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Azronger
Azronger
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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker - Page 2 Empty Re: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

on Wed Dec 25, 2019 11:56 am
Message reputation : 100% (2 votes)
Reasons:

  1. Boring and nerf herder characters. I had no investment in any of them. Rey was arguably even more of a Mary Sue than before; Poe and Finn were wasted; their female counterparts were forgettable and came out of nowhere; Kylo's redemption was weird as kark; Lando was there for the sake of being there and I was given no reason to care; Chewbacca seemed to care more about Leia dying than Han; the Knights of Ren were a waste who were included just because they were namedropped in TFA; Sheev's character was butchered; etc.
  2. The plot felt off and moved at breakneck speed. I had trouble following what was going on at times. It was information overload, and yet at the same time it felt like nothing happened in this movie. The plot of the film is a McGuffin chase to get to Sheev, who appeared out of nowhere with no foreshadowing and had a clunky as kark introduction. The film's just horribly structured and, at best, boring because of it.
  3. The dialogue was just plain bad at points. When you openly laugh at something that wasn't written as a joke, it takes you out of the movie (not that I was invested to begin with). And then there's Sheev's reused lines, which felt forced and inorganic as kark. At points I almost expected him to smile at the camera and directly address the audience, "Hey, wasn't that super cool, guys?"
  4. Kriff made no sense. Palpatine's survival; him being Snoke but not being Snoke; a secret fleet 10 000 times the size of the First Order, each equipped with a planet-busting superlaser; Rey not sensing Chewie was alive from the get-go; C-3PO being banned from translating the Sith tongue for no reason; the Death Star II and its throne room being intact even after being visibly vaporized; the Sith dagger clue; Leia's death; Kylo's death; Rey's amp from the deceased Jedi; their bond having a life force that could be drained; Palpatine's whole plan; a nerf herder number of randoms rallying to fight the Final Order out of nowhere; Palpatine’s death; the whole fleet being decommissioned when only a single ship was destroyed; ships from the fleet exploding on random, irrelevant planets for no reason; etc.
  5. The deleterious impact it had on the rest of the lore. Sheev’s character was ruined; the Chosen One prophecy was ruined; Anakin’s sacrifice was stripped of meaning; him and Luke are now essentially irrelevant side characters and the whole story is about MaRey Suewalker; etc. This movie completed the work of destroying the legacy of George Lucas’s saga that the previous two films started.


Last edited by Azronger on Wed Dec 25, 2019 12:06 pm; edited 2 times in total
Azronger
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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker - Page 2 Empty Re: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

on Wed Dec 25, 2019 12:02 pm
As an addendum, I would also say that it failed to function as a proper sequel, not only to TLJ, but to TFA. Some of Abrams's own mysteries that he set up like how Maz Kanata found Luke's lightsaber and why it called to Rey weren't even in the periphery. Who even is Maz? The movie doesn't tell that, either.

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SithSauce
SithSauce

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker - Page 2 Empty Re: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

on Wed Dec 25, 2019 12:17 pm
@Azronger wrote:As an addendum, I would also say that it failed to function as a proper sequel, not only to TLJ, but to TFA. Some of Abrams's own mysteries that he set up like how Maz Kanata found Luke's lightsaber and why it called to Rey weren't even in the periphery. Who even is Maz? The movie doesn't tell that, either.
True but lets be honest, most people here would rather forget about TLJ so ROS failing to function as proper sequel to TLJ shouldn't really be a huge complaint tbh
DarthSkywalker0
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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker - Page 2 Empty Re: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

on Wed Dec 25, 2019 1:45 pm
@SithSauce wrote:
@Azronger wrote:As an addendum, I would also say that it failed to function as a proper sequel, not only to TLJ, but to TFA. Some of Abrams's own mysteries that he set up like how Maz Kanata found Luke's lightsaber and why it called to Rey weren't even in the periphery. Who even is Maz? The movie doesn't tell that, either.
True but lets be honest, most people here would rather forget about TLJ so ROS failing to function as proper sequel to TLJ shouldn't really be a huge complaint tbh
It is a huge complaint because it messes up the pacing. They have to introduce tons of ideas remarkably quickly to make up for lost time and it feels disjointed.
SithSauce
SithSauce

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker - Page 2 Empty Re: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

on Wed Dec 25, 2019 3:05 pm
@DarthSkywalker0 wrote:
@SithSauce wrote:
@Azronger wrote:As an addendum, I would also say that it failed to function as a proper sequel, not only to TLJ, but to TFA. Some of Abrams's own mysteries that he set up like how Maz Kanata found Luke's lightsaber and why it called to Rey weren't even in the periphery. Who even is Maz? The movie doesn't tell that, either.
True but lets be honest, most people here would rather forget about TLJ so ROS failing to function as proper sequel to TLJ shouldn't really be a huge complaint tbh
It is a huge complaint because it messes up the pacing. They have to introduce tons of ideas remarkably quickly to make up for lost time and it feels disjointed.
E
This messes up the trilogy as a whole and just proves even further that they never really had a plan mapped out for this entire trilogy from the beginning. But if they still made a proper, functioning sequel to TLJ we would've gotten the same result as now (except to even worse extent) as it's following from a film that completely divided the fanbase.I haven't seen the film yet but to me it makes sense that they retconned a lot of kriff from TLJ. Rian Johnson already pissed off a large majority of the fanbase, Why would Disney want to take that risk in making the final chapter of the saga perfectly in line with Johnson's controversial film?
DarthSkywalker0
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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker - Page 2 Empty Re: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

on Wed Dec 25, 2019 3:22 pm
@SithSauce wrote:
@DarthSkywalker0 wrote:
@SithSauce wrote:
@Azronger wrote:As an addendum, I would also say that it failed to function as a proper sequel, not only to TLJ, but to TFA. Some of Abrams's own mysteries that he set up like how Maz Kanata found Luke's lightsaber and why it called to Rey weren't even in the periphery. Who even is Maz? The movie doesn't tell that, either.
True but lets be honest, most people here would rather forget about TLJ so ROS failing to function as proper sequel to TLJ shouldn't really be a huge complaint tbh
It is a huge complaint because it messes up the pacing. They have to introduce tons of ideas remarkably quickly to make up for lost time and it feels disjointed.
E
This messes up the trilogy as a whole and just proves even further that they never really had a plan mapped out for this entire trilogy from the beginning. But if they still made a proper, functioning sequel to TLJ we would've gotten the same result as now (except to even worse extent) as it's following from a film that completely divided the fanbase.I haven't seen the film yet but to me it makes sense that they retconned a lot of kriff from TLJ. Rian Johnson already pissed off a large majority of the fanbase, Why would Disney want to take that risk in making the final chapter of the saga perfectly in line with Johnson's controversial film?
A tlj sequel would have been much better then this nonmovie. It would at least be coherent. In fact, I’m working on a rewrite which actually serves as a sequel.
King Joker
King Joker

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker - Page 2 Empty Re: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

on Thu Dec 26, 2019 11:29 am
Abrams should have took what Johnson set up and ran with it instead of introducing a million new things in the last movie. Write a more personal character movie with both Kylo and Rey coming into their own as the Supreme Leader and Jedi, respectively. I think that would’ve made for a more interesting movie and a more cohesive trilogy overall, even if there might have been a sacrifice of ‘epicness.’ 

Also, Daisy Ridley was great in TRoS. She’s a criminally underrated actor.
DarthSkywalker0
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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker - Page 2 Empty Re: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

on Thu Dec 26, 2019 1:49 pm
@King Joker wrote:Abrams should have took what Johnson set up and ran with it instead of introducing a million new things in the last movie. Write a more personal character movie with both Kylo and Rey coming into their own as the Supreme Leader and Jedi, respectively. I think that would’ve made for a more interesting movie and a more cohesive trilogy overall, even if there might have been a sacrifice of ‘epicness.’ 

Also, Daisy Ridley was great in TRoS. She’s a criminally underrated actor.

On point, pretty similar to my rewrite.
Rohirrim
Rohirrim

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker - Page 2 Empty Re: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

on Fri Dec 27, 2019 4:02 am
@DarthSkywalker0 wrote:
@King Joker wrote:Abrams should have took what Johnson set up and ran with it instead of introducing a million new things in the last movie. Write a more personal character movie with both Kylo and Rey coming into their own as the Supreme Leader and Jedi, respectively. I think that would’ve made for a more interesting movie and a more cohesive trilogy overall, even if there might have been a sacrifice of ‘epicness.’ 

Also, Daisy Ridley was great in TRoS. She’s a criminally underrated actor.

On point, pretty similar to my rewrite.

Agreed with you two.
xolthol
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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker - Page 2 Empty Re: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

on Sat Dec 28, 2019 2:57 am
Message reputation : 100% (1 vote)
My two cents thoughts about this movie.

Visuals Point of View:


I clearly think that from the planet point of view, the film is a success:

  • Exegol is absolutely perfect as a dark and oppressive place, 
  • the Kite party on Pasaan is amazing both by the colors and the desert as background
  • Kef Bir with its unleashed sea and the remains of the Death Star is also awesome


Another really good points for this film are the lightsaber fights. They are well made and not too much from a choregraphic point of view.

  • The fight on Kijimi when Kylo and Rey aren't in the same place is excellent with the exchange of objects and the switch of background (certainly my favorite of the film)
  • The one on the remains of the Death Star with the waves all around is also visually amazing with the unleashing of both the elements and the fighters


The film also gives us some really good sequences which are visually stunning and great:

  • The chase in the Pasaan desert is really great with the switch of point of view, the jetpacks-troopers, the sandmobile all of this in a great background alternating between desertic plain and canyon.
  • The training of Rey after her meditating is also beatiful, the jungle and the movement but also her failure because of her emotions that is clearly made visible with her successive fails to destroy the training probe.
  • The very first minutes of the film when Kylo is hunting down people to find the way to Exegol. This whole sequence where he is killing people with the background of first order troopers that fight is clearly awesome. Its really looks like what Vader have done just after the Order 66 to eradicate every single resistance to the newly born Galactic Empire. 


There is also two scenes that are just so epic because of their visual while they didn't carry so much stakes:

  • When Kylo arrived on Exegol to meet for the first time Palpatine. You have just Kylo walking with his ignited lightsaber under this insanely huge levitating stone, only enlighten by the sporadic lightnings. 
  • The best scene of the whole film (from my point personnal of view) is on Pasaan, when Rey destroy the starfighter of Kylo Ren. The jump combinated with the lightsaber cutting through the starfighter side and the whole in such a good background (from a visual point of view) is just perfect.


As you can see I really think that from a visual point of view this film is a real success. Despite this there is some scenes/sequences where I think the visual have clearly failed:


  • At the end, when Palpatine have drawn the link between Kylo and Rey and that Kylo have been thrown by Palps. Rey is lying on the ground and while looking in the sky, she heard the voices of the jedi before her. This scene is absolutely failed, we just see stars and heard voices. Why? Are we in the King Lion where the ancestors live in the stars ?! Of course no, we are in Star Wars... 
  • The attack by the renegade troopers with Finn on the leading destroyer. While this scene should have been an epic sequence, this is just a failure. We failed to clearly see that they are on a destroyer on not on a classic battlefield. The use of horses don't add anything to this sequence while this could have clearly been a really good thing. Like in a medieval film where horses are used to fight, this always gives great visual from the ennemy point of view or at least at the height of the horse.


Rythmic/Momentum of the film:


A really good point in this film is the fact that everything happend relatively fast and because of this the audience don't have the time to lose their attention or to be borred. I can agree than sometimes this is even too fast and don't let us appreciate some places but this isn't a big problem and I fell that I am nitpicking a bit.

Despite this globally good rythmus, there is some moments where you don't know why the momentum is stop and this clearly feel weird:

  • On Pasaan when they are looking for where Luke stopped his search, they need to go fast but Rey have still the time to accept a neckless and talk with a little girl like if everything was ok and that she have plenty of time.
  • On Kijimi they are in streets with first order troopers scouring houses, they can be discover at any moments but they have time to talk and don't seem to affraid of being caught.
  • On Pasaan they need to leave the planet asap but Rey decide to go out, taking her time. Then Chewi goes after her but just take the wrong path (how is this possible?) and have the time to be captured before Rey move even a bit. What the hell is going on? Is there a stretching of the time ?


A good thing made by the film is going from one extrem to the other. It do this two times and they weren't so bad clearly:

  • The first time was when the rebels under Poe commands were trying to destroy the fleet and and were overwhelmed. There is a clear idea of a failing and it seems that the won't have any chance to win this fight. Then suddenly the reinforcement arrived led by Lando. 
  • The second time is when Palpatine just go "unlimited power" after draining Kylo and Rey and seems to destroy all the fleet. All seems lost with Kylo ragdolled and Rey lying on the ground. Then all the jedi came and helped Rey to defeat Palpatine. 

Both of this were predictable yet good comeback from oblivion at a crucial moment. I don't think that because they were predictable this wasted them, they need to be credible up to a point from a scenaristic point of view and if they did not happend at the worst moment when everything seemed lost the impact would have been way lower and thus worse.

Overall the rythmus of this movie was not so bad.

Characters:


REY: Despite a good acting play from Daisy Riddle the character of Rey is still a Mary Sue. I don't think that this is worse than what have been done in the two previous films where we have seen one of the best description of a Mary Sue characters (the only better showing being Captain Marvel...). This character clearly lack the deep of some other one and even failed to embody a hero. There is nothing heroic in her action, just going forward and being awesome because it is needed. While her being a Palpatine could explain why she is so powerful in the Force this clearly seems a bit too much.

KYLO REN/BEN SOLO: When he was still the supreme leader of the First Order, he did the job and wasn't such a bad character, trying to led Rey to the Dark Side and betraying Palpatine. Even though he lack the greatness of a good vilain and seems too much of a child sometimes. While I don't like him coming back to the lightside for nearly no clear reasons (he had during all the saga an attraction to the lightside WTF!?) i think that what he've done at the end was good. The only blackponit for me is the final kiss with Rey. This was clearly useless and create something that clearly shouldn't work.

FINN: This characters is since the first episode a failure and continue to be one in this last one. A flat characters trying to do great thing but failling each time. The moment embodying this is when he try to come help Rey against Kylo on the remains of the Death Star and is push back by Rey. Even his line are just a complete failure. When the other renegade troopers ask him if he believe in the Force he isn't able to give a good answer while some days or hours before he just saw Rey holding a troop-transport with the Force and then destroy it.

POE: A quite good character with his moment of weakness and greatness. He is a bit the one who think two minutes before acting (for example rebuilding the Falcon on Kef Bir while Rey and Finn go on the remains of the death star). When he became the general of the resistance we can see the difficulty for him to take this role but despite this he assumed it and make decisions. He is from my point of view the most heroic character of the heroic trio and nearly the only one that can inspire people.

PALPATINE: His comeback seems a bit too much here particularly the way he is introduce at the very begining in the text. Overall he isn't so much depicted here, relying more on the fact that the audience know who he was. To my point he should have been introduced discretely in the previous episode and whe should have seen at least the message that the whole galaxy seemed heard to add more depth to his comeback. Just something that bother me, in his final confrontation against Rey the line "I'm all the Sith" and the line from Rey "And I am all the Jedi" seems really childish. It seems like two kids playing in a sandbox:  "I am the strongest because I have the power of 10 000 sith!" "And me the power of 100 000 jedi"... 

LEIA: While I agree that the death of Carry Fisher could explain why she seems such a secondary character here, she was clearly underused and this film failed to use her at her true potential as a character. She is a general who didn't seems to lead anything and jedi master who didn't trained Rey at all...

GENERAL HUX: The character have been wasted by the film, the way he died perfectly show this. And the worst thing is that nobody care because we are in front of another flat character that haven't been developed previously.

KNIGHTS OF REN: Huge hype about them in TFA. Nothing about them in TLJ. They are here but didn't do anything (except being here). They are just slaugtered by Kylo and once again we don't care because we don't know them. This is a really wasted bunch of people and this is really sad, they could have been great.

ROSE: Clearly this appear in this episode only because she exist in TLJ but she is just a useless character that do absolutely nothing.

RENEGADE TROOPERS: Another bunch of flat characters that are useless and failed to do anything except higlighting the fact that if we have too much characters we don't care about any of them.

SNOKE: A wasted character. Making him a puppet of Palpatine just destroy any possible good backstroy for him. SAD! He could have been a good vilain.

MAZ: Once again a useless character that exist and we don't know why.

GENERAL PRYDE: Another vilain about who nobody care.

Globally the characters aren't good at all I think that only Kylo and Poe aren't so bad.

The Plot:


This episode had the difficult task to end the sequel with two previous episodes that are clear failures on their own. It also must be the final point to the whole Skywalker Saga. Because of this I will divided this section in 3 parts: the plot in the movie itself, the plot in the sequel and the plot in the saga.

IN THE MOVIE:
The introduction of the stakes with the arrival of Palpatine and the last order is too fast and create lots of question: how sheev survived? how did he create this fleet? why nobody before success to find Exegol while Kylo did it in a really short amount of time?
There is also lots of incoherence or stupidity: the fleet have only 1 relay to be led out of the planet. Why Palpatine announced his comeback before the fleet is ready to strike?

The journey to find Exegol isn't really good to. The hero team go from a place to another and have just too much luck: they fall in the quicksand perfectly in the good spot to find the remain of the guys they were looking for. They find a dagger where you have the exact place of the map to find Exegol (why this is written on this dagger ?). When they arrived in front of the planet they are on the perfect spot to find the place where the map is hidden (just think one minute if they have been 100 meters left or right, they would have failed to find the map...). The fight with Kylo happened exactly when Leia decide to contact him....

The last part is the less worse with a more coherent action with less luck and some good moments. Despite this there is still this fact that a Destroyer can be easily destroy from the outisde by a team of 2 people with the help of a droid...

Globally the plot isn't good from the movie perspective.

IN THE SEQUEL:
If we see this episode as the final act of the sequel I think it did a good job. The two previous film weren't good (to stay very polite) and being able to create an end that is a bit coherent is something pretty hard. It is obvious that this movie is in opposition with lots of choice made in TLJ (for example: the parent of Rey are nothing...but not really) but most of this choice were more than controversial so coming back on them isn't such a bad thing. 
Some good points are the explanation of some things: we know why Rey is so powerful in the force, we know why she have been let on Jaku alone, we know why Kylo and Rey can communicate to such distance, we have a clear final point to the character of Kylo (the end of his evolution as the supreme leader and his come back to the lightside and finally his death).

Overall this is a good end of a failing trilogy. Better than any other of the sequel's film.

IN THE SAGA:
Because this episode is the end of the whole saga we should also see it in the light of the 8 previous films. And clearly this isn't great. 

  • This episode destroy the legacy of Anakin who should have bring the balance to the Force by killing Palpatine or at least by creating the one who will ultimately destroy the sith (Luke). Here we have Rey, a Palpatine who end the rule of her grand-father, ending the sith (at least up to the next episode ^^). Because of her it is clear that what Anakin have done is useless and did not bring any balance to anything...
  • This episode destroy the concept of Chosen One that Anakin is. Because Anakin have been made by the Force itself this can explain why he was so powerful and why his descendant (such as Kylo) are so powerful in the force. Here we have Rey who is even more powerful than Kylo and because of her being the grand daughter of Palpatine. This make just zero sens. Yes Palpatine is a insanely powerful force user but Anakin was the Chosen One with a bigger Force potential than anyone else.
  • This episode also contradict the whole way to see the Dark Side of the Force. Previously this was a really attractive thing and when you were in you weren't able to come back to the light side except under some really particular circumstances (eg: Vader). Here we have Kylo that just come back like if it was nothing some times after beign fully in the DS.


In the whole saga this film is a failure and not a success.


Conclusion:


This is a complex movie with its good and bad points. The fact that Star Wars start again in this period of political correctness wasn't a good help for the whole saga and can explained some things. However I think that this movie have more positive things than negative ones. And because I think that it is clearly above the two previous films I think that it is overall a good one and a good end to the sequel.
I give it : 7/10
BoD
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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker - Page 2 Empty Re: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

on Sat Dec 28, 2019 3:10 am
Best part of the film:

Kylo: "I killed Snoke."

Palpatine: "My dear boy...I made Snoke."

TROS: 
SithSauce
SithSauce

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker - Page 2 Empty Re: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

on Sat Dec 28, 2019 3:42 am
I enjoyed the film more than Last Jedi but I'm still ultimately mixed on it.
Ben's redemption was rushed and him ditching his lightsaber was stupid af.
The humour was a massive improvement over Last Jedi, eventhough it was misplaced on a few occasions. I disliked that they never explained how Palpatine is alive, they sort of expect you to just go with it.
This definitely felt the most "EU" out of all the Star Wars movies we've had (Not in a good way)


Last edited by SithSauce on Sat Dec 28, 2019 3:47 am; edited 1 time in total
SithSauce
SithSauce

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker - Page 2 Empty Re: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

on Sat Dec 28, 2019 3:45 am
@King Joker wrote:
Also, Daisy Ridley was great in TRoS. She’s a criminally underrated actor.
She was good but Adam Driver is the MVP of the Sequels. Such a fantastic actor. I wish he was in a better trilogy.
HellfireUnit
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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker - Page 2 Empty Re: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

on Sat Dec 28, 2019 4:15 am
The only vibes Daisy Ridley gave were depressed teenager girl who listens to Billie Eilish.
BoD
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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker - Page 2 Empty Re: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

on Sat Dec 28, 2019 5:16 am
@HellfireUnit wrote:The only vibes Daisy Ridley gave were depressed teenager girl who listens to Billie Eilish.
So every faux depressed teenage girl?
Isv
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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker - Page 2 Empty Re: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

on Sat Dec 28, 2019 1:47 pm
BreakofDawn wrote:Best part of the film:

Kylo: "I killed Snoke."

Palpatine: "My dear boy...I made Snoke."

TROS: 
 Now here look at this cool character we created with all this mystery in these expendable floating tanks. To all of you who liked snoke (me), kark you sheevs back baby Whooooooooooooo
LSDMB
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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker - Page 2 Empty My Review of the Rise of Skywalker

on Mon Dec 30, 2019 3:31 am
Message reputation : 100% (3 votes)
Having seen the Rise of Skywalker twice, I can say it is a deeply flawed movie, but at the same time it’s one I actually enjoyed given my level of expectation management going into the film, and viewing it in relation to the flawed nature of the sequel trilogy itself. I firmly believe the Rise of Skywalker actually served to raise the overall quality of the sequel trilogy for whatever that’s worth, and this film review will help explain why. It is a review that will contain a blend of complaint and praise.

Implications of the Return of Sheev
When the trailers confirmed Sheev’s presence in the trailers, there were three story directions that it inherently implied; the devaluation of the original trilogy’s impact, the dropping of the Last Jedi’s thematic thread, and the undercutting of Kylo Ren as the new primary antagonist.

The Devaluation of the Original Trilogy
To the first of these flaws, Sheev living beyond Return of the Jedi certainly devalues the impact of the original trilogy, and that of the Chosen One prophecy. One could argue Dark Empire in Legends did something similar, however there are two main differences. The first of which is that in Legends, as a consequence of Vader’s redemption the stakes and story were actually fundamentally changed by his actions. The Return of the Jedi was indeed that in Legends, the actual return of the Jedi and a true restoration of the Republic. By contrast Disney’s sequel trilogy hits the hard reset button on everything in TFA, leaving the consequences of Vader’s redemption far less salvaged in the wake of Palpatine’s return in Disney Canon than it was in Legends.
Furthermore, Palpatine’s final defeat at the hands of Rey was more egregious than his defeat in Dark Empire. In Dark Empire, Palpatine was in large part defeated by Luke and Leia, the children of Anakin Skywalker who carried his blood, the former of whom he died to save, who are more intrinsically tied into the legacy of Anakin Skywalker. In Legends, Palpatine still meets his final defeat against the legacy left behind. Rey does not bear this same connection to Anakin Skywalker, and further more all of the Jedi acting through her in that final moment makes her seem like a more cosmically important being than Anakin was and makes that confrontation appear as the most pivotal moment in the rebalancing of the Force.
That being said, this isn’t something that bothered me as deeply as it did many other people, primarily because much of the impact of the Original Trilogy was already destroyed by the first two movies of the Sequel Trilogy. TFA destroyed the Jedi once more, destroyed the republic once more, and left the Galaxy at the mercy of a new evil regime. TLJ carried on the thread for Luke that was hinted at in TFA and destroyed the character he was set up to be at the end of Return of the Jedi. Bringing Sheev back in ROS didn’t destroy the legacy of the original trilogy, it merely pissed on the ashes of a house we already knew was burned down. Then of course in regards to my own personal enjoyment, there was a significant amount of time between this reveal in the trailer and the movie actually being released for me to come to terms with the inevitability of what was to occur and adjust my expectations for the film accordingly going into it.

Let the Past Die… Kill it if You Have To
This was a theme, both for the character of Kylo Ren, and for the direction of the trilogy established and indicated by TLJ. Many assumed the trilogy would diverge in a new direction, however with the emergence of Sheev and the death star in the trailers, it became obvious that this movie would fall back into tugging at people’s sense of nostalgia. That being said the dropping of this theme for the direction of the trilogy didn’t overly bother me because it was never really a theme that gripped me when it was first posited in TLJ, in fact it was something that always struck me as more or less antithetical to the characteristic structure of Star Wars in which the past has always precipitated through the future, and has always been relevant to it. In Star Wars certain story elements have always echoed throughout time, as can be seen in numerous examples between the Prequel Trilogy and Original Trilogy. As George Lucas said, “it’s like poetry, it rhymes.” To that end I much prefer the legacy of the past manifested in ROS, to the middle finger to the past given by TLJ, or the carbon copy of ANH that was TFA.
Additionally, to that end, it’s questionable how thematically inconsistent the jump from TLJ to ROS is in regards to the overarching story. What needs to be remembered is that this idea was only set forth by Kylo Ren in universe, and it is one rebuked by both Luke and Rey in the very same movie. Rey, our protagonist, refuses Kylo’s offer to join him in killing the past. Luke, a character whose statements in that moment are given great narrative weight, tells Kylo Ren that he will not be the last Jedi, and that his father will always be with him, effectively telling Kylo that he will not succeed in killing the past in a broader sense and that his own past will continue to haunt him.
As people who waited for these movies to come out in real time, who had to wait two years between TLJ and ROS, we were prone to speculation, to take Kylo’s statements as a wink to the audience from Rian Johnson as to the direction of the story, and that was almost certainly Rian Johnson’s out of universe intent. Taking the trilogy as a whole rather than using TLJ to predict ROS however, and looking purely at the content of the movies rather than out of universe director intent, it becomes less apparent that there is anything thematically concrete in the purse substance of TLJ locking into place the direction of its sequel. Instead, interpreting the movies in this way, the desire to let the past die could be appropriately viewed as an aspect of Kylo Ren’s character rather than as a necessary metacommentary to the overarching structure of the movie. Kylo Ren, desperate to abandon a past with his family he believes he has no hope of returning to (as he says in ROS), killer of a master he lost faith in, he who forsook the desire to imitate Vader in the aftermath of his humiliation.
So when viewing that theme as something only embedded into the direction of Kylo Ren’s character, does this film hold up, or drop the ball? I would argue that Kylo’s motivations before his redemption are unchanged from what they were at the end of TLJ. Upon meeting Sidious, he never for a second had any desire to serve him, rather he immediately intended to betray him. His offer to Rey continued to be extended, to destroy the Sith, the Jedi, Palpatine, and to bring a new order to the Galaxy. This direction for Kylo’s character only changes when one of his underlying assumptions motivating him towards this viewpoint falls away, that he would never be accepted by his own parents back into the light… which is again foreshadowed to some degree by Luke telling Kylo his father will always be with him. The only truly jarring thing in regards to this thematic overtone is Kylo reforging his mask, which I don’t really have a defense of and agree was a bad decision.
So for the most part, I would argue the movie actually doesn’t drop the ball on this thematic through line, because from a purely in universe perspective the only thematic inconsistency is the reforging of Kylo’s mask. All else about Kylo’s character in regards to this theme is, in my opinion, consistent with what was portrayed in the previous movies.

Kylo is Undercut as the Primary Antagonist
I’ll be the first to admit, post TLJ, my hope for Kylo Ren in the following movie was that he would serve as the main antagonist. More seasoned, disciplined, hardened, and in control of his emotions, much like Luke’s transition from ESB to ROTJ. That he would fulfill the path he set upon when he murdered his father in TFA. It was my initial conviction that such a thing would have created a truly well executed and satisfying villain arc, and I still believe it would have were the movie taken in a completely different direction.
That being said, once again we were aware of Sheev’s return long before the movie came out, so I adjusted the bar of my expectations going into the movie. I fully expected Kylo Ren to be redeemed, however my great fear was that it would be precipitated by Rey, which would’ve felt completely unearned when even his own father failed to do so TFA. That was the bar my expectations were set at going into this film. And when I actually saw the film, his redemption was actually executed in a way commensurate with the overarching theme of Star Wars, and what had been established and foreshadowed in previous films, which I will explain in greater depth in the next section.
Suffice it to say, despite my initial hopes for Kylo Ren post TLJ, I was actually deeply satisfied with his character arc in this film, save for the reforging of his mask, and the unsatisfying nature of his death (to be explained in a later section). If I were to discard those two faults, it may very well be the case that I prefer this direction for Kylo’s character to the one I had originally hoped for prior to that hope being crushed by the return of Sheev.

The Thematic Successes and Failures
Now that I’ve touched upon For me there is a great thematic success to this film, accompanied by a great thematic failure. The two themes I am speaking of are that of family, and that of the Force Dyad.

Family
If there is one thematic through line to the entire Star Wars saga, aside from the moral questions of light and dark, it is the significance of family. Star Wars has always been a story fundamentally about family, and in each trilogy that has been a defining element of the primary character(s). In the Prequel Trilogy, Anakin Skywalker was reluctant to leave his mother and afraid of losing her in TPM which Yoda alluded was a path to the dark side, in AOTC he lost her and slaughtered, and in ROTS his fear of losing his wife like he lost his mother completed his fall to the dark side. In the Original Trilogy, Luke sought to be a Jedi like his father in ANH, was faced with the terrifying realization that Darth Vader was his father in ESB, and became a true Jedi and corrected the flaws of the old Jedi Order by facing and redeeming his father in ROTJ. Vader as the primary antagonist, for his part, was redeemed by his son in ROTJ. Both Luke and Anakin/Vader had their character arcs defined by familial bonds.
First, I will address Kylo Ren, who in my opinion is the greatest original Star Wars character Disney has to offer. Once again my fear going into this film was that Kylo would be ultimately redeemed by Rey, which would have felt cheap and unearned. Instead he was redeemed by his family in a process I think was appropriately built up to across the trilogy. In TFA, his parents served as a temptation, a call to the light, and he was obviously very conflicted when facing Han Solo on the bridge. He killed his father, expecting to be free of his conflict, but instead the deed split him to his bone, and when he faced his mother in TLJ he was unable to bring himself to kill her. Then when he was faced by Luke in TLJ, Luke told him alluded to the fact that despite having killed him, his father would always be with him. Then at the beginning of his duel with Rey in ROS, he alludes to his belief that his mother would never accept him back after what he had done.
All of this crescendos into the moment of his redemption at the hands of his parents. Leia reaches out to him to call him back to the light, as he assumed she wouldn’t. He is pained by her death, as he was unwilling to kill her in TLJ. Han, or at least a memory or ghost of him, is with him, as Luke claimed he always would be. Then, in a mirror image of his encounter with his father in TFA, Han once again tells him that his son is still alive, Kylo once more is filled with conflict and claims to know what he has to do though he doubts he has the strength to do it, but this time he makes the opposite decision, forsaking the dark side.
The moment of Kylo’s redemption at the hands of his parents is one intentionally, unintentionally, or retroactively foreshadowed by various significant character moments for him in the previous films. It is also one that ties into his desire to let the past die, in part seeking to let his own past die because he believes he would never be accepted back, only for that assumption to crumble as his parents reach out to him despite everything he has done. Lastly it is, in my opinion, a superbly acted and emotional scene on the part of Harrison Ford and Adam Driver that really sells the moment for me (and Leia for her part… was utilized as well as we could reasonably expect given Carrie Fisher’s untimely death). For me, this pivotal moment for Kylo Ren was something beautifully executed, which I believe tied together numerous parts of his character arc and elements from across the trilogy, and fundamentally tied his arc into what is essentially one of the most significant themes of Star Wars, family.
Now as for Rey… I’m not going to pretend she is a great character. What I will say however is that the impact of the Rise of Skywalker is to the benefit of Rey’s character arc. What was established in her character arc before would have, in the absence of ROS, been utterly dissatisfying. In TFA, her primary character conflict was her refusal to leave Jakku out of desperation that her parents would return to her. In TLJ, she is tempted towards the Dark Side nexus out of a desire to learn who her parents are and starts tripping balls in the cave only to discover… absolutely nothing. Then, Kylo tries to tempt her with the big reveal that her parents… are f.ucking nobody. Not only did that story thread not lead anywhere satisfying enough to justify the amount of emphasis placed on it, but after two years of cockteasing and speculation about the mystery of who Rey’s parents were… Rian Johnson just decides to give the fans the proverbial middle finger in order to subvert our expectations. Once again, in the absence of ROS, I have no reason to give a single flying f.uck about something that takes up a lot of runtime in TFA and TLJ, and what is supposed to be one of the defining traits of Rey’s character arc aside from not knowing her place in the world (which wasn’t addressed to my satisfaction in TFA and TLJ), discovering she can use the Force (big whoop), and forming a bond with Kylo (which admittedly was a good element of her character, but the only good one pre ROS).
So what does making her Palpatine’s granddaughter do for her character arc? Well for starters just that fact alone, without even considering the execution, at least retroactively grants the previous two films an actual justification for focusing on and teasing the mystery of her parents as much as they did. It makes something that previously felt completely pointless actually relevant to the overarching story and to Rey’s character. Not to mention the fact that it actually grants some level of in-universe justification as to why she’s OP and a peer to someone with Skywalker blood. Even before I get into discussing the execution of this element of ROS, just on the surface it is already something that retroactively makes TFA and TLJ less sh!t. That upon any future rewatch of those movies, her power level doesn’t come across quite as absurd (still doesn’t quite make sense, but it makes more sense), and that the emphasis on her parents isn’t just dragging the audience around to a dissatisfying dead end.
As far as the execution of the family element to Rey’s character arc goes in this story, I’m not going to say it was executed flawlessly, but it does give Rey more depth than she had in the two previous movies and actually builds upon some of their elements. For one the reveal of her bloodline gives her some actual inner conflict, both by engendering a desire for revenge within her, and by building a fear in her towards what she might become. Some have argued that this could have been better executed had she faced any real consequences for her actions to justify her fear of falling to the dark side, but regardless at the bare minimum it adds another dimension to a character that I found a bit two dimensional in the previous two films. Additionally, it also accentuates the element of Rey’s character that she doesn’t know her “place in all of this,” with the reveal of her lineage making her understand less about who she is or who she’s supposed to be, causing her to almost abandon the Galaxy. Then she is guided back onto the right path by words of wisdom from Luke’s ghost and by the revelation that Leia trained her despite knowing she was a Palpatine, freeing her from the belief that her fate was bound by her lineage.
It isn’t until the very last scene that one gets the impression that Rey has truly found her identity, where she chooses to identify with the Skywalker family, based upon Luke and Leia’s mentorship, the very people who helped her overcome her fear of herself in the wake of the discovery that she was Palpatine’s granddaughter. For whatever reason this scene really works for me. Perhaps it’s the nostalgia of seeing the Lars homestead again, or the reverence Rey shows towards Luke and Leia, or perhaps even the sheer cinematography of the scene. But regardless there was some strength in this scene that impacted me, so I found it a satisfying scene to conclude Rey’s character arc on a high note, where she finally found what she had been seeking for the entire trilogy.
Again I’m not trying to say Rey is an amazing character, or that the execution of her character arc was flawless. The point I will reassert however is that Rise of Skywalker is of benefit to Rey’s character and her arc. Thus Rise of Skywalker has a more compelling protagonist than the previous two films, and delivers a degree of payoff for elements in those films that felt less impactful at the time.

The Force Dyad
The squandering of the thematic significance of Rey and Kylo’s Force Dyad is without a doubt my biggest complaint about the Rise of Skywalker, as it fails to deliver the expected payoff for something built up over the course of two movies, and it lends itself over to my dissatisfaction with the deaths of Sheev and Kylo Ren… which is obviously a big negative for me considering Sheev is the big bad of the entire saga, and that Kylo Ren is genuinely the best original Star Wars character Disney has come up with.
Over the course of TLJ and ROS, Kylo and Rey’s Force Dyad has been hyped up as something of extreme significance, playing a pivotal part in the plot of both movies. In the Last Jedi it is what built the relationship between Rey and Kylo and precipitated their temporary alliance in the throne room. And in this film Kylo once more approached Rey with the suggestion that because of their Force Dyad the two of them could stand against Palpatine and overthrow him. Between that and Kylo’s redemption, the indication is given that the climax the movie is building towards is a redeemed Ben Solo standing with Rey against the Emperor, their unique bond serving as a powerful edge against him.
Then of course they stand against Sheev side by side… before Sheev immediately drains them to rejuvenate himself then tosses Ben off a cliff and… that’s the last bit of relevance their Dyad, and Ben as a whole for that matter, has to the final showdown against the Emperor. Instead the power wielded to defeat him is not the one that was built up over the course of the past few movies, but was instead a power only referenced at the beginning of the movie for the sole purpose of putting it in the end.
All of that doesn’t sit right with me. Rey vanquishing Sheev 1v1 (albiet in her soul orgy with the past Jedi), the big bad of the entire saga, once and for all just… doesn’t feel earned, because there is still nothing about her that speaks to her uniqueness amongst the scores of Jedi who have come before to justify her filling that role, whereas on the other hand her Force Dyad with Ben is actually treated as something profound and unique by the story. Additionally, Ben Solo is also shortchanged by this ending, in that the only fruit borne by his redemption is his arrival keeping Rey from giving into temptation, then sacrificing his own life to heal her. This is a poor ending for the genuinely amazing character arc that came before that moment IMO. Had Ben truly stood along Rey against Sheev in the final confrontation, both his death and Sheev’s death would feel much more earned.
In fact the entire “All the Sith” and “All the Jedi” thing just didn’t sit right with me. The “all the Sith” thing, unless it’s confirmed to be a metaphor, or Palpatine only became all of the Sith after his resurrection, completely retcons the nature of the Sith in a way I’m not really comfortable with, and the “all the Jedi” thing just seems like a Deus Ex Machina inserted into the movie with the clumsiest foreshadowing just so they could make it happen (not that I didn’t enjoy the voices of all the Jedi, it just doesn’t work well from a plot perspective IMO).

The Characters
Having dealt with Kylo and Rey, I’m going to address the handling of the other characters in this film, which for the most part left me satisfied.
Sheev
Obviously Sheev is the primary antagonist of the entire Star Wars saga. The two main things that dissatisfied me with Sheev, as previously discussed, were the manner of his death and the “All the Sith thing” (again assuming he was always literally all of the Sith). Those things aside, I actually really enjoyed Sheev’s presence in this film. Ian McDiarmid is always an absolute win, he’s a joy to watch on screen and his performance as always was entertaining. Though Sheev’s a bit more deranged, one could chalk that up to his experience with death changing him, and one could even argue that it was an effective portrayal of the essence of pure evil. That aside he’s still Sheev, manipulating Rey as he manipulated Anakin and Luke, taking a twisted and euphoric pleasure in his evil. I also really enjoyed his lines, some of which I’ll find myself quoting frequently over the next few months because that’s just what I do. Then of course it’s difficult to deny the wanktastic element of the power he demonstrates in this movie, from his utter domination of Rey and Ben, to his fleet crippling lightning. Then lastly I actually really liked his damaged physical appearance where he looks like absolute death, his eyes completely white, his lips black, his fingers all decayed and sh!t, I thought that was very aesthetically pleasing.

Poe and Finn
It was nice getting to see Poe actually step into a more mature position of leadership from the absolutely horrible way they wrote his character in TLJ, where he actually has to grapple with his own doubts in a mature way rather than flip the f.uck out. Finn also seemed more mature and seasoned and I appreciated his role in taking down the flagship, though I do think his role in the story was a little shortchanged. I appreciated getting to see the team dynamic with them, Rey, Chewie, 3PO, etc. I thought it gave a nice feel for their relationships, and I generally enjoyed the interactions between them. I was a bit off put at a certain point though by whatever weird angsty sh!t was going on between Finn and Poe though.

The Jedi
I really appreciated this movie’s portrayal of Luke and Leia, especially in regards to the previous two movies. After the way Luke was treated by TLJ, it was very nice to see Luke treated with some reverence, with Rey at the beginning of the movie believing herself unworthy of Luke’s lightsaber, then Luke’s ghost giving Rey some actual good advice and actually convincing her to go save the Galaxy and giving her the tools she needed to find Sidious. Leia for her part didn’t get much screen time in any of the three movies, and to be honest her appearances in the past two movies didn’t do all that much for me beyond the point of nostalgia. In TFA she pops up near the end and is just kinda there aside from her interactions with Han and feeling his death. In TLJ she chews out Poe, has a moment with Kylo, gets knocked the f.uck out for most of the movie, then gets a moment with Luke. In ROS though, I actually really liked Leia’s mentorship of Rey and the relationship she seemed to have with her and the side of old Leia that relationship showed. Likewise her role in redeeming Kylo, and in allowing Rey to see beyond her bloodline was a very significant impact on the plot to give one of the OT’s big three who… hasn’t had any impact at all on the plot of the Sequel Trilogy in previous movies if you really think about it. Then of course the reverence Rey shows Luke and Leia when she buries their lightsabers and in considering them her family is also something I appreciated. Also, despite me not liking the “all the Jedi” thing as a plot element, I actually really appreciated the reverence shown to those Jedi as well and actually getting to hear their voices come together in the movie.
I guess what I’ll say is that Luke and Leia were actually handled well in this film, when both of them were criminally misused in the previous two films. And it’s nice seeing a film in this trilogy that actually displays reverence towards the Jedi after the previous two basically pissed all over their legacy. It’s better to close out the trilogy respecting the Jedi rather than continuing to piss on their legacy.

The Other OT Characters
As I previously mentioned, Han’s scene with Kylo Ren was extremely well executed, so despite his brevity in the film I really enjoyed Han’s involvement. Lando was a nice addition to the film, with a few Easter eggs, some touching moments, and the sheer nostalgia of getting to see him in the Millennium Falcon again. Chewbacca was… there… I guess… idk it’s just not the same when he isn’t with Han. R2 continued his trend of being criminally underused in this trilogy.
Really though this was 3PO’s time to shine, since he was more involved in the plot of this film than he has been in any film since… honestly since return of the Jedi. I really enjoyed his screen presence, it brought in some good humor, nostalgia, and the comfort only 3PO can bring into what were honestly the slowest parts of the movie, which I very much appreciated. 3PO was great is basically what I’m saying.

The Minor Characters
Eh… Zorri was fine I guess, she had a couple good moments with Poe and she looked cool. I actually really liked Allegiant General Pryde who seemed like a genuinely threatening and competent military figure, basically everything Hux had failed to be. Everyone else though, eehhhh at a certain point it got a bit excessive to the point where I just didn’t give a fuck about the random characters they were trying to introduce and insert in the story. The Knights of Ren were ret@rded.

Correcting Some of TLJ’s Other Flaws
Rose in TLJ was kinda pointless and annoying. I disavow the abuse and death threats her actress received, but honestly Rose just isn’t a good character and I was happy to see her get sidelined this movie, just as many fans were happy when Lucas drastically sidelined Jar Jar in AOTC and ROTS. No hate for her actress they just didn’t write a good character for her
Hux in TLJ was completely stripped of all of his credibility as a villain, kinda turned into an incompetent punching bag. So having him betray Kylo was a move that made sense, and allowed them to get rid of him to make way for Allegiant General Pryde who was, again, everything Hux failed to be and the military antagonist we needed in this movie.
Snoke just kinda… got killed off in TLJ with zero explanation as to who he was. Andy Serkis’s performance was great, but Snoke was just kind of a nothing character. At least they gave an explanation to his origins. The plotholes it creates though with the Dyad are pretty dumb though.

Other Minor Things
I enjoyed the action in this movie, the jetpack troopers, Rey’s Dyad duel with Kylo with the alternating environment was cool, their fight on the Death Star wreckage was cool and showed off some pretty cool uses of force abilities in a cool environment. I thought the special effects were good. There were some decent comedic moments (ie. 3PO, the Holotable, Poe getting rejected twice, the mind tricked stormtrooper who said “it’s good” like a stoner, etc.). It was also a pretty wholesome moment when the regular people of the Galaxy decided after nine movies that they were fed up with this sh!t and decided to show up to stop Sheev. Oh yeah and dropping Sheev’s return in the fucking opening crawl was ret@rded.

Conclusion
Yeah basically this is obviously a very flawed movie, but at the end of the day with proper management of my expectations I found it very enjoyable, and in some ways I was actually very impressed with the way it tied some of the themes of the trilogy and the saga together, and in how it handled the character arcs of both Kylo and Rey (again minus Kylo’s death). I don’t think this film provides too much more to get angry about after the damage inflicted by the past two movies, and I firmly believe it raises the quality of the sequel trilogy overall.
Azronger
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on Mon Dec 30, 2019 6:11 am
Also, didn't the Skywalker lightsaber explode in TLJ? What is it doing in this film?

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BoD
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on Mon Dec 30, 2019 6:13 am
@Azronger Visual dictionary explains that Rey repaired it.
Azronger
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on Mon Dec 30, 2019 6:15 am
Message reputation : 100% (1 vote)
Lol

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Meatpants
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on Mon Dec 30, 2019 6:38 am
@Azronger wrote:Lol
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on Mon Dec 30, 2019 6:47 am
IIRC, she healed the crystal then just put the lightsaber back together, using a new metal band to strengthen the break point.

Would have been a perfect opportunity to bring back Luke's green lightsaber but apparently Abrams is terrified of even the slightest risk.
The Witness
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on Mon Dec 30, 2019 8:28 am
Oh yeah General Pryde was a great villain. I wish he was in the last 2 instead of Hux
Rohirrim
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on Mon Dec 30, 2019 8:32 am
@LSDMB: I agree with most of your points, but can't get behind this at all:

To the first of these flaws, Sheev living beyond Return of the Jedi certainly devalues the impact of the original trilogy, and that of the Chosen One prophecy. One could argue Dark Empire in Legends did something similar, however there are two main differences. The first of which is that in Legends, as a consequence of Vader’s redemption the stakes and story were actually fundamentally changed by his actions. The Return of the Jedi was indeed that in Legends, the actual return of the Jedi and a true restoration of the Republic. By contrast Disney’s sequel trilogy hits the hard reset button on everything in TFA, leaving the consequences of Vader’s redemption far less salvaged in the wake of Palpatine’s return in Disney Canon than it was in Legends.
Furthermore, Palpatine’s final defeat at the hands of Rey was more egregious than his defeat in Dark Empire. In Dark Empire, Palpatine was in large part defeated by Luke and Leia, the children of Anakin Skywalker who carried his blood, the former of whom he died to save, who are more intrinsically tied into the legacy of Anakin Skywalker. In Legends, Palpatine still meets his final defeat against the legacy left behind.

In canon the Jedi Order and Republic are not only also restored, but the Empire is defeated for thirty years, so the OT is actually far more impactful for the Galaxy than it was in Legends, which had the Emperor's return a mere seven years after the battle of Endor. 

When Rey communes with Anakin, he tells her to bring balance to the Force just like he did, so it's actually acknowledged that what he did was truly significant in a cosmic sense, and he seems to provide her with a part of the power needed to defeat Palpatine. Even though Luke and Leia are indeed more intrinsically tied to Anakin than Rey is, it's worth noting that they also play a key role in canon as her Jedi Masters. 

Then again, you're neglecting the fact that, in Legends, it is not Luke and Leia that defeat Palpatine for good, but Han Solo and Empatojayos Brand. Quite the random narrative choice.
MasterCilghal
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on Mon Dec 30, 2019 8:52 am
BreakofDawn wrote:@Azronger Visual dictionary explains that Rey repaired it.
There’s a huge problem when you have to read/watch supplementary material to understand certain plot elements of movie. That’s an issue I’ve had with TFA (mainly for the republic and the first order) and Solo (Darth Maul).
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