Thoughts on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

One or two friends have asked for my opinion/review of Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker. I offer these thoughts with full appreciation for the divided opinion that exists amongst fans of the saga.

Put very simply, I loved it. I loved, as I always do, returning to the characters, ships, and settings I’ve grown up watching and imagining. I loved the subtle and not so subtle humour that has always been a part of Star Wars. I loved arriving at some conclusions which I generally found satisfying. And I absolutely adored being swept away one more time by the music of Maestro John Williams.

When I debate with the film’s detractors, it’s just for fun. They know they won’t move me, and I know they can dice me with story logic and more… but I honestly don’t care. I’m a reasonably smart man and am very aware that this latest film was far from being technically perfect, but this story, all 42 years of it, speaks 70% to my heart, and 30% to my head.

Star Wars, the “kids movies not for kids” (with thanks to JJ Abrams), remains for me the ultimate in imaginative escapism, enjoyed by my whole family and most of my friends.

Thank you George Lucas, John Williams, Ben Burtt, JJ Abrams, Rian Johnson, Lawrence Kasdan, Dave Filoni, John Favreau, Ron Howard, Gareth Edwards, Kathleen Kennedy, Bob Iger, and everyone who has contributed to this incredible generation-spanning saga and universe from a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

Go and see Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker with family and friends, and May The Force Be With You!

Harrison Ford IS NOT Han Solo.

I’m 55 years old and a near lifelong fan of Science Fiction. In books, Asimov, Niven, Clark, Pohl, Bradbury, and Heinlein fired my imagination for days on end. On Television, the cathode rays of Star Trek, Space:1999, UFO, and Battlestar Galactica forced patience for soap and cigarette commercials. And in the Cinema, Star Wars and Star Trek blew my mind while showing me I was not alone in my fandom world.

Today I am a father of four who absolutely loves sharing Sci-fi with my family. In 1979 if you had told me that in 40 years I would be watching spectacular new Star Wars and Star Trek movies and Television series with my wife and kids, I am confident my vivid imagination would have tapped out. Yet here we are!

Now to the headline…

I love Harrison Ford’s portrayal of Han Solo. His perfect combination of rugged good looks, charm, and “accidental bravado” brought the space pirate invented by George Lucas to life for millions billions, and has helped make phrases like “I’ve got a bad feeling about this” truly colloquial.

However, Harrison Ford is not Han Solo just as Sean Connery is not 007, Christopher Reeve is not Superman, and <gulp> William Shatner is not James Tiberius Kirk. Each of these actors must be credited with delivering iconic and even definitive portrayals of legendary fictional characters, but no more (or no less!).

Why am I strong on this point? First, and selfishly, I want to continue enjoying new stories about fictional heroes and villains for as long as possible- certainly well after any one actor is prepared or able to portray them.

I _wanted_ to see the origins of Han Solo (and Chewie, Lando, the Falcon, and more), and thought that Alden Ehrenreich’s portrayal of the young rogue was superb. So too was I delighted by Chris Pine’s take on Captain Kirk, Daniel Craig’s Bond, and more. I also love enjoying these new stories with my kids!

Secondly, as a reader of fiction as a teen, I spent countless hours developing my own unique character interpretations as informed by the author. Saying this, I am naturally okay with the thought of many versions of the same character existing; indeed, with every reader comes a new take!

I love Harrison Ford’s portrayal of Han Solo. However, Harrison Ford IS NOT Han Solo. He can’t be. He’s Indiana Jones… 😉