I watched this movie whilst sliding deeper and deeper into hell down to the very last line of dialogue and will now proceed to tell on myself thusly:
Star Wars Bad
- The new droid. The new droid with PTSD from past trauma, apparently? The new droid voiced by JJ himself? The new droid that reminds me of that Pixar lamp, and then reminds me of how much I hate Pixar because yes, in addition to droids, I hate other things that warm the cockles of people without fractured souls and shriveled hearts? Fuck that droid.
- Imagine a Rey who was actually tempted by the dark side. Imagine a Rey whose anger was convincingly an impediment to the Jedi path she’s pursuing. Imagine a Rey who isn’t a vacuous charisma void.
- Imagine a Rey who actually does kill Chewie with force lightening on accident and has to grapple with that, JJ you fucking coward.
- Oh JJ did Kelly Marie Tran real dirty. Not just “shuffling her off to the side with minimal screentime or meaningful role” dirty. Actually “includes an exchange that clearly conveys to the audience that, don’t worry, this woman who was harassed off social media won’t be bothering you fans any more” dirty.
- I get there will be callbacks to the original trilogy. I get this is a sendoff to Carrie Fisher. Cool, fine. Why on earth do we need to bring back Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill after their characters were killed off? Eat up that nostalgia, pisspiggies, you know you love it.
- Rey not being descended from some important dynastic bloodline because in fact anyone can randomly have strong force powers and be A Hero is a good choice; shame JJ happened to it. Also the incredibly smug way of bringing this up–weird choice to have Adam Driver turn to the camera, wink, and go, “I only said your parents were nobody.”
- I’m including a separate one for “I’m Rey Skywalker.” Must we? Also seeding that by having that alien kid ask specifically for Rey’s last name earlier in the movie? Lazy, clunky, bad writing, also why does that alien understand Space English?? The real question here.
- Why was that guy from Lost here? I simply do not like that guy, that’s all.
- I am fully accepting of incredibly earnest “we need hope and friendship” themes in Star Wars; it’s foundational to the series and is an entirely fine premise. However. Are you not fighting a war, and need, like, troops and ships and supplies? I feel you are overlooking that part. Though I guess the precarity of the rebellion’s position from the last movie is… just resolved now. Good thing Holdo didn’t die in vain or anything. That’s a Rian Johnson plotline, we’re past that now.
- A common takeaway from the reviews I read was that this was a whole lot of running around fighting and fetch-questing and zero solicitation of audience emotion beyond Awe and Nostalgia and, well, technically I felt a whole lot of emotion but also most of those emotions were new, distinct kinds of anger and not the actual “I am connecting with the feelings presented in the movie” variety, yeah, this was frenetic and packed but also deeply lazy.
Star Wars Good
- Dark Rey’s pointy teeth hiss, A+
- I, a hater of porgs and Baby Yoda alike, did not expect to find myself here but damn if I wasn’t charmed by Babo the tiny mechanic. Also the various horsies and doggos were neat.
- The Knight of Ren with the axe. Sick axe, my dude.
- Kylo Ren custom-ordering an incredibly aesthetic stand for his Vader mask and also making his officers integrate the red-crack motif into their uniforms is the kind of character detail that I appreciate.
- Palpatine sucking Rey’s and Kylo’s life force to not only revive himself but also to give himself a red brocade blouse with matching lining on his Sith Lord sleeves? Love it, I stan, yaas Sheev, etc.
- Palpatine’s plan being to get Rey to kill him and become a girlboss in her own right? That’s downright magnanimous of him, willing to impart the wisdom and experience of old age to empower the younger generation. What a guy.
- Kylo Ren’s casual blood-smeared-face-paired-withskinny-jeans-and-torn-sweater look at the end was a delight. Love that large rectangular failson.
- When they needed to hack C-3PO because he was programmed to have the parental settings on, that was a neat insertion into the fetch-quest.
- John Boyega and Oscar Isaac are a delight to watch and play off each other well.
- Speaking of Tumblr shipping, that Reylo-pandering final act? Absolutely hilarious, and a moment of levity amidst a whole bunch of dismal anguish. And then Rey Force-vores him. Unfortunate, but I’ll accept crumbs here.