"Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker" Film Review
By: Nathaniel Simpson
After receiving mixed criticism and dividing the fanbase after "Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi", Disney hires back J.J. Abrams for the conclusion to the Skywalker saga: "Star Wars: Episode IV - The Rise of Skywalker". Disney and Abrams try to recreate the magic and the success they achieved for "The Force Awakens". Sadly however, they just can't pull it off and fix some of the mistakes made by the "The Last Jedi".
This film tries too hard to give fans what Disney and the filmmakers think the fans want. Instead, they butcher many of the storylines that diehard fans have been waiting years to see. Consider how Rey's (Daisy Ridley) parentage was revealed. There was endless speculation on who could be her parents, only to find out she's the granddaughter of the evil Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid), who has been dead for decades.
Or so we think.
Somehow and some way, Palpatine survived the events of "Return of the Jedi" to serve as the main antagonist of the new trilogy of films. This just seems incredibly sloppy writing and feels as if the filmmakers ran out of ideas on how to make this series more interesting. Why bring back a dead villain to say he was the one causing the events of the previous films? It honestly seems very redundant and sloppy.
Some of the acting was also surprisingly horrible. John Boyega, who played the former stormtrooper who now goes by the name Finn, was absolutely atrocious in this movie. Every line he says seems forced, and most of them consist of him yelling Rey's name. Boyega would later go on to criticize this movie, which I don't think is fair after watching his performance in this movie.
The film honestly just leaves too many plot holes open. We never find out what Finn was going to tell Rey. We never really get any closure for Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). Like a lot of this film, the final battle just seemed very rushed, which is sad to say since this is the end of a saga that has lasted decades upon decades.
I also didn't really appreciate the treatment of Princess Leia in this film, who is played by the late Carrie Fisher who tragically passed away before the shooting of this movie. They used old footage to incorporate her into the movie, only to have her barely on screen and die off halfway through the film. It just honestly seems like a waste of her character, and I think they could have addressed Fisher's death way better than they actually did.
However, with all of this being said, there are many factors that are good about this film. Some of the new characters they introduce, such as the cute alien Babu Frik, provide great comic relief and become fan favorites. Granted, these new characters barely receive any screen time, which they undoubtedly deserved.
I personally loved the fight between Kylo and Rey towards the end of the film. It was a shock when Rey bested the evil Sith Lord. However, the whole scene with Kylo and Han Solo's (Harrison Ford) force ghost was very moving, and provided some sort of closure concerning that particular storyline.
This movie may have it's flaws and doesn't provide a good or necessary conclusion to the Skywalker franchise, but it is still an entertaining movie to watch for the most part. No matter how bad this film is, it still genuinely feels like a "Star Wars" film when you watch it.