Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker- An Amazing End To An Epic Saga
Does Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker rise to the occasion? Is this film an instant classic or instantly forgettable. You probably know the answer, but read on for my review of the film!
I was 5 years old when Star Wars: A New Hope made its grand entrance into pop culture. The Star Wars franchise shaped my childhood more than almost any other pop culture phenomena of the 70’s and 80’s.
My brother and I spent endless hours recreating galaxies far, far away with Star Wars figurines. When Luke Skywalker slashed open his Tauntaun to stay warm on the ice planet of Hoth, I squealed with half closed eyes. I collected Return of the Jedi playing cards relentlessly hoping to score the baby Ewok one.
I regarded The Phantom Menace as an imposter and despised it (looking at you Jar Jar Binks). Eventually I grudgingly accepted the first 3 chapters as part of the canon. But my heart was firmly entrenched in the originals.
Does J.J. Abrams deliver?
When it was announced that J.J. Abrams would direct chapters 7-9, my heart skipped a beat. I LOVE J.J. Abrams (especially Alias and Lost) and thought he totally revived Star Trek. Could he do the same for my beloved Star Wars?
IMHO– he has. I know many fans panned The Force Awakens. I loved it.. it totally took me back to the way I felt in the opening scenes of a New Hope when Luke was called to help Uncle Owen pick out the new droids. Same with The Last Jedi. I was worried about The Rise Of Skywalker though. This is the theoretical end of the primary Star Wars series.
Would I be left with the giddiness of Chapters 4-6? What about all unanswered questions? What about the future of the franchise?
The Verdict. Does Rise of Skywalker live up to the Hype?
Well– Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker is such an epic and amazing story. It is almost perfect. Almost. And it instantly rockets to the top echelon of the best Star Wars movies. I don’t care what anyone else says– Empire Strikes Back will always be the best, closely followed by A New Hope. The Rise of Skywalker is the perfect end to their perfect introduction.
What did I love?
We do learn the back story of Rey and trust me… it’s good (sorry.. not giving any details because I want you to enjoy the reveal as much as I did!).
The droids are their hilarious best selves throughout the film, and there is an addition you will fall in love with.
A ton of new characters and species are introduced. It will be awesome to have their backstories told. I imagine this is what Disney had in mind. It would not surprise me if over the next few years, some of the backstories trickle out via Disney+ shows or full-on franchise movies.
The cinematography is rich, as is the storytelling. For real, there are a few fight scenes that are just… gargantuan. If you can see Rise Of Skywalker in IMAX… do it.
There are some heartwarming cameos, and some fun cameos (especially if you are a J.J. Abrams fan like me!).
Why Was It ‘Almost’ PErfect?
Most of the movie is completely perfect. It was a complete blast to watch and incredibly satisfying for a kid who literally grew up with the Star Wars franchise.
However, if I am being completely honest… there are about 10 minutes near the end that will irritate you if you are a hard core fan. It’s too bad really, because the rest of the movie is basically perfect. If you are in a generous mood you will forgive the elliptical storytelling. If you are cranky it could seriously impact your view of the film; especially since there is little time left to recover afterwards.
But recover it does. The last scenes are full of nostalgia, and not in the cheesy way. The ending resonates deeply with powerful storytelling.
And you will leave the theater wishing for just a little more of ‘A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…’