Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Movie Review

Daisy Ridley stars in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

The Dead Speak

IMDb Plot: The surviving Resistance faces the First Order once more in the final chapter of the Skywalker saga. Directed by J. J. Abrams.

Starring: Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Anthony Daniels, Naomi Ackie, Domhnall Gleeson, Richard E. Grant, Lupita Nyong'o, Keri Russell, Joonas Suotamo, Kelly Marie Tran, Ian McDiarmid, and Billy Dee Williams

What's Good: John Lydgate (and in turn, Abraham Lincoln) once said, "You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time." Abrams found himself in a no-win situation, but does a good job of ending the Skywalker saga with a (relative) bang. The Rise of Skywalker answers many questions, while humming along at a breakneck pace, stopping along the way to say hello (and good-bye) to some beloved characters. Sure, it begins to feel like checking off boxes, but there's a lot to cover in 142 minutes.

There's also plenty of humor, which fans will appreciate, but the best parts of this film are the improved action sequences (and sounds.) Rey (Ridley) and Kylo (Driver) finally get it right, in a super-convincing lightsaber battle atop a spaceship in the middle of a raging ocean/sea. Great visuals throughout, and hardly a dull moment to be found.

What's Not: The story needs a lot of work, and it's a crying shame to omit so many fan favorites (Anakin Skywalker, where are you?) while gifting valuable screen time to meaningless characters nobody cares/knows about. It's also strikingly unoriginal (a recurring theme in this trilogy) culminating in a ludicrous clash between good and evil, that hardly compares to the epic battles that preceded it.

Budget: Only God (and Disney) knows, but rest assured, it's a lot.

Runtime: 142 minutes (Great pace, few lulls.)

Target Audience: Everyone, duh.

Bottom Line: "Some things are stronger than blood," and there's a legion of Star Wars fans (including myself) who consider themselves one with the Force. Odds are, they're gonna be hopping mad to some degree, as Kathleen Kennedy & co. deserted them, in exchange for multiple spin-offs (and billions more dollars.) Will those fans continue to tag along? Probably not, but the Skywalker saga had to end, and Abrams deserves credit for making the best out of a bad situation. As a stand alone film, The Rise of Skywalker is pretty darn good. Not what I wanted, but maybe it's (finally) time to grow up.

Grade: B-