December 6, 2022

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker:

Point: Satisfying Ending

Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker finally came to theaters in late 2019. The film garnered mixed reviews from film critics invited to the initial screenings of the film, with many calling it a missed opportunity. 

Luckily, the Star Wars fan base saw the film only four days later and the audience score soared above the 58% critics score found on popular film rating site The audience scored the film at 86% overall. 

However, that doesn’t mean every Star Wars fan loved the film. The Rise of Skywalker had divided the fan base. Some love it for the creative ideas and action-heavy run time. Others have a more negative opinion because director JJ Abrams opted to return to the continuity created by Episode VII: The Force Awakens, instead of following Episode VIII: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson’s twist filled story thread.   

It will be difficult for me to continue into why The Rise of Skywalker was a fitting end to the Skywalker saga without getting into major spoiler territory. If you haven’t seen the film yet, this is a warning.  Go read another article and come back after you’ve seen the film. 

Ok with that out of the way, the biggest complaint I’ve seen about The Rise of Skywalker is the pacing of the plot. Many people have said this film is rushed through the entire plot and, while I do think this movie is quick, it never felt too fast to comprehend. The pacing made sense and it gave a sense of urgency to the film. It is stated early on in the runtime of the film that the resistance only had 16 hours to stop Darth Sidious’ Final Order fleet. A lot had to happen to our heroes quickly. 

Another one of the controversies surrounding the film is the introduction of the light-side power force healing. This ability is something that Disney’ Star Wars wanted to add to convey the best of the light side users and I think it adds a new layer to the Jedi Order. The audience should  never know everything about “The Force” or its inner mechanisms. The mystery about how it all works keeps the constant conflict between the light and dark side interesting. 

Speaking of conflict, the arc we saw unfold for Kylo Ren/Ben Solo was amazing. Kylo Ren was never 100% on either side of the dark or the light. There was always a mixed or uncertain feeling in him that was beautifully portrayed by the unsteadiness of his unsteady crimson blade. 

During his last outing as Kylo Ren, He was getting ready to defeat the protagonist Rey when a call comes from across the galaxy. Who might that call have come from? None other than his mother Leia Organa. Carrie Fisher gave an incredible performance made more incredible by the fact that she passed away months before the production of this film took place. Her last performance is potentially her biggest. She portrayed the character that made her famous and sacrificed that character to finally restore order in the galaxy. Just like her father Darth Vader once did. 

In the end, I was incredibly happy with the way the beloved saga came to a close. We saw the redemption of Ben Solo, the return of the late Carrie Fisher in her last role and we finally saw the end of the wicked emperor forever. Is it a perfect film? No, but it is good enough for me. 

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