Film Review: Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker

Film Review: Star Wars – The Rise of Skywalker

Release date: 19 December 2019

Director: J. J. Abrams

Starring: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Mark Hamill, Oscar Isaac, Carrie Fisher

Runtime: 142 minutes

Genre: Science-Fiction

Watched in: 2D

Rating: 4/5 stars

The Rise of the Skywalker is the final film in the new sequel trilogy and also, apparently, the final film in the Skywalker saga. But we all know how it goes when they say it will be the last one, so we’ll see if it really is the last one. There has, once again, been a mixed response from fans.

As a film, just looking at it on its own, it was very good. The film is very action packed and exciting, with a lot going on. The pacing was very fast. In some respects, there was too much packed in. Usually I think films are too slow and drawn out, but in this case the pace needed slowing down in just a few places. Some of the scenes were rushed. Some scenes needed space to breathe. If they had been given that space, allowing the viewer just a second longer to absorb what had just happened, it would have improved the pacing of the film. Don’t get me wrong, I’m really glad it wasn’t slow and boring, but it felt like the film was rushing from scene to scene to try and get through everything the filmmakers wanted.

I usually try to avoid spoilers in my reviews but in this case I don’t think I can talk about this film properly without giving anything away. So, to conclude the spoiler free section of this review, it was a fun, action packed ride which I absolutely enjoyed. I’m really glad I saw it in the cinema as it looked great on the big screen. If you don’t want to see any spoilers, I’d stop reading this review now (and go and see the film!). 

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Top 5 Wednesday: Favourite Science Fiction & Fantasy in Other Media

It’s hard to only name five because SFF is my favourite genre! There are so many films I could name. If I was listing all my favourites, this would be a really long list. Such tough decisions, but here are the ones I have picked (in no particular order, because please don’t ask me to rank them too!). T5W is a group hosted on Goodreads, if you’d like to participate check it out here.

collagestarwars

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Film Review: Star Wars The Last Jedi

HO00005086Film Review: Star Wars – The Last Jedi

Release date: 14th December 2017

Director: Rian Johnson

Starring: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Mark Hamill, Oscar Isaac, Carrie Fisher, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson

Runtime: 152 minutes

Genre: Science-Fiction

Watched in: 2D

Rating: 4/5 stars

Fans have been divided over this film, but I have to say I loved it. No, it wasn’t what I was expecting. It was a little different from other Star Wars films. Yes, that is a good thing from my point of view! I’ve liked (to varying degrees) all of the films. I thoroughly enjoyed The Force Awakens, but it did recycle major plot elements from the original trilogy too much. It didn’t stand on its own two feet. This film did.

It was rather long. It did feel a little episodic, almost like a TV series squished into a film. However, that didn’t really bother me. I just enjoyed the story. There were a lot of twists and turns and although some parts were a little predictable, there were parts that I didn’t see coming and broke from the mould, which I really liked about this film.

Visually and musically it’s stunning yet again. The soundtrack of John Williams is part of what really makes these movies great for me. Some interesting new worlds were explored in this film which made for some new captivating visuals and designs.

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Film Review: Rogue One

rogueone_onesheetaFilm Review: Rogue One

Release date: 15th December 2016

Director: Gareth Edwards

Starring: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Mads Mikkelsen, Riz Ahmed, Donnie Yen, Forest Whitaker, Jiang Wen

Runtime: 134 minutes

Genre: Science-Fiction

Watched in: 2D

Rating: 4/5 stars

 

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a standalone film set before the original Star Wars film – Episode IV: A New Hope. It’s about a band of rebels who plan to steal the Death Star plans from the Empire. The film fills in what was thought by many as an annoying plot hole in the original trilogy. What was good about this film is that it has a different plot. As much as I love The Force Awakens, it was basically a rehash of plots from the original trilogy.

Unsurprisingly, the visuals are stunning. We see several different worlds in the film, each of which is unique and detailed. What is amazing is how they can now create characters digitally. For example Tarkin features (he was in the original films), although the actor who originally played him passed away. A similar looking actor played the part and then they used digital effects to make him look like Peter Cushing’s Tarkin.

The acting is good. There are some typically cheesy Star Wars lines of course. But then it wouldn’t be Star Wars without them. All of the actors made me like their characters and they all interacted well together. There are some intense scenes, with a long end battle. Despite all the action the actors developed their characters well.

I really liked the ending. I don’t want to spoil anything so can’t explain why I liked it. Also it tied well to the start of A New Hope.

As we’re not getting Episode VIII until December it was cool to still get to see a Star Wars film in 2016. Coming in 2018 is another Star Wars Story about a young Han Solo. I’m not quite sure how I feel about that one yet. Rogue One is relevant to the other films and leads up to Episode IV so I can see why they made it. The young Han Solo films however, will have to be good for me to agree that they’re worthwhile making.

Film Review: Star Wars The Force Awakens

Film Review: Star Wars – The Force Awakens

Release date: 17th December 2015

Director: J. J. Abrams

Starring: John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher,

Runtime: 135 minutes

Genre: Science-Fiction

Watched in: 2D

Rating: 4/5 stars

 

I had so much anticipation for this film and was so excited to be able to see it in the cinema. I was still too young to see the prequels in the cinema so this was my first time seeing a Star Wars film on the big screen. My mum introduced me to Star Wars around seven or eight years ago and I watched the originals first and then the prequels. I could never understand why some people hated the prequels quite so much. I’ve always rather liked them. No, they weren’t perfect. In places the acting was terrible. But the originals weren’t exactly perfect either.

And so we come to Episode VII, The Force Awakens. I didn’t know what to expect as they’d managed to be so secretive about the plot. The music and action scenes were great and I really enjoyed the film. They went quite heavily on nostalgia, a bit too heavily in my opinion, and borrowed too many plot elements from the originals. I would have preferred them to do something different. Part of it felt a bit repetitive (if you’ve seen it you’ll know what I’m referring to but I don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t seen it yet). This is probably in part due to the backlash the prequels got. Not wanting to make the same mistake after the venomous reaction to the prequels from many fans, they went too far the other way, relying too much on nostalgia rather than making something new and different with a sprinkling of nostalgia.

I loved the new characters. Rey was a really great character, I think she’s probably my favourite character of the new generation. Finn was also great. I would have liked to have seen more of Poe, but maybe he’ll come into the next films more. I thought the villain, Kylo Ren, was very good. Can’t say too much about that without spoiling things, but I liked that he was different to Darth Vader as I was a little concerned at first that he was going to be really similar. I liked what they did with his character.

So overall I thoroughly enjoyed it and am really looking forward to the next ones. I feel like this was a bit of a tentative start to the trilogy, relying on ideas from the originals to not get backlash from fans like with the prequels. Hopefully they’ll expand their horizons for the plots of VIII and IX. They’ve got a great set of characters to work with.