The franchise of STAR WARS has always enjoyed a massive cult like following worldwide. STAR WARS: THE PHANTOM MENACE (1999), followed by STAR WARS: ATTACK OF THE CLONES (2002), STAR WARS: REVENGE OF THE SITH (2005), STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE (1977), STAR WARS: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (1980), STAR WARS: RETURN OF THE JEDI (1983), STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (2015) and STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI (2017), with every new film, the expectation from the franchise has increased. The ninth and supposedly the last chapter has arrived and it brings a lot of nostalgia. STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER is destined to have mixed reactions considering the flick is the conclusion to the story that began in the year 1977. While the franchise enjoys a huge following, we analyze whether this conclusion to the 42-year saga is the most satisfying on or a controversial one.
STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER begins with Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), who is now the Supreme Leader of the First Order is in search of the ancient threat called Sith Lord Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid). On the other side, Resistance leader Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), Finn (John Boyega), Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) and their droid friends C3-P0 (Anthony Daniels), and BB-8 are on a quest which quickly turns into a stunning action showdown between the heroes and the villains while they jump from one planet to another with light speed skipping technique. Meanwhile, Jedi Rey (Daisy Ridley) is still in dilemma about her story, her parentage as she has a dark vision which showcases her mysterious connection to Kylo Ren. The two Jedi continue to connect with each other in different ways as they Resistance prepare to fight the Emperor Palpatine. Following the orders of Princess Leia (Carrier Fisher) and lessons of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), the space heroes begin their final journey to win the biggest battle.
STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER upped their game as the film boasts of mind-blowing and truly astounding cinematography that leaves the audience wanting for more. The visual effects are seamless which create magic on screen. From the beginning itself, the story leaves you hooked as the galactic world of STAR WARS begins with action packed scenes. The battles, the duals, the light speed jumps, everything seems seamless. Though the story is bit slow in some parts with lesser words and more emotions, it picks up in the second half with some interesting and crazy cameos. The stakes are high in this film and major focus is on Rey and Kylo Ren. However, though JJ Abrams does a marvelous job in directing this last film in the franchise, STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER does not come across as something to write home about. In fact, for the most part the film looks like a series of montages that have been developed to fill certain check boxes that appeal to the audience and fan base strung together.
Though the chemistry between Kylo Ren and Rey is worth watching, the predictability of the film’s story is a massive dampener. More often than not, the viewer is able to foretell the coming sequences, and if discerning will also more or less be able to gauge what the climax of the film will be. Despite this, STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER does have its high points, but sadly they are few and far between. For a quintessential Star Wars fan who has followed the series, this film would be more of a walk down memory lane.
Coming to the performances, every actor shines bright in the film but it is hands down Daisy Ridley’s show. This time around, she has matured while portraying Rey. Two instances stand out and both scenes are shared with Adam Driver. Adam Driver Kylo Ren gets his due in this film with powerful performance as Kylo Ren as he gets the audience emotionally involved in his storyline. Rey and Kylo Ren’s scenes are some of the most engaging scenes in the film with some complex lightsaber battles involved. Late Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) returns as the makers use the limited footage that was left of her as they pay tribute to the original girl of Star Wars. Her scenes are sensitively projected. Oscar Isaac as Resistance leader Poe Dameron along with John Boyega’s Finn along and BB-8, C-3PO and Chewbecca bring banter, humor and emotions to their scenes. Oscar and John’s bromance has hits hilarious moments as they continue to be the heroes who wear their hearts of their sleeves. Dominic Monaghan, new member of Resistance, hardly has any time to establish his character. Ian McDiarmid as Emperor Palpatine is astounding. Meanwhile, Kelly Marie Tran's character Rose Tico hardly gets any screen time besides a few moments during the final battle. We get introduced to Keri Russell as Zorri Bliss who is decent in her scenes. The certain cameos are nostalgia – filled which makes this end of the sage a memorable one.
JJ Abrams direction is crisp and tight as he delivers some of the biggest questions that were left answered during STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (2015) and STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI (2017). JJ Abrams captures the essence of this galactic world as he brings out the best in every character especially Ren and Rey. John Williams background score is incredible. The story by JJ Abramas, Chris Terio, Colin Tervorrow, Derek Connolly is moving. JJ Abrams and Chris Terrior is impressive.
On the whole, STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER may not be for everyone but it gives a bittersweet yet endearing ending to saga which is a tribute to the legacy. The die-hard fans might enjoy some of the stunning intergalactic moments.