(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)
The critics liked Last Jedi more than the audience on Rotten Tomatoes. Currently the critics are lukewarm on Rise of Skywalker but the audience is at 88%. I usually trust aggregated audience more than critics, but in this case I’m with the critics. “A victorious army wins and then seeks victory. A defeated army seeks battle and then seeks victory” said the warrior-sage. If Disney had a plan going into this trilogy it sure looked like “making stuff up on the fly” in this film.
Oh well, back to the Mandolorian and Baby Yoda, which is good fun thus far.
I haven’t seen the new film but am enjoying Mandalorian. It’s essentially a remake of the 70s series, Kung Fu. I’m finding the re-use of familiar story-telling enjoyable, like comfort food.
Ross Douthat: “ In a way it’s kind of bold and avant-garde that Disney approached a billion-dollar trilogy like an improv sketch with a prompt – “Star Wars sequels, go!” – where one performer tells part of the story, the next picks it up mid-stream, and nobody coordinates the narrative.”
I just saw it and actually liked it.
I’m convinced that with movies like this, it’s all about managing expectations. The more you hear people rag on it, the more likely you are to just try to find what’s enjoyable and enjoy that without keeping track of flaws.
Finally saw it. A good story marred by bad execution. Given the hole they dug for themselves with TLJ, this story was a really impressive job of pulling themselves out. Determining how much credit to give them for doing an impressive job of undoing their own incompetence is left to the reader as an exercise. What mars the story in execution is, I think, partly what everyone is saying – that it was rushed and forced, because it has to compensate for TLJ, and nothing was given a chance to be a *moment* – and partly the imperative to have lots of set pieces for the international market, and lots of new characters and gizmos (“they fly now”) to sell as toys.
In other words, the problem isn’t *just* that Disney screwed up this particular trilogy. The problem is that the globalized movie market has killed the soul of Hollywood.