With Star Wars Episode nine The Rise Of Skywalker J.J. Abrams had the unenviable task of not only concluding the entire Skywalker saga but also delivering a follow-up to Star Wars the Last Jedi, which is largely considered the most divisive entry in the franchise.
In an attempt to deliver a fulfilling conclusion Abrams gave audiences a number of things from character reveals and major deviations – fan favorite cameos and impressive action sequences.
If all that sounds messy it sure is resulting in a single film that feels more like a compilation of exciting sequences than a cohesive journey. Yet, it’s enough payoff scattered throughout to make for a thrilling emotional experience.
Kylo Ren continues his quest to rule the entire galaxy with a number of threats both fresh and familiar standing in his way. Meanwhile, the resistance is still in shambles after their battle on crate leaving them in desperate need of any assistance they can get all while ray struggles to find where she fits in the world.
Over the course of his career, Abrams has regularly impressed fans with the ways in which he can craft exhilarating set-pieces while never shying away from embracing his nostalgic loves.
In the case of Rise of Skywalker both of these facets of his filmmaking are on full display despite all the character moments feeling genuine and charming the overall narrative will leave many audiences bewildered.
Abrams is no stranger to leave in his audiences guessing and while a number of important reveals are somewhat explained many feel as though they exist merely because you wouldn’t have this story otherwise.
While we might instinctively compare each film to what came directly before it we need to remind ourselves that each chapter is only one-ninth of the entire journey both for better or for worse.
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Instead of embracing all eight films that came before Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker picked and chose what parts of the saga wanted to embrace while completely ignoring others much like the force awakens was chided by fans her feeling too similar to a new hope the rise of Skywalker will draw ire for leaning so heavily into what came before it.
The promise of a final conflict and its entire third act will conjure memories of Return of the Jedi. Missed opportunities for ambitious storylines aside it’s hard to deny the effectiveness of much of the film.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker offers audiences a worthy and at times exceptional the conclusion to the end of a 40-year journey through the various missed opportunities will surely stick with some audiences longer the film’s accomplishments.
We give The Rise of Skywalker 4 out of 5 stars.