Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker Review: It’s Pretty Good, Actually
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has had fans anxious, excited, and curious all at once. Now, the movie is out.
The final chapter in the Skywalker saga is already proving to be polarizing.
You may love it, hate it, or somewhere in between. All that we can do is share our impressions.
Well, our impressions but also some ALMOST spoiler-free hints of what excited, what disappointed, and what made the entire audience laugh and cheer.
And by the way? If you haven’t watched this week’s excellent episode of The Mandalorian on Disney+ … you may want to.
Let’s just say that they timed that episode to air on the week of the film’s premiere on purpose, but we won’t explain why.
Check out our review below and decide for yourself if Episode IX is a worthy installment in the Star Wars saga.
1. Star Wars!
Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker had a lot of chatter, anxiety, and more even before it aired. I got very little sleep one night this week because I was having anxiety dreams about this film. Naturally, since my friends and I are relentless Star Wars nerds, we opted to go opening night, and I can now share my ALMOST entirely spoiler-free impressions.
2. The Rise of Skywalker had a lot of baggage
The superfluous definite article — the word “the” — continues to rub people the wrong way. Neither Return of the Jedi nor Revenge of the Sith included the word. It’s a small, nitpicky thing, but it had fans already on edge before they went into theaters, worrying that it would not be faithful to the series.
3. Most seriously of all …
The Last Jedi, a film directed by Rian Johnson rather than JJ Abrams, had many hardcore Star Wars fans unsettled due to serious problems with storytelling, characterization, and worldbuilding consistency. That said, it had at least as many passionate fans who consider it (and I am not making this up) “the best” Star Wars film ever made. And then, of course, there were spiteful red bill dudebros who hated it for all of the wrong reasons, which made the past two years of Star Wars discourse truly unbearable for both sides.
4. Before the review starts, let’s clear the air
Any useful Star Wars review should lay out where the viewer is coming from. I did not enjoy The Last Jedi, despite my affection for Rey, Finn, and Poe. Star Wars: The Clone Wars is my favorite part of Star Wars canon. My favorite Star Wars films are Revenge of the Sith, Return of the Jedi, and Rogue One. It’s always good to know where a reviewer is coming from.
5. First, a bummer
Rose Tico does not get a large role in this film, which is a shame because Kelly Marie Tran is a gem and Rose deserves her time in the spotlight. She had a large role in The Last Jedi, but like hte other characters of color in that cast, Finn and Poe, was sent on a fool’s errand by inexplicable writing decisions. Kelly deserves better and frankly, so does Rose.
6. Rey remains a delight
Rey has been my personal favorite part of the Sequel Trilogy ever since I watched her turn the tables on Kylo Ren during his attempt at interrogating her in The Force Awakens. That affection is now stronger than ever.