Movie Review: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
All journeys must come to an end. Witness the thrilling conclusion of the Skywalker saga with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, now playing.
The surviving Resistance faces the First Order once more as Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega) and Poe Dameron’s (Oscar Isaac) journey continue. With the power and knowledge of generations behind them, the final battle commences.
First off, I wanna say that no Star Wars film has been able to fully recapture the thrill that began 40 years ago, but the director J.J. Abrams’ ninth and final chapter in the epic saga that George Lucas created comes closer than any other film in the series.
The Rise of Skywalker is visually stunning, action-packed, and is everything you could ever ask for in a Star Wars film. The dialogue is brilliant, the performances are phenomenal, the film will leave audiences with a smile that only comes after one has been immersed in a genuinely entertaining. Not only does the film come remarkably close at recapturing the magic of the original trilogy and The Force Awakens, but it fixes The Last Jedi and works as both a fitting conclusion and an entertaining film.
But, like pretty much every movie, it does have minor flaws mainly because the film had so much to do and very little time to do it. There are little moments where the film feels a bit rushed, packing in more than it can handle. This puts it in the same position as Avengers: Endgame, 2019’s other big blockbuster, which also had to wrap up major storylines while also telling its own satisfying self-contained story. The film does succeed in dealing with that kind of responsibility.
Watching The Rise of Skywalker, you could definitely tell that director J.J. Abrams and his team were working to correct the damage that The Last Jedi did (This isn’t just my opinion as both Ridley and Abrams have publicly criticized the movie). When you watch this film directly after seeing the previous two, it feels like a three-act play where the second act was created by another person with a completely different version than who wrote part one and part three. This makes total sense as Abrams also directed The Force Awakens while Rain Johnson wrote and directed The Last Jedi. This causes some problems with the tone of the new trilogy, jumping from a classical approach to something completely different and unwanted, then back to classical.
A classical approach, or what many people call “fan service,” is just Abrams’ appreciating and adding to what it is that people love about the Star Wars universe. That is not a problem in my book, just as long as it is well-executed.
Overall, The Rise of Skywalker had a big role as the closing chapter of a 40-year-long series. The expectations were high, and the film deserves credit for meeting them, as well as surpassing them.
Critic Rating: 4.5/5 stars
What did you think of the film? Sound off in the comments.