Movie Review: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

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Warning: This following review features major spoilers for the plot of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

I have been a fan of Star Wars ever since my dad introduced me to the franchise when I was in elementary school. Since then, I have fallen in love with the series, and the first six episodes are iconic in my mind. Although, ever since Disney picked up the series, it has not felt the same to me. In my opinion, Disney’s most recent entry into the trilogy, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker changed that. The movie felt true to the original series and created an experience similar to what I love about the original movies.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker picks up directly after the events of the last movie in the trilogy, The Last Jedi. The movie opens with Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) searching for a ‘sith wayfinder’, an object which allows him to get to Exogul, an ancient Sith base outside the documented galaxy. When he arrives, Kylo finds out that the long-dead Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) has been revived and has an army of ships alongside him. Meanwhile, Rey (Daisy Ridley) and the rest of the resistance catchword of the so-called sith fleet and attempt to find another wayfinder. Rey encounters Kylo Ren several times while looking for the wayfinder. While both are on Exogul, Leia Skywalker (Carrie Fischer) sacrifices herself to free Ben Solo, the true identity of Kylo Ren from the grasp of Kylo Ren. In the end, Rey succeeds at acquiring the wayfinder and goes to Exogul, which allows the rest of the resistance to follow. While on Exogul, Rey discovers her true origins when confronting Emperor Palpatine, who is revealed to be her grandfather. With a now-allied Kylo Ren, Rey is able to defeat Palpatine without succumbing to his sith temptations. 

Although I had several problems with the movie, I really enjoyed it. The plot was very different from the previous movies in the trilogy and was a nice change of pace for the series. Rey’s constant battle with the dark side felt very similar to both Luke and Anakin’s in the first six movies, giving it a similar mood to the good old days of Star Wars. The final battle against the fleet of star destroyers also had a similar mood, that of the death star fight in Star Wars: A New Hope. I also thought Leia’s sacrifice for Kylo Ren was a really well-done turning point for his character, showing the star wars philosophy that the light side will always prevail. 

One of the few problems I have with this movie is the coincidences. In my opinion, everything feels way too convenient for the plot. Another occurrence in the movie which felt too coincidental was running into Zorii Bliss (Keri Russell) on the planet Kijimi. The fact that the team ran into her on a planet as large as Kijimi is incredible, and the odds of doing so are so low that this does not feel believable. Another incident that feels like it was too coincidental was the revival of Emperor Palpatine. The reason given by the movie was “sith technology,” which feels like a cop-out. His original death seemed irreversible and the characters didn’t give a good reason for his revival. It seemed like it was thrown in for Rey and Kylo to have a shared enemy. 

Another problem I had with the film were the characters Finn (John Boyega) and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac). In my opinion, both characters felt extremely unimportant to the overall plot, so much so that they were not even included in my plot recap. Throughout the story, Poe’s only significance was the fact that he knew a black market droid engineer. Although the resistance would not have been able to get the wayfinder without him, there are plenty of engineers in the galaxy that could have done this as well. Finn also felt incredibly insignificant in the film. His only significant action in the film, storming the star destroyer, was not specific to his character or personality at all. If he were replaced by another person, most viewers probably would not even notice, which goes to show how much he was lacking in the film.

Overall, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker gave a solid ending to the third trilogy and stayed true to the original movies. In my opinion, The Rise of Skywalker broke the trend of past Star Wars movies and provided an end for Rey’s emotional journey. I would definitely recommend this movie to all fans of the series.

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