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The Star Wars Saga: Episode Three

Updated: Jan 13

Contains Spoilers!!!

Long, long ago, in another blog post…

I discussed Star Wars Episodes One: The Phantom Menace, Two: Attack of the Clones and Three: The Revenge of the Sith and added in Solo: A Star Wars Story. Then…

Not quite so Long, long ago, in a different blog post…

I discussed Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and the original trilogy of A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

Now we come to the end…

In October 2012, Disney bought Lucasfilms for an insane $4.05billion BILLION, PEOPLE! People got very excited, with Disney having started their steps into the hugely successful Marvel universe. Lots of money was going to be pumped in, and soon a new trilogy was announced.

The saga continues with The Force Awakens. Released on December 14th, 2015, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, and Peter Mayhew reprised their old roles from the original trilogy, with a very short cameo from Mark Hamill in his reprised role. Lots of speculation about the film was rolling around as to the plot, but we essentially see ‘A New Hope’ remade here. Daisy Ridley stars as Rey, a scavenger living in the shadows of the Old Republic’s ruined starships, with John Boyega as Finn, a Stormtrooper who cannot handle what is asked of him and defects. Adam Driver plays Kylo Ren, the new Darth Vader character. We rekindle old relationships, start new ones, and learn a new history in the thirty (30) years since ‘Return of the Jedi’. Kylo Ren’s loyalty is tested, a new super-weapon is used, Rey learns the truth of the previous movies, and Han Solo and Chewbacca have the usual sarcastic arguments with each other that they always did.

SPOILER! SOMEONE BIG DIES! I won’t say who because we all know. Ok, Kylo kills Han… or does Han help Kylo kill him in order to save Kylo later in the series? That is a genuine debate among the fans that I won’t go into or bother to get involved with as you will see why soon. There’s also the debate as to how Luke’s original lightsaber, the one Obi-Wan Kenobi gives him in A New Hope - the one he loses after that infamous line is delivered - gets here as well. We could go on. Let’s, shall we?

The Last Jedi followed on December 9th, 2017, with everyone’s hopes that the series would take off. Mark Hamill’s old, crusty, and grumpy hermit version of Luke Skywalker was a bit of a shining light for me. Years of living off the hype from the original series, Hamill seemed to relish as the new Luke Skywalker. Daisey Ridley’s chemistry with him was very good to me, with Rey’s determination to learn battling with Skywalker’s determination to make her suffer through it and give up is portrayed very well and I enjoyed that part of the film. Unfortunately, I think that is when it started to go downhill. New powers of the Force are introduced (Luke appearing on the battlefield but being a ‘ghost’) and Princess Leia manages to save herself from dying in the vacuum of space by flying to another ship… I’m sorry but no. That did not work for me. By this point, Kylo Ren has tried to recruit Rey to the Dark Side, but she tries to win him back to his parents (SPOILER – Han and Leia). I didn’t really like this part. I felt it was the battle between Luke and Vader in the original series forced in.

Carrie on set with her daughter, Billie Lourd

It has to mentioned here that, a year before The Last Jedi was released, Carrie Fisher sadly died. She had, however, finished filming her pieces for the film and deleted scenes from the film were repurposed so that she could appear in the final film of the saga. This was all done with the blessings of her children, Billie Lourd and Todd Fisher, and discussed in this article from ‘Insider’, from January 2020.

Peter Mayhew - May 19, 1944 to April 30, 2019

We would go on to lose Peter Mayhew – our original Chewy – in April 2019, but due to health issues he had already handed the role over to his The Force Awakens double and Finnish giant Joonas Suotamo (6ft 11inches) for the final two series.

Finally, we were graced with The Rise of Skywalker on December 16th, 2019. Billy Dee Williams returned as Lando Carlission and Ian McDiarmid reprised the role of Emperor Palpatine. Now, take a deep breath and prepare for spoilers…

I cannot express how disappointed I am with this film. It just stinks. It seems to disregard most of the other two sequels, and WHERE THE FOO-BAR DID PALPATINE COME FROM? When Carrie Fisher died, this film had no script. Carrie was a script-doctor. She would have burned this script if she had seen it. Rey as Palpatine’s granddaughter? Leia has a lightsaber all of a sudden?

I can't tell if he agrees or not...

It felt to me like the writer’s had driven themselves into a dead-end that they couldn’t get themselves out of. They had nothing to really work with so threw in all the old characters to try and round the saga off. Ewan McGregor and Alec Guinness (in altered archive audio) voice Obi-Wan speaking to Rey, along with Samuel L. Jackson (Mace Windu), Liam Neeson (Qui-Gon Jinn), Frank Oz (Yoda), Hayden Christiansen and James Earl Jones (Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader) have their voices thrown in in a vague and wild attempt to connect all nine films together. Nothing in this film made much sense to me at all, and I distinctly remember that after watching this with my dad, we sat in the bar next to the cinema and for about an hour I ranted on about how this film didn’t work. I do not know what the heck happened.

I know a lot of fans are going to have something to say about watching/reading all the extra canon but that isn’t the point. Films are supposed to be able to stand on their own. Yes, add extra little nuances for the fans but to assume the only people watching have read and watched all the extra stuff is lazy writing. The only way The Rise of Skywalker could have ended any worse would have been if Rey and Kylo Ren fell madly in love and they flew off into the setting sun in a TIE-Fighter with ‘I’m Walking on Sunshine’ playing.

On a positive ending, some famous people had uncredited cameos as Stormtroopers, including Daniel Craig (James Bond), Karl Urban (Lord of the Rings, Star Trek) and Ed Sheeran. Daniel Craig is the only one I have found that has a speaking role, when Rey uses a mind trick (having never been told how) to make him leave and drop his gun (The Force Awakens). And just for my brother, Dhani Harrison – son of George Harrison of The Beatles – is one of those to have cameo-ed.

So, ratings…

The Force Awakes: 5/10

The Last Jedi: 4/10

The Rise of Skywalker: 3/10

Carrie Fisher - October 21, 1956 to December 27, 2016

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