The final installment of the nine-episode Star Wars saga, which hyperspace jumped into theaters this week with Rise of Skywalker, offered strained glares, lightsaber sound effects and big-budget CGI ‘splosions galore. But what it served up in starships red blare, it lacked in actual feelings.

Sure, there were blue-hued phantom cameos of all the fan favorites, but even the movies so-called emotional climax just felt … kind of awkward? Like a doomed relationship that you keep showing up to dates for, even though there’s nothing left to talk about.

Likewise, I left the theater near-thoughtless and happy, I guess, in the serene glow of the credits. Director J.J. Abrams managed to jam a square peg into a round hole, tie up (almost) every loose end and shave off whatever existential questions you may have been left with after The Last Jedi. It’s the end, but it doesn’t really feel like it. Surely, the Disney machine is cued up for more Millenium-falcon shaped turds and baby Yoda plushies. And my old friends will be waiting for me on Disney’s new streaming app for $7.99 a month. 

But! Loyal as ever, I woke up early this morning to prepare myself for the pièce de résistance by skimming Wikipedia articles. 

Here’s a recap of my three hours this morning in a galaxy far, far away (otherwise known as Alamo Drafthouse). Times are approximate? Sorry, I was drinking. 


-00:30 I arrive early at the theater, giddy with anticipation. There is a series of old Star Wars clips overdubbed with The Muppets’ “Rainbow Connection.” This proves to be the most emotional moment of my morning. 

-00:15 I order a mimosa and a glass of water. The waiter tells me the straws are sea-turtle guilt-free, so I ask for one. 


00:00 Trumpets belt out the opening notes of the theme song and my heart bounds with joy! My mimosa arrives, pulpy :). The Star Wars logo engulfs the screen! 

00:03 Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is still a thirst trap. We’re in an oversized CGI set-piece #1 looking for some crystal that’s basically an evil-looking flux capacitor. 

00:05 Look who’s back! It’s the Emperor. Thought he was dead? Guess not (that never really gets explained). Seems he’s been neglecting his skincare regime 🙁 

00:08 Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) is still a thirst trap

00:10 Rey (Daisy Ridley) is still a thirst trap. 

00:12 Carrie Fisher is still a CGI ghost.

00:14 Darth Vader is still burnt toast.

00:18 Everyone is talking about trying to get to some planet that sounds like Eggsicle. 

00:20 Leia’s dialogue is so hokey it sounds ripped off from a Hallmark card. Like, they had to mash together leftover footage to make it work. It kind of doesn’t. Also, not sure if it’s CGI trickery but something about the whole thing just feels off. Like the actors aren’t in the same room. 


00:22 This movie has a weird thing for fingernails. 

00:25 Hux is still a muppet.

00:30 Billy Dee Williams still can’t act.

00:35 Time to order a second mimosa. 

00:40 Does Rey make any other faces other than the intense pouty one?

00:41 Does Kylo Ren ever stop sweating? (Answer: No.)

00:45 There’s a force tug-o-war over Chewy. It ends badly. But not too badly, because everyone is keenly aware there are no stakes and no beloved piece of merchandise is ever, truly, in danger. Boom! ‘Splosions. 

00:50 Richard E. Grant’s General Whoever might be my favorite thing so far. Hux needed a sassy sidekick, a role which Grant fills perfectly.

00:52 I need to pee. 

00:55 The newest piece of obvious merch is a robot that looks like the Pixar lamp. Lean into your strengths, Disney! We need more baby aliens. 

00:58  A droid makes me feel things, just a little bit. “Taking one last look, sir. At my friends.”


00:59  Keri Russell’s mascara is on point. Pew! Pew! Pew! Low stakes blaster skirmishes. 

1:00 I sneak off to go pee. When I come back there’s another mimosa waiting for me!! I’m not sure if I missed anything important but the heroes are wandering through one of those nearly identical spaceship hallways. 

1:05 We just learn the movie’s big twist re: Rey’s origin story. I didn’t see it coming, but I’ve also had a mimosa for breakfast. It’s… OK. Feels like a return to the pre-Rian Johnson plotline of hereditary force dynasties. I preferred the idea that anyone can harness the powers of the universe.

1:07: It’s too bad Rey won’t turn to the dark side, because evil Rey is kind of bae. 


1:10 OMG! What a twist. RIP evil muppet boy. We were just starting to like you, but you died as you lived: like a bitch :’( 

1:15 Adam Driver still hasn’t taken off his shirt. Grr. 

1:20 Finn is a useless sad puppy dog with a secret that never gets revealed (a schoolboy crush, methinks? Not even J.J. Abrams cares enough to see this plotline through).

1:22 I half expect to see Rey surfing on a lightsaber at this point. 

1:25 Oversized CGI set-piece #2 arrives. Rey confronts a goth version of herself. Kylo’s crush on Rey, if it ever was cute, is now just creepy. 

1:28 Adam Driver gets his hair wet.

1:30 Leia kind of just, checks out? Poof. Her beyond-the-grave CGI sendoff doesn’t have much payoff. Guess this was the best they could jerry-rig the footage. 

1:35 Kylo’s a good boy now? Fuck it, I’m ordering another mimosa. 

1:36 One of the hobbits from Lord of the Rings keeps showing up and it’s confusing me. 

1:38 Yaaas, Luke: remind me of when these movies were good. I’d watch Mark Hamill drink soy milk. 


1:40 The best parts of the new series are the glimpses into the old series. This is not exactly a good thing.

1:45 My mind is starting to wander. Maybe it’s the mimosas. There’s some scene that looks like a spaceship is flying through a fibrotic uterus, followed by space horses. 

1:45 Oversized CGI set-piece #3! It’s where I imagine System of a Down plays sold-out shows in hell. 

1:47 The Emperor is being hoisted by a crane but really looks like the toy in the grips of a claw machine. I’m scared? 


1:50 Everything is blowing up. Boom! Smash! Whizz! 

1:52 Someone needs to tell the Emperor about glaucoma medication. 

1:55 Where my boy Kylo at? Is he still wearing a shirt?

1:56 Sadly, yes. 

1:57 I have no idea what’s going on. 

1:58 Triumphant explosions! Lando’s bad acting! The theme song! Feelings.

2:00 The Emperor uses his powers to drop a sick dubstep beat on the Resistance.

2:05 Rey uses the force to melt off his face! That’s right, bitch! 

2:06 Boom! More ‘splosions. RIP Richard E. Grant :’(

2:10 The dust clears but oh no! Rey is dead. We’re not really sure why, but we’re supposed to feel sad. Kylo Ren crawls out from somewhere and uses the force to save her? Then they kiss (which feels super gross?!). I almost spit out my mimosa. He smiles like that kid from The Sandlot that fakes drowning to kiss the lifeguard. Then he dies, happy, and definitely still a virgin. I think we’re supposed to feel things here.  


2:12 No one cares about any of the other plotlines

2:15 I don’t think environmentalism exists in space. 

2:18 YO! There are lesbians in the resistance. Yay!

2:20 Rey goes back to Luke’s old crib and buries some lightsabers. Some old lady asks her name and she responds “Rey Skywalker.”