“The Rise of Skywalker” Delivers a Satisfying End To The Star Wars Saga

Rise of Skywalker Rey Chewbacca Fin and Poe

This is a spoiler free review of “The Rise of Skywalker.” I attended an early press screening of this movie to be able to give you an idea of what to expect.

The Resistance is back with a vengeance in “The Rise of Skywalker,” the final installment in the thrilling “Star Wars” Skywalker storyline. Sadly, it’s time to say goodbye to one of the most culturally significant franchises in movie history.

“The Rise of Skywalker” is the final movie in a 9-movie arc that started four decades ago.” Forbes

It’s been 42 years since we first met Luke Skywalker on Tatooine in 1977 and saw what the galaxies far, far away were like. The first lightsabers, speeders, and blasters also made their debut in Episode IV “A New Hope,” and we wanted, actually needed, to see more of George Lucas’ vision. Well, we did. There have been 12 Star Wars movies in the last four decades.  Some may think we got too much of a good thing, and for others it’s not enough (I’m in the latter group).

Many galaxies come together in “The Rise of Skywalker” as the Resistance attempts to dethrone the First Order and the dark side of the force they’ve battled over the years. Weaving the stories from the original trilogy with the recent story lines into one final episode brought new and old characters together finally unifying their purpose.  It was great to see Rey (Daisy Ridley), Poe (Oscar Isaac), Finn (John Boyega) come together with Princess Leia (unused footage of Carrie Fisher from “The Force Awakens” was introduced into this film) along with Rose (Kelley Marie Tran “The Last Jedi”) and many other beloved characters.

Rise of Skywalker Carrie Fisher

What I found simply amazing about “The Rise of Skywalker,” was to see old sets come to life again and how they, along with many of the imagined transports, costumes, and details of all the movies combined have withstood the test of time; the Millennium Falcon looks exactly the same and breaks down after every jump into hyper speed, C3PO is as shinny and impertinent as ever, and Chewbacca is his irritable old self.

Rise of Skywalker

Rise of Skywalker

I can’t spoil any of the surprises that are in store for you in this movie, but I will tell you that you that J.J. Abrams found a way to pull at our fan heartstrings in many of the scenes. Gems are planted in the dialogue that will take you back to the way you felt when you first watched Star Wars. The comedic and sarcastic banter between the characters is still there. Memorable lines along with some of the most recognizable gestures appear unexpectedly in scene after scene.

Rise of Skywalker JJ Abrams

Rise of Skywalker JJ Abrams

And speaking of scenes, the run time for this action-packed movie is a short 2 hours and 22 minutes. If you think you’ll have time to run out to pee, think again. The editing in this film is so tight you’ll be holding it the entire time – I did! (Sorry, TMI) So, take precautions and don’t drink too many liquids!

Do you need to watch all of the movies to understand “The Rise of Skywalker”? Not necessarily, but I’d recommend watching the original trilogy along with “The Force Awakens” and “The Last Jedi” to get the most enjoyment out of this final chapter. There’s a lot of destruction in this movie, and the special effects are out of this world. However, the level of violence is off the charts, so I’d caution you about taking kids younger than 8 to see this movie.

Rise of Skywalker Rey and Ren

Rise of Skywalker Rey and Ren

As has become tradition in the age of social media fans are made to choose a side, and our allegiances are tested in this final episode. Are you #TeamKyloRen or #TeamRey? This self proclaimed OG “Star Wars” fan (I just can’t call it “A New Hope”!), will always be #TeamSkywalker.

If you are at all apprehensive about the final Star Wars movie, rest assured J.J. Abrams made sure that die-hard fans would be challenged to not only remember details from past movies, but also make it a bit unpredictable to figure out the outcome.  The plot twists and turns don’t stop until the end. And like a good old Space Western movie, the plot hangs in the balance until it’s time to wave goodbye to our heroes as they ride into the sunset.

So, saddle up and buckle in for the final and exciting ride into space with our beloved Star Wars cowboys — and you may want to bring some tissues, too.

The Rise of Skywalker

Rated PG-13

Release Date December 20, 2019

Run Time 2 hours 22 minutes







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