Movie Review: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

John Sabato, Reviewer

With the release of ‘The Rise Of Skywalker” The Skywalker saga has finally come to an end in the most lackluster way possible. JJ Abram’s newest film in the Star Wars franchise feels like a rushed mess that doesn’t leave viewers feeling satisfied. The film wasn’t all bad, with a strong cast, great cinematography and a fantastic score. The Rise Of Skywalker was a mess, but a mess with potential. 

The film struggles with a story that  doesn’t seem very inspired. It doesn’t feel like a suitable end for the Skywalker story. The pacing through every scene is rapidly changing, making it feel as if the film is incomplete. The film relies on most of their viewers reading the many books released alongside the release of the blockbuster to explain a lot of the things that they don’t care to touch on within the runtime. The trilogy has made an effort to introduce new and frankly, quite stupid abilities that force wielders are granted, from gliding through space to facetiming others that have access to the force, powers created simply to help the writers make something out of nothing. These movies have suffered from the shift of leadership from film to film, letting JJ Abrams start this new trilogy, then shifting to Rian Johnson’s “The Last Jedi” in which he obviously had his own ideas as to where to take the franchise. 

Luckily, the film benefits from its leading actors. It feels as if Finn and Poe are stuck living in the shadow of Rey. Don’t get me wrong—I have very much enjoyed Rey’s journey from lonely scrapper to the last Jedi, but it would’ve been nice to see John Boyegas, Finn, do a little more than yell “Rey!” every time he popped up on screen. Being an ex stormtrooper who saw the error in the ways of the First Order was a gold mine of untapped character development potential. When it comes to strong characters, Rey and Kylo are once again the strongest. With Adam Driver bringing a fantastic performance as Kylo Ren, carrying the franchise since “The Last Jedi”. Their relationship and chemistry has developed incredibly well over the course of the trilogy and in the end pays off in a big way, possibly the only satisfying thing about this conclusion, along with how Rey’s character progresses through the film, achieving her destiny to become a full-fledged Jedi. General Leia, played by the late Carrie Fisher, was brought back via CGI and old unused dialogue. It becomes so painfully obvious throughout all of her scenes that she isn’t really delivering those lines.  I know it was a tough situation, with the sudden passing of Carrie Fisher, but there could’ve been a more respectful direction they could have taken her character, it gets even worse from there. For some unknown reason they’ve brought back Emperor Palpatine and it’s just so pointless. As I said earlier Rian Johnson and JJ Abrams obviously had two very different ideas on where to take this trilogy and it ended up screwing them in the end. Palpatine was such an uncreative idea for this “epic” conclusion. They never even go on to explain how he came back; he was just there the entire time.

Thankfully we are presented with another fantastic score created by the legendary John Williams, who is no stranger to the world of Star Wars. Rise Of Skywalker also happens to be another beautiful movie with great cinematography and worlds that are full of beautifully crafted aliens, most of which are brought to life through expert puppetry and has become an excellent staple within the Star Wars Franchise. 

Overall The Rise Of Skywalker was a massive letdown to me. I hoped this movie would have so much more as the supposed finale to the Skywalker saga but it simply was nothing more than another Disney film that was scared to take any risk, something that’s beginning to show through in Disney’s ever-expanding library of content.