RELEASED: March 13th 2020 / April 20th 2020 (UK)
DISTRIBUTED BY: Disney
DIRECTED BY: Debs Paterson
PRODUCED BY: Trisha Brunner, Ian Bucknole & Anna Yeager
MUSIC BY: ?
STARRING: J.J Abrams, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, Naomi Ackie, Domhnall Gleeson, Richard E. Grant, Keri Russell, Joonas Suotamo, Kelly Marie Tran, Ian McDiarmid, Billy Dee Williams, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Dominic Monaghan, Arti Shah, Geff Francis, Shirley Henderson, George Lucas, Peter Cushing, Stuart Freeborn, Ralph McQuarrie, Kathleen Kennedy, Chris Terrio, John Williams, Greg Grunberg, Rick Carter, Maryann Brandon, Aidan Cook, Paul Kasey, Nigel Godrich, Victoria Mahoney, Michelle Rejwan, David Acord, Debs Gardner-Pate, Kevin Jenkins, Callum Greene, Roger Guyett, TJ Falls, Patrick Tubach, Amanda Knight, Lisa Tomblin, Eunice Huthart, Stuart Wilson, Neal Scanlan, Michael Kaplan, Claire Fleming, Lynn Robertson, Liam Cook, Chris Voy, James Clyne, Dominic Tuohy & Stefan Grube
REVIEW: I’ve been looking forward to re-watching Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker for quite some time now, but the part of the release I’ve been anticipating even more is the film in the bonus features: The Skywalker Legacy.
The Skywalker Legacy is a behind-the-scenes documentary about the making of The Rise of Skywalker, and how it links back to the original trilogy of Star Wars films from forty years ago, and what it was like rounding out a film series that has lased over forty years.
In some ways, the documentary is quite like the movie itself. It’s fun and filled with heart, but falls short of greatness in a few places.
Throughout the doc, it’s really hammered down how passionate everyone working on the project is. From the artists, the actors, to the designers, cinematographers to J.J. Abrams himself, everyone is clearly having the time of their lives, and it shows. The documentary itself, like the Skywalker Saga it reports on, is a entertaining and emotional journey, and seeing how it all came together is fascinating.
It’s particularly interesting getting the perspective of people you usually wouldn’t hear from. Empire of Dreams was another great example of this, but here, they go a step further in some respects. You expect to hear the thoughts of the actors, directors, producers, and all the other people who make Star Wars look like… well, Star Wars. But getting to hear from people like the stunt coordinator Eunice Huthart (who is a joy to behold whenever she’s on screen), and the background actors working on smaller creatures – the people working on the smaller details, that’s what really drives this documentary.
There are some minor quibbles though, and as I mentioned prior, they mirror the film itself in some ways.
First off, the thing that stood out to me was the musical choices. For the most part, it’s quite strong, but then occasionally it’ll saunter into a beat that feels out of place. Otherwise, it’s not all that noticeable, which I feel is unfortunately similar to John Williams score in The Rise of Skywalker, which is in my opinion the worst of all nine films, due to the fact it’s not as emotive or present as usual.
Second is the writing, or rather, the writer, Chris Terrio. Now, I respect Terrio and what he’s been able to accomplish, but I’m not sure he was the right person to write the final chapter of the Skywalker Saga, and nothing he or anyone else says here changes my mind on that. In fact, most of the things he says in this documentary just remind me of the choices in Episode IX that I don’t agree with.
As a result, a lot of the documentary feels like it’s relying on your emotions, rather than being truly informative. That’s no fault of the documentary itself, so much as it is the subject matter.
It looks beautiful, and it’s a real joy to see all the hard work that been put into it. Unfortunately, it’s been built on a questionable foundation. They can show you how they made the galaxy come to life, and that’s great. But it doesn’t feel like they ever really dive that deeply into the story itself, because if we’re being honest, there’s not that much depth to dive into.
But again, that’s not the fault of the documentary, which in and of itself is an enjoyable watch for a Star Wars fan. I give it: