Tony's Take

STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER review

An Epic Conclusion to the Skywalker Saga

As all things must end, it was an odd feeling in my chest as I sat down in the theater seat before the lights dimmed and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” began.  Lucasfilm flashes on the screen, then bam!  The music blares, the crawl begins and I was instantly transported back to my childhood.  Our heroes are still on the run from the First Order.  Rey (Daisy Ridley) continuing her Jedi training with Finn (John Boyega) and Poe (Oscar Isaac) on a mission of their own, as Supreme Leader Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is on a quest of his own.  As we quickly learn, the Resistance is in more trouble than they realize and must accomplish their crucial mission if they are to have any chance of survival.  The ensuing events give us a journey that we have been clamoring-for since “The Force Awakens” when we first met these characters, a chance to all be together.  The next 2 hours are an adrenaline-fueled trip around the Galaxy!

Impressively, the film boasts a wide-ranging plot that easily could’ve filled multiple films, but this journey had to reach its end.  Many memorable moments occur throughout the film, so many in fact that it is often difficult to remember them all.  I think that is one of the most important things about the film, repeat viewings will offer so much more detail to notice and enjoy.  As most of you have undoubtedly seen, the film is being ripped-apart critically and I do not understand why.

Rian Johnson, a fantastic filmmaker and the writer/director of one of my Top 5 films of 2019, took risks and made interesting story elements that truly left many fans across the Galaxy puzzled.  J.J. Abrams built-off the skeleton of “The Last Jedi” and completed his arc that began with “The Force Awakens”.  Of course, rather than appreciate his craft, others are calling the film over-bloated and labeling it as having retconned Episode VIII.  This is an outrageous assault and entirely unacceptable.  Abrams delivers a non-stop, action-packed thrill ride that is sure to please the fans of the franchise!  After all, these films are for the fans, not for the critics.

“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” is a ton of fun; there are moments galore of fan service but that is what we wanted AND needed.  The nostalgia, the feelings, all of it.  Star Wars has been an integral part of me for as long as I can possibly remember and this closing chapter gives us the justice and closure we deserve.  What J.J. Abrams has accomplished is no small feat, he took the shavings of a story, patched them up, and created a gorgeous, moving finale.  I have no doubt that people will argue/discuss some of the plot elements and that assures that Star Wars and the Skywalker Saga will never die!

 4.5/5

THE RISE OF SKYWALKER is rated PG-13 for sci-fi violence and action, in theaters DECEMBER 20TH!