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Star Wars ROS: Kylo and Albrehk

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I loved Star Wars Episode 7: THE FORCE AWAKENS. My 4th favorite SW movie after the originals. Although it was not made by George Lucas I thought TFA had even more of an authentic "SW feel" than the prequels. I loved the characters and thought it was a great set up for a new trilogy, full of potential.

Unfortunately, Star Wars Episode 8: THE LAST JEDI, was one of the biggest disappointments in my movie-going lifetime. In my opinion TLJ not only stubbornly refused to deliver on the promises of TFA, but also seemed to diminish and weaken ALL the characters, new and old. I can forgive a clumsily-made movie if its heart is in the right place. But TLJ had a sense of maliciousness about it... a gleeful breaking of everyone else's favorite toys.

So I went into Star Wars Episode 9: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER with cautious optimism but lowered expectations. And to my great relief and happiness, found myself loving it. THE RISE OF SKYWALKER not only picks up all those dangling story threads from TFA and resolves them, but also restored the characters and made me love them again. It repeatedly addressed and righted the wrongs of TLJ, sent Rey on an almost Indiana Jones style adventure and explained her true parentage - as the most wickedly perfect revelation I could have hoped for. ...And that whole subplot/ mystery about Ochi, the evil Jedi Hunter... that's the kind of stuff that just gets my imagination going. ROS is not perfect, by any stretch - as much as I love its frenetic, runaway rollercoaster pacing, there are places where I wish it would slow down and give certain scenes a little more room to breathe (Lando's intro being a prime example). I also think the genuinely cool new female bounty hunter character Zori Bliss is beautifully introduced and then criminally underused (I would have loved to see her "join the team" when they fled Kijimi and it makes no sense that she stayed behind). But overall, ROS is a fun, visually cool adventure that deserves bonus points for performing the miracle of rescuing the Sequel Trilogy from The Last Jedi doldrums.

BUT... YOU KNOW ME... My favorite things in Star Wars are ALWAYS the crazy creatures! My favorite creature in RISE OF SKYWALKER, was ALBREHK. The weird and wacky idea of the SITH ALCHEMIST being an EVIL CHIMPANZEE felt so very "1970s Sci Fi movie", to me. Yeah, he was only in the movie for 2 minutes, but the same could be said for many other Star Wars aliens I've been obsessed with since elementary school. What a cool concept and design. I very badly want an action figure of Albrehk!

This piece was drawn traditionally in inks and colored digitally on Photoshop.
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Comments31
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so thoughts on the sequels two years later after it finished?

BryanBaugh's avatar

See my description above. My thoughts are the same.

To summarize - and this is just my opinion:

The Force Awakens is a wonderful homage to the Original Trilogy & has the same good old original Star Wars feeling I grew up with as a kid in the 1970s and 80s. The Last Jedi is an insult and cynical betrayal of the Original Trilogy and everything set up in The Force Awakens. The Rise of Skywalker is a fun, high-spirited, visually stunning adventure that works its butt off to reverse or fix every single problem created by The Last Jedi and mostly succeeds.

If I was gonna give em letter grades, I'd say:

The Force Awakens, A+

The Last Jedi, F-

The Rise of Skywalker, B+

TFA was the first SW movie of my generation for me. probably a lil biased thanks to my dad seeing the original when he was 5 years old and being hooked from then. The original three films are definitely my faves, then TFA. I don’t get why so many SW fans hate on Rey tbh. I like her way more than Padma as a heroine. Anyway, every character has something that adds to some of the most enjoyable adventure movies ever. Another fantastic piece of work BB. Thank you for sharing with us again.

BryanBaugh's avatar

Thank you for your comments!! Sounds like your dad was in my generation. In 1977 when the first Star Wars movie came out I was just about to turn 6 years old. So I totally grew up on Star Wars. :)

Cathats's avatar

"TLJ had a sense of maliciousness about it... a gleeful breaking of everyone else's favorite toys." You're spot on there. Couldn't agree more.

McFinn138's avatar

It really did! It seemed like it was more invested in routing expectations than honoring the overall narative.

As derivative as the TFA was, at least the new characters felt new and the old characters felt familiar. ROS was left with so much to clean up (and the loss of Carrie Fisher) that it never had a chance to be a great Star Wars movie.

Both TLJ and ROS had some great moments, but neither of them struck me as anything more than extremely well executed fan films.

wondermanrules's avatar

I have to agree with you. I loved The Force Awakens but then Last Jedi just wildly shit the bed and ruined everything I had hoped it would have been. It played out like bad fanfiction written by someone who had no real understanding of the characters and concepts set in the previous installments.


After that I honestly couldn't get back into it with Rise of Skywalker and I was ultimately disappointed in where the story went with it as well. They really should have gone with adapting the Expanded Universe novels.


Still I really love the art, great work on the coloring and details :clap:

Awesome


I wished Ben Lived

DavidWFisher's avatar

Sadly, after watching TLJ I haven't been able to bring myself to watch ROS. Your enthusiasm may sway me to give it a chance.

BryanBaugh's avatar

Aww that's awesome to hear.

DavidWFisher's avatar

The sad thing is I'm not invested in any of the characters...

avenger09's avatar

That's a more fair take then most criticisms of the sequels. It's appreciated after hearing so many yahoos bash them in a fit of confirmation bias.

I personally like them including the Last Jedi, just like this guy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QENPSTkTeSw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYyBFBuTyKs

But I respect that you disagree but still enjoy a majority of the movies.

BryanBaugh's avatar

"Confirmation bias" is right... In my opinion, the internet has created an ugly and snobby culture of "snark" where people almost seem to enjoy hating on certain movies just for the sport of it - rather than just enjoying the movie itself.


It is really sad. I cannot fathom the mindset that loves to skewer and criticize art to death rather than just taking it in, and either enjoying it, or quietly ignoring it (if it doesn't work for you).


Of course there are movies I don't care for, but my response it usually to just never watch them again! I honestly don't feel the need to go online and rant about them.


It is rare for me to state negative opinions about movies online, but when I do it is usually for a reason. Like for example the description of this illustration above, where it's impossible to explain my enjoyment of ROS without putting it in the context of my great love for TFA and equally great disappointment with TLJ.


And there have been other cases - especially with TV shows, where I was watching them and posting my thoughts (on Twitter) on an episode-by-episode basis. And in those cases when a show dropped the ball and an episode was disappointing, I would say so. But when that happens I try to be fair and express disappointment without letting it go into rant territory. I refuse to let online trends steer my opinions of movies & shows, I judge them on their own terms.


Not sure if you follow me on Twitter but I tend to drop more frequent entertainment opinions over there.

Clonetrooper656's avatar

I share your opinion. Also I like the Monke

BryanBaugh's avatar

Haha thanks! He was awesome!!

burtonfan422's avatar

I thought Kylo's mask looked more intimidating with the scars

BryanBaugh's avatar

I prefer the original TFA Kylo mask but the red scars are a beautiful new detail.

Scholarly-Cimmerian's avatar

Thank you! I'm so glad to meet someone else who enjoyed The Rise of Skywalker! :D


I thought it was a perfectly fun and enjoyable movie. Kind of a rollercoaster ride almost. ^_^

BryanBaugh's avatar

Yes, “rollercoaster“ is a great way to describe it. I remember the first time seeing ROS in theater opening weekend & expecting it to open like any usual leisurely-paced movie & instead the pace was rushing forward at a very fast pace right from the start & I LOVED that feeling.

sherlockdad's avatar

Worst SW character ever!

Clonetrooper656's avatar

If you are going to criticise a piece of artwork you should make it constructive. Otherwise it serves no purpose

sherlockdad's avatar

I'm not criticizing the art, which is always FANTASTIC!, I stating the fact that Kylo Ren is the worst SW character ever created in the SW universe! Exactly how do you not see that Mr Buttinsky Ambulance Chaser? I'm sure Bryan did or he'd have called me on the carpet about it himself!

BryanBaugh's avatar

Thanks for the kind words on my art but... No I don’t agree with that opinion at all! I love Kylo Ren & find him fascinating (in TFA & ROS, as I explained above I felt he was poorly handled along with all the characters in TLJ).


I didn’t reply earlier because I respect everyone has their own opinions & the audience is divided on the Sequel Trilogy. I shared my feelings about the ST in my description of the illustration above & didn’t feel the need to restate them. And finally I dont see much good in online debates. In other words I disagree but its not a big deal. We all like & dislike different things for our own personal reasons.

Clonetrooper656's avatar

OK, Cool. He is sorta annoying and Rey is a Mary Sue for sure. But Luke is too. Anakin’s trilogy was planned from the beginning unlike the other 2 so he is the only one who had a thought out story arc. They just gave him Terrible Dialogue.

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