I was only four years old when the very first Star Wars movie came out. In fact, I believe I was too young to see it at that point in the theater. However, I can remember seeing Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back that way at the age of 10. From that point on, I saw each and every film in the saga. I’ve followed the journey and connected with so many of the characters over the years, finding my favorites and loathing others. You can imagine that seeing what has been deemed the final chapter would be emotional. To be honest, I walked out of the theater after screening Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker with a need to process it before writing about it. I anticipate others will feel the same way. A part of our “lifetime” is literally coming to an end.
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The Rise of Skywalker
Over four decades of story-line – battles, droids, good versus evil, the force ~ finds its conclusion in one film. This is the second time this year we’ve experienced something like this, but this one has more history. Many of us were children when we first met Luke and Leia, back when no one knew their familial connection. We have spent our lives wondering what happens next, will Good ever conquer Evil entirely – and who is the true “chosen one”? We’ve watched battle after battle, met droid after droid ~ and here we are, in the final chapter that will close out the book on this part of the saga.
I walked into the theater for a screening and had no idea what to expect. I knew what I had hoped to see and I certainly had my theories. However, I purposely kept myself away from reading ANYTHING pertaining to the release of this film. My questions were likely similar to all of yours: What will we learn about Rey’s past? On which side does Kylo Ren truly stand? Does Rey actually turn to the Dark Side? What is the true connection between the two primary figures in this trilogy? What role does Leia play in all of this? Who else, besides Lando Calrissian, will make a cameo appearance in the final movie?
Well, I’m obviously not going to answer any of those questions here. These are answers waiting for you inside the 2 hour 21 minute film. However, I do feel comfortable leaving you with this spoiler-free rundown.
There IS a Story
Yes ~ many things are revealed in this film. We will get answers we have needed and wanted to find for some time. The revelations may shock some, they may be confirmation for others (but I warn you not to draw conclusions based on that one statement). It’s important to pay attention to all of the details because I know how much I found myself confused at first. Nonetheless, the story does come together and will make sense in the end.
There IS predictability
I don’t know about you, but my curiosity had been getting the best of me. I could not help, but wonder if Rise of the Skywalker would parallel any or all of the chapters that have gone before it. We saw some of this with the first two trilogies, so the question is justified. Don’t you think?
While it’s not a mirror image in the least, it does have some of the same elements we have come to know, expect and perhaps even love about the Star Wars films. There always seems to be a dramatic battle, an actual war and the destruction of something. There will always be a struggle between Good and Evil. Temptation will be always be present, as will a desire to do the right thing.
No doubt you will say, “I saw that coming” a handful of times ~ but I don’t know that we could have a Star Wars movie without these elements incorporated into the script.
There IS a twist
I willingly admit, I went in thinking I was going to see one thing, but ALMOST missed the mark. The assumption I made wasn’t completely on point, but it did have some validity. The twist ~ which I won’t reveal ~ actually caught me a little by surprise. I say “a little” because I can remember the family discussing it after seeing episodes past. It makes sense. It works and I expect that it may still catch you by surprise even if you think you knew it all along.
What did I like about the movie
I’ll be quick about this because I’ve already taken a good deal of time above. Here’s the brief synopsis, so as not to ruin it:
- The twist fascinated and confused me all at the same time. I actually enjoyed that, as it gave me something to think about.
- Some of the questions I had prior to seeing the movie were answered in this film to my satisfaction.
- It was also satisfying to see some of the beloved characters return in some form or another for the final chapter.
What didn’t I like about the movie
In like fashion, I’ll sum this up here, as well:
- I did not care for the weird vibe and strange role they gave C3PO in this movie. I think they could have done better for him – the only character to have survived all nine films.
- Luke’s role in this final film also bothered me tremendously. I’m going to leave it at that….it has to be seen to be understood.
- There do seem to be a handful of scenes that were dragged out a little longer than necessary. Of course, isn’t that true of every Star Wars film?
Would I recommend?
That’s going to be a hard “yes.” For anyone who has been following the saga, or any part of the trilogy of trilogies, that itch needs to be scratched. You need to get the answers you can and satisfy the desire within to know the truth about Rey and what happens to the Rebellion. This one movie will bring an entire legacy to an end and will close the book on a beloved story many of us have been following for honestly what has been a lifetime.
While it may not be as overwhelmingly amazing as I had hoped, I did enjoy the movie and look forward to bringing the boys so they can witness the end of an era.
What you should know?
The movie has a PG-13 rating for sci-fi violence and action. There is minor language (I counted two mild curse words), but no nudity. There is quite a bit of violence with various battles on both small and larger scales. I do have to share that I believe there are particular moments that might be frightening or intimidating for the younger children who may not know the Star Wars saga, or for those who are very sensitive to dark scenes, loud / powerful music and potentially horrific images.
I also feel it’s important to note that there is sadness and there is loss. Even the adults might find this difficult at certain points.
Will Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker satisfy the Star Wars fan in all of us? I think that is a question you have to answer yourself after having seen the film. I am not familiar with the true canon of the story, so I can’t testify as to how much of it holds true or not for those who are die hard Star Wars followers, the purists (if you will). However, I thought the story played out well and that the ending will be understood and accepted by many who have come to love this journey.
As you go out and watch Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, I wish you well and…
May The Force Be With You!
**All photos courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures
Check out my other Star Wars Reviews!!
- The Sacrifice for Hope ~ A Review of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (semi-spoiler alert)
- Solo: A Star Wars Story ~ The Backstory Revealed
- Finally – The Episode VII Review: For What Its Worth…
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