Here we are again at the end of another Star Wars trilogy, and these latest installments have been some of the most divisive ever. People generally love the original trio that kicked off this legendary mythology and love to hate the prequels which followed almost two decades later.
“The Rise of Skywalker” will ensure the debate over the quality of this beloved series will continue for years to come.
Rey, Finn, and Poe (Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Oscar Issac) are back and continuing their against all odds battle against Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and the First Order. When an ancient evil returns, it will take all of Rey’s training in the force, as well as the relentless spirit of the rebellion to save the galaxy.
JJ Abrams is back in the director’s chair after sitting out “Return of Jedi” and immediately implements a new storytelling style. What works is the pacing in the film and his commitment to making sure that the audience gets all of the answers they’re looking for. The film looks gorgeous and in my opinion is the best looking Star Wars of the latest movies, the new characters are actually welcomed additions to the narrative instead of dragging the story down Jar Jar Binks style. All of the action sequences and lightsaber fights are what we would expect from a strong Star Wars film.
The problem that throws off “The Rise of Skywalker” is Abrams’ attempt to tie everything off neatly in a bow. Instead, we get a knot of unneccessary story points that don’t fit in from what we’ve seen from the last two films, and a new list of questions over how we leave things behind when it’s all over. Events occur that don’t make any sense and don’t really belong in the movie. Characters can’t seem to figure out what they’re supposed to do and that leaves the audience either confused or worse indifferent. Finally, the last 20 minutes of this film tries so hard to please everyone and instead stumbles down the stretch by bringing back elements both new and old that only makes things more confusing.
I love Star Wars. I’ll always love Star Wars and this film is okay. My problem is that Star Wars deserves better than okay. The blame goes to both the filmmakers and us as an audience for really failing to define what makes us happy, and what makes a great Star Wars film in 2019.
The Rise of Skywalker
Rated: PG 13
Running time: 2 hours 22 minutes.