REVIEW: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Rises Above The Rest

Kody Krawczuk, Staff Profile

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

I love Star Wars. Always have, and always will. Since I was 7 years old and saw A New Hope on DVD with my father, I’ve followed every piece of Star Wars media I could. I played the games, I read the comics, I bought the figurines, and (most of all) I watched the movies. I saw the original trilogy a million times, watched the prequels and only regretted the first two, and now, I’ve watched the sequel trilogy in theaters.

My own personal bias aside, Rise of Skywalker is modern Star Wars at its finest. As a finale to the story that started with a farm boy on a desert planet with twin suns, Episode IX delivers everything it could and then some. Especially after the slightly disappointing Last Jedi, Episode IX is a breath of fresh air few films in recent memory have provided.

JJ Abrams’ tight direction is in full force here, and very few scenes dragged on too long. The acting chops of Adam Driver as Kylo Ren and Daisy Ridley as Rey are at their finest, and the character dynamics have never been so natural and hysterical. Rise of Skywalker is undoubtedly the funniest Star Wars film, with countless one-off gags and lines of dialogue that cracked me up. The lightsaber duels are as satisfying and powerful as ever, with one in particular genuinely getting a gasp out of the majority of my theater. Every character moment hits hard, and while some of the new characters are a bit underwhelming, they’re clearly victims of Disney needing more Star Wars shows on Disney+ after The Mandalorian’s success as opposed to being the fault of the film itself.

Without spoiling the marvelously fanservice-y finale, all I can say is that Rise of Skywalker delivers for all Star Wars fans. It is a beautiful finale to the saga of the Skywalker family, and as someone who has wanted to be a Jedi since before I could spell “Jedi”, it’s simply a wonderful Star Wars movie. To those who grew up with the prequels, or the Clone Wars TV series, to those who are seeing their first Star Wars films with the sequels, and especially to those who remember the story about the Force and the Skywalkers beginning in 1977…

May the Force be with you. Always.

 

OVERALL SCORE:

4.5 out of 5 stars

 

SHOULD YOU SEE IT?:

Only if you’re a Star Wars fan, and enjoyed the sequel trilogy (The Last Jedi notwithstanding, as it’s very different from both the films before and after it). If you aren’t a fan of The Force Awakens, steer clear of Rise of Skywalker. But if you do like the sequels, go see Rise of Skywalker in the theaters as soon as you can.