After so many mixed reviews of ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ it’s time to discuss the reasons for its positive audience reception.
Now that Disney has released Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker on Disney+, millions of people have access to the entire Star Wars saga. We’ve already discussed some issues with the Star Wars finale. The movie received the lowest critics’ score on Rotten Tomatoes of any Star Wars.
However, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker got an Audience Score of 86%, much higher than the 52% on the Tomatometer. So what did the movie offer that made it so popular with fans?
The Return of C-3PO as a Main Character
For most of the prequel trilogy and the sequel trilogy, C-3PO didn’t get to share much of the spotlight. But this changed in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Star Wars began in 1977 with Star Wars: A New Hope. In the very first Star Wars C-3PO carries the story through the entire first act where he also has a majority of the dialogue. He continued to be a major player in the original trilogy as the primary provider of comic relief.
C-3PO finally returned to the main stage in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The character C-3PO delivered his classic brand of lovable cluelessness. He had an important role in the plot development and even a couple sentimental scenes that generated genuine emotion.
General Hux was the Spy
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker begins with Poe, Fin and Chewie getting information, second-hand, that came from an unknown spy in the First Order. This information is how the Resistance learns about Palpatine’s plan for the “Final Order,” and begins their last-chance mission to secure freedom in the galaxy.
The First Order’s spy problem is a small part of the story, and the First Order kills Hux when they find out shortly after the audience does. It deserves mention because it’s a good twist. It caught the audience off guard, but it made sense. We saw his malcontent for Kylo Ren growing ever since Star Wars: The Last Jedi. His motivation and the timeline tracked logically. The rest of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was like one big Ex Machina to the whole Star Wars saga. In none of the previous films was there a hint of foreshadowing that Palpatine was still alive or that Rey was his Granddaughter.
“It’s not a navy, sir. It’s just people.”
When General Pryde panics because a tsunami of incoming spacecraft is there to fight them, he asks an unnamed First Order officer, “Where did they get all these fighter crafts? They have no navy.” The officer replies, “It’s not a navy, sir. It’s just people,” and it’s the best line of the movie.
When Poe Dameron’s character arc of becoming a leader came to fruition, his first and final act almost failed. Just as he was about to give up all hope, he finally got proof that he and the resistance were not alone. Fan-favorite character Lando Calrissian shows up with an inconceivable amount of ships. It’s a beautiful moment of unity against tyranny, and it has the most emotional impact of any moment in the movie.