How The Rise of Skywalker should have been a force for amazing cinema

It has been a year since The Rise of Skywalker and finally the dust has settled. We’ve all had the time to process and time to chat about it. I absolutely love The Force Awakens, it’s my favourite Star Wars movie. The Last Jedi had some of the best cinematography of all time. Solo had a great train heist and moments throughout. Rogue One proved you could do a spin off even if CGI tried to ruin it. The original trilogy are still the best thing about the franchise but not as stand out as you remember. The prequels were pod racing, duel of fates and “hello there”. Obviously I’m not saying, “I could do a better job” here. These are just ideas that I’d love to discuss, hell talking Star Wars is fantastic (when it’s not with trolls) and let’s just get right on into it.

Not having a key plot point revealed in Fortnite before the film launched

There’s hollow marketing campaigns to build hype and then there’s this. The next level in cringe. Why in gods name would your serious Sci-fi epic need a dramatic reveal to occur in Fortnite of all things? Yes it has a huge market but this was tone deaf and reeked of cash in. Nothing particularly new for the franchise but I thought they might have learnt from The Star Wars Holiday Special.

Finn actually having a part to play

I can’t stress this part enough. Finn shouldn’t have just been a character for people to dump their problems on throughout the film and yell, “WOO” He was a stormtrooper before the events in this film, it would have been nice to see him at least dealing a little with that. It wouldn’t need to be much, a comment here or there but it would make his interactions with ex-troopers later on have more meaning. Maybe instead of him simply tagging along with Poe and Rey having Finn stop an ambush in the market scene because he knows the First Order protocols and procedures already.

The dark side of Rey actually being a plot point

Instead of simply being a shadow jump scare the dark side of Rey is shown throughout. This was already shown when she gets frustrated during training but instead of simply showing this once add in more moments. Have her being more snappy with people, conflicted on mastering the force with wanting to progress and deal with the first order more quickly. The shadow Rey in the room could be the breaking point, instead of being a simple one use shot have that version continue to show up from that point. Pushing her psyche further, warning her of the dark side.

Rose Tico steps in for Princess Leia to teach Ray the Force

What better way to include a big role for Kelly Marie Tran and throw a curve ball to the story? It turns out that throughout the Last Jedi she was being taught by Leia and one of the reasons she had the pendant was tied to some Jedi lore. If we can have a man with no lower half still come back with robot legs and powers than this is no less bizarre. After the sad passing of Leia and Carrie the shift to them both trying to master their abilities would play in nicely into Rey dealing with her affinity for the dark side, always blaming Rose for being too young to teach anything.

The Knights of Ren actually having a part to play

If you just show people in the background “being menacing” they will eventually lose all potency. Especially when they get un-ceremonially killed off in the final act. Have them putting pressure on Kylo throughout. An uneasy tension pushing him to search for the Emperor not as a solo mission but as a way to keep his royal guard equivalent in line. Actually have them fight Rey throughout and not Kylo (maybe have one of them pilot the Tie fighter in that amazing scene) There’s enough of them to easy have one of them killed and still be a threat.

Poe’s past isn’t necessary but the C3PO hacking is

Poe having a love interest is cute but it really could have been cut a lot heavier. Not wanting people to know he was a spice trader and scoundrel fits but the character from his past felt token. There could have been the reluctant return, the past character on their track, the fantastic scene with C3PO where a surprisingly emotional moment occurs and then a quick escape. Zorii Bliss could have easily shown up just as they were leaving and allowed him to go still with Poe’s cheeky quip asking for a kiss intact. The change in the dynamic between the main cast unchanged.

Ray, Finn and Poe becoming a couple

I realise polyamory is a bizarre notion to a lot of people but Star Wars is set in the distant future right? There has always been chemistry between the three, even with the introduction of Rose the trio fit so well together and there feels like this might have been a plan early on in production. Ray and Poe arguing over the Falcon like a married couple with Finn stepping in to keep the peace. By the end of the film we end up with a lot of awkward pairings and this would have fixed a lot of those problems. Rose now a Jedi Master begins teaching, Ray still goes to bury Luke and Leia, Poe and Finn start the work to setup yet another New Republic. Even Zorii gets to rule the underworld as an extra scene.

Rey kills Kylo on the waterfront

I cannot underline this point enough. It would have been a huge fight, the massive showpiece of the film that if it wasn’t trying to cram so much in would have been a fantastic closer instead of another pause in Act 2. Kylo couldn’t be redeemed, Rey wrestling with the Palpatine question doesn’t brutally or intentionally kill Kylo but it happens anyway. He goes ZWWWMM she goes ZWWWM we have a samurai fight moment. He falls. She realises and then takes his sabre and runs. Now equipped with two sabres she goes to Palpatine and runs into what’s left of the Knights of Ren, loses but only just and is brought before Palpatine who murders the Knight before her and shows her that she’s not that dark after all. Less need for awkward kisses by space nazis.

The assault on Palpatine is more about Rey fighting herself

The shadows, the knights, seeing herself as the new Kylo now she’s murdered him, seeing herself as the Queen of the Empire. Rey has a moment where she sees all of this. We see the history of the Sith through her eyes, the murders, the plots, the dark side of the force and cameos from the past. With only the ghosts of the Sith and Palpatine to defeat it’s at this point that she can spirit bomb him with the force to save the day. More of an emphasis of the “I am one with the Force. The Force is with me” than “thank god for my high midichlorian count”

The galaxy still comes to save the day but a little sooner

The theme throughout is less about a galaxy in fear of the First Order and more the lack of communication throughout. All of a sudden the New Republic was gone, the next thing the galaxy knew the resistance was nearly wiped out and then the Emperor lives? You’d be investing in a space bunker to. The call to arms is the one thing The Rise Of Skywalker got right. It really didn’t need to up the scale of the fleet to insane levels, a decent sized fleet of the existing ships would be enough to warrant fear from the galaxy, “a return of the control of the past” Having Lando pop back with more than a WOO would also save the weight of trying to dial up the impending doom and the outside attack being more of a bump to Rey than anything else.

There are still a few good moments to be had in The Rise of Skywalker but I bet you don’t remember the informant, Richard E. Grant doing his best General performance or some funny bonkers lines because it’s just too bogged down in it’s own ridiculousness. Anyway, What do you think?


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