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9.8 31 10
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I enjoyed the 'Rise of Skywalker' ride at the cinema but on re-viewings the flaws inevitably become all too clear. I don't even blame J. J. Abrams, he had the thankless task of simultaneously following on from what he setup in his first film, clearing up the mess left by 'The Last Jedi' which had essentially chucked the first film away (like a lightsaber), pleasing fans of TLJ, pleasing haters of TLJ, retconning Rey's backstory from TFA and TLJ because fans didn't like it, starting again with a vague blank slate and wrapping up a three film trilogy all in 2-ish hours. He knows how to make something that looks, feels, sounds, tastes and smells like vintage OG Star Wars but the script is a convoluted, exhausting mess, chasing it's own tail from one pointless plot point to another. Still, there are some real moments of emotion and drama in there which work. e.g. Luke finally lifting his X-Wing and scary zombie Palpatine.

HAL 9000's 'Ascendant' fanedit doesn't dramatically trim the plot but does make tons of little tweaks to make moments play better. None of which you'd ever know about, had this been presented to you as the official finished professional product. Every one of the edits to the video and audio (and story) is 100% seamless. I'd recommend this to people who want a better version of RoS (one to replace their official copy) but not to people who are seeking a comprehensively different version. The new ending is fantastic, again not radically different but so much better, with a bit more finesse and FX work. Congratulations and thanks to the many people that seem to have contributed many ideas and FX fixes to this version. Thanks HAL 9000.

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