Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

As is my nature, I have seen The Rise of Skywalker four times and I’ve had several days to think about it. With this trilogy and the saga of the Skywalkers as we know them wrapped, I’ve gone back and looked at my reactions to The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. I even went into my LiveJournal archives to look back on my reactions to Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, just because.

Leading up to the release of this film, I watched all of the other films in the saga, in chronological order, including Solo and Rogue One so that everything would be fresh in my mind. I did this by watching one film per night starting the week before release and it worked out pretty well.

This will not be a review, it’s just my thoughts about the end and it may be a little disjointed, definitely a little long because there is a lot happening in this film. I have more to say about Kylo Ren/Ben Solo than this space will allow, so all of that is going to go into a separate post.

As with The Last Jedi, The Rise of Skywalker seems to be on the receiving end of hatred as well. None of the films are perfect, but they are all canon whether people like them or not. Every single Star Wars movie is someone’s favourite just as every single Star Wars movie is someone else’s least favourite. Art is subjective like that.



During the opening, we see Kylo Ren on Mustafar, where he retrieves a Sith Wayfinder from the grounds of Fortress Vader. There’s a thin forest here now. Although I haven’t played Vader Immortal (because I don’t have an Oculus Quest), I have read about the story and it would seem this is evidence that the planet really is healing. But what happened to the castle? Why don’t we see ruins?

Back in 2015, I had wondered if Snoke had a connection to Palpatine. During my rewatch of all of the films, it occurred to me that perhaps Palpatine had created Snoke, that Snoke wasn’t real, or that Snoke was a puppet. I dismissed this thought only to find out I was correct! He was Palpatine’s puppet. I also thought that the secret to conquering death would be an interesting thing to tie all the films together, however I wish we had gotten more hints of Palpatine’s involvement in the other two films.

I wish that we had seen Anakin’s Force spirit in this film. Hearing him was nice, but it would have been cool to see him as well, maybe at the end with his children. I don’t believe that this film cheapens Anakin’s sacrifice as some have suggested. In that moment, in Return of the Jedi, Anakin did bring balance as far as anyone knew because Palpatine did die — he says so in the film — “My boy, I have died before.” But! How long was he dead? How soon was Palpatine revived? We don’t know (at this time). He seems to be like a reanimated corpse, but he could just as well be a damaged clone. This is somewhat hand waved away by the line that, “The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural.” And we move on. Might ruminate more on this point later.

Anyway, my personal interpretation of the final confrontation between Rey and Palpatine is that true balance could not be brought to the Force until the Jedi and Sith are both completely destroyed, which is why Rey “died” briefly. In that moment, she destroys both. Luke tells us in The Last Jedi that the Force doesn’t belong to the Jedi; it doesn’t belong to them or the Sith.


When we first see Rey, she is meditating and repeating the mantra, “Be with me.” She is trying to commune with the old masters. Is this something she read about in the sacred Jedi texts or something Leia is teaching her? On that note: Rey actually read the sacred Jedi texts! And she calls Leia, “Master”! I’m so glad to see Leia in this moment, and to learn that she’s had to take up the mantle of Jedi Master, but because they are repurposing old footage, the dialogue feels somewhat off in this scene.

Did she really need to be a Palpatine? This has left me with one major question, which is: who fucked Palpatine?! When? WHY? I wish I did not have to ask these questions, but other than that, fine: it is what it is. She just as easily could have remained Rey from Jakku, but now I’m left with more questions than I had before.

It was so important to hear Luke tell Rey that he had been wrong, since the last time they spoke, they were at odds. This scene on Ahch-To was so reminiscent of Luke’s own conversation with Obi-Wan on Dagobah just after Yoda’s death and prior to confronting his father. Interestingly, you never see Luke’s right hand in this scene; he keeps it covered.

I’ve seen some people not understanding why the title of this film is The Rise of Skywalker, but it was pretty clear to me that it is in reference to the Jedi of the past telling Rey to rise in the Force during her final confrontation and then her subsequent choice to take the Skywalker name. And of course there are people who take issue with that as well, but I thought it was a lovely tribute to her two most important mentors, Luke and Leia, who (somehow?) knew who she was, but ultimately still trained her anyway.

Her lightsaber is yellow and constructed from parts of her staff. Where did she find the kyber crystals? Ilum is gone; it was turned into Starkiller Base and has been destroyed. That’s not the only place you can find crystals, but I hope to get more information about this in the novel or in other ancillary materials.

A lot of people have been saying that they don’t like that Rey is alone in the end of the film on Tatooine. I don’t think that she is. We see BB-8 roll out of the Millennium Falcon. Who is to say that her friends are not on board, waiting for her? Just because we don’t see them, doesn’t mean that they aren’t there. Is she going to stay there for a short time? The second to last track on the soundtrack, which plays during this scene, is called, “A New Home,” so it has me wondering.

Also, it’s hard to tell, but it seems to me like the Skywalker lightsabers are buried in close proximity to where Shmi Skywalker is buried. Cue my feels.


Some folks are upset that Finn/Poe didn’t become canon. I don’t care; I didn’t ship them. If it had happened, I wouldn’t have had an issue with it. However, I think that it is equally important to show two men having a close friendship, to show little boys that it’s not weird or gay to show physical affection to your friends.

Finn didn’t annoy me as badly in this installment. Also, it was pretty clear (and has since been confirmed) that he is exhibiting Force-sensitivity in the film and he keeps trying to tell Rey, but it ultimately goes unaddressed in the film. Some of the people who loved The Last Jedi and hate The Rise of Skywalker cite that one of the things they loved about TLJ is that it showed you can be ‘nobody’ and still be powerful in the Force. This is still true! It has always been true.

The Force is everything and everywhere. Even someone who isn’t a Jedi is still a part of the Force, is still connected to it. If you believe in the Force and hone that belief, then perhaps you can learn to tap into it. Finn being around Rey, seeing that the Force is real, and what it is capable of, has led him to a deeper belief in it and has awoken his own connection to it. With training and discipline, perhaps he will become a Jedi as well.

Other things that I loved:

  • Hux is the Rebel spy! Hahaha, loved this.
  • Skywalker twins training session flashback and Leia’s lightsaber! I love that her lightsaber was blue, like her father’s. I’m going to need a replica of this whenever it inevitably becomes available. I’d also like a book, comic, animated series or something to give me more Skywalker twins training action. The graphics looked a little like a video game, but it’s fine. I’ll take what I can.
  • “You have everything you need,” and Luke’s satisfied face at lifting his old X-Wing out of the ocean.
  • Force healing! We’ve seen the Child do this in The Mandalorian, but Rey apparently learned this from the sacred texts.
  • I’m going to need to know more about what exactly Luke and Lando were up to on Pasaana.
  • C-3PO was so lovable and comedic in this film, I appreciated that. Also thought it was kind of funny that Sith is similar to the Black Speech of Lord of the Rings in that it’s basically forbidden to speak it.
  • Speaking of, just going off of what we have seen in The Mandalorian, which takes place just a few years after Return of the Jedi, people don’t seem to be familiar with the Jedi or able to recognize the Force, so how does Zorii know anything about the Sith language?
  • The company of defected Stormtroopers! The way Jannah reacts to Finn upon learning that he was FN-2187 suggests that perhaps her group had heard about how he defected and that played a part in their refusal to carry out orders?
  • After TFA, I also stated that I wanted Lando and/or Wedge to make an appearance and TROS gave us both.
  • Lando saying, “There are more of us, Poe. There are more of us.” and then the Final Order officer seeing all of the ships and saying, “It’s not a navy, sir. It’s just…people.” This message is so relevant to our current times.
  • Maz giving Chewie Han’s medal, which Leia had kept, as something to remember both of them by.

The nitpicks:

  • Where is Luke’s green lightsaber? While writing this, I remembered that the Caretakers on Ahch-To have it.
  • Not enough Rose after she played such a large role in the previous film.
  • Not enough Connix, either.
  • No Captain Phasma. Disappointing. I wanted her to just keep reappearing.
  • I don’t have a problem with Poe Dameron being a former spice runner, however, where exactly does this fit into his backstory? He’s not that old.
  • I want to like Zorii Bliss more, but her role was so small that I have to ask what was the point.
  • The Final Order fleet has been massing in the Unknown Regions for decades, and they have seemingly been wiped out, right? But what about all of the First Order ships? Where are they? What has happened to them? I know we saw some of them being destroyed, but I can’t imagine that’s actually all of them.
  • Who are the Knights of Ren? We saw more of them, but still didn’t really find out much of anything about them. What was that vision in TFA even about?

I’m not 100% convinced we are done with any of these characters.

The Rise of Skywalker: Final Trailer & Ticket Sale!

Tickets went on sale around 8pm, then the trailer roughly an hour or so after that. I’ll be going to Disney Springs again to see the film in Dolby Digital. Unfortunately this time, we were not able to get our 10pm slot, so we snagged 2am instead. It’s fine — I took 20 December off from work and I’m looking forward to having myself a Star Wars holiday (I won’t return to work until the 26). 🙂

Welcome to Black Spire Outpost.

Bright suns! This past Sunday (4 August), I accompanied my friend Jane to her Disney Cast Member preview of Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Ever since this park was announced, I’ve been beyond excited to experience it. Our reservation for the preview began at 9am, just after the park opened to non-resort guests. The entry to Galaxy’s Edge is located just past the Muppet Vision 3D area and not too far from Star Tours, aka, the “Old Outpost”. It is marked by a large gateway and stepping through, you’ll enter a tunnel that will take you into the world of Batuu, a planet located in the Outer Rim on the edge of Wild Space. The theming of this area is beyond anything I’ve experienced in any theme park thus far. You will not see any Star Wars branding in Galaxy’s Edge and the only signs you’ll see are near the entrance. This will be a long read, so strap in.


Gateway to Galaxy’s Edge.

As you enter Batuu, to the left you will find the queuing area for Rise of the Resistance, opening later this year on 5 December, as will as a couple of “Resistance Supply” kiosks. Continuing past this to the left, you’ll enter the marketplace where you will discover various shops, such Black Spire Outfitters, where you can buy some pretty decent costume pieces; I bought a faux leather belt there for my Rey costume. You’ll find Jedi and Sith robes and accessories here as well. Other shops include the Toydarian Toymaker where you can find items that resemble handmade goods, and the creature stall which features an adorable lothcat in a cage. Kat Saka’s Kettle and Ronto Roasters are food options located in this area. Kat Saka’s has Outpost Mix, a popcorn snack, as well as the specially designed Coke products. Ronto Roasters specializes in “exotic meats”; as such there is no vegan option, but vegetarians will find the breakfast offering of Rising Moons Overnight Oats as well as some unique beverages, including black caf. You’ll also notice the pod racing engine which has been turned into a barbecue pit tended by 8D-J8, a smelter droid. Refreshers (restrooms) are located toward the entrance of the Marketplace.


Felucian Garden Spread (lunch), Docking Bay 7 Food & Cargo

Exiting the Marketplace area to your left you will find Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo. Some items here are only served during lunch or dinner. We had lunch here; there is one vegetarian/vegan option, which is the Felucian Garden Spread: plant-based “kefta” served with herb hummus, tomato-cucumber relish, and pita. The kefta is actually Impossible meatless balls. This reminded me of an item I had at Epcot during the Festival of the Arts earlier this year, which was the farmhouse meatball with lentil bread, spinach, marinated vegetables, and creamy herb dressing. (Apparently, for dinner, the Ithorian Garden Loaf is available: plant-based “meatloaf”, roasted vegetable potato mash, and seasonal vegetables, with mushroom sauce. Edit, 09/07/19: Upon going back to the park recently, I noticed this item is not available and I can’t find it on the official menus either, yet people have had it in Disneyland.)

Directly across from Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo is Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities. Looking for Jedi or Sith holocrons? How about Princess Leia’s classic white dress or Qi’Ra’s gold Crimson Dawn necklace? Kyber crystals? This is where you’ll want to go. The senate dress is actually relatively nice — I’m extremely familiar with the construction of that dress because I’ve made several for myself over the last 20 years, so I had to examine it. The belt is vinyl (somewhat thin) as are the silver medallions adorning it. The dress itself is the first commercially made version of this costume that does not have shoulder seams and has the correct open, u-shaped hood. Both of these features are simple details, but I appreciated them. If you don’t feel like making or commissioning this costume and you’re not going for an elite costuming group’s approval, this is a relatively inexpensive option as it is less than $200, but still fairly accurate.


The Millennium Falcon!

Looking straight ahead from between Dok-Ondar’s and Docking Bay 7, you’ll see the Millennium Falcon herself, docked here at Black Spire Outpost! You may even catch a glimpse of Chewbacca and Rey, if you’re lucky. This is where you’ll find the queueing area for Smuggler’s Run. If the wait is longer, part of the queue is outside, however it is mostly located in the shade and has good airflow. It was pretty hot and sunny when I was there, but it really wasn’t too bad with all of the shade. Honestly, there are many places in Batuu to sit and rest outside of direct sunlight, which is really nice. (But you should still remember to wear sunscreen!) Just before you board the ship, you’ll meet Hondo Ohnaka and he has a job for you: you’ll be borrowing the Falcon from Chewie to pick up a shipment of Coaxium for Ohnaka Transport Solutions.

Boarding the Falcon feels very similar to walking down the ramp to board a plane. You will enter the ride in groups of six; if you do not have six people in your party, a single rider or two may be added. Yes: Smuggler’s Run has a single rider line! As you enter the ship, you’ll be handed a coloured card with your assignment: pilot, gunner, or engineer. The card also has brief instructions for your role and you will hand this in just before going on your mission. In this waiting area, you will see some familiar sights, such as the Dejarik table and as you await your turn, you’ll have a little bit of time to take some photos and just enjoy being in this iconic vessel.

I rode Smuggler’s Run twice. The first time I was the right pilot (that’s Chewie’s spot!) which controls the up/down motion of the ride. I also got to take us into hyperspace…TWICE! The left pilot (Han’s spot) controls the left/right motion of the ride. Piloting will work best with two people who can coordinate well together; this is a role that will take some practice to be good at! It also has the best view of the action. Behind the pilots are seated the gunners, and behind them, the engineers. On my second time on the ride, I was an engineer; this job is very easy — you will be responsible for repairing the ship by punching flashing buttons or flipping various switches. I completed my engineer role with 100% success. I didn’t play the gunner role yet, but their job is to help defend the ship against attacks, of course. Allegedly there is a manual option or an automatic option for this role, with the manual option being the harder one. The points you score in performing your role will factor into your experience within the Play Disney app once that is up and running. Of note as well, this ride does not dump you out in a gift shop!

Upon exiting Smuggler’s Run, you may want to go to Oga’s Cantina, which is located nearby. Note that you may need a reservation; Oga was not taking walk-ins on the day of my visit, so I was unable to check the place out. Oga’s is where you’ll catch up with Rex, our old friend from Star Tours, now working here as a DJ. I’m looking forward to trying several things here, especially the Toniray wine. As you pass between Oga’s Cantina and Dok-Ondar’s, you’ll see a First Order TIE Echelon fighter with the First Order Cargo Shop to your left. On the right almost directly across from the cargo shop is the Milk Stand. At the Milk Stand, you can try both green (Thala Siren) and blue (Bantha) milk! There are alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions of this frozen beverage. The alcoholic green milk is blended with tequila and the blue milk is blended with rum. Both of the milks here are a plant-based blend of coconut and rice milks, so vegans and lactose free folks can freely enjoy! I tried both and both were delicious.

As you leave the area where the Milk Stand is located, you’ll pass by another Refresher location on your way toward the Droid Depot. This is where you can build your own custom astromech unit! You’ll also find various accessories for your little friend. Next door to the Droid Depot, you’ll find Savi’s Workshop where you can create a custom lightsaber or purchase one that’s already been completed. Note that both of these experiences may require a reservation! This will bring you back around to the area by Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities and you have now completed your loop around Black Spire Outpost.

During my visit, the Play Disney Parks app was not yet functional. Once the park is open and this feature is integrated, the app will transform into a datapad when you are on planet, allowing you to scan objects around the area, “hack” into droids, unscramble transmissions, and translate the languages such as the main Star Wars alphabet Aurebesh. You will be able to take “jobs” and choose your allegiance — will you stand with the Resistance, join the First Order, or decide to be a scoundrel out for your own personal gain? 

Galaxy’s Edge opens to the public on 29 August and the Rise of the Resistance ride opens on 5 December.

No Star Wars at SDCC.

SDDC Unofficial Blog reported yesterday that there will most likely NOT be a Rise of Skywalker panel at SDCC. This has not been corroborated by Lucasfilm at this time, but it certainly makes sense that Disney would want to save this for D23 Expo. I guess that is one less panel for me to worry about getting into Hall H for. I must admit that it is a little disappointing, being that it’s my first time attending The Big One.

While the convention schedule has not been released, we are in the midst of panel announcements almost daily lately, some more detailed than others. SDCC Unofficial Blog has a running list of announced panels here.

It seems safe to say that the next big Star Wars news should be at D23 Expo, which will take place from 23-25 August 2019.

Dawn of Skywalker.

dawnofskywalkerSo today, the official Star Wars Japan Twitter account posted that the title of Episode IX in Japan would be 『スター・ウォーズ/スカイウォーカーの夜明け』.  That would read, in Romaji: Sutaa Woozu Sukaiwookaa no Yoake. The title is not exactly the same as it is in English as it translates to Dawn of Skywalker rather than Rise of Skywalker. Naturally, this has a certain subset of nerds talking, just like there was fervent discussion over whether or not ‘Jedi’ in The Last Jedi was meant to be singular or plural.

I am by no means a native speaker of Japanese, but I did study it for two years in college while earning my Bachelor’s and I’ve tried to keep up my study since then by using several apps (more on that soon perhaps). The word 夜明け translates to ‘dawn’ , ‘breaking dawn’, or even ‘daybreak’; you get the idea. In this case, it would seem to indicate a new beginning. This makes sense, as this film is meant to serve as not only an end to the sequel trilogy, but to the Skywalker saga as well. Whether or not that also means that ‘Skywalker’ will become synonymous with Jedi (as another word to refer to a Force-user), I’m not sure, but that’s an idea that I have liked a lot and won’t be surprised if that is the case.

Finally: Episode IX Trailer and Title!

So back in December of last year, it seems I was partially correct: the first trailer for Episode IX was released at Star Wars Celebration Chicago. And so was the title, not unlike the trailer / title reveal of Revenge of the Sith back in 2005 at San Diego Comic-Con. Watch the brand new trailer for Star Wars: Episode IX — The Rise of Skywalker below.

Speaking of SDCC, I will be attending this year for the first time! I’m so excited. And so far, it seems likely that there will be a Star Wars presence in Hall H and I hope that I’ll be able to get in. If they do have a panel in Hall H, it is likely to be where the second, full trailer would be revealed. If, for some reason, Disney pulls out of SDCC, then anything Star Wars and Marvel would then probably be moved to D23 in August.

I’m not going to try to analyze the trailer at this time as I need to think about it some more; I’m still decompressing from SWCC, which I just got home from. I am very intrigued by what the inclusion of Palpatine — and they are not shying away from admitting that he is somehow in the film — means for the story. They did say quite a while ago that this film will serve to close out both this trilogy and the saga as a whole. Can’t wait! The Rise of Skywalker is in theaters 20 December 2019.

Now: when is Star Wars Celebration Anaheim?


A Timeline of Star Wars Announcements, or: When Can We Expect a Title and a Trailer for Episode IX?

nineThere seems to be a lot of buzz on the interwebs today about the possibility of getting a trailer for Episode IX sometime this month and it got me thinking about the production timelines of the other two sequel films and when their announcements were made.

Episode VII began filming 14 May 2014. The film wrapped shooting in September. On 6 November 2014, the title of Episode VII is announced to be The Force Awakens. Post production on the film was completed sometime in August of 2015. The first trailer for the film debuted 28 November 2014. Tickets went on sale 19 October 2015 and The Force Awakens opened in theaters on 18 December 2018.

Episode VIII began shooting 15 February 2016 and completed filming in July. The title of Episode VIII was announced as The Last Jedi on 23 January 2017; debate on whether or not ‘Jedi’ is singular or plural ensues. The first railer for The Last Jedi was shown on 14 April 2017 at Star Wars Celebration Orlando (and I was in the room, still cannot believe), at the end of the panel about the film; the panel and trailer were also streamed live online. The Last Jedi wrapped post production in September 2017. Tickets went on sale 9 October 2017 and The Last Jedi was released in theaters on 15 December 2017.

Production on Episode IX has not yet wrapped; it began filming on 1 August and I believe it is supposed to complete in February. It is highly unlikely that Disney will release a trailer before the film is completed. Moreover, we just got a second Captain Marvel trailer and are expecting the first Avengers 4 trailer / title announcement pretty much imminently; apparently its release was delayed until this coming Friday morning.

All of this to say: I think we should expect a title announcement in mid-late January or the beginning of February, and I firmly believe that the first trailer will be released at Star Wars Celebration Chicago, much like the trailer for The Last Jedi. (No, I’m not just saying that because, again, I’m going to be there.) Episode IX will be released 20 December 2019.

In Defense of Luke Skywalker

An article was published in Entertainment Weekly some months before the release of The Force Awakens which states that the central question of the sequel trilogy is “Who is Luke Skywalker?”

After all these years, we thought we knew him, but what if there was more to that Tatooine farmboy? Or… what if there was less?


Now that The Last Jedi is in theaters, we can start to answer this question. Who is Luke Skywalker? Luke Skywalker is a legend. He represents hope. He is also a human being who is shown to be  just as susceptible to making mistakes as anyone else in the galaxy.

A small, but loud, contingent of “fans” claim that the representation of Luke in this film is a great mischaracterization, that it “ruins” the idea of who he is supposed to be, that it isn’t “Jedi-like”. No one wants to believe that their heroes are capable of being misguided or wrong and that is understandable. I get it, I hear you. Even Mark Hamill initially disagreed with the direction that was decided for his character. Of course he would! He’s lived with Luke far longer than we have and his sequel trilogy arc [thus far] certainly isn’t what I would have envisioned for my favourite character either. It’s hard to reconcile this version of Luke Skywalker, a man who has lost all hope, with the man who refused to kill his own father and instead managed to save him.

Everyone — characters in the film as well as people in real life — have a preconceived notion of who and what Luke Skywalker is supposed to be based on the person that he was after the Battle of Endor. We expected him to accept the lightsaber from Rey and to begin training her with barely a second thought. But time changes people and Luke isn’t that person anymore; it’s been 34 years since the Battle of Endor and about six years since the destruction of his Jedi temple at the hands of his nephew, turd blossom Ben Solo. Leia trusted Luke with her son and in his mind, he not only failed Ben, but he failed Leia as well. You could even say that he failed Ben Kenobi. I’d also like to point out how similar this confrontation is to that of Obi-Wan and Anakin — right down to the lines, “I have failed you, Ben. I’m sorry,” and “I have failed you, Anakin. I have failed you.” My feels.

Luke’s insecurities brought about the creation of a monster. He talks about the legacy of the Jedi being failure, hypocrisy, and hubris which allowed for the rise of Darth Sidious. Luke’s own pride led to the rise of Kylo Ren and the destruction of everything he’s ever cared about. It doesn’t matter that he immediately regretted having even thought of killing his nephew because the damage was already done. In a way, it’s as if he repeated his father’s mistakes as well as Obi-Wan’s. Anakin was plagued by visions of his wife’s death and allowed these visions to inform the decisions that led to this happening anyway, and resulting in his own downfall. Obi-Wan was unable to prevent it and had to face Anakin, face his failure. Luke saw darkness in his nephew, perhaps he had visions of the destruction he would cause, but didn’t think of the fact that Ben’s choice had not yet been made; Luke’s assumptions caused his greatest failure and turned him into a broken man.

Luke is plagued by guilt and disillusioned with the very idea of the Jedi. His disappointment in himself, in his moment of weakness, and in his inability to prevent Ben’s eventual turn causes him disconnect himself from the Force altogether. He feels great shame in what he allowed to happen and he feels responsible for everything that has gone wrong in the galaxy. It is heartbreaking to see him this way, but it also makes him relatable. When Luke finally chooses to teach Rey the ways of the Force and why he thinks that the Jedi must end, he is a perfect combination of Obi-Wan and Yoda. I loved this and I wish we had gotten to see more of Luke as a teacher because I thought it was really special. Hopefully, we will get some Force ghost teaching action in IX.

When Luke has a change of heart and decides to join the fight after all, he does so by projecting an image of himself halfway across the galaxy from Ahch-To to Crait. The prolonged effort of this act absolutely exhausts him and he ultimately becomes one with the Force, having found peace and purpose in the act, and achieving true mastery of the Force like his mentors before him. I have seen complaints by some that this was a cowardly move, but in confronting Kylo Ren in this manner, Luke has denied him of his desire to strike him down. Surely this pissed Kylo Ren off even more as the experience made him look like a damned fool in front of the entire First Order. If Luke had been there, he most certainly would have died as well, but it surely would have been at Kylo Ren’s hands, and would have served no real purpose. As far as your average galactic citizen is concerned, Luke Skywalker somehow survived being blasted by the First Order and facing down their Supreme Leader before simply disappearing. It doesn’t seem to take very long for this tale to spread, as evidenced by the children retelling the Battle of Crait at the end of the film, on Canto Bight.

To make mistakes, to have faults, and most of all to admit to them, is human. And Luke Skywalker, whether you like it or not, is allowed to show that he, too, has faced struggle and had moments of weakness. He is not perfect, he is flawed. It’s not what we wanted, but it’s what we needed. And we will see him again, I’m sure of it.

So who is Luke Skywalker? He is a legend, a symbol, an inspiration — a spark of hope.

The Rebellion is reborn today
— the war is just beginning —
and I will not be the last Jedi.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

I have seen the film four times now. (Yes, I made my very own Star Wars Weekend, even attended Galactic Nights at Hollywood Studios.) I need to dump out my thoughts, observations, things I’d like to see in Episode IX. It’s always fun to do these — even if the theories are wrong later, I like to go back and look at what I thought might happen.

As with my post about The Force Awakens from 2 years ago, this is my reaction and not a proper review. This is long and kind of all over the place, but I tried to stay somewhat chronological. I have more to say about this installment than I did about The Force Awakens. As I got to the end of this, I realized, I’m going to have to split this up into at least three pieces. I have more things to say about Luke and about Rey, so once I get those committed, I will link them at the end of this post.



The opening battle sequence was reminiscent of Rogue One to me. And that isn’t a bad thing. We don’t get to know Paige Tico, but I still teared up at her sacrifice. I also really appreciated opening with a joke. I was glad to see Poe get to do more in this one even though he was reckless for a lot of it.

Everything, and I mean everything, Luke does in this film is pure gold. There’s been Oscar talk flying around about Mark’s performance since like, last year, and if that happens, I will lose my god damned mind.

Anyway, Luke tossing the lightsaber? Perfect. His first words being, “Go away!” I. Love. It. I love my grumpy old Jedi. I love the dumb face he makes after milking the Thala-Siren and drinking the damn milk. I love the fishing sequence. Honestly, I would gleefully watch 2.5 hours of Luke just farting around on Ahch-To fishing and feeding Porgs, no lie. I love that Chewie came and literally broke down his door (made from one of the s-foils of his poor sunken X-Wing).


The scene on the Millennium Falcon of Luke with R2-D2 and the hologram of Princess Leia really got to me. It was the only time he looks almost happy and you get a bit of a smile. Not only was the hologram emotionally impactful and got Luke to come around a bit, but it was a nice little nod to this year being the 40th anniversary of A New Hope. Also loved, “Hey, sacred planet, watch the language!” The camera pans across some of Luke’s things after this (I think it’s after this), including the necklace with the red crystal and the compass. I don’t think this was without purpose. More on the crystal in a bit; as for the compass, I think we could see it again in IX. According to the book, Legends of Luke Skywalker, the compass was given to him by a scavenger on Jakku. However, that is in conflict with the storyline presented in Battlefront II (which I have not yet played).

Luke’s first lesson with Rey was just. So great — I loved how she literally reached out. “The Force doesn’t belong to to the Jedi. To say that if the Jedi die, the light dies is vanity!” I love this concept. So. Much. Loved his explanation of the Force and the line, “Every word you just said was wrong.” (And that it comes back around later!) During the second lesson, Luke voiced things I’ve been saying for a while about the old Jedi Order. Their weaknesses, specifically their pride, caused their downfall and allowed Palpatine to rise. It’s tragic, but they had to go. I believe Vader was the instrument that the Force chose to bring this about because ultimately, he did bring balance. I loved hearing Luke mention “Darth Sidious” because it just brings everything around and makes it feel more cohesive. JJ Abrams has stated that IX will tie together all three trilogies and I cannot wait to see what that means. (I am very much pro-JJ.)

When the bridge of Leia’s ship got blown up, I nearly had a heart attack. As for her few moments in space and literally being a skywalker, I love it. And it was good to see her use the Force in more than just an empathetic sort of way. I guess some people can’t suspend their disbelief for this moment, but I’d like to remind you of the fact that this is a space fantasy and anything can happen. Everything is as the Force wills it.


I am going to just come out and say it right here: I am not here for Rey/Kylo Ren garbage. I guess people are reading some romanticism into their interactions and I just… fundamentally disagree with them having any sort of romantic chemistry. To me, it’s kindness being mistaken for romantic interest. Rey has a kindness about her that is very much like Luke’s used to be — she wants to believe the best of people, and she was wrong. I think it’s pretty clear that even she has realized that by the end of the film as she closes the door on their Force Skype call. Some people seem to take issue with this ability as well, but it’s really not that far of a stretch from the Force communication we have seen before between Luke and Leia and also Luke and Vader. And Yoda has done this a few times in Rebels to communicate with other Jedi. Why did Snoke link them this way? What is the significance? Just to draw her out or something else? I do believe they have a connection, just not a romantic one.

Holdo’s sacrifice was visually one of my favourite scenes. I was sad to see her go, but what a badass way to do it! I got a little emotional as she and Leia said goodbye. Carrie and Laura did such a great job at conveying that these characters have been close friends since they were sixteen. And Carrie wrote that scene.

I keep thinking about how IX was supposed to be Carrie’s film and it makes me sad all over. I really miss her and I just cannot fathom how they are going to handle IX without her. Every moment she was on screen in this one was just extra special as were those scenes that you can instantly tell she had added something to. I had really hoped for a confrontation between her and her son and now that cannot be. I wonder if, after the bridge was attacked, he thinks she is gone anyway? I’m so heartbroken about Leia…she has literally lost everyone and now we have lost Carrie and it’s just. Rough. It’s been almost a year and it’s still so hard to think of her in the past tense. 😦

The sea cave scene was a great callback to the cave on Dagobah. It was similar, but but also very different. When Rey asks to see her parents and she sees the figures walking toward her resolving into one… I swear the way the figure moves, it looks like Luke, especially when compared with the shadow of him walking into the Resistance base later. More on that in another post, though.

It breaks my heart a bit to know that Luke felt so badly about his failure that he cut himself off from the Force and thus was unable to feel that Han had been killed. I thought for sure at the end of The Force Awakens that he had. Leia is the reason Luke decides to train Rey and she is also the reason he finally decides to open himself up to the Force again. I got chills when the water vibrated when he first reached out to Leia after so long. It’s such a great visual representation of how powerful he is. Also, can we talk about the mosaic in that pool portraying balance of light and dark? I wonder what Luke was actually going to come and say to Rey when he realized she was in the middle of a conversation with Kylo. It seemed like he was coming to speak to her about Something Important, then he saw that and everything escalated pretty quickly. I did like seeing him spar a bit with Rey (those moves!) and I wish we had gotten some of that in the form of training rather than a confrontation. It made me a little sad. Definitely not the relationship I expected, but it worked in the end.

“The sacred Jedi texts!” I’m glad Rey absconded with them and that Yoda basically trolled Luke about it; you know that little bastard knew the tree was empty. I wonder, is one of the books perhaps the Journal of the Whills? I was not prepared to actually see Yoda, but I did expect him in some form since I had seen Frank Oz at the red carpet premiere. I liked Yoda’s Rafiki-like moment of smacking Luke and his remark about the books, “Page turners they were not!” Additionally, I love that they used an original mold from The Empire Strikes Back to make a brand new puppet and that it wasn’t freaky looking like it was in The Phantom Menace. Also… “We are what they grow beyond.”

Canto Bight would have been a great place to reintroduce Lando Calrissian and I feel that was truly a missed opportunity. I hated the “DJ” character. I just want to light him on fire! He was very annoying and I hope he’s dead. While we are on the subject of Canto Bight, I loved the fathiers and it was nice to hear Mark’s voice cameo as Dobbu Scay, the little drunk alien putting coins into BB-8. Canto Bight was not my favourite, but I do love the music and BB-8 being a badass. I STILL FREAKING LOVE BB-8. I also love Rose Tico; she was a great addition, but the semi-romance plot point between her and Finn needs to go. I have liked the fact that so far, these films don’t really have a romantic subplot.

YOUR SNOKE THEORY SUCKS! Haha, I’m actually 100% okay with the fact that Snoke is ultimately unimportant and literally doesn’t fucking matter. This was never about him anyway. I wouldn’t mind finding out more about him in another form of media, but honestly, I don’t care all that much. I don’t need to know. Rey and Kylo Ren’s confrontation with the Praetorian Guards was amazing. What a wonderfully choreographed scene. I loved seeing them work together even though Kylo Ren was just using Rey as a means to an end. He’s such a selfish turd blossom. Also, Snoke was pretty much space Voldemort; Rey needs to learn whatever the Force equivalent of occlumency is to keep Kylo Ren out of her damn business.

I don’t believe Phasma is dead even though she fell into a ball of fire. I mean. Vader survived some pretty severe burns. It’s not at all out of the realm of possibility.

Luke appearing on Crait was probably my favourite part. I didn’t pick up on the clues at first that he was Force projecting because I was too focused on the fact that, holy shit, my man is fighting again! Upon my second viewing, I picked up all the clues, most obvious being the appearance he chose and that he had the lightsaber that had just been destroyed. He chose to appear that way, I think, because that’s is how Leia and Ben remember him. I loved the scene with Leia so, so much and that is another scene that Carrie was responsible for. She wrote the line, “No one is ever really gone, ” which makes it mean so much more now that she is gone. I loved that Luke “gave” her Han’s dice and that in that moment she knew he wasn’t really there. I love the kiss on the forehead and the wink to Threepio, and the music in this scene. I also spotted Mark’s kids’ cameos! They are the three Resistance fighters that appear just behind Poe right as Luke is walking out to meet Kylo Ren.

Luke’s confrontation with Kylo Ren was fantastically done. When the AT-M6s first fired on him, though, I about had another heart attack, but if you look closely, you can see flashes of blue and I knew he was fine. This scene and the scene revealing he is actually on Ahch-To got the biggest applause in the audiences I viewed with. I loved his brushing dust off his shoulder like it fucking mattered even. I loved his response to Kylo Ren: “Did you come back to forgive me? To save my soul?” “…No.” I loved watching him move and I noticed, their lightsabers never clashed and Luke never made a footprint. I loved the line, “See ya around, kid.” TO SUM UP: I LOVE EVERYTHING LUKE SKYWALKER DOES.

I have a hard time with the outcome of this as Luke has been my favourite character since my first viewing of Star Wars 20 years ago. Something else I picked up on in subsequent viewings is that this outcome is foreshadowed in a way when Kylo Ren says to Rey during a Force Skype call, “You’re not doing this, the effort would kill you.” Luke is basically performing his own prolonged and extreme Force Skype call and… the effort did kill him. It was beautifully done, even though it breaks my heart every time I see it. I hate seeing the pain on his face and watching him collapse. (It’s like Spock in The Wrath of Khan and I can’t.) I love this character so much. The sunset was a nice touch. I fully expect to see Force ghost Luke haunting the FUCK out of Ben and, um, he never did provide Rey with her third lesson! Also, am I crazy, or did it appear as if there was a ship silhouetted against the sun in that scene, before it morphed into a double sunset?

I’ve been arguing with people for two years that Luke would not turn to the dark side and it was great to see that I was 1000% correct. I’m so proud of my farm boy.

“We have everything we need.” Well, Rey has to build a new lightsaber! I think she will need to return to Ahch-To to do this in much the same way that Luke returned to Tatooine and Obi-Wan’s residence there to build his. Going back to when I mentioned Luke’s effects earlier, I want to believe that the necklace holds Vader’s lightsaber crystal. Red Kyber crystals are made that colour by corrupting them and infusing them with dark side energy. What if Rey has to cleanse the crystal and use it to make her new lightsaber? Cleansed crystals create white blades and a white blade would be a great visual representation of the balance in the Force that Rey seems to represent. Alternatively, maybe she will use both the crystal from the Skywalker saber and this one and make, like, a purple blade? Or, what if Artoo is holding on to Luke’s green lightsaber? I mean. Where is it? What did he do with it? I could see him putting it in Artoo for safekeeping as in Return of the Jedi… or maybe he sunk it with his ship. Also also: could Rey end up making a double bladed lightsaber?

I am still convinced Rey is Luke’s daughter. Why? Because Kylo Ren lied and manipulated her to get her to come to him, so why wouldn’t he lie about her parents? According to Rian Johnson, he believes it in that moment which does not necessarily make it true, and his telling her this reinforces her own insecurities about her origins. More about that in a separate post because I’m insane and this is long enough already.

Clone Wars: Final Thoughts

Over the summer, I began watching Star Wars: Clone Wars in chronological order. I took a brief hiatus after beginning season five due to my last semester of school being particularly demanding. Since The Force Awakens, I have been living in a Star Wars trash compactor catching up on the “new” canon, so I have just finished the series and felt like posting some thoughts about it.

I can’t figure out why they created and aired these episodes in the order that they did because watching them in airing order really does not make any sense. There’s nothing at the beginning of the episodes to indicate the time period, so without that list, watching in airing order, I feel like I’d have been pretty confused. For example: the season finale for season one (1×22) has Ziro the Hutt being freed from prison. The episode chronologically leading up to this is 3×08, which shows Hutt families planning to break him out. The one after it is about tracking him down. So the episode order is 3×08, 1×22, 3×09. This was poorly planned. They use all manner of weird accents for aliens which sort of takes me out of the universe at times. Random French, Scottish, Russian, etc. accents. Everywhere.

There were some really good episodes, but most of them were actually, in my opinion, pretty boring. I like the episodes that focus on Jedi lore the best. At the same time, I hate that the Jedi are even participating in the war, since it’s hardly peacekeeping. I think it says a lot about the corruption of the Jedi Order that they are totally cool commanding an army of slave labor. The clones have no autonomy and the Jedi don’t question this at all, they just go with it. As much as the clones annoy me, I feel a bit bad for them because they don’t get a choice. And the Jedi are blind to it like they are blind to damn near everything else. While a few clones are just “good guys”, they still turn on their Jedi “friends” in the end and it just doesn’t make much sense to me to waste so much time getting to know their fake personalities. I really hated episodes about them because I found them to be extremely boring. My favorite episodes were the Mortis story arc from season three (“Overlords” – “Altar of Mortis” – “Ghosts of Mortis”) and the last three episodes of season six focusing on Yoda (“Voices” – “Destiny” – “Sacrifice”).

About midway through season three, the budget must have increased because the animation became smoother/less blocky and there were better stories. When they aged Ahsoka up a little, they fixed her wonky too long/slightly off proportion upper arm issue that bothered me. Due to her growing up a bit, Ahsoka became sassier and less annoying — Anakin’s habits rubbing off on her, no doubt, but they never bothered to explain her sudden use of dual lightsabers. Also, I have a hard time believing Darth Vader would just forget about her after she left the Order. Anakin doesn’t seem to dwell on it too much when it seems like he should’ve felt something about her leaving. I hope this is addressed in Rebels at some point.

One thing that really got on my nerves, was that every other episode centered around an indigenous people who are pacifists and wanted to remain neutral through the conflict between the Republic and the Separatists only to have to side with the Republic in the end. Like, I get it. The Separatists are the bad guys, but the Republic brought them to these worlds in the first place. The Republic goes to a world, tries to convince them to join forces or the Separatists will oppress and/or kill them, then the Separatists show up because they’re chasing Republic representatives. And apparently the only capable dignitary is Padmé because they send her literally everywhere. Somehow, Jar Jar is far more annoying in Clone Wars than he ever was in any film and I say that as someone who isn’t actually that bothered by him. I don’t care how they try to explain it, it makes no god damned sense that Darth Maul survived BEING CUT IN HALF and apparently LANDING IN GARBAGE. He wants revenge on Obi-Wan for “taking his legs”, but I think it’s more like for taking his butt. Cause he doesn’t have one now. No butt. That concerns me more than it should and seems like a great place to leave off.

I’d rate the series 3 out of 5 stars overall.