Hoping Anew that SW:TROS Strikes a Return... And yet...
There are ZERO spoilers for the new Star Wars movie in this article. (But perhaps a few if you haven't seen the first two.)
This is it. The last movie is on it's way, and I'm excited. I'll be honest, I haven't found this trilogy particularly interesting aside from wanting to know who Rey really is. I haven't bothered formulating my own ideas as I find the whole exercise pointless. Besides, I like a good story twist. That's what's really important to me; strong story elements that bring everything to a memorizing conclusion. And so far, this trilogy has not delivered that. (And I dare say, the Anakin Skywalker trilogy never even bothered to attempt it.)
Before I get to it this coming weekend though, there are just a few things I'd like to get off my chest, so I can enjoy the movie ahead.
8 Reasons Why I found the New Trilogy Lackluster (so far)
It had nothing to do with the characters, whom I found interesting -- loved both the bromance between Poe and Fin, and the friendship between Fin and Rey, loved the droids, thought Snoke was going to be a nasty Emperor Vader mashup with some crazy secret powers (until they cut him down).
It was the universe world-building. Granted but after a subsequent viewing this past week of The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, I actually found the movies a little more enjoyable than I did the first time around. That said, I just felt the work that went into these movies to produce that sense of adventure and wonder, was just not present.
1) Luke was... out of his mind. Blue milk, tossing the lightsaber away, being whiny. It was like a mixture of Charlie Brown and Yoda, but not the good parts of either. Luke was a kid at the beginning of Star Wars, and a man at the end. Not only that, but he went from nothing to Jedi. It's the classic coming-of-age story and hero's journey combination that audiences love. So what the heck happened? He went on to form his own school and resurrect the Jedi, only to be betrayed, etc. I get it. It was rough on Luke. But it seems after all the character building down in the original trilogy, that this "wacky" Christmas Vacation uncle act was a little too much for me to absorb.
2) Why did the The Force Awakes have to be a remake? Wasn't there enough material that they didn't have to remake the movie? A whole 40 years of material and ideas and creativity, and this is the best they could come up with, strafing run and Death Star 3.0?
3) The Resistance... Who thought up this stupid name? And more to the point... shouldn't they be like... The Galactic Fleet or Galactic Guard? Speaking of, why on Alderaan did they only have like 30 fighters? (Yeah, that was a problem in the original, too, no?) Still, decades to build a fleet and they couldn't do any better full in the knowledge that the First Order was out there? Huh? Didn't the New Republic government even care to protect its citizens from these turkeys?
4) Five habitable planets all in the same system. Now, I know this is science fiction, but isn't that kind of improbable? Also, how incredibly convenient for the First Order and this script. One shot and BOOM, so long, thanks for all the fish, here's a copy of the home game.
5) If the First Order has a fleet of ships waiting (as shown in the The Rise of Skywalker trailers), why on Tatooine do they even need the monstrosity that is the Starkiller Base? Surely they could have budgeted for more ships with out the planet. A LOT more.
6) Starkiller Base's weapon fires... YIKES! I don't know that I would be standing outside, or anywhere near where the the side of the planet that weapon was on when it fired. Utilizing the power of the sun... should have just fried all the First Order troopers right there. Yeesh.
7) Pointless characters... Why Snokes and Captain Phasma? What was the point in having either of these characters if they were so disposable (they literally tossed Phasma down a garbage chute -- and how she got off planet in time is something I'm not going to even bother asking at this point). We may find that Phasma may have some use in the third movie (hope so), but for the last two they have squandered her, so why would they suddenly pick up with her story now? Seems insulting to both her and the audience. And Snokes, while he seems to have been just a smoke screen (again, won't know until last movie is out), to which I wonder... why? Couldn't Kylo Ren been in contact with some darker master this whole time who was the true force behind the events of the trilogy? (Which it seems to be shaping up to?) Wouldn't the build up be better, learning just sweet little, frightening hints until we get to it in the end like in Return of the Jedi? Who didn't go "WAH!" when the Emperor started frying everyone. And finally, speaking of...
8) I hope the boss isn't the Emperor. What a cop out that would be. Again, this turns out to be a remake and WHY DO WE NEED A REMAKE??? Goodness. I don't want a remake, I want a nice solid original ending.
In closing, I'm looking forward to The Rise of Skywalker (which is titled The Dawn of Skywalker スカイウォーカーの夜明け here in Japan), which I felt gave me a hint to things to come, one way or another. What I want for this movie is a tightening of the story universe. I really don't care to be seen as a Wah-Wah-Not-My-Star-Wars crybaby. I don't feel a part of that community of trolls at all. Which is why I also invested in The Mandalorian. WOW, WHAT A SERIES! Now I could honestly go for 2 to 3 seasons of this, and then a change over to a new character, and 2 or 3 seasons of their story. Imagine stand-alone shows in the Star Wars universe wherein they jump back and forth in time to these brilliantly crafted characters exploring and fighting and loving... I mean, it could really be grand, much like the Expanded Universe. But I won't hold my breath. And now that I've said my piece, I'm going to let it all go, and enjoy the work as it is presented to me.