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Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Just Been To See...The Rise Of Skywalker!

So, today I went to see the final Star Wars movie in this saga, The Rise Of Skywalker. I won’t be giving you any spoilers here. I held off till I could go with my friend Jasna and refused to read any reviews till after I’d been.  But I do want to share. Again, I’m not including photos for copyright reasons. 

We went to the Hoyt’s cinema at Melbourne Central, opposite the State Library of Victoria, and decided this was special enough to merit the Lux cinema, where you sit in a small cinema that holds about twenty people and have staff bring you ordered food and drink. They also gave us all a complimentary box of popcorn. 

Ordering food was a mistake; I should have stuck to popcorn and a cold drink and maybe ice cream if available. The menu looked great and I bought what turned out to be small rolls with tofu; I couldn’t finish them. I had to drown out the taste with my mineral water. My friend was also not crazy about the chicken she ordered. Next time we take our own food, though I might consider a cocktail, something you can’t buy in a regular session. 

But I wanted to enjoy this film in style. I went to the first one, you see, when it first came out. It was nothing like as fancy, I just slipped into another Hoyt’s cinema that no longer exists and rejoiced in the beauty of it, the glorious John Williams music, the giant screen full of spaceships - and the characters. None of the lead actors was famous at the time. Harrison Ford went on to an impressive career, including another huge adventure fantasy franchise, Indiana Jones. Mark Hamill did do other films, but not many that I’ve seen, and none as wonderful as Star Wars. Maybe he did more stage stuff - I do know he has performed in Amadeus on stage, years ago, and I can see him as a Mozart in that one. He is on Twitter these days and makes an entertaining tweep. Carrie Fisher didn’t do a lot of films - The Blues Brothers is one I remember - but she did something even better, as a writer and script doctor, who edited film scripts - an important skill indeed! 

So, what did I think of the final film? I enjoyed it. My heart belongs to the original trilogy, but I also loved this trilogy. I appreciated that more women got things to do in this series. They were pilots and technicians and even Storm Troopers. In fact, I was rather chuffed to realise that the villainous Stormtrooper Captain Phasma was played by Gwendoline Christie, aka Brienne of Tarth in the Game Of Thrones series. In The Rise Of Skywalker we got to meet another female (ex) Stormtrooper. There was a diversity in colours too, with black and Asian characters. I was disappointed that Rose, an Asian rebel fighter from the last film, didn’t get much to do in this one. I’m not angry, as so many people are on Twitter, but with the build up she got in The Last Jedi, she really should have had more to do. However, you do get to see her; she wasn’t “written out” as some people on Twitter were complaining. 

Because it was the last film, there were some references to the original trilogy and characters who came back. One of them, without too much spoiler, was Lando Calrissian, who returns, older but twinkle-eyed, and one other character I hadn’t expected. And they did a wonderful job of slipping in the previously unused footage of Leia. It was so very good that you really wouldn’t know it was not part of the original film. 

Kylo Ren, the young villain of the previous films, is back and doing at least one scene that was probably deliberately taken from the original Star Wars film. He still looks like a youthful Severus Snape, but at least he spends around half the film without his mask. 

I’ll leave it there or find myself in spoiler territory. I found the ending pretty satisfying. If you liked the first two in this trilogy you will probably enjoy this one. After the movie, we went browsing in JB Hifi, where I bought Good Omens and the first two films in this trilogy, all on special for 30% discount, even if they were already discounted. An enjoyable way to end the year! 


AJ Blythe said...

I haven't seen the first two in the trilogy. It's something the Hub does with the Barbarians - they go to the cinema for a boys outing each Christmas to see the latest Star Wars movie. But it sound slike you had a great NYE. I didn't go out, watched the NYE fireworks from a window and was in bed by 9.30pm, lol.

Brian Joseph said...

I also saw it on Sunday. I also saw the original in theaters when it first came out. I also love the original trilogy. Though I have mixed feelings about thus trilogy I thought that this was the best of the three. It was so propelled by nostalgia. I loved the nostalgia but now I think that they have done enough of it. If the saga continues I hope that they dial it back and push more originality.

Sue Bursztynski said...

Hi Brian! Definitely nostalgia. I know for sure that this is the last of the main saga. Anything else will be spinoffs, mainly for TV, like the current series everyone is talking about, The Mandalorian with its “Baby Yoda”. They were doing prequels, like Rogue One and Solo, but for some reason Solo was a flop and now that Disney has the rights - well, they don’t cope well with anything that isn’t a massive hit. They won’t be doing it again. At best they will make us wait till they see how the TV shows go. I feel that I’d rather just put my DVDs on and binge on the saga, or go to a marathon. Enough is enough.

Sue Bursztynski said...

Hi Anita! If you aren’t a fan, no point in going to see any of the movies. Personally I’d suggest seeing the original trilogy. That was special. In fact, if you are ever curious, see if you can get the original theatrical release; they digitised it and the results were not wonderful, especially sticking a sulky looking Hayden Christensen from the prequel trilogy over the pleasant-faced middle-aged man who was supposed to be Luke Skywalker’s Dad in the final scene of Return Of The Jedi.

You had fireworks in Canberra with all the smoke from the bushfires my Canberra friends have spoken about? I hope the evening was clear, at least? I went to bed before midnight; it has been years since I bothered.

AJ Blythe said...

I wouldn't say I'm not a fan, just that I haven't really ever seen the movies. Just bits and pieces of them.

No fireworks in Canberra! They were all cancelled due to the total fire ban. We have been in Qld with family.

Sue Bursztynski said...

Ah! That explains it. And you could see them from the window? Impressive!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sue - the cozy cinema sounds fun ... pity about the food - that would have disappointed me too. Glad you enjoyed the movie ... not really my scene - but am happy to see you've had a good start to the New Year. All the best for the year ahead ... cheers Hilary

Sue Bursztynski said...

Thanks, Hilary! It was an enjoyable afternoon.

Roland Clarke said...

I remember being enthralled by the first movie on a big screen in the UK. I even got to see the next one - The Empire Strikes Back - at a London cinema as I went to the UK cast & crew premiere; I was at college with the producer Gary Kurtz's wife so she invited her friends. I've tried to see all the subsequent films at the cinema, but as I'm now in a wheelchair, DVDs and Bluerays are easier. So The Rise of Skywalker will have to be enjoyed on a small screen. Still looking forward to it.

Sue Bursztynski said...

Hi Roland! Nice to encounter someone who remembers the days before the original Star Wars movie became “A New Hope” and the excitement of seeing it when it was new. And how exciting to go to that party! I do hope you can see the new one as soon as th3 DVD comes out.

We are luckier. My mother uses a walker and our local cinema has lifts that enable you to get in through the back, where there is an area for people with wheelchairs or walkers.