of the Emperor. And all this went on my head as I saw it. This head cannon has since been proved wrong, but it’s still in my head! At the end of the day, to me, a great Star Wars movie is one that leaves me asking questions and fires my imagination, i.e.”Who are all these bounty hunters in Empire Strikes Back? What’s the lizard guy’s story? I want to know more!”

    As for some behind the scene factoids, apparently Rose had a much bigger role in the movie but it was all with Leia and, due to the unforeseen passing of Carrie Fisher, they cut a lot of those scenes. I think they could have figured something else to do with Rose, but apparently that was the reason she wasn’t featured as much.

    Anyways, sorry for the long diatribe, but I really do love Star Wars and could talk forever about it. Thank you once again for a great episode. Keep up the great work!

    P.S. – Thumbs up for the stinger with Shagg.

  8. As I said on Facebook, I have no problems with this movie. Nitpicks, yes, but no problems.

    One thing that’s in my head canon has to do with the final battle. At the end of The Last Jedi, no one responded to the signal, but Lando shows up with a huge fleet. The reason for this, in my mind, is that it takes some time to fuel, provision, and arms ships. I can just imagine a few days after the battle at Crait, a mess of ships show up and wonder where everyone is.

    In The Rise Of Skywalker, we know that the Emperor’s message had gone out at some point in the intervening time. At that point, there were probably a huge amount of people getting ready to fight, but they didn’t know where to go. They were all on stand-by when Lando came around, so it was a lot easier to jump in their ships and head to the battle.

  9. Oh, this discussion was just what I needed after watching RoS. So many good points and fun things to consider. Thank you, gentlemen.

    Yes, there were things I didn’t like, but instead, I’ll share my joy. The Rey/Kylo fight on the Death Star remains while the waves crash all over! “Wait, I just thought of something else we could try!” Horses in costumes! And of course, the light saber hand-off!

    Poor Shag. He only pushed that theory so hard because he read it in a book. That’ll teach you. No more books for me. Just comics. Comics won’t steer you wrong, my friends.

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