Since the release of the first Star Wars film back in 1977, the legend of Luke Skywalker has been an inextricable part of global pop culture lore. But everything must come to an end, and “The Rise of Skywalker” is the conclusion of one of the most beloved sagas in cinematic history.
Following the mixed reactions to Rian Johnson’s “The Last Jedi” and his “flying Princess Leia in space”, J.J. Abrams was given the complex task of not only bringing the story to an epic close but also, like with the “The Force Awakens”, to satisfy the many disappointed fans that recently saw how the legacy of their hero Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) was destroyed in “The Last Jedi” (among many other blows delivered to fans).
“The Rise of Skywalker” cleverly and respectfully ignores or recontextualises almost every divisive event from “The Last Jedi”, and finds the Resistance now in high alert after the voice of the Emperor, Palpatine, (Ian McDiarmid) is transmitted across the galaxy declaring a return of the Empire and the Sith. However, Supreme Leader Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is not pleased with this unexpected return and finds a way to an unknown corner of the galaxy to find the Emperor and eliminate him to get his own leadership and power out of jeopardy. Rey (Daisy Ridley), on the other side, continues her Jedi training under the tuition of General Leia (the late Carrie Fisher), but not without complications as some visions of the future and the past start to create conflict within her.
The action kicks off fast, when information from a First Order spy is gathered and Rey, Finn (John Boyega), Poe (Oscar Isaac), C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) and BB-8 set course to the stars in order to find a wayfinder that’ll give them directions to the Emperor, a journey that sees old friends return and new characters joining the Resistance.
“The Rise of Skywalker” takes a nostalgic approach, delivering almost three hours of pure fan service that will make die-hard fans clap and maybe even cry. However, this doesn’t necessarily make it a flawless film. At some points it feels rushed, becoming almost a montage of all the things we knew and love about the saga.
Still, many questions are finally answered, and we finally get proper lightsaber battles back on screen (did you notice “The Last Jedi” is the very first film in the main saga where no lightsaber touches another one?). Furthermore, Abrams (a fanboy himself) doesn’t make the typical error many films do of teasing the bad guy just to give us a glimpse at the end. On the contrary, within few minutes you get to enjoy the talent of Ian McDiarmid once again.
“The Rise of Skywalker” might not be perfect, but it will please die-hard fans with cameos references to previous events. It’s a tribute to forty two years of transgalactic magic that allows us to finally bid a farewell to our childhood heroes that they deserved. It’s a good finale to the Skywalker story, bringing closure, and it’s a visual triumph!
“Star Wars: “The Rise of Skywalker” – In Cinemas Now!