“Rise of Skywalker” rises above the obstacles

By Kaitlyn Resline

Student Life Editor

“Star Wars: Episode IX- The Rise of Skywalker” directed by J. J. Abrams is the epic finale of what is called the “Skywalker saga” which began over 40 years ago. The movie concludes the journeys of Rey, Finn and Poe, as they try to take down the First Order and a new threat. 

Released on December 20, 2019, the movie has a running time of 2 hours and 22 minutes. The movie combines elements of action, adventure, and fantasy, making it appeal to a wide range of audiences. 

The movie starts off with the Resistance receiving intel that Emperor Palpatine, the main villain in the original Star Wars trilogy, has been revived. Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), and Poe Damon (Oscar Isaac), are assigned a mission by General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), to locate a sith wayfinder. This wayfinder is the only way to locate Exegol, where Emperor Palpatine is hiding. Along the way, they encounter several obstacles, mainly in the form of Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and the First Order. 

The movie had a lot to live up to, being the final movie in a beloved series. Unfortunately, it fell a bit flat. In “Star Wars: Episode VIII- The Last Jedi,” one of the themes is that there is always a new generation to bring hope and balance to an ancient struggle. This is signified by the final scene in the movie, when a young boy moves a broom with the Force. However, “The Rise of Skywalker” seems to depart from these themes when introducing a new villain, and almost a new plot. This creates a disconnection between “Rise of Skywalker” and the previous films. 

The shift in narration appeases fans who were disappointed with “The Last Jedi.” However, it made the movie seem as if it was trying too hard. Certain climatic scenes felt rushed or forced, and some details did not fit the established facts of the series. The plot could also be difficult to understand. 

While the plot left something to be desired, it was made up for with the acting and characters. Ridley, Boyega, and Isaac all portray their characters with raw, honest emotion. A viewer can notice the connection the characters have with each other are as strong as the Force. Their interactions are very realistic portrayals of how people that have been through challenges together would behave. Rey’s character is commendable because, despite her trials and struggles, she never acts inconsistently with her established character. She remains a true champion of good. 

The musical score by John Williams also fits well with the movie. It plays homage to the original theme, while also adjusting to fit the new story. As it plays through action scenes, it crescendos as the action intensifies. 

Overall, the movie is engaging to watch. It might not have the cleanest plot, but the acting and action makes up for it. At the end, it did not leave a feeling of dissatisfaction. It is recommendable to all fans of the series who want to receive some closure after the long journey.  The movie receives 3.5/5 stars, because its slight stumbles did not detract from its overall enjoyment. 

The promotional poster for the movie “Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker” 
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker . 2019. IMDb, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2527338/.

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