Following the events of The Last Jedi, the Star Wars saga continues with Rey (Daisy Ridley), Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and Finn (John Boyega) as they battle Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and the First Order.
“The Rise of Skywalker” is the last chapter in the Skywalker line of stories in the Star Wars franchise.
The biggest challenge to this latest Star Wars trilogy that began with “The Force Awakens,” was that it was supposed to wrap up and bring closure to the original characters that we all came to love, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford), and Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) while adding new characters to the lore. But since then, the plots and storylines raised more questions than they addressed.
Going into this film, you will hope that many of these questions are answered but sadly you will leave the theater disappointed. This film had the monumental task of answering these questions well enough to satisfy the Star Wars’ passionate fanbase and severely drops the ball. Granted, this is a tall task but it doesn’t take long to see that this film will become a divisive talking point with Star War diehards.
This film is definitely better than The Last Jedi but that isn’t really saying much. The film’s score and scenery deliver as usual, because what good is a Star Wars flick without any wacky or colorful scenes aided by the score to give these scenes an emotional lift? The CGI and special effects were all top-notch. The cinematography is beautiful and immerses us into the movie’s world pretty seamlessly.
But, the film’s plot and story-line move quickly with a lot of ground to cover. This means some aspects are grazed over; there’s no time to allow the weight of certain events and revelations to fully sink in.
It’s pretty obvious that Kylo Ren and Rey are the drivers of this ship and Adam Driver and Daisy Ridley do deliver with some solid performances to try and carry most of the weight, but the script simply lets them down. The scenes with both of them together are the strongest and the most engaging easily. Their long-distance conversations and “force fights” are expanded on in this film and the way they are edited and pieced together is masterfully done. These scenes were my favorite parts of the film.
John Boyega and Oscar Isaac also get more time to build on their bromance with Finn and Poe respectively, lending to some humor. Original trilogy darlings Chewbacca, R2-D2, C-3PO and Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) get their moments, but they often don’t feel as earned as they deserve to be. Their “moments” often feels forced and amounts to little else other than fan service. This also extends to some of the other characters as well and is shoved so much down our throats, so much that we know that this movie will be the end of this particular branch of the franchise since Director JJ Abrams and crew overdo it.
Now, the elephant in the room is the return of Emperor Palpatine. Since my reviews are primarily spoiler-free, I’ll just say that his return was clumsily handled and unwarranted. I felt like his return to the franchise is even more proof that this trilogy tried so hard to cling to the Nostalgic feeling that the original films brought. Instead of trying to create its own lane, this trilogy tried to recapture something that can never be captured again. This was my biggest gripe of these films, the lack of originality.
Palpatine’s return and role in this film will be talked about for years to come, with me already predicting that most of the talk about him will be justifiably bad.