Photo from BGR

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is the conclusion to the recent trilogy of Star Wars movies. It follows Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), and Poe (Oscar Issac) as they are faced with the return of Emperor Palpatine.

I did not grow up with Star Wars, I’m a casual fan so the franchise does not mean as much to me as it does with others. This film like all of the ones in this trilogy, I liked, but I had a couple of issues with the story.

Firstly, as it is seen in the trailer, Emperor Palpatine is back. This to me seemed unnecessary, while this trilogy is an extension of the original one, you do not need to bring every character back. Keylo Ren (Adam Driver) could have easily been the main villain of this film and conflicted villain of the trilogy much like Darth Vader was for the original one. I also did not understand how Palpatine is still alive in the first place and the motivations for many of the characters, which seemed to be constantly changing.

Director J.J. Abrams did have a difficult job with this film and I think he did deliver on a satisfying conclusion. However, it is apparent to me that they had no outline of the overall story for this trilogy. Abrams ends up making some changes in this film that undo some of the story points from The Last Jedi, and that did disappoint me. An example of this is part of Rey’s lineage is revealed, when in The Last Jedi it is expressly stated that she comes from nobody special.

Now that I have been more exposed to more of Adam Driver’s work, he is my favorite and the best written character of this trilogy. I also liked Rey’s struggle with the dark side in this film as it is made more apparent here how much she struggles with it. Finn and Poe do pretty much the same thing as they have done so far in these movies, they accompany Rey on journey, sneak around on planets, and fight in the rebellion.

There’s a lot of spectacle and big set pieces in The Rise of Skywalker and while that is usual for blockbuster films, it got a bit tiresome and redundant. The pacing was also meandering at times, with a lot of planet hopping and checking in with various characters. I also feel like the newest side characters which consisted of Keri Russell and Naomi Ackie as well as Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) did not have a lot to do.

So, while I have some story issues with The Rise of Skywalker, I still overall liked the film. Mostly, I enjoyed Keylo Ren and Rey’s arcs in the film. And as stated before, I am a causal fan of this franchise so I don’t really have strong feelings about the film. It also doesn’t really feel like a conclusion to me, mostly because The Mandalorian is streaming on Disney+ right now and I’m positive there will be more Star Wars film will be in our future, even if they are spin-offs.

I give Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker a C+

2 thoughts on “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

  1. I’m with you that I’m kind of down the middle on this film. I found more to like after a second viewing but overall it didn’t quite satisfy me as an ending to the Skywalker Saga. This film had to conclude two movies of set up and as a result it had to do a lot. Some semblance of a plan going into this new trilogy would have gone a long way. Great review, Isabelle!


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