Tuesday, December 17, 2019

My The Rise of Skywalker Prediction

Some people will love it.  More people won’t. 

Now, I know talking about the problems of Star Wars is like shooting mynocks in a barrel, but it’s the internet so what am I supposed to do?  To explain my meh feelings about IX (I’ll just use numbers instead of typing out their names all the time), I’ll have to explain my feelings about VII and VIII.

I thought VII was rather bland and mediocre.  They have to destroy this evil superweapon?  Gee, I’ve never seen that before.  VII was their chance to do something bold and show us a new part of this galaxy that we’ve not seen before.  (New does not always equal good, but I’ll get to that.)  Instead, they played it safe which is why I found it bland and mediocre.

In VIII they tried some new stuff, but there is goodnew and badnew.  An example of goodnew from Star Wars are the AT-ATs in V.  We’d seen Stormtroopers storm a ship in IV, but we hadn’t seen them attack a base.  So the attack in the beginning of V filled in a gap, but did it in a way that fit in with the world already established in IV.  An example of badnew from outside Star Wars would be the portkeys in Harry Potter.  One would think that someone – a teacher, Hagrid, Ron – would have sat Harry down in the first year and given him a crash course on magical things.  So why is it that it isn’t until the fourth book that he first hears about this thing?  It wouldn’t be that bad, but it happens in like every book where there’s something new but Harry has conveniently never heard of it so it can be explained to the audience.  (“They can fly now?”)

There are a couple bits of badnew in VIII.  One are arms dealers.  Where did the Empire get its weapons?  Well, they were probably built by droids in a factory.  Bigger things – like the Death Star – were probably built by the Stormtrooper version of the Army Corps of Engineers possibly using slave labor.  (I wouldn’t put it past the Empire to do that.)  That is stuff that isn’t really explored in the movies, but it’s headcanon that makes sense.  So where did the First Order get their weapons?  They probably took over some factories from the Empire days, or they go to some planet and say, “Give us weapons, or we’ll invade you.” Again, this isn’t covered in the movies, but it makes sense.

Now are there arms dealers in Star Wars?  Sure, but they’re probably small and very local.  They’re more likely to deal with crime family’s fighting over a system or two than dealing with the First Order.  So they’d make some money, but not be the 1% of the galaxy as seen in VIII.  If they had just left them as generic rich assholes, fine, but by calling out arms dealers it became a square bit trying to fit into a round world building hole.

The bigger badnew in VIII was the hyperspace ramming.  Yes, it looked cool, but after three seconds I thought, Why hasn’t anyone done that before?  And that just opens up a mess of contradictions.  Just a movie earlier they had a scene where some of our heroes came out of hyperspace within the shield of Starkiller Base.  Something that would have been useful in VI.  But if they hadn’t come out of hyperspace, would that have caused major damage to the base?  So why do all this sneaking around and attacking with X-wings when you could just send a couple hyperspace missiles?  It feels like the conversation went: “It’s going to look really cool!” “But how will it fit in with the established lore-” “IT’S GOING TO LOOK REALLY COOL!”

In the end, given the marketing for IX about it being an end of a saga and the biggest and bestest thing since blue milk, they make it sound like Star Wars is going out with a bang.  But given the lead-in from VII and VIII, I think the best IX can do is a whimper.  It is all too easy to build a shitty house on a solid foundation, but it’s next to impossible to build a solid house on a shitty foundation.

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