Some forceful lightning would have better than too much. (Photo by O12 on Unsplash.)

The Rise of Skywalker’s story problem

The cavalier storytelling attitude of Star Wars Episode IX

(Spoilers throughout, so be warned).

Speeding past plot holes

As many reviewers have observed, the majority of TRoS’s runtime is organized along a series of quests to retrieve various objects. Each MacGuffin (Alfred Hitchcock’s word for such thingamabobs) gets the rebels one step closer to finding Palpatine’s secret Sith planet, Exegol. Succinctly, this is how the quests unfold:

The Law of Diminishing Resurrections

Much of TRoS’s runtime amounts to scenes involving the assumption of a character’s death and then backtracking to reveal said character’s ‘miraculous’ survival. Let me count the ways:

Petty rebuttals and the need for narrative consistency

Just as Johnson’s film made fun of TFA, TRoS jabs at TLJ in ways that pull the viewer out of the film:

To outline or not to outline

On the spectrum of attitudes toward the writing process, two ideological extremes persist—authors who outline and those who don’t. The latter are known as writers who “fly by the seat of their pants” (i.e., ‘pantsers’).

Lessons from Exegol

The Rise of Skywalker employed so much hand-waving around plot holes to actively suggest its creators didn’t care about its narrative quality, so the audience need not care, either.

Essays on film, politics, and storytelling. Learn more at www.harrisonblackman.com/ and https://harrisonblackman.substack.com/.

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