The Rise of Skywalker Arbitrary Points System: Results
- A Well-Executed Obi-Wan Force Ghost: +50 pts
- A Well-Executed Anakin Force Ghost: +150 pts
Oof. I mean I’m kinda not even ready to get into these. Were the boys there? Sort of? I guess? Is it better than nothing? Yeah, I suppose. Let me put it this way: this was barely a step above nothing. It was basically the literal least they could do. I’ll be laughing forever that Obi-Wan technically spoke to Rey more often on her journey in this trilogy than Anakin did, in a series of films they literally referred to as The Skywalker Saga, for the rest of time.
Points Awarded: 10 out of a possible 200. I felt certain I’d be furious about the lack of an Anakin ghost, but my overall blahs about this movie in its totality has softened me to his absence somewhat. And, in fairness, barely being there is probably what Anakin would want: to not have to do anything, but also to have his adoring public complaining about how he’s the fairest of them all and why didn’t he get more facetime.
- Hilarious Sidious Scene(s) Where He’s Actually In It In Some Capacity and Saying One of His Patented Ridiculous Scenery-Chewing Lines: +50 pts
FINE. He was pretty ridiculous. I’m not mad about it. Seeing Sidious again was a balm on my soul, even if he was only there because no one had a plan for this trilogy (miss me with that “it was always the plan to bring back the Emperor” shit, and I’ll throw in that if it WAS always the plan, then the execution is somehow even more embarrassing.) I sort of was expecting to be more enthralled/delighted? But that’s not Sheev’s fault. I love Ian, I’ll allow that his hilarious cackling soothed the partially broken heart I’ve been nursing since TFA. A full 50 points awarded.
- Somehow finding a satisfying end for Leia: +75 pts
It is what it is and they had to work with the circumstances here. I thought it was fine. Sure; 75 points.
- Somehow finding a way to end Kylo’s story that I don’t hate: +100 pts
I thought/expected that he was going to die long before the rumors started circulating months ago. I’m fine with it. Kind of assumed they’d go with that approach, even though — or perhaps BECAUSE — it’s basically the same thing we already did in the OT. I thought the kiss was stupid, but his immediate cartoony disappearance was hilarious, and as I wasn’t really on board with an ending where he lives (although I could maybe have gotten behind “reformed Kylo rides off alone to meditate and atone in Parts Unknown, perhaps to return Someday” or whatever), it gets a full 100 from me.
- Making me feel invested in TFA and TLJ and their respective new characters as a result of bringing all of this crap together: +25 pts
I’d say I feel about the same for all of them as I did before, which is to say: not much at all, one way or the other. 0 points awarded.
- Shirtless Nightmare: +10 pts
Seems like a missed opportunity, JJ, even if I personally am not especially here for Shirtless Driver (nothing against Adam or anything; just not my thing). 0 points awarded.
- Dumbass Force BS That a Ton of People Will Despise and Be Yelling About Online for the Next 200 Years To My Great Amusement: +15 pts
Oh yes. Yes yes. Full 15 points. I should probably give it more than that, but since they didn’t really explain much it wasn’t AS ridiculous as it could have been.
- An Actual Return of the Jedi For Once Finally: +200 pts
I guess so? Probably? I mean, we can maybe assume that, yeah? Here’s hoping it sticks, Rey. I’m giving this 150 out of 200.
- That Grey Jedi BS: -500 pts
THANK GOD, no points deducted.
- Overly Grimdark Ending To “Shock” Viewers: -500 pts
Well, here’s one our Obi-Wan would tell you depends on your certain point of view, yeah? I mean, the good guys won, but I can see how many people/camps would view this one as, at least, bittersweet. Hmm. I won’t deduct points if for no other reason than I think JJ wasn’t TRYING to make it feel anything but hopeful, even if everyone’s mileage may vary.
- Ridiculous Soap Opera Antics (”I thought you were dead but you weren’t”/”Meet my secret half-cousin”/”I was in a coma and now I have amnesia and won’t regain my memories until I get hit on the head in the third act”): +15 pts
Ding ding ding! Hoo boy. We got Amnesia/Memory Wipe, Memory Restore, Secret Parentage Reveal, Claiming a New Family, A Guy We All Rightly Figured Was Dead Not Being Dead, MULTIPLE Additional Death Fake-Outs/Undos…I’m giving this at least 30 points. I should probably give it more, to be honest, but I won’t.
- Maul Resurrection: Somehow both + and – 100 pts simultaneously
LOL. Rats. I guess one Sith Lord inexplicably still being alive at one time is all we can handle.
- Hot Star Wars Hair: +50 pts (this seems like an easy 50-point pickup here, JJ)
Oh just take your freebie, Abrams. 50 points.
- It Being Implied or Explicitly Stated That All Force Ghosts Get to Nap Happily Ever After When This Is Over: +1,000 pts
- People Who Can’t Be Ghosts Showing Up As Ghosts: -500 pts
*takes a drink* Here’s the thing: FUCK YOU, JJ. “Oh it’s a MEMORY VISION IT’S DIFFERENT”, as if this whole thing wasn’t just because of your relentless Han Solo Boner. I know he wasn’t a literal ghost and the scene wasn’t even bad but I don’t even care, I’m irrational about this. -500 points.
- Prequel Planet Appearance(s): +25 pts
So the first planet we see Kylo on, it turns out, is Mustafar. Of course, Mustafar is undergoing a renovation thanks in part to the events of Vader Immortal, so you can’t tell that it’s Mustafar and they do absolutely nothing to try to make it clearer in the movie, because of course the only way prequel fans are gonna get rewarded in this trilogy is to dig into the 7 billion pounds of supplemental material. Thanks, JJ. I will award 10 points.
- At Least One Line of Cornball Star Wars Dialogue That Everyone But Me Hates: +25 pts
Ehhhh. I saw a lot of people hating on the Rey Palpatine Reveal dialogue, and it IS ridiculous. I laughed my ass off the first time I watched it. Maybe that? I dunno. Sigh, I do not like JJ’s Star Wars Words. Hilariously the only thing I can even remember Sidious saying that filled me with complete glee was the “…many abilities some consider to be unnatural” line, which of course is George’s writing from a previous film, LOL. No points.
- Animated Canon Character Cameo/Shoutout: +25 pts (negotiable based on who it is)
Do we count disembodied voices with absolutely no reference to who they are? Or a ship that only devoted nerds would recognize in a giant crowded shot? No, no we do not. I will grudgingly award 5 points total, because I guess they could have included nothing at all.
- Going Back to Tatooine: +50 pts
Yep. But of course we had to cram YET ANOTHER desert planet in there, too. LOL. 50 points.
- Stuff That Greatly Diminishes the OT or PT Characters’ Importance Because Turns Out Only Rey and Kylo Ever Mattered: -5,000 pts
*downs another shot* Well, yikes. Different people are going to feel differently about whether or not, or to what extent, this diminishes the earlier films and the hard work and achievements of Anakin, Obi-Wan, Luke, Leia, etc etc etc. I feel like it does to at least SOME extent, and that is one of the reasons TFA never sat well with me to begin with, because I could kind of see where this was leading. I won’t assess the full penalty, because I will allow that the others technically helped, but I’m taking away 500 points because I’m a bitter old hag.
- Duel of the Fates Being In the Soundtrack In Any Way: +100 pts
I’m so incredibly confused about why this wasn’t in there prominently. No points.
- Han Solo Flashback That Goes On For Way Too Damn Long: -200 pts
I REPEAT: FUCK YOU, JJ. -200 points, not because the scene was long, but because I’m very deeply annoyed that OF COURSE he had to cram Han back in there. Again. STILL. I get that in a different world, Carrie probably would have gotten the Come to Jesus Talk with Kylo, and they obviously couldn’t do that anymore, but aaaauuuuuuggghhh. I’ll probably feel less salty about this over time, but right now I’m still just like ANAKIN’S GHOST IS RIGHT THERE.
- A Female Character Doing Anything That Infuriates Jerks on the Internet: +100 pts per instance
Sure, I mean, it was all but guaranteed. If I counted basically every minute Rey is on screen, for one, we’d be here forever, so I’ll just award 1,000 points and call it good.
- Anakin Attempting to Strangle Kylo From Beyond the Grave and Obi-Wan Doing Nothing Whatsoever to Discourage It: +500 pts
Sigh. Again: Anakin’s Ghost was right there. Remember how people have been making “Anakin’s ghost facepalms and then appears to Kylo to yell at him” jokes since the early post-TFA days? And how like, lots of people pretty much ASSUMED it’d happen at SOME point in SOME capacity? Yeah, having hope was fun. No points.
- Superweapon #4: -1,000 pts for lack of creativity, +1,000 pts for having the balls to do it a fourth time
Those ships had Death Star tech, I guess, which is hilarious, and earns this movie the full 0 points it deserves.
- JJ Accidentally Forgetting To Include at Least One ST Character Completely Because Holy Shit This Is a Lot To Wrap Up in One Movie Why Did They Introduce So Many New People Oh God: +1,500 pts for hilarity
Uh, well, at least a couple of them had basically nothing to do, but still: no points.
- Sheev Attempting to Manipulate Kylo Because He Knows That Only Anakin’s Grandson Could Be Dumb Enough to Fall For This Bullshit a Second Time: +500 pts
I suppose it counts. And what do you know, he was dumb enough to go along with it at first! Shocking. Sort of feels like the kind of thing Anakin would have had something to say about, given that he himself was once manipulated into allying himself with the literal exact same evil guy, and Kylo was his grandson, and Anakin has Supreme Special Force Superpowers that could surely have helped make the case that he could have had the ability to communicate with Kylo in some way. I guess we’ll never know! 500 points.
- Well-Done Callbackery: +50 pts per instance
Meh. 0 points.
- Shittily-Done Callbackery a la Han Solo Damn Near Winking At The Fucking Camera When Talking About the Trash Compactor In TFA: -2,000 pts per instance
UGGGGH. The medal thing really got close to the line. Thank fuck I didn’t have to see John Boyega pull a bunch of random props from A New Hope out of the Falcon again, though. No penalty.
- Yoda and Luke Committing Arson Again: +50 pts
Sadly, no trees were torched. 0 points.
- Lando Wearing at Least 3 Different Capes: +100 pts (extra points if he’s only in the movie for like 2.5 minutes total and still pulls this off)
Nope. Alas. I mean, he looked slick as hell, but yeah. 0 points.
- Kylo Making the Patented “Confused Skywalker Dude” Face: +25 pts
It’s his default face, plus multiple dead people made appearances here, which is gonna confuse just about anybody, even people who aren’t a Skywalker male. An easy 25 points awarded.
- Dramatic Disrobe: +150 pts per instance
…honestly. 0 points.
- Anakin Gets to See Artoo Again for Some Reason: +1,000 pts
*cries* No points. We barely even saw Artoo!
- Show-Stopping Sheev Musical Number: +10,000 pts
Of all the things I’ll never be able to forgive JJ Abrams for, this is obviously the most unforgivable one. No points.
The Rise of Skywalker Final Total: 870
Oh, this trilogy. I’ll be unpacking my feelings about it for a while yet.