In 1977, writer and director George Lucas brought to the world Star Wars. Despite the production issues, the fantasy space opera quickly became the most successful movie ever made at the time and one of the most popular films ever made. Star Wars would be continued in two direct follow-ups, three prequels, as well as TV shows, books, and games. After purchasing the Lucasfilm company, Disney created a new sequel trilogy taking place 30 years after the original series. Does the newest installment, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, bring a satisfying ending to the nine movie saga?
Taking place one year after the events of The Last Jedi, Supreme Leader of the First Order, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) uncovers a sinister entity from the past that plans t0 take over the galaxy once again. General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) and what is left of the Resistance finds out about this plan and Jedi apprentice, Rey (Daisy Ridley) takes it upon herself to end the war. Finn (John Boyega), Poe Dameron (Oscar Issac), C-3PO (Anthony Daniels), Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) and BB-8 join Rey on the journey as come to discover her hidden past.
Looking back on the sequel trilogy, it’s definitely been a wild ride in so far as how the fandom and Disney have responded. Director J.J Abrams kicked off an intriguing start with The Force Awakens, despite retreading the same grounds. Meanwhile, Rian Johnson decided to subvert the characters and story with The Last Jedi in a direction that fans (and Mark Hamill) weren’t satisfied with. With Abrams returning in the director and co-writer chair with The Rise of Skywalker at the last minute, he took the final installment towards a very convoluted and exposition-heavy pathway that spends more time course-correcting the complaints of the previous installments, creating an underwhelming follow-up and conclusion.
The first half of the film throws so much exposition and jumps around from planet to planet to find characters and artifacts to find the McGuffin, while the rest of the film kicks into action gear, which admittedly is enjoyable from a pure entertainment perspective. The Rise of Skywalker has stunning visual effects and action sequences that move at a very exciting and fast pace. While the tension of the characters isn’t always present, the characters that have grown over the trilogy are still fun to watch and the actors all do well in their roles. Adam Driver and Daisy Ridley, in particular, have the most satisfying character arcs that go into intriguing directions. however, the way the movie incorporates the late Carrie Fisher as everyone’s favourite princess through old footage and special effects is impressively done as it feels like she is on screen for one last time.
Overall, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker brings plenty of spectacle with top-notch special effects and action sequences, which is brought together by a very talented cast. However, the movie feels like an underwhelming conclusion to the franchise as it repeats and rehashes what has already been done previously. If you’re a fan of the franchise and if you want to see the finale of the Skywalker saga, then a recommendation for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker might be unnecessary, but it is worth a look during the Holiday season.