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Arts & Life
The Clarion \ January 22, 2020
'Rise of Skywalker' wraps up
the new Star Wars trilogy
By Sam Hipp
The final film in the nine-part Skywalker
Saga has been released and there is a result of
mixed reactions. Many loved this encore to
their beloved series and others saw this as the
final nail in the coffin of “Star Wars.” I saw it
as somewhere in the middle.
It should not come as a surprise that this
film brought back Emperor Palpatine, the big
bad of “Star Wars,” as advertisements for this
film were heavy-handed in making sure we all
knew he was back for the final film. Great way
to invalidate Anakin’s sacrifice at the end of
“Return of the Jedi.”
This film follows the trials of Jedi-in-training
Rey (Daisy Ridley) and her friends in the
Resistance, who struggle against the plastic-clad
space Nazis of the First Order, led by Supreme
Leader Kylo Ren (Adam Driver).
The first act of this films brings a fast-paced,
non-stop adventure of scenes that lasts no longer
than three minutes because there was too much
to cram into this film. Included in the first half
of the film is a subplot where C-3PO’s Google
Translate abilities are useless in finding a thing
to lead to another thing to lead to the big thing,
so the heroes travel to a desert planet where
some Lovecraftian aliens are celebrating Mardi
Gras on a poorly-lit planet that seemed to reuse
set pieces from previous “Star Wars” films. To
politely say, this is a bit of a mess.
This film also introduces new characters who
add nothing much except to build a little upon
the stories of the main characters or, for some,
throw away lines. Whether to give Finn someone
to briefly connect with or a lady Boba Fett for
Poe to have the hots for, these characters seem
like a needless addition this late in the trilogy.
These new characters also seem to distract
our heroes from the urgency of their constant
While the first half of the film truly suffers,
the second half truly shines. Rey facing her
confrontations with Kylo Ren, the Emperor
and herself were enjoyable to watch and drew
me into the film.
A favorite scene of mine was one of her
seeking advice from the now incorporeal space
wizard, Luke Skjrwalker (Mark Hamill), who
decided to remain old in his ghostly appearance,
instead of looking young again like his father did
when he became one with the force. Instead, he
decided his “The Dude” Lebowski look would
convey a greater sense of wisdom to Rey and
help her on her journey.
The final battle is a true spectacle and one of
the greatest strengths of the film. Seeing the
galaxy rise up against tyranny was wonderful
to behold, and it conveyed the message that it
won’t be one special person, but many ordinary
people, who will ultimately triumph over evil.
The battle also had some nice touches by
adding in a few memorable characters from
the original trilogy such as Lando, Wedge and
Nien Nunb. It truly excited the big “Star Wars”
geek that I am.
This film is an unplanned mess with horrible
pacing issues. Those issues aside, I still had an
enjoyable experience viewing this movie at the
theater. This film still shines in its effects, music
and acting, the latter being mainly in part to the
wonderfully talented Adam Driver.
It was an overall fun “Star Wars” experience
somewhat bogged down by issues of pacing and
writing in some areas, which is why I give this
film three out of five stars.
Sailesh, the world renowned hypnotist,
visited Brevard College last Wednesday night.
The show took place in Ingram Auditorium in
Dunham Hall around 7 p.m.
Sailesh explained to the audience that anyone
can be hypnotized and they can even hypnotize
themselves. One example of hypnotism he gave
is that everyone is capable of is daydreaming.
The performance was based on participation
from volunteers in the audience. At the beginning
of the show, Sailesh explained that the audience
could still take part in the hypnotism experience
if they wished, they just had to listen to his
instructions. Soon after, a member of the
audience, Xandria Colbert, was hypnotized and
put into a deep sleep. Then Sailesh invited her to
come up on the stage to join the show.
“I don’t remember getting up on the stage,”
Colbert said. “While being hypnotized it felt like
he was speaking to my inner self in my thoughts.
I feel like I have a lot of energy now after the
show. I encourage everyone to experience
hypnotism if they can.”
Sailesh made his performance a memorable
one with his humor and energy. He gave the
audience a sense of wonder as he instructed
the volunteers on stage. In one of the most
unforgettable acts of the show, he convinced
the volunteers they were on a TV talk show and
they were there to tell a bad habit a friend of
theirs had. Three of the onstage volunteers told
hilarious lies about one of the Clarion’s layout
designers, Margaret Correll.
At the end of the performance, Sailesh
reminded the audience that the stars of the show
were the volunteers on the stage and insisted
that applause be directed to them. The applause
exploded in the auditorium as the magical night
came to a close.
A still from “Rise of Skywalker”, featuring characters Rey and Kylo Ren.