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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Review

by Nick Stucker

Well it’s here, the ending of the Skywalker Saga spanning three trilogies is coming to a close. The highly anticipated Rise of Skywalker is in theaters now and I was lucky enough to get to see it a little early.

WARNING: THERE WILL BE SOME SPOILERS HERE IN ORDER TO UNDERSTAND THE REVIEW, SO BEWARE. READ ON AT YOUR OWN WILL.

Since The Force Awakens debuted, this sequel trilogy has been a roller coaster of a ride. And that’s not a good thing. When Disney purchased the Star Wars franchise and all of its properties, fans were expecting fresh new ideas to spawn from the purchase. With books and comics spanning over 40 years, one would think that the sequel trilogy would be a breath of fresh air into the series. Sadly, we were disappointed. The Rise of Skywalker falls in that category.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker takes place roughly a year after the events of The Last Jedi. We have Rey (Daisy Ridley) continuing her Jedi training, Poe (Oscar Isaac) and Finn (John Boyega) gallivanting in the Millennium Falcon to meet a First Order Mole, all the while Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), while continuing his search for Rey, is on his own mission to search out a new sinister evil that threatens his ruling of the First Order.

J.J. Abrams does deliver on some points, but fails on many others. Throughout the film you have almost non-stop action and brilliant visuals; good fan-devoted service to questions that we’ve been having since The Force Awakens and some friendly old faces we’ve been wanting to see return for some time. And the lightsaber combat has improved over the last two films in my opinion. But that’s about it.

Just like its two predecessors, the film feels rushed and lacks imagination and original content. While it doesn’t seem like a rehash of The Return of the Jedi (because The Force Awakens was almost a complete mirror image of A New Hope), The Rise of Skywalker just doesn’t show much imagination in terms of character development and plot. I mean right off the bat you know who the big baddie is that threatens the entirety of the galaxy. I won’t say who, but I’m sure you can make a good guess.

Perhaps the most frustrating part for me to grasp was finally getting to know Rey’s lineage and where she comes from. To me, that’s a complete and utter failure on the developers part. You see this powerful Force sensitive female lead character grow over two films, trained by two powerful Jedi (Luke being one, the other I’ll leave as a surprise), only to find out what her real backstory is. And while it is somewhat of a shocker, it isn’t the shocker you’re expecting.  Not to mention we finally get to see The Knights of Ren in action, but not for very long, which was a disappointing aspect as it was these individuals that aided Kylo Ren in the destruction of Luke’s Jedi temple; so, to a point, they had an integral part in the story.

The ending of the film, while I will say ties up nicely in a tattered, ruined bow, it is tied up nicely nonetheless to end the series. However, I will say that the film’s title, ‘The Rise of Skywalker’, leaves you wondering throughout the film who the Skywalker is that is ‘still alive’. Well, for me, when you find out, was a complete and utter let down and seemed rather sloppy. I won’t give it away, but if you’re a fan like me that likes well developed characters, you may be disappointed too.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is bogged down by too much fan-catering by Abrams and company, a feeling of rushed character development with very little spectacular plot, only to be sprinkled with impressive visuals, choreography, John Williams’ score and finally, a somewhat fitting end to the series and saga (and I use that phrase with reservation).

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is in theaters now.

 

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