Friday, 31 January 2020

Review: Star Wars - The Rise Of Skywalker (ninth-pass)

Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker
Cert: 12A / 142 mins / Dir. J.J. Abrams / Trailer

Previous reviews: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

Okay, just a quick jaunt this late in The Rise Of Skywalker's cinematic run to lay some appreciation out for the magnificent Anthony Daniels, the man behind (inside) the golden droid that is See-Threepio.

The character (indeed, the actor) had little more than an incidental role in The Force Awakens and The Rise Of Skywalker, lighting up each of his scenes but coming off as feeling a little shortchanged given the character's previous importance. Daniels has been in this from the very start, of course, braving the heat of the Tunisian sun for Tatooine back in '75. The movies may be labelled The Skywalker Saga, but C-3PO essentially is Star Wars. Certainly a core part of what makes it special.

His was the first line of dialogue in the (release order) story, and Threepio reprises those four words as his last in Episode IX. Okay, this isn't as cool as the circularity of Revenge Of The Sith's Tantive IV callback, but given that LFL later decided the Episode III blockade runner was in fact The Sundered Heart instead, that particular Easter egg has already been retconned into insignificance*1.

But C-3PO turns out to be the most pivotal droid in The Rise Of Skywalker, even upstaging BB-8 in his usefulness (quite the achievement in this trilogy). What's more, he gets many of the film's funniest lines and corny as they may be, the droid's humour is always on-brand*2. He has an endearing lack of self-awareness for one with so much external knowledge, which speaks to anyone who's ever tried to fit in despite being a smartarse.

Threepio's screen-time is still relatively short in Episode IX of course, but the droid that shines twice as bright translates half as long. There'll be more adventures with goldenrod in one form or another, as hinted at by Daniels himself recently. Part of Star Wars' specific charm is its non-linear approach to storytelling across different media, and there's only one guy who can do the voice, the movement, the essence.

Where the hell is my 3¾" red-eyed C-3PO, Hasbro?

So, what sort of thing is it similar to?
The Star Wars.

Is it worth paying cinema-prices to see?

Is it worth hunting out on DVD, Blu-ray or streaming, though?

Is this the best work of the cast or director?
That one's up for debate, but probably not.

Will we disagree about this film in a pub?
Try me.

Is there a Wilhelm Scream in it?
Not that I can tell.

Yeah but what's the Star Wars connection?
Level 0: It is Star Wars.

...but if you wanted to go around the houses with it, The Rise Of Skywalker stars Anthony Daniels, who was in the 'Best Years Of Your Death' episode of Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) with Tom Baker, one of the many Doctors in 2013's 'Day Of The Doctor' special of Doctor Who next to David Tennant, who appears in Good Omens alongside Daniel Mays, who was in The Infiltrator which also featured Jason Isaacs from A Cure For Wellness, a film that had Celia Imrie in it from out of 1990's The World Of Eddie Weary which also starred... Anthony Daniels.

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

*1 Aside: it hasn't. #TANTIVE4EVA [ BACK ]

*2 Hey, I'm a massive fan of Attack Of The Clones and even I can't forgive the "this is such a drag" line. Not least because the "I'm quite beside myself" is superb. [ BACK ]

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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