Spoilers here- for a spoiler free review- click here please:
We covered Luke, now it’s time for, “There is another Skywalker.”
Leia training Rey was done using leftover footage from The Force Awakens, which meant instead of Daisy Ridley going through costume evolution in all three parts, she goes back to where she started. However, it did look whiter in Rise of Skywalker meaning she’s distillled to the pure version of herself…or something.
Once again we see Jedi as far from the great legends they’re supposed to be. Leia stopped her training because she had a vision of her son turning to the Dark Side, and he turned to the Dark Side anyway. Probably would have dealt on that more if they still had Carrie Fisher I guess.
Yes, there were a lot of shots of the back of Leia’s head, but we all know what happened, and as far as crafting a beautiful tribute and send off to Carrie Fisher after all these years in the franchise, it worked astonishingly well.
I'm really glad they went with editing of unused shots and sound clips instead of CGI, the training flashback scene of her and Luke was still a little…off.
This is as good a point as any to bring up the flashbacks in the Sequel trilogy, no other Star Wars movie has them. I believe it is further proof that the real “other Star Wars” movies gangs of the fanbase keep clamoring for was not the prequels, and was not the next generation. It’s what happened to our heroes after Return of the Jedi. But no one made the films fast enough.
They can de-canonize it, but they can’t take away my favorite non original Star Wars Trilogy: Zahn’s Legends Thrawn story. Before the expanded universe got so convoluted they had to reset it. It started by giving my generation what we wanted. The characters felt like themselves, but were a little older. There were new threats, and old foes, but it didn’t invalidate any of the happy endings that came out of Return of the Jedi.
But now, we got an ending four decades later with a new story, and for what they started, it ended well. More importantly, the current crop of kids gets a Star Wars, and the next crop should get one less encumbered by older folks who won't give it up. It's time for us...and the "uses" 'that followed in later generation to let the new kids have theirs. (He said again, and again and again.)
I’ve gotta believe that Leia reaching out through the force to her son during his duel with Rey was supposed to be her having a conversation with him, but they didn’t have the sound clips. Therefore it turned into the distraction that we got. Rey takes him out, and I personally choose to believe that with her dying force push Leia not only distracted Kylo, but nudged Rey to remember the whole Jedi thing about compassion. That’s why Rey force healed him after light saber kabobing him with his own weapon.
Since we’re talking about the old characters returning- Was that not a tear jerking surprise to see Han standing there right after Rey took off. I’m sure Harrison Ford’s uncredited, weeping inducing, appearance was based on them not having the Carrie Fisher dialog available to have the conversation they need, and I don't care.
I’m also sure they directly stated in the movie that Han was a “memory.”
I still don’t care. I refuse to accept that. Han was a force ghost. All the crazy flying tricks, hunches that payed off, and insane shooting reflexes he had? Come on. Han was force sensitive. This plays into his dramatic statement of “It’s all real!” back in The Force Awakens. His wife and best friend were the last of the Jedi. I'm sure they taught him how to become one with the force. So he’s not an official, appearing blue and glowing,force ghost, maybe he’s only in his son’s head. But he’s still really Han, and still really delivering a call back to Harrison's add lib that made the most famous romantic moment in Star Wars history..
Because otherwise, Ben Solo stepping off the Dark Side path is him going, “Gosh, here’s what I should have said instead of stabbing my Dad and throwing him into a ravine…” Which is just stupid.
And since Han can’t manifest as a blue glowy type, that’s why we didn't see him at the end with Luke and Leia on Tatooine.
Speaking of old Star Wars characters, how about that grand send off for Anthony Daniels as C-3P0. “Taking one last look at my friends” as he faces the camera was fantastic on its own. What was better is that, even though it was shown dramatically in the trailers, the whole loss of Threepio’s memory was played completely for laughs in the film, as things should be with the droids. His buddy Artoo made sure he was fine at the end and the scene introduced us to the best new character in the sequel trilogy:
Babu Frik! (Voiced by Moaning Myrtle/ Ursula herself!)