The latest Star Wars contains the most fan service yet put to celluloid. But will you be happy? Probably, unless you live on the internet.
Episode IX is the *most* Star Wars of the Star Wars films. In that, it has the most Star Wars in it.
It’s not the best, it’s nowhere near the worst (cough–Attack of the Clones–cough). But it’s definitely the most. There’s so much of it in there, tying up the original, prequel and sequel trilogies. It’s a film that has to make it all coalesce and essentially rationalise the entire existence of the new Disney-owned sequel trilogy.
I can say that it does because there’s just so much going on in it.
It doesn’t veer too far from VIII, or VII, is a film on its own (a rollicking adventure; endlessly filled – it barely pauses for breath). But if it has faults it’s that it creates SO much, has so many characters and worlds that one cannot help but feel that the whole thing is rushed at 2.15 hours.
There’s fan service aplenty – which I’m fine with, as a fan of the series. And for a trilogy which has been at the hands of two distinct directors with two distinct approaches to the material, it manages to take the story which began with VII, which was then essentially upended by VIII, and melded very nicely indeed, into this story in IX.
There’s zero chance you’ll be able to digest all of it in a single sitting.
It really covers a heck of a lot of ground and wants very desperately for everyone to be happy. Of course, everyone won’t be, because the internet.
I liked how the new trio is together on screen for much of it, going on their own collective adventure. I liked the way that the Kylo Ren character seemed to develop – have a narrative arc. I liked the way they used archival footage of the late Carrie Fisher to give her a send-off in the series; yes you can see the join, but where unused Episode VII and VIII footage woven into the plot, was cleverly adapted.
I like the new planets, the new ships. I like the scale of it; the vastness of some of the battle scenes. I like how Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron gets to be an action hero in this, flaws and all.
I can’t think of anything about it I didn’t like.
Is it ‘cinema’ though? I don’t know, probably. It’s not macrame.
Many took umbrage with Rian Johnson’s take with Episode VIII, which he dared to upend people’s expectations in his exploration of a theme: sometimes people let you down; your heroes have flaws; you can’t rely on everyone all the time. Which was a fresh, interesting take.
It may have done something of a narrative U-turn for some of the fans, but if you’re making nine parts of what’s essentially a single 20-hour movie, you’d like to think occasionally things may take a fresh perspective (not for nothing, but Rian Johnson also directed one of the weirder, more unexpected and absurdly brilliant episodes of Breaking Bad, ‘Fly’). What JJ Abrams does here with co-writer Chris Terrio is weave it all together. Answer all the questions. Incorporate aspects of the previous film/s into the narrative, so it comes across as seamless.
I really enjoyed it; I think it beautifully encapsulates all three films, and all three trilogies. If you’re a SW devotee, it really covers a heck of a lot of ground and wants very desperately for everyone to be happy. Of course, everyone won’t be, because the internet.
We have new adventures to look forward to now, in between episodes of The Mandalorian, the Rogue One prequel series and the standalone Obi-Wan Kenobi series – and a new film, one presumes the first of a trilogy, set to land in 2022. Which is awesome.
Bring it, bring them on. I love this stuff.