Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker


Courtesy of Disney Pictures

The final installment of the Star Wars series: The Rise of Skywalker gets a thumbs up from our movie critic.

Jason Wessel, Assistant Editor

Before diving into my opinions, you must first take an honest inventory of your own. If the past four Star Wars films offended you, or instilled a hoard of negative emotions, The Rise of Skywalker probably won’t turn you to the light side.

After that brief aside, I personally loved it! I’m an enormous Star Wars fan, but even I have my critiques and nitpicks, not only of Disney’s newest Star Wars films, but of every film in the filmography. I won’t ham-fistedly recommend Disney’s new Star Wars to any unsuspecting moviegoers interested in the hype. I admit, the new movies are enjoyable and interesting, much more so if you’ve seen the entire series and have vested interest, but they aren’t exactly Tarantino’s newest cinematic masterpiece. They’re flawed, but entirely enjoyable.

J.J. Abrams handled the saga with care. Some say too carefully in fact, and that no risks were taken, but I felt he ended the trilogy in perfect matrimony. He took old things, new things, and blue things, like any good marriage. To his defense, fans would be just as upset, even more so, if he had suddenly driven the franchise in entirely uncharted territory. The films build and lead, growing the Star Wars universe. But to that point, the first act of The Rise of Skywalker sure felt messy. The Rise of Skywalker ran under two and a half hours, less than the previous installment, The Last Jedi. It would not surprise me if the first cut of the film was half an hour longer, and I for one would have enjoyed a lengthier final product. The box office and critics alike prove that audiences are willing and ready to enjoy longer films; Avengers: Endgame’s three hour run time proves this. Regardless of creative choices, I think most Star Wars fans will enjoy The Rise of Skywalker as long as they can set aside their cynicism surrounding the newest trilogy.

It goes without saying that the special effects are absolutely stellar, namely their ability to recreate past actors and actresses. The film brings shiny new Stormtroopers, fantastic lightsaber fights, gorgeous galactic dog fights, and of course peculiar aliens. Afterall, this is Star Wars. It comes with all the good and all the bad history of its ancestors, and that is part of its magic. Star Wars played such a significant role in my upbringing that I repeatedly had to stop myself from crying throughout the movie; paying homage to countless characters, arcs, and messages filled me with a sense of appreciation that is hard to describe to anyone who isn’t a Star Wars fan.

If you enjoy Star Wars, old or new, you should see Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Even if you don’t wind up enjoying it, it’s worth seeing it yourself to form your own opinion and join the pop culture discussions.