It’s over, folks. After viewing the newest Star Wars film, I’ve come to the conclusion that the franchise I knew and loved is truly gone. Gone are intelligent plot threads and interesting developments, gone are iconic characters and memorable dialogue. Gone is the hype for Star Wars. Now we are into brand new territory with Disney at the helm in a phase I’d like to call this era The Rise of Stupidity. As you may have guessed the ninth entry into my once beloved series was bad. Fortunately, it was not The Last Jedi levels of bad (Can someone please give Rian Johnson a formal restraining order that forbids him from all future Star Wars projects, please?), but still pretty darn bad.

So what went wrong? As usual spoilers ahead.

For one, there was no planning. Literally nothing. They had no overarching story setup which resulted in a poor experience for audiences everywhere and they demonstrated a complete lack of respect to the lore and source material. In short: the Disney bigwigs were too busy lapping up the life of luxury in their mansions, playing money tag in rooms flooded with Marvel and Mickey Mouse memorabilia to give a damn about providing a cohesive story.

They thought “fans” wanted to see rehashed tales and flashy battles, but they neglected the heart and soul of what Star Wars represents. By not giving this legacy of films the proper treatment, they both divided and alienated their core fanbase. Typical capitalistic greed from a major conglomerate and one that is very apparent when you compare these films to their predecessors.

The few saving graces came from a couple stellar performance by Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and modern technology which allowed for very visually stunning shots. Alas, other than that the new sequel trilogy rings hollow and I’m sure will not stand the test of time.

Did this guy really need to come back?

A point of contention from the sequel trilogy includes the paper-thin plot lines and rehashed stories, which they decide to continue again. They decided to bring back Emperor Palpatine and reveal that the secret of Rey’s lineage comes from being the grand daughter of the formerly deceased Sith Lord.

Huh?

Wait, there’s more.

The Final Order is just a bunch of Star Destroyers that are capable of destroying planets. Sound familiar?

And that is just the beginning. His biggest masterstroke was planning everything from the beginning (because he’s oh so diabolical and cunning) so that she would find him and deliver the killing blow in order to absorb all the evil Sith powers and become the new Empress to rule the galaxy. And if she decided not to, he’d kill her and become a revitalized Emperor once more by absorbing her life force. But wait, it gets better!

Zombie Palpatine can now raise an entire Star Destroyer fleet complete with another army of Sith acolytes that are running the show and will give this Final Order to destroy his enemies as each of them are powerful enough to destroy a planet. So now there has canonically been the original Death Star, A Death Star Planet in the form of Starkiller Base, and now thousands of mini Death Stars. Seriously, this sounds like a Japanese animated fan-fiction written by a child. Unfortunately, it is all indeed real now. Yes, that is the entire plan and I feel just as dumb typing it out as you did reading it.

Rey versus her Grand Pappy

Not only that, but they decide to renege on everything that went wrong with The Last Jedi and essentially double down on nostalgia. For example when Rey throws Anakin’s lightsaber in the fire to destroy it (I thought it was already destroyed, but okay) by having Luke catch and accept his lightsaber just in time. In The Rise of Skywalker, Abrams had to pretend that Luke didn’t act like a total grumpy, Jedi-hating miser from before. They try to bring him back as the Grand Master Jedi he was always supposed to be, but by then the damage had been done and myself and half the theater was not buying it.

Last, but certainly not least was the decision for Rey Palpatine to forgo her name and take up the Skywalker mantle. Since her conception I found Rey to be a terrible main lead as she has never struggled or had to earn any of her success. It all fell naturally because they redacted her origins by making her related to a Sith Lord.

Kylo Ren is the only good thing about this sequel trilogy

With an ending that completely eliminates the all original Skywalkers, I’m sure Disney hopes to rebrand and start this series anew. Unfortunately, due to the slapstick comedy and disastrous mess that this sequel trilogy represents, this fan will not be participating with any future iterations. No Mandalorian or Baby Yoda will turn me back to the light, not until Disney gets their act together or sells the Star Wars property to a company that actually cares.

Originally published at https://www.andrewjly.com on December 22, 2019.