- Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver
- Chris Terrio, J.J. Abrams
- J.J. Abrams
- PG (Canada), PG-13 (United States)
- Running Time
- 141 minutes
- Release Date
- December 20th, 2019
For our earlier review of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, click here.
This latest Star Wars trilogy has faced a bumpy road to put it lightly. After The Force Awakens got things started, The Last Jedi rubbed quite a few viewers the wrong way (despite being an excellent film in its own right). Not that it was needed by any means but the final film of this trilogy, and the Skywalker series as a whole, The Rise of Skywalker, attempts to right the ship of the previous film while also acting as a conclusion, however, suffers by sacrificing the latter in favor of the former and leaving plenty of plot holes in its wake. Suffice it to say that those who took offense to The Last Jedi will surely find plenty to enjoy with this one while fans of it (such as myself) will be disappointed.
The Rise of Skywalker undoes a fair amount of the controversial elements that were set in The Last Jedi by offering viewers what could only be described as lazy fan service that arguably feels unnatural and awkward. While these moments are sure to be a hit with fans, they aren’t quite enough to sustain the entire film and its mess of a story that rushes its way to the finish line. The aforementioned fan service hurts the film as it makes a few too many turns seemingly in order to fulfill some sort of quota of moments. Though they may be exciting to watch, these familiar beats eventually get old, trying too hard to be The Force Awakens. It also faces the rare combination of being both rushed and drawn-out. Its pacing is all over the place as out of some compulsive need to justify its own existence.
The Rise of Skywalker still somehow comes full circle as it attempts to wrap up this long-running story and finally give fans the answers to some of the biggest unanswered questions (no spoilers here). Due to the sheer nature of Star Wars fandom, whether or not it succeeds truly depends on who you ask as it will never satisfy everyone (some come from left field while some feel a little too contrived). Though it definitely had a lot on its plate in terms of character storylines, they were perhaps a little too pushed aside but at least they are all together (for the most part) this time around for the final journey. Their chemistry is certainly still which made up for the occasionally bad dialog, however, the characters were surprisingly lifeless. At the end of the day, regardless of everything else that happened over the course of the film, the only characters that mattered were Rey (Ridley) and Kylo Ren (Driver).
Being a Star Wars film after all. The Rise of Skywalker is not lacking in spectacle. The scale, the special effects, some beautiful cinematography, and a reliable John Williams score were still here but it still felt like there was something missing, creating a hollow experience that just wasn’t nearly as fun or exciting this time around. Meanwhile, the acting is still good for the most part though a mediocre script didn’t do them any favors. The dialog was painful at times as most of the main characters were passengers for Ridley’s Rey or Driver’s Kylo Ren who were each great here. They were compelling to watch as they single-handedly carried the film. It would also feature a few cameos that were up and down.
In the end, The Rise of Skywalker may not be the film we are looking for but it’s the film we got. It may not work as a franchise conclusion but there is still enough here worth recommending, getting by on the skin of its teeth. Like it or not, this one will be talked about long after its run.
*still courtesy of Disney*