Star Wars Episode 9: The Rise of Skywalker – Movie Review

Star Wars
Star Wars Episode 9: The Rise of Skywalker – Movie Review
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Dylan J. Mayberry

Dylan J. Mayberry

Dylan J. Mayberry is an aspiring actor and has a strong passion for film. He was born in Brampton Ontario and has recently moved to Oakville. He is a graduate of Acting for Film & Television from Niagara college.

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I love Star Wars. The big epic battles, the wonderful characters, and vibrant worlds. It’s arguably the perfect universe as you can tell virtually any story. But a few years ago, the previous film missed the mark and divided fans drastically. So here comes the sequel to try bringing us back together. Thankfully, Star Wars Episode 9: The Rise of Skywalker is a great movie, but unfortunately, its hampered by its predecessor.

The conclusion to “the 42-year saga” was never going to be easy. And it is even harder considering the performance and quality of previous films like The Last Jedi and Solo. But J.J. Abrams takes this task and manages to succeed on many levels. Sadly though, he is locked in to some poor directions to follow. And the film suffers significantly from it.

Some time after their daring escape from the First Order at the battle of Crait. The resistance is in shambles. But then the galaxy receives a broadcast from the long dead Emperor Palpatine, pushing everyone into action.

I know this summary is very short and vague but to say more would be to venture into spoiler territory. Which I would rather avoid in this scenario.

Can You Feel the Force?

Star Wars

Photo: Lucasfilm

The characters in this film are generally very good. Though some of them aren’t given much to work with. As usual Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver as Rey and Kylo Ren respectively shine the most. They have the most narrative weight and are by far the most prevalent people on screen.

But sadly, that means that talented actors like John Boyega and Oscar Isaac are not put to good use. They do well with what little they have, it’s just too little. They both have plotlines that don’t go anywhere and are just forgotten about by the end.

The way the film handles Carrie Fisher’s role as Leia is respectful and sweet. You can tell the team truly cared about doing her justice. And while the reused footage is incredibly vague, and she never says anything specific to the situation, she still feels important.

Less important however is the story. The Rise of Skywalker picks up the baton dropped by The Last Jedi and runs with real effort. But unfortunately, due to how it was mishandled, some of the most important moments and twists don’t feel quite as gut-punching as they should.

The film retcons plot points brought up in the last two films so that it can course correct. And you can feel that. Especially with character backstories. Or even the return of Emperor Palpatine. His inclusion here feels forced and poorly planned.

Get Ready for the Final Assault

Fans of actions will have a great time with this movie. All of the battles are huge in scale and shown very well. Watching the Millennium Falcon fly through the air and blast enemies never seems to get old. And following the heroes as they infiltrate hallways and fight off stormtroopers is intriguing and fun too.

The film also has some lightsaber duels again. And they are quite cool to see. One fight in particular on top of the destroyed Death Star surrounded by the sea is epic and tense. They manage to give the weapons a feeling of weight and power.

The Verdict

Fans of Star Wars will love this movie. Even those who were burned by The Last Jedi should still give The Rise of Skywalker a chance. It does the best with what it has, and it succeeds.

Star Wars Episode 9: The Rise of Skywalker is a good, not great send off for the trilogy, especially considering what came before it.


Star Wars Episode 9: The Rise of Skywalker

7 out of 10.

2 hrs 21 mins. Sci-fi, fantasy, adventure.

Directed by J.J. Abrams

Starring Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, and Anthony Daniels.

Now playing at Film.ca Cinemas, Cineplex Winston Churchill & VIP, and Cineplex Oakville & VIP. Also in IMAX.




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