STAR WARS REVIEW 9: Episode IX: Rise of Skywalker: A worthy finish to the Greatest Saga in Cinematic History

Movie Review: STAR WARS: Rise of Skywalker

I cannot believe that we won’t get to see any of the Skywalker saga characters ever again in a Star Wars film.

The movie itself, though, does not fully live up to expectations but that is entirely understandable from JJ Abrams considering the fan backlash which The Last Jedi received. I was one of the very few people who absolutely loved Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi, but I totally understand JJ’s decision to adjust the story in order to please the fans. I, though, would have loved to see him continue the story from the previous film. Why wouldn’t you? I mean, yes it’s not just a film franchise but a major media franchise, and Disney has to sell the merchandise which won’t happen if many fans become angry. But was it right to indirectly retcon the film in the final episode? NO.

Yes, the fans did not like the last episode but the decision had already been made. It’s not that the backlash came from the first episode but rather the second film of a trilogy. Rian Johnson chose to do something different and complex than what we have seen in the franchise and even though the majority of the fans didn’t like it, I think it would’ve been only fair to conclude the story following the same ideas since it is only a trilogy. Meaning that it’s too late to totally retcon it. The Last Jedi ended with Kylo Ren becoming the leader of the First Order while Rey became the last hope for the Resistance. That’s the storyline that needed to be continued but as soon as the film starts, Kylo Ren is chasing down Palpatine and the Resistance trying to do the same. NO SINGLE TRACE OF THE LAST JEDI FROM THE FIRST SCENE.

If there were more episodes attached to it then it would’ve been okay to change it based on feedback but there weren’t any other episodes. This was IT. I really feel for JJ. Can’t imagine what kind of pressure he must have been in concluding a Star Wars trilogy for which the previous installment being the most divisive film in the franchise’s history.

I have to give credit to JJ as he almost pulled it off. He took a gamble but that gamble does not fully pay off. It does for most parts but still, it is not quite what you would expect from a JJ Abrams film. For what I had previously mentioned that there was not enough time to retcon the story in a final episode and that it needed more parts did turn out to be true. First and foremost, JJ deserves the credit for his effort as he almost pulled it off. JJ compensates the tough decision with an amazing pace filled with great energy but even that makes the story very congested since there is a lot to digest. It really felt like it was rushed. That is why I said that in order to retcon it, there was a need for another part. Disney could’ve done that and I am pretty sure after watching JJ’s retcon version, most of the fan backlash would’ve been diminished.

Also, making Palpatine the main villain (again) was probably not the best idea. I know JJ said in an interview that it was the idea from day one to bring him in the third film but there is no way I am buying that. After watching the Rise of Skywalker, I am 100% sure that was NOT the idea from day one. It’s great to have him back but he could’ve been just one of the antagonists. I mean, it does make you wonder that what was the point of this trilogy if it had to conclude almost the same way as The Return of the Jedi. I am not judging the manner of the final act because it was awesome, but just the main story. I will still watch it 4 or 5 times for being a big fan of the franchise and will still do the same if Disney still gives us the same story in a new trilogy, but it is time for this franchise to take a new direction. Bringing the Death Star as well probably wasn’t the best of ideas but at least seeing it be part of star destroyer ships (many) was somewhat amazing as well because what more lethal weapon there could be for the antagonist to use in a space fantasy than star destroyers?

On the plus points, as I mentioned before that JJ fills the run time with a lot of energy to compensate for all the different twists and turns taking place. That is really commendable. The chemistry between Rey, Finn, and Poe is also surprisingly amazing. Makes you question whether why were they not given the same amount of screen time together in the previous two installments like Luke, Leia, and Han got in the original trilogy? The way Carrie Fisher was portrayed was also amazing. She doesn’t only seldomly appear from the edited clips as expected but rather has a meaningful part in the story. Even her departure seen is well portrayed and credit goes to the writers for pulling it off in a manner that everyone loved (and cried!). Tears also dropped seeing Han and Luke again. The performances are mostly spectacular. John Williams delivers again in the music department in his final Star Wars film and that is added to the amazing set design and Cinematography. Most of the visuals were simply outstanding. The final third of the film is the best part. It is one of the best experiences I have ever experienced in cinema with tears rolling out of my eyes for the most part.

Overall, it can be simply concluded that if you loved The Last Jedi then you will either hate it or have similar feelings to mine. If you hated The Last Jedi and loved The Force Awakens then I can assure you that you will be completely mesmerized by it. I personally will remember this as one of my finest experiences in cinema and will always cherish the entire Skywalker saga in my heart. As for this trilogy, I strongly believe this was the best thing to ever happen to Star Wars since the original trilogy. It was certainly better than the prequels (Episodes I, II & III), even though, that trilogy was connected better.

For concluding remarks of the Rise of Skywalker, I will simply say that even with its flaws, it still is a very entertaining and satisfying conclusion to the “GREATEST SAGA IN CINEMATIC HISTORY!”


STW: 14/30, D: 14/25, C: 8/8, E: 3/5, A: 8/10, PVD: 12/12, S: 10/10