What a weird, history-making level of weird the new Star Wars trilogy has been.
Starting out as a New Hope clone for the sake of safety, only for Rian Johnson to turn in one of the riskiest sequels in all of entertainment, the resultant fan divide was seismic, and splits rooms down the middle to this day.
For Rise of Skywalker to succeed after such a divisive flick was something of a miracle, and the result... is certainly not miraculous.
Rather, as Johnson tied off every major plot thread that was supposed to be answered across all three films, it results in JJ Abrams essentially restarting a derelict vehicle and hoping you still want a ride.
To do so takes INSANE amounts of fan service; pandering scene setups that actively undo the last film's biggest revelations, plus a general attempt to smush two movies into one.
Clearly there was a plan for the whole trilogy from the beginning, but one that Rian Johnson didn't follow. While he's not entirely to blame for derailing such obvious momentum (I blame Disney for giving Johnson a carte blanche mandate), Abrams' insistence on doing everything he apparently had in mind anyway results in an abysmal final product.