Sorry for belated replies, been busy.
Had to see it again this week for work. On second viewing, it’s just about coherent when the cast are together, banter is decent, I like the Bounty Hunter and Babu Frik, they are great Spiritual Star Wars additions,in the tradition of it’s best aspects. But film falls to pieces as soon as they seperate to basically redux Return of the Jedi, except unlike in ROTJ, they don’t have the emotional weight and investment to pull off alone time. This is of course if you ignore the catatonic levels of Deus Ex Machina and self contradiction that the plot requires to propel itself. On this outing I paricularly enjoyed:
-The premise of the Sith being “reborn” again. I mean, fucking hell, the Sith are doing great just now. They have outproduced the arsenal of The Galactic Empire with all of it’s labour and resources like, at least dozens of times over, in secret, on one planet!! They have never enjoyed this level of power, by any reckoning, ever. They were reborn when all this shit went into effect surely.
-Rey can sense Chewie in the bowels of a massive fucking Star Destroyer in the atmosphere of a planet, but not in a prison ship a few hudnred feet away. Cool, cool.
-The bit where after Rey Jesus heals the snake, the snake gives her that look like “Friend”.
-Not exclusive to this film admittedly but Palpaitine has not learned after the two previous incidents that if you are fucking electrocuting yourself to stop doing it.
I’m not suggesting that it was deliberate tokenism, and indeed I gave praise to Abrams in the TFA for his unapologetic use of a cast which was unashamed in it’s diversity.
But the issue with operating withina a predominantly monoracial culture, which Holywood overwhelmingly is, is that without intense and meticulous care around issues of how you manage race and representation, even with the best of intentions, the dominance of a system designed to if not work against it but certainly not in it’s favour ensures that it gets trodden on all the same.
So while I’m not saying the use of any POC actor in ROS was anything other than well intentioned, you have the vastly unfortunate situation of the fact that, for reasons entirely outside of their race, you have a triangle of the only main POC characters in the latest trilogy vying off against each other and one basically has been made a casualty of it.
olThere were ways in which Rose, Finn and new Stormtrooper lady (apologies forgot her name) could all have been prominent. But in the interests of other things, and the belief that extreme care around their representation was secondary to those things, the fact is that ROS kills off what is really, outside of Finn, it’s only other POC character in the trilogy and not for any good reason and certainly not for a dramatic one. By ignoring the importance of representation and leaving it to sort itself, the system in which it operates both quashed it’s potential for empowered representation and actually made more of a thing of it’s race by virtue of not being careful enough.
@LexW Just read through what I posted to be sure, and no, I didn’t at any point say that ROS was some sort of Boomer Fantasy. What I said was that it’s creative direction and artistic value, or lack thereof, is indicative of the Boomer nepotism in which favourable positioning to centres of power and birthright and the abilty to further those interests is more valuable than actual talent or capacity or craft. I mean I think I was pretty clear in that I thought the actual film was so bad because it wasn’t really about anything.
But I mean, you really want to dissect this film for meaningful visual cues? Ok, I see your incredibly forced Palpatine the evil Boomer sucking the life out of the young as some sort of Millenial Battlecry; I raise you the fact the thing that saves the entire galaxy, the three most critical moments leading to the victory at the end, comes from three younger cast members at the end of their tether, when all is lost, about to give up, being told what to do or saved by the unsought and sage intervention of Boomers:
Kylo Ren- Somehow is affected in this instance by Leia, for no apparent reason. Han Solo turns up and pushes him over back to the light. Apparently, it was thr Light Sabre all along that was responsible, who knew. Anyway, their intervention is necessary to save the galaxy.
Rey- Luke tells her she’s on the completely wrong path and to go back and finish it. Intervention necessary to save the galaxy.
Poe/Finn- Lando tells Poe what to do, Poe has apparently lost all the certainity and cocksure “never tell me the odds” swagger he has had throughout entire series up to now. Regardless of this, it’s only because Lando turns up with some secret biggest rebellion fleet ever that Poe and Finn can complete their actions. Intervention necessary to save the galaxy.
Not to mention that the act of the literal Rise of Skywalker after which the film is named and the Galaxy is saved can only be accomplished by dozens of old people making Rey strong enough to stop Palpatine, because she isn’t strong enough to do that herself, despite being part of the Diad which is never elaborated upon.
But yeah! Palpatine, who has made a point of sucking the life out of everything as a literal and figurative character arc throughout nine, films, in this instance his sucking the life out of young kids is some sort of Ok Boomer coding now and not just more of him being who he is? Nah. Again, I don’t think this film makes many points about anything other than how an obsession with nostalgia is not a basis on which to direct films, but even within that, I can pretty easily demonstrate that Palpatine sucking the youth or whatever out of the kids is not part of any coherent message because it’s one contradicted about 7 times. Although again, this film contradicts itself and its own canon, it’s one of the most consistent of it’s characteristics.
As for “if you loathe TLJ you will loathe ROS”, the culture war that has errupted around the two camps of people who really liked one of the films and not the other is proof enough of the issues with that statement I think.