Original Content podcast: 'The Rise of Skywalker' makes some questionable choices

Anthony Ha, Jordan Crook and Darrell Etherington
Daisy Ridley is Rey in STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER

"Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" opened Friday to mediocre reviews, though it's not clear whether those reviews will put any real damper on audience enthusiasm.

In the meantime, all three of your hosts of the Original Content podcast have seen the movie. And we all agree that "The Rise of Skywalker," while flawed, is a largely entertaining and satisfying experience.

Things get a little more complicated in our spoiler discussion, where we weigh in on the film's big reveals. The trilogy's previous installment, "The Last Jedi," polarized fans with its bold storytelling choices (bold for Star Wars, at least). But we're squarely in the pro-"Last Jedi" camp, so we were disappointed to see "The Rise of Skywalker" back away from some of those choices.

Our discussion also unearths a key piece of Star Wars history — the fact that while developing his now-formidable writing talents, our co-host Darrell Etherington wrote an extended piece of fanfiction with the tantalizing title "Reign of the Empress." If you'd like to help us pressure Darrell into reading the story on a future episode of the podcast, please email or tweet at us!

It's an Adam Driver-centric episode this week. In addition to discussing Driver's Star Wars arc, we also review "Marriage Story," the Netflix film where he and Scarlett Johansson play a divorcing couple. At least one of us thinks "Marriage Story" might be the best movie of the year, while others were a little more reserved in their praise.

You can listen in the player below, subscribe using Apple Podcasts or find us in your podcast player of choice. If you like the show, please let us know by leaving a review on Apple. You can also send us feedback directly. (Or suggest shows and movies for us to review!)

And if you want to skip ahead, here's how the episode breaks down:
0:00 Intro
1:15 "The Mandalorian" listener response
8:50 "Marriage Story" review (mild spoilers)
27:42 "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" review
45:52 "The Rise of Skywalker" spoiler discussion