Reviewing the Rise of Skywalker

Over the past week and a half, I have been re-watching every Star Wars episode released (so every theatrical film minus Clone Wars, Rogue One, and Solo). Why? In a recent interview, director J.J. Abrams stated that his newest film, Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker, isn’t just the ending to the recent sequel trilogy, but the ending to the entirety of the Star Wars trilogies. So, okay – he’s not just trying to wrap up The Force Awakens and Last Jedi – but Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi too?

I guess the former sounded too easy to him. No, I get it – if this truly is the last one (and I think it is), then there should be some ‘full circle’ elements going on that encompass the other trilogies. So…that’s what he went for. Did he do it? Yes, but the result is not pretty and sometimes downright painful. Let’s get into it: (warning: minor spoilers)

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My Top Ten Films of 2016

So the Oscars were two nights ago and I want to congratulate La La Land Moonlight on winning Best Picture. I’ve heard nothing but good things and can’t wait to see it. That said, given that I have not seen it or many of the other Oscar Nominees from last year, my own Top Ten list looks quite different.

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The Force is Strong with Rogue One

As much as I enjoyed the acting and directing of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, I couldn’t help but walk out of that movie feeling let down. For all its pep and nostalgia, it had little vision and all the creativity one would expect from a board room at Disney. Rogue One could not be more thematically different: it’s dark, stark, and feels refreshingly new.

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