Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker
Length: 142 minutes / 2.37 hours
Full disclosure: I’m not a die-hard Star Wars fan by any means. Sure, I like the original trilogy, but Return of the Jedi (1983) is my favorite of that set (take that how you will). In the end, I don’t look at this franchise through the lens of the expanded universe or all the lore tied to it. I just see them as movies. Are they entertaining? Sure, they have their moments. Are they groundbreaking? Not since A New Hope (1977), in my opinion. So, while The Force Awakens (2015) felt like a rehash/reboot, I did appreciate how The Last Jedi (2017) took some risks in terms of character development.
So, how does The Rise of Skywalker (2019) fare? First of all, the plot moves at a hyperspace-clipped pace. There seemed to be so many loose ends to tie up and nostalgia to fit in that there wasn’t much time to spend on any single sub-plot. I did appreciate how the character development of Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) reached its penultimate conclusion, showing the audience the extreme abilities of what the Force can ultimately do. I also found the action sequences to be quite spectacular as well. This isn’t your father’s original trilogy when it comes to special effects.
For a conclusion to a nine-film franchise that spanned more than four decades, it’s a little unfair to saddle The Rise of Skywalker with anything more than resolving the questions that arose from this sequel trilogy. I think it did a pretty good job, even if the whole trilogy could have been slightly more coherent with some better planning from the start. In the end, while the plot and even some character development (like the revelations into Poe’s (Oscar Isaac) past) seemed rushed, the set pieces were amazing and worthy of the conclusion to the Skywalker saga.
A fitting end to a somewhat troubled sequel trilogy, I give Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker 3.5 stars out of 5.