“Your journey nears its end.”
I don’t know if it’s exhaustion, or plain fatigue from watching so many Star Wars movies over the years, but I’m a little happy to finally say goodbye to The Skywalker Saga. The fatigue of the constant Star Wars movies released in the last few years can only explain my inability to formulate words, which suddenly leaves me at this very moment as I review The Rise of Skywalker. This final installment, which aims to complete the saga, continues the story of Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), and Poe (Oscar Isaac), as they fight to take down the First Order once and for all. And of course, the heroes from the original trilogy help along the way. It’s all pretty straight forward, very much the plot of the first two movies. But this time, we say goodbye to the characters we have followed for years. Although it may not be the worst film to ever come out of the Star Wars franchise, it is a surprise cliff drop off a road we have been traveling, wondering what is left at the very end.
Okay, so first things first. The writing of Rise of Skywalker is lazy. The whole film seems like it’s trying to undo everything about The Last Jedi and build upon new plots and character personas that were already formulated. There are so many plot holes, it begs the question as to why this was approved to be the last film in the franchise. As far as conclusions go, The Rise of Skywalker is just bump, after bump, after bump. And with that being said, the film itself suffers from a lack of, what I guess you can say, the “entertaining qualities.” There are no epic scenes, or moments that make you go “wow!” The big reveal is lackluster and has its own issues, which don’t correlate with the timeline we’ve been given from the franchise. It’s as though the writers, and basically all the cooks in the kitchen, are reaching for the most grandiose plot points to happen. And because of this, the big reveal drowns in clichés.
But to be honest, it doesn’t take much to enjoy the Star Wars films. Over and over again it has been entertaining and action-packed. Basically everything a sci-fi blockbuster is supposed to be. But the more and more the Star Wars films continue, the more and more we are divided on what they actually should be. I can forgive the occasional odd character, or “the force doesn’t work like that” scenes. What I can’t forgive, however, is just the pure laziness that the film so often displays. Sure they’ll probably blame the lack of enthusiasm on “catering to the audiences,” or that the fans are poisonous and will never be pleased. But if this were any other movie, the problems found here are just too big to let go. It’s not like director J.J. Abrams had to write a whole new world. So much of the creative elements were already served to him on a silver platter. All Abrams had to do was wrap it up, and put a pretty bow on it. But no, Abrams was served that brilliant platter and then persisted to throw it out the window. I can see why some fans may be more than a little disappointed.
Rise of Skywalker made clear to us that the conclusions we build in our head, are usually not the conclusions we will get. But even then, Star Wars fans deserve something to remember as they walk out of the theater. And if that’s what you are looking for, you may not find that here. Sure, at the end of the film it may seem like we’re saying goodbye to old friends in a fashion that may not be fitting to us. But all in all, you have to admit, The Skywalker Saga has been a joyous ride!
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Directed by: J.J. Abrams
Starring: Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill