I am not afraid. I am all the Jedi!
Long have I waited… We all have. The epic saga comes to an end, closing the Skywalker chapter once and for all. But is it really over? No one’s ever really gone, right? But maybe it’s a wise decision, to cross finish line. That means that something new can begin. After all, there are more stories to be told. More adventures, more worlds, more heroes. And it started with what Leia said to Rey: Never be afraid of who you are… And so she stopped being. I am all the Jedi!
You already know that I am a full-time enthusiast – Star Wars has a very special place in my heart. It started with my Dad being typical Dad, that is watching practically everything that’s on TV and me being typical me, that is giving everything extra meaning. But I as I grew up, it turned out to be true love and I would never change it. This Universe is so complex, so complicated and vast… There is a Galaxy of opportunities. As for The Raise of Skywalker (TROS) itself, I already watched it 3 times. One of the reasons is that I was looking for inspiration for Carnival party and I needed to catch some details, but let’s be honest – I love watching some movies over and over again, especially on big screen. So, Unlimited Card from Cinema City was the best decision I made in 2019 (all my PL friends who love cinema, you should seriously consider it – read more about it here!)
SPOILERS. SPOILER ALRET. LOTS OF THEM.
light speed skipped? You can’t light speed skip the Falcon!
– You dropped a tree on him?
Ahh, I am so glad that they focused (finally) on the POWER TRIO! Just like in the Original Trilogy with Luke, Leia and Han; just like in the Prequels with Obi-Wan, Anakin and Padme; the New Trilogy introduced Rey, Poe and Finn. Took them long enough to go for a mission together (or even interact with each other), but it was worth the wait. United, they represented hope everyone needed. I was a little afraid that Rey will be this lone wolf, that she must do everything alone. Alone, with friends! There is no point of digressing whether this should’ve happened in The Last Jedi. What matter is that the trio kept the wit, heart and courage, that previous trios represented. They way they stood up for each other, or when Finn supported Rey (can we all agree, that what he wanted to say to her when they sunk in the sand, was that he is Force sensitive? It was clear to me when she sacrificed herself and he felt that) in her struggle, how he reassured her that she won’t turn or when he didn’t blame her for Chewie? Heartwarming! Throw some Poe’s charm in the mix and it makes you crave more! And speaking of Poe – his shady past completes the picture of ace Resistance pilot. Our trigger happy flyboy is not that crystal clear, and you know what? It suits him, but does not define him. Sure, there must’ve been something (or someone) that pushed him to pick a side and join the Resistance, but… Everything he’s done since then really matters. Also, did you know that “running spice” is our equivalent for dealing drugs? I WAS SO SHOCKED! (I’m super proud of my self for catching 80% of the Easter eggs on my own, but you know. I had to do some digging for more, like this one). I think that it was a nice bow for both OT and the Prequels, but with a unique, yet still similar, vibe.
After all, being united in a crisis is how you deal with it. Trust, having each other’s back, being leaders and facing the danger together is how Luke, Han, Leia, Lando and Chewie won the old war. And that’s how Rey, Poe, Fin (with Land and Chewie of course) and every Rebel won the last war – We had each other. That’s how we won.
The Dead Speak!
“The galaxy has heard a mysterious broadcast, a threat of revenge in the sinister voice of the late Emperor Palpatine…” Now, this was Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot moment no. 1 for me. What was that? This BS duck looking zombie Palpatine, what the duck? But wait a minute, I thought. Maybe this will make sense. And it did, the second Palpatine said She’s not who you think she is. Still though, I did not see that one coming. And I should have – The dark side of the force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural. It was out there, they didn’t even bother to hide it! Brilliant! You know, after every movie I like to think about all doors that creators left open. With Palpatine though… Unexpected but good.
Few weeks before the premiere, Marta sent me a picture where someone photoshopped (well, simply added) Daisy Ridley with caption “Rey KENOBI” – and I thought wowsie that would be D-O-P-E if she turned out to be Obi-Wan’s granddaughter. But now that I think about it, Palpatine makes more sense: Rey was “destined” for Dark Side, it was in her blood. Yet, she resented the darkness and turned to light. So, after initial WTF and after the third time I accepted it. And to be honest – I considered possibility, that Rey will pledge herself Sith. But I guess that’s a good thing that for a second there I did, because that only means that the suspense was build correctly.
Anyway – I always hated that… Guy? Thing? Creature? Which is also a very good thing – if a movie antagonist makes you want to kill him, that means that it’s a great villain. So, kudos Palpatine.
I’m starting to think it’s impossible to hear the Jedi voices that came before me.
It was so touching to see Rey’s training – very similar to the one Luke was having, with the remotes and blindfolded with helmet. I think all characters went through a great development, but for obvious reasons, Rey’s growth was important. It’s a classic story – from zero to hero, but with a Star Wars twist, wouldn’t you agree? She thought she was no one her whole life, lived a lonely life with no family, no friends, no meaning… Until BB-8 stumble on her and amazing, dangerous journey began. Watching her going all this way to find new family she was willing to die for, finding her way, discovering her awfully painful past, her origins was truly amazing. Yes, Rey is my favorite character from new trilogy, what gives? ? No, but honestly – I am a big fan of character’s development and with Rey it was done by the book. She trusted Leia, her friends, Luke… But she never fully trusted her instincts until Luke told her that it’s okay to be sacred. That confronting fear is the destiny of the Jedi. Scenes on Ahch-To, where Luke appears as ghost in the Force? Awesome! A thousand generations live in you know… But this is your fight! And Leia’s saber. Awww, what a sweet touch to confirm that she was Luke’s first Padawan! Beautiful, like that fact that Billie Lourd – Carrie Fisher’s daughter – played young Leia.
Now, Luke said it’s Rey’s fight. Rey’s and friends, right? When he finally managed to lift his X-wing from the water (take a bow, Empire strikes back; DO OR DO NOT, there is no try!) and gave Rey his sister lightsaber, I was really happy that she decided to leave a trail for friends to follow.
But after all, it was her fight. Poe and Finn couldn’t help her with Palpatine. They could only give her time and fight the fleet. Rey had to deal with her grandfather alone… With help from Ben. After all, they were linked in the Force (which apparently doesn’t happen that often?). In the end, Rey put her life on the line to save the family she found, to save the Resistance and all free worlds. Her words And I… Am all the Jedi! were (for me) very, very Marvel-like. Key difference is that in TROS was another hero who made the ultimate sacrifice and brought Rey back. But what she said was true – every Jedi lives in her now. I screamed, I freaking did when I heard Obi-Wan’s (McGregor’s) voice for the first time. And then we heard Anakin, Ahsoka Tano, Kanan Jarrus, Luminara Unduli, Qui-Gon, Ayala Secura, Mace freaking Windu, Adi Galia, Yoda, Obi-Wan again (Alec Guinnes – how did they do it, check out here) and Luke. I FREAKED OUT AND I’M PRETTY SURE I BROKE MARTA’S HAND – sorry, pal. Didn’t mean it but that’s just how Obi-Wan… Well, let’s not dig into that, okay? Okay.
Rey survived thanks to Kylo and Force transfer of life (which is cool and we saw it in the Mandalorian and it was cute) – and I think that’s the best explanation of her final scene on Tatooine, when villager asks her who she is. Rey Skywalker, burring Luke’s and Leia’s lightsabers in the very place it all began, walking away towards twin sunset.
P.S. Marta and I talked about the color of her saber, and me – being typical me – said something like “Well, her name is Rey and she is like the ray of sunshine and her saber is yellow like the sun, WELL I DON’T THINK THAT IT’S A COINCIDENCE”.
I’m a dork, I know. Love me anyways?
We’re a dyad in the Force.
Kylo Ren. Ben Solo. Ahh, I was never a fan until The Rise of Skywalker. Okay, maybe that’s not a good term, but he was pretty neutral to me. Any other bad guy could take his place but… Recently I talked with my friends in US (hi, Mindy!) about this movie, and Tom (hello!) noticed very important thing, when it comes to “bad guy vibe” – Kylo (Adam, hands down, Driver) struggles and you can actually see that. You feel it, you go through it with him. His face, emotions pouring out of him, even his voice… Absolutely remarkable transformation. Mirrored conversation with his father – when he killed in The Force Awakens and when he wanted to choose the Light Side in The Rise of Skywalker… I swear, this was another time when I almost screamed in the theater. When I heard Harrison Ford’s voice, holly crap! I know what I have to do but I don’t know if I have the strength to do it. He “earned” his saber in TFA only to give it up in TROS.
For a second let’s go back to the dark times – another reference to the Original Trilogy and Rogue One was Vader’s (in)famous Force choke and “ceiling throw” and Kylo did that, channeling his inner Dark Side. You know, I am a Jedi Master myself, so no big of the darkness, but gotta admit – it looked lit and gave me chills. He was a good fit for the Dark Side, which only made him the perfect candidate for change of heart. One thing I really regret is that he didn’t get the chance to reunite with his mother, in person. She gave him strength. I think that deep down, he was okay with letting life go – that meant reconciliation with his parents in the Force.
Did he deserve better? This is a hard question with no good answer. I think that, ultimately he sacrificed for someone he loved. He was suffering and yet did something so selfless. Force is balance. And for his act, it rewarded him with peace of mind among his family. Though deeply saddening, his final chapter was so damn beautiful…
As for the kiss… I was more broken seconds before that – when Kylo hugged Rey, because he realized what it will cost. The hug, the kiss and his smile… Broke. My. Heart.
We’re not alone. Good people will fight if we lead them!
Republic. Rebellion. Resistance. Different forms and shapes but one basic fundament – hope (and no, I’m not talking about Obi-Wan Kenobi). Other important ingredient – leader. Or, like in this case, leaders. It was obvious that Poe will take over after Leia. I’m glad that he didn’t carry this burden all by himself. Turns out that Finn was a critical character – Rey trusted him with her life, shared all fears and hopes with him and Poe asked him to help him lead whoever is left in the Resistance in the final battle. Since I’m not a “film wars” person, I will not deliberate on the battle itself. Let me tell you what I liked about it instead. Of course, the Final Order fleet was super impressive. I mean all of the ships had a planet-killing weapon, so each could be categorized as little Death Star or pocket version of Starkiller base. Palpatine had plenty of time to get it done though, right? Sneaky puppet-master. But it was the Republic/Rebellion/Resistance 2019 Galaxy MEET&GREET that gave me goosebumps! I was like SHUT THE FRONT DOOR, THEY DID NOT!!!! It was incredible to see all those ships (especially in IMAX) in one place. And I know that this scene alone delivered like 10 Easter eggs with all those space crafts we could see in the video games, Clone Wars or Star Wars Rebels but I know nothing, absolutely nothing about this stuff. I do know a little about Millennium Falcon and I was so thrilled to see the radar dish back on! But that makes sense, if Lando* and Chewie were to bring backup, right?
But I was a little stressed out, especially that after the battle of Crait, no one came. As for the highlight of the battle – Finn’s idea to take down the biggest, baddest ship… Cool but stupid and dangerous, but also very selfless. Was he driven by the Force? No idea. But I’m happy he survived, along with this new chick that apparently is Lando’s daughter. Another open door for Disney to explore. My personal request – make a movie with Donald Glover? Like, you could make a movie about his daughter being taken away (or more likely he not even knowing about her existence) and you could also make a movie about him and young (still) Luke searching for Sith wayfinder. Please do. Please re-cast Glover as Lando and cast Sebastian Stan as Luke. I can even write you a script. Just give me a call, okay? Okay.
My flying days are long gone…
Billy Dee Williams was not the only one who showed up in The Rise of Skywalker. John Williams appeared on Kijimi as a bartender called Oma Tres (which is an acronym for MAESTRO, well done!), JJ Abrams was the voice of D-O, the adorable new droid who broke my heart, was he abused by Ochi? Well, duck you Ochi. DUCK. YOU. What else? Both Andy Serkis and James Earl Jones returned to voice over Snoke and Vader, Denis Lawson showed up to play Wedge Antilles (Rebel pilot from war against the Empire) again, Warwick Davis as Wicket W. Warrick – the mighty EWOK ladies and gentleman… Who else? They say that Ed Sheeran played a Stormtrooper, which is not shocking at all since a lot of celebrities did that over the years (like Daniel Craig in The Force Awakens or Princess Will and Harry in The Last Jedi). One of my favorites though – Chris Terrio as Aftab Ackbar, son of Admiral Ackbar!
You know, when a saga comes to an end, you want to bring back all the heroes (and villains), you can. Marvel did that in Endgame and so does Lucasfilm did for The Rise of Skywalker. And I loved it! Such a sweet touch and what a great move for all nerds out there.
I’ve got a bad feeling about this.
This is as iconic as “I know” which, by the way, also appeared in this movie. And sadly, was even more heartbreaking… But yes, I have a bad feeling about this is probably the most recognizable phrase in the Galaxy and this time, Land got the chance to say it (Check this out to refresh your memory. This sentence is a recurring thing: EP I Obi, EP II Anakin, EP III Obi, Rogue One K2-SO EP IV Luke and Han, EP V Leia, EP VI Han, EP VII Han, EP VIII BB-8), . Chewie finally got his medal!!!! And once again, like with I know, he got it in dramatic circumstances, after Leia died. But we all know he deserved it long time ago. What else from the Memory Lane? Jedi flips!!!! Now, the Original Trilogy was… Fighting style was very “knights of the round table” like, so the flips were not that popular. Prequels though, man. Jedi fought more like samurais with all the kicks and freaking flips all over! And The Raise of Skywalker brought back all the flips in a glorious way! And reference to Admiral Holdo boldest maneuver ever? She was a real badass.
And we also went back in time to Endor. Death Star, still terrifying and haunted. Rey climbing the walls of it to get Sith wayfinder was a reference of her scavenger hunt back in the Force Awakens. But what was absolutely brilliant, was vision of herself in the Throne Room, of all places. Vision of Dark Rey – the Empress of the Sith with red, double-blade light saber. W-I-C-K-E-D!!!! This was Rey’s biggest fear – herself. And in this quintessential place it had a very special meaning.
There were plenty more Easter eggs, but hey – it’s my gift for you. Watch the movie again and try to spot them all! ?
Rey, the Force will be with you. Always.
Story ends as it started – with twin sunset on Tatooine. And it brought tears to my eyes, because after all these years it gives us a closure. The question, whether it was satisfying or not, I leave to you, my friends. I loved it and I’m very sad that the Skywalker chapter is closed now.
But luckily Star Wars will no end anytime soon. Which makes my heart very happy and a little less soar. The story will live forever, right?
*Also, you all remember Solo, right? When Lando said that he’s getting his ship back and Han said “Over my dead body”? Well. WELL.