Best: “It’s not a navy, sir. It’s just…people.”
No moment in The Rise of Skywalker gave me chills and brought me to tears like the final battle, and particularly the moment when things seemed the most bleak. The Resistance is failing, and even Poe seems to have lost hope, but Lando Calrissian speaks up and says “There are more of us.”
Poe moves his craft to get a better view, and we see hundreds of ships having arrived to back up The Resistance. You can even see more and more blipping into view from light speed, and the hope of The Resistance is restored.
General Pryde is baffled, asking another First Order officer where they got all these craft because “they have no navy.” The officer responds, saying “it’s not a navy, sir. It’s just…people.” The galaxy has banded together in their moment of need, and they’ve arrived to topple the terrible evil trying to hold them down.
Worst: The token LGBTQ representation
I’ll be honest, I was really disappointed we didn’t get to see Finn and Poe end up together. However, it was even worse near the end of the film when a ridiculously token moment was presented as some sort of consolation prize for the LGBTQ community.
In the celebrations after The First Order is defeated, we get a short glimpse of two female Resistance members kissing. They weren’t key characters in the film, and one of them didn’t even have any lines the whole movie.
It might seem nice on the surface, but felt really insulting. Disney chose not to do something powerful and progressive, but instead to toss a bone to the LGBTQ community at the end as if that made it all better. The scene was even cut entirely from screenings in Singapore and the United Arab Emirates, areas of the world where pushing for acceptance is even more important.
True representation can’t be cut out of a film to appease oppressive international governments, but Disney cared more about their international box office than that fight. There are some great moments in The Rise of Skywalker, but this by far felt the most insulting to me as a member of the LGBTQ community.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is available for streaming on Disney+.