As much as cinematic rhetoric makes use of the argument that a movie must be a closed work, sufficient in itself, that was never the case with Star Wars. As early as 1977, George Lucas established that the creation of a shared imaginary - and its consequent commercial exploitation - is not restricted to camera framing or exhibition time. Inspired by serial films like Flash Gordon and also by the intensity / simplicity of pulp and leaflet literature (which because being published in parts needed constantly and bluntly to remind the audience of its appeal), A new hope begins in the middle of the action and then follows. your hero's journey, leaving subplots, droids, vehicles, and creatures for books, toys, and sequels along the way.
From this episodic construction and its simple themes (good against evil, the oppressed against the oppressor, learning, faith, betrayal, friendship, love and redemption), Lucas understood how to create an emotional relationship between the public and the work. The elaboration of this concept may not have been unanimous among the critics at the time, but it secured a fan base willing to take Star Wars beyond the theater by buying all of its derivatives.
All this contextualization is fundamental to talk about The Rise of The Skywalker. Proclaimed as the final chapter in a nine-part series, it would be pretentious not to take into account 40 years of history just to "judge the movie by the movie." Especially when the screenplay of Chris Terrio and J.J. Abrams depends as much on the nostalgia of the first trilogy as on the often questionable logic established over the years by the franchise. Star Wars is, after all, a space novel and The Rise of The Skywalker does not deny this essence, watch it now and see it for yourself.
It is also necessary to consider the entire controversy surrounding The Last Jedi, the predecessor of this conclusion. Those who cherish the boldness of Rian Johnson, who has infuriated many fans with his comment about breaking expectation in a franchise based on serving them, can easily reverse his speech to The Rise of The Skywalker, which never bothers to surprise yet. many twists make up your plot.
The contrast between the two films even often sounds like a luxury word of mouth between two directors with irreconcilable views. Not only does Abrams undo much of Johnson's concepts, he also pinpoints his predecessor's choices, which should generate the same amount of applause and eye-roll in the movies, depending only on the viewer's preference. Not to mention that The Last Jedi is completely reneged, some visual elements are taken advantage of, such as the connection between Rey and Kylo Ren, but overall there is an explicit effort to ignore the chapter, reinforced by the ambiance captured by cinematographer Dan Mindel, who remakes the look set forth in The Force Awakens. This need for “correction” leads to a film rushed to contain many ideas in 2:21 am, with explanations being thrown and limited to the characters' mouths, and of course, mind-boggling solutions easily justified by “Will to force”.
It is, in a way, a return to the lack of narrative planning that has created so many unusual changes over the years - the kiss between Luke and Leia becoming an incestuous act from one movie to another, for example - but one that nevertheless be a registered trademark. As with any big ball, the accuracy of the scripts was not at any time crucial to the success of Star Wars, a responsibility that always fell to the quality of its characters. If there is an emotional connection with the audience, it's Luke, Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca, C3PO, R2-D2, Darth Vader, and Cia.
Which, incidentally, was the great challenge of the new trilogy: creating new characters as good as the old ones. In The Rise of The Skywalker this goal is partly realized, not because Rey, Finn, Poe Dameron and Kylo Ren have necessarily become as iconic as the original characters, but because they have room to finally develop their own personalities beyond the initial description. from the Force-discovering Waste Picker, the First Order Stormtrooper, the Resistance Pilot, and the prodigious Jedi turning to the dark side. From the balance between beginners and classic characters comes the best of moments, extrapolating from action scenes to making Star Wars an adventure again.
Considering then the formation of the Star Wars imaginary, the need to complete a saga started in 1977 and resume the arch started in 2015, reconciling past and present without losing the perspective of new narrative possibilities within what has already been presented, and bypassing Carrie Fisher's death sensitivity (with scenes designed to make the most of her presence), made it difficult for The Rise of The Skywalker to be innovative or self-sufficient. The solution was a return to simplicity, even more reverent to all that precedes it, but extremely satisfying to recover by the basics of the struggle of good against evil, the comfort of friendship, the pursuit of acceptance / fulfillment, the great theme of Star Wars: Hope. This is how a space opera has surpassed the limits of the movie screen, this is how this story goes on, never really ending, watch it now and make part of this community.