The Rise of Skywalker

I took the day off from work today, and went out to see the new Star Wars movie. I don’t go out to see many movies in theaters anymore, but I’ve seen most of the other Star Wars movies in a theater, so seeing this last one seemed like kind of an obligation. I’m still a bit sick, but I’m not doing too bad. I went to a 9 AM showing and made it through the film with the aid of a cup of coffee, two cough drops, and a few tissues. And one bathroom break. (I think I am now officially too old to make it through a 2.5 hour movie without a break.) Oh, and one call from my boss. (I considered ignoring it and calling back after the movie, but I thought it might be important. It wasn’t, really, but that’s ok.)

As a movie, it’s pretty much what I expected. There’s not really too much room for surprises and creativity in a movie like this. It needs to tie up everything from the prior two movies, sprinkle in some nostalgia from the original trilogy, add in some cute new characters for merchandising, and (maybe) set up some stuff for spin-off Disney+ shows. Overall, it was fun, and I’m probably going to want to see it again, if for no other reason than to the catch the parts I missed during my phone call and bathroom breaks. I may wait until it’s out on Blu-ray to see it again though.

The NY Times has a good review roundup for Rise of Skywalker. It’s (mostly) spoiler-free, as is their own review here. Their review calls it “one of the best. Also one of the worst. Perfectly middling. It all amounts to the same thing.” It’s kind of like there’s no real point in reviewing the movie, but it has to be done, I guess? Their take on The Mandalorian, Baby Yoda Is Your God Now, is also kind of weird and maybe a bit nihilistic.

I’ve been thinking back on my experiences of seeing previous Star Wars movies. I remember being pretty excited about The Phantom Menace, back in 1999, and actually going to a midnight showing for that one. I can’t imagine doing that now. For Revenge of the Sith, in 2005, I went into NYC and saw it at the Ziegfeld. (The Ziegfeld, of course, isn’t a movie theater anymore, so that option wouldn’t have been open this time around.) And for Last Jedi, the previous installment, I was also kind of sick, and also (eventually) saw it in Manville, on a weekday morning.

Anyway, I’m feeling pretty ambivalent about the whole thing. I’m still a fan, but I think maybe I need a break. Hmm, Sátántangó is still playing at Lincoln Center. That would be a good palate cleanser. If I could get in by 3 PM, I could even see it today. (Too late for that, though, really.)

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