"The force comes to an end in STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER – Review"
Not a perfect movie and/or ending by any stretch, but it encompasses the overall spirit and adventure we all grew to love about STAR WARS! It’s a saga that’ll live wihtin us for a long, long time and extend to places far, far away…!
A little over four decades and George Lucas’ STAR WARS still holds its own as one of the most popular and powerful franchises. Branded a “Space Western,” the start of this saga garnered millions of fans, followed by billions of dollars, multiple sequels, prequels, and spinoffs. (MANDALORIAN, anyone?) STAR WARS films have been on the receiving end of backlash as well. Truth be told, this new one won’t go without ridicule, too. But it doesn’t even matter. They keep coming. Rabid fans (and even critics) can think, do, or say whatever they want. In some way, shape, or form they’re lasso’d back in. And because they/we keep coming back, the force will be with this franchise for generations to come. Wrapping its STAR WARS film series with episode 9, it’s been an interesting journey that started way back on Earth in 1977. No need to keep you updated, because if there’s one thing this series has done well is make sure its audience is on the up-n-up with its “In a galaxy far, far away…” opening credits.
So much is running through my brain right now. So much I want to unleash. BUT I need to keep this as spoiler free as possible. So… here we go! Returning to direct the final chapter, J.J. Abrams’ THE RISE OF SKYWLKER presents us with the surviving Resistance facing off against the First Order once again. So, continuing where the series left off, this joyride of space hoopla takes every step to make sure it wraps up a story aimed at Rey (Daisy Ridley), and why Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) keeps insisting she join the Dark Side. The scope of this storyline is the heartbeat of the film. At a run of over two hours, the build-up for the ultimate payoff is worth it. In other words, we learn so much about Rey, her abilities, and why she’s just so damn special. It’s a tug-of-war between her past, present, and the fate of her future.
The first half of the film serves as the building blocks. Reuniting all our favorites, the wave of it and scenarios are quite fun to endure. It takes dips in places, but as it exposes bits-n-pieces, the anticipation for that final showdown becomes intensely welcoming. The overall narrative allows supporting players like Poe (Oscar Isaac), Finn (John Boyega), and Kylo Ren to step up to the plate in terms of holding their own and making a mark. Hell, even Palpatine’s (Ian McDiarmid) return rattles your soul with his scenes and haunting mini monologues. But it’s the cameos with Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, and Mark Hamill that gives this film—like all others—that magical touch of origin, and never fails to get the audience applauding. However, Ridley is indeed the new face of the franchise. So much, the film makes sure it keeps reiterating it, especially during its final scene.
As a finale for a series that’s gone on for over forty years, I can say it was pretty touching. Even though RISE OF SKYWALKER answers questions, there’s still a lot to digest, because it generates new questions, too. Some of it moved me. Some of it made me feel a little “meh.” BUT… I can’t lie. I enjoyed this one more than I did LAST JEDI. Its action sequences are visually stunning. Its sound mixing is audibly intense. And its overall execution is entertaining. I’m sure RISE OF SKYWALKER will trigger others differently, but, its cinematic effect will last a lifetime, as I’m sure this final chapter will generate more interest. Why? Well, because its teases lead to the following questions: What’s up with Rey’s parents? Does Rey join the Dark Side? Or does she remain true to Jedi protocol? (Among others…) George Lucas can rest easy with his creation. Its accomplished a lot on its own. J.J. Abrams placed an interesting final stamp. Whether we’ll see our current STAR WARS series contemporaries in other Star Wars-based spinoffs remains to be seen. For now, RISE OF SKYWALKER makes sure they remain engraved in our geeky brains. Enjoy. And as always… may the force be with you all!
Genre: Sci-Fi, Action-Adventure, Fantasy, Sequel
Run Time: 2:21
Starring: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Billy Dee Williams, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill