Movie Reviews: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker




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     Disney (2 hrs. 35 mins.)
     Rey's journey continues and the Skywalker saga concludes.
     Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher
Bottom Line:

Jon Rutlege

Thus ends the legacy of Star Wars, J.J. Abrams finally finishes the last trilogy. It couldn't finish on a better note. As a fan, I can say that everything I wanted to see in this film is on the screen. It is worrisome that after it gets released, there is a collective holding of breath waiting to see if the fandom will succumb to the dark side and pull itself apart, or rise to the occasion and celebrate that this is the final time they will enjoy this story. 

It was bittersweet seeing the opening scrawl as the movie started. I was brought back to my childhood, watching that opening for the first time, and realizing this could be the last time we see it. The three paragraphs quickly bring us up to date, and we start right in with the action. It doesn't let up until the end credits. It is full of stuff to enjoy. 

I am going to skip the reviewer part where the reviewer explains the movie and jump to the bit where we cover the elements that were enjoyed and maybe a few that didn't resonate so well. #NoSpoilers

I genuinely love the relationship between the characters, and it's their affection for each other that draws me into the film. The banter between Poe (Oscar Isaac) and Fin (John Boyega) is well-written dialog. Ray's (Daisy Ridley) struggle with self identity touches my heart as a father and makes me hope she finds her way. Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) had a full storyline and stayed true to his character. I enjoyed seeing the original cast in Lando (Billy Dee Willams), Luke (Mark Hamill), Leia(Carrie Fisher) and others. They made the franchise feel complete. 

This film took the story to entirely unexpected places. I knew it was going to bring back old enemies, but I was unprepared for the scope of the story in this one film. You can bet that toxic fans will already dismiss this story as a Corporate sellout and Disney ruined the franchise. But it would be hard to engage those viewers anyway. Mr. Abrams tells the story he wants to tell, and his strength as a storyteller shines here. 

Some of the parts that didn't resonate with me are the sheer magnitude of content packed into this film. It will take a few screenings to absorb all of it truly. I am, of course, going to see it again, maybe even three or four times. With so much happening, you feel like you are taking hyperjumps through the story. At times it felt like this was rushing to get the final cool part in. The second time you watch it, you will be past that new story feeling and start looking at it with more understanding instead of being brought to one cool thing after another. 

Seeing Carrie Fisher in this film brought sadness to her scenes. She was such a strong performer, and the character was perfect for her. I felt the same way when I watched the last cameo from Stand Lee. This film was a perfect end to her legacy. 

Remember, the Force will be with you, always. 

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