The latest installment of the Star Wars saga is Episode IX, The Rise of Skywalker.
Before we dive in, here is basic Star Wars 101 for non fanatics:
The Original Trilogy: released between 1977 and 1983
The Prequel Trilogy: released between 1999 and 2005
The Sequel Trilogy: released between 2015 and 2019
Read past reviews of the current trilogy:
The Rise of Skywalker starts out true to Star Wars form with, “a long time ago in a galaxy far far away…” and then transitions into a place with giant statues and actor Adam Driver. Driver reprises his role as Kylo Ren for the final installment of this sequel trilogy. Driver’s performance is typical of anything he’s done (Girls, Marriage Story); I am not sure if he’s utterly boring or terribly fascinating, just as I can’t tell if he’s awkward looking or crazy attractive.
Daisy Ridley continues to lead the story line as Rey, continuing Princess Leia’s work in the series of breaking boundaries of what women are and are not capable of (spoiler: they are capable of anything!). Rey puts in the effort and practice to control the force. Finn (John Boyega) and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) are back again to help with the mission. However, it feels like there are just too many secondary characters to properly give anyone the story line and attention they deserve. C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) are welcome as classic characters and the only ones who provide any comic relief throughout the duration of the film.
There are a ton of transitions in the film and none fluid: we are in the snow, partying in a desert, flying through space, meditating in a forest, fighting by an ocean. The whole movie feels like you can’t keep up. They pick up and disregard subplots so often that you feel like you are always missing something, but it also seems like most of it doesn’t matter anyway.
Movie goer Megan (who named her son Anakin so you know she’s credible) shares, “I am slightly annoyed by the parallels that they were attempting, it didn’t fit even though they were trying so hard. However, in general, I did like it. I found it enjoyable and liked it better than the second [in this trilogy]. I thought it was a good way to end the trilogy; it wrapped everything up.” Her partner Sean had a major qualm, “the whole movie felt like you were trying to embrace who you are and then the ending contradicted that!” My husband added, “so much happened and nothing happened. It’s Disney but it’s not exactly family friendly- it’s a murder fest! I did like the visual effects though. Especially the anti-aging work they did on Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) in the flashbacks.” He compares it to the recent release of The Irishman which he also applauds for their flashbacks.
If you are a fan of the series, you have to see it, even if it’s just to have a final goodbye to Carrie Fisher. If you are not a fan already, this film won’t make you one.
Movie times: click here
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Run Time: 2 hours and 21 minutes
Directors: J.J. Abrams
Actors: Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley
Rating: Rated PG-13 for sci-fi violence and action
Fun Fact: When George Lucas originally laid out plans for twelve episodes then reduced that number to nine, he said that C-3PO and R2-D2 would be the only characters to appear in all nine. This proves to be true, as Anakin Skywalker and Obi-wan Kenobi, the only other characters to appear in every movie of the original and prequel trilogies, did not appear in the sequel trilogy. Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) is the only actor to appear in all nine episodes.