Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

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This story was originally published in the fourth edition of The Lion’s Tale (February 7, 2020).

With the successes and failures of the previous two additions to the Star Wars saga, “The Force Awakens” and “The Last Jedi,” the public was nothing but curious, concerned and excited for the upcoming latest and final episode for the now nonilogy of films.

“The Rise of Skywalker” is an interesting, thrilling and messy nostalgia-film which knows how to keep audiences entertained, reminiscing in lore, fanfare and parallels while never truly succeeding in giving said audiences a coherent and truly epic ending to the story beloved by hundreds of millions.Now, this is not to say that the movie is bad; for what the film is, it’s a wonderful work of art that, through it’s mistakes and problems, is engaging, enjoyable and beautifully detailed with color, imagination, visuals and orchestral exhilaration. From beginning to end, you’re engrossed in the action and story. In heading from planet to planet, you can feel the weight of these worlds and the threat of the looming Final Order.

The thing is, TRoS is far from incredible, which is what the movie should be. The film is filled with strange and out of place story beats, odd progressions in the plot and unexplained concepts and characters that truly have no place being in the movie. TRoS does work at fixing problems with the last two movies, but fails to keep said fixes going, dropping them as soon as they are introduced, as is the case when “delving” into Snoke’s backstory. The progression and growth of characters such as Rey and Rey’s relationship with Poe Dameron are said to have happened but aren’t shown, leaving a hiccup in the pace of the trilogy. Meanwhile, objects and macguffins brought into the movie are poorly integrated into the plot. But for all of the movies faults, they are balanced, like the force, with plenty of strengths. TRoS does fulfill on the concept of the classic Star Wars rhythm which, like a poem, gives us plenty of heart-racing and jaw-dropping content, beats that can not be ignored and discarded to make the final masterpiece, as in with the electrifying final battle.

In the end, “The Rise of Skywalker” is a must-see movie, one best experienced on the silver screen or with a group of friends. It may not be perfect or the best in the series, but when it really comes down to it, TRoS is a delightful, magical and beautifully illustrated film with plenty to engage with. To the end of a saga, to the end of a story, may the force be with you.