Every director has a style. J.J. Abrams has one of the most distinct in modern Hollywood, full of frantic energy and eager forward momentum. Which can be good things. They can also be bad things, too.
In a new video, critic Just Write does a compelling job examining Abrams’s distinct style and how The Rise of Skywalker—negatively, in his view—exemplifies all the excesses of J.J.’s house style. With examples from a wide array of Abrams’s work, he builds an understanding of how the director makes films and what advantages and weaknesses that style might have, particularly when it comes to the final movie in the Star Wars nine-film epic.
I’m not sharing this video because I have an axe to grind against The Rise of Skywalker. I’m sharing it because Just Write has consistently made interesting stuff for those of us interested in the craft of writing and making things, and also because it’s valuable to be able to spot trends and styles in a creator’s work. Whether you love or hate what Abrams does, he definitely does something very distinct to him. And as much as Disney might want to erase the individuality of individual creators in favour of emphasising the particular qualities of its franchises, that’s not really possible. The sensibilities of the creators involved are inevitably going to come through.
The Rise of Skywalker isn’t just a Star Wars film. It’s a J.J. Abrams film. For better or worse. And it’s worth thinking about what that means.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is in theatres now.