Christmas Eve, 2019
introduction to the story
Four hours ago, I sat down in order to write a compassionate review of The Rise of Skywalker.Something that would uplift the hearts of everyone who had been disappointed in any way shape or form, by the final episode of the saga.
And this included the people who had worked on it for all those years, and director JJ Abrams.
I was convinced that if I could look at JJ Abrams with the same compassion I had given the villain of the trilogy, the darkside warrior Kylo Ren, I would be able to connect with the part of JJ Abrams that had done the best he could.
And who was probably haunted by his own inner demons.
Just like Kylo Ren had been a victim of mental abuse since before birth, when a dark Lord invaded his mind and crushed his soul.
Kylo Ren never had a chance of staying on the right path.
And I was sure that in that light, the controversial choices of JJ Abrams too, could be explained by his deepest darkest fears getting the better of him.
Things that frightened him to the bone but that had been so terribly close, that he had been unable to separate them from his very own being.
Much less do anything about them.
And yet the intention to develop a more compassionate view of the man who had once given us the beautiful Star Wars 7 – including a bridal carry scene halfway through the movie and a bell in the first scene with Rey; both promises of a fairy tale-
did not bring out the wave of inspiration and healing I was hoping for.
On day six after seeing The Rise of Skywalker I was no way near forgiving him, for taking away our happy end.
For turning this into Romeo and Juliet, instead of Belle and the Beast.
But since I had announced on Twitter that I would be writing a compassionate review of The Rise of Starwalker, I felt the obligation to at least mention, that it was still on my mind, but that I could not find the right way to go about it.
So that’s what I tweeted.
And one tweet turned into two.
Two into four.
And by now they had numbers followed by slash/ and the word “thread”.
I knew I was on to something and that I had no idea how long this thread was going to be, or which story I was going to tell.
And this illustrates how I feel about writing and art;
In my opinion all you can do is let the story come out. It must reveal itself.
I m sure writing a film script is in many ways different to blogging or tweeting, but having said that, I do believe that if I had been convinced, that for The Rise of Skywalker, JJ Abrams had been following his own inner-voice?
I would have wholeheartedly accepted it.
Even if The Rise of Skywalker had been about all of them turning to the dark side, and submerging the entire galaxy into darkness for eons to come;
If that’s how JJ Abrams, director and screenplay writer, had seen this movie with great clarity?
Then so it shall be done.
The entire problem was: We never got that impression.
As far as I could see, something already went very wrong when the first director for this episode Colin Trevorrow was fired or resigned, based on creative differences.
This was before The Last Jedi was released, so it didn’t have anything to do with Disney responding to disappointing box office results or anything.
Colin Trevorrow must have experienced a limitation that didn’t allow him to make the film he wanted to make, but the film Disney wanted to make. His resignation should have been a red flag for JJ saying yes.
What exactly had he said yes to?
In the Twitter thread I m sharing below, I ve let this conflict play out with the character of Palpetine, because Trevorrow has always claimed his script did not include a return of the emperor.
The Emperor, came with JJ.
If I read the thread below, I can see I have not totally succeeded in my setup to write a non-salty review, that is compassionate to everyone involved. Technically, it is not even a review.
And I must say I am very sorry for that.
But I let the story out, as it wanted to come out.
And in the end?
That is really all any artist, any creator, any writer, and any filmmaker, can ever do.
A Reylo Fairy Tale on The Rise of Skywalker
[ click the link to tweet ]
I really wanted to write a compassionate piece on The Rise of Skywalker,
but my thoughts are all over the place.
I think about toxic masculinity a lot.
I can’t write until I ve found my inner Rose
I m a sequel-fan.
I really never “felt” Star Wars, until right before The Last Jedi: I checked its spoiler reviews and encountered Reylo!
Suddenly the strange feeling I had felt after TFA made sense.
I rushed to the theater and never came back. Until now that is.
I believe JJ did put the option of a love story into The Force Awakens. But he didn’t push it.
The strongest evidence is the care put into making Kylo a Disney prince!
But JJ’s TFA left too much room for interpretation, which caused conflict between fans.
So the two years after The Force Awakened a war was fought, between early Reylos and fans of the originals and the prequels.
The Reylos were outnumbered.
No one believed their story that Rey from Jakku would fall for the darkside warrior Kylo Ren.
In December 2017 The Last Jedi was released. Critics praised this character driven Star Wars movie, and the Reylos were over the moon!
Rey and Kylo Ren were going bring balance and save the universe by their union of the dark and light.
Until something happened..
Fans of the prequels and the originals were furious.
Although once at war with each other, back in 1999 when the first prequel came out, they had now joined forces and they lashed out at the The Last Jedi, with anything that remotely looked like canon.
They hit so hard Disney suffered financially, or at least they thought they had.
Or would. Or would in the future. Who knows what they thought.
As a response Disney ghosted Rian Johnson: the same director whose film they had praised and had offered extra work.
The Last Jedi haters also took their anger out on Reylos.
But by now they were with many.
The Force Awakens had been the spark but The Last Jedi set fire to the Reylo flame.
For two long years, Reylo fires burned bright on all social media.
After The Force Awakened Reylos had been a minority.
But after the Last Jedi the groups were equal in size
And the Reylos used a weapon the antis did not understand:
Which means they were incredibly strong with the Force And they were winning
But behind the scenes, in the final months before the release of the Last Jedi, something had happened that would change the fate of all Reylos.
A new man was appointed to direct final movie, of what Reylos considered “their” trilogy
And it would be their downfall.
On a quest to bring the final chapter of the the saga back to the fans of the prequels and the originals, the new director forged an allegiance with a mighty foe:
The most powerful misogynist that had ever existed and the arch enemy of the Reylos.
For two years the new director worked on his masterpiece:
One film, to rule them all.
One film, to bind them.
And while the world held its breath to the grand final of The Nine, The Emperor said his cooperation required one more thing.
A human sacrifice.
The director could smell victory was near.
The fans of the prequels and originals were excited about the upcoming movie and Reylos were looking forward to see their ship sail to its final destination.
The war had stopped
For a brief moment there was peace in the galaxy
“What sacrifice, my Lord?” the director asked.
As his mind went over who he could spare from his cast and crew.
The Emperor answered: “Bring me the heart of Kylo Ren.”
The director was shocked.
“But my Lord, it is not mine to give. It belongs to Rey from Jakku.”
But the Emperor did not yield.
Months before the movie’s release the director ripped the heart from Kylo Ren’s chest and gave it to the Emperor.
Then he ordered the cast to return to set except for the actor who played Kylo Ren.
His services were no longer needed
In the final months the director reshot 30% of all material, and feverishly edited his masterpiece.
But the actors had become quiet. They did what they were obliged to do, but no one talked about the movie or promoted it.
Their faces had become like masks.
Stories that the director had sacrificed the heart of Kylo Ren reached the Reylos.
And while the fans of the prequels and the sequels uncorked their champagne and toasted to the return of the emperor, the Reylos refused to believe their hero had died.
Timezone after timezone, Reylos around the world went to see the premiere of the movie.
And one by one they fell.
Because the rumors were right: In sharp contrast to the happy end, as promised by the promotional material that had been released, Kylo Ren died.
The Reylos had been betrayed.
Kylo Ren had been erased from the film, and just like Rey from Jakku – who ended up all alone on a desert planet exactly where she started – the Reylos too, were exactly where they started. But they had learned an important lesson.
The Reylos went their separate ways.
Some raised money for @AITAF, from the actor who had played Kylo Ren:
Others started #thankyourianjohnson, the Reylo patron saint
But not one Reylo ever spoke of what they learned.
Because some things are best forgotten.
An Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living
coming soon: new books
1. Reboot – a hero’s journey. Diary 2017-2020
2. I M NOT CHANGING MY FUCKING SHOW
3. Big Mistress – confessions, columns and sex advice from the other woman
4. Blote Kont- (Dutch)
5. ALL THE THINGS – unpublished work 2010 – 2020
bridal carry in The Force Awakens, also directed by JJ Abrams: