Review J1 Reporter Frannie Cihunka
The ninth and final installment of the Star Wars saga, “Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker” debuted in theaters on Dec. 30, and is still in theaters. Rated PG-13, the finale is two hours and 22 minutes long. As a seasoned Star Wars fan, I was interested to see how the saga would end, especially after the success of last movie, “The Last Jedi.” If you haven’t seen “Rise of Skywalker,” turn back now. Spoilers are ahead.
I’ve seen mixed reviews on “Rise of Skywalker.” Some people thought it was mediocre, and some people really hated it. It definitely had some controversial twists, such as Rey being of the Palpatine bloodline, bringing Palpatine back in general, and Ben and Rey’s kiss.
I thought having Rey be a Palpatine was a good conflict for Rey to encounter to help her character grow. Her entire storyline has centered around learning about her past to find out who she is, and learning this pushes her to forget about her past. However, when I first saw the trailer and heard Palpatine’s laugh, my first reaction was: “They must be running out of ideas.” Despite bringing back a good villain just because they needed one, I think they did it well.
Some of my favorite pieces in the movie were the throwback characters. Leia, our favorite general, died peacefully in this movie. We learn that she actually trained as a Jedi when she was young, and she passes on her lightsaber. I loved that Leia trained as a Jedi. Girl Power! Lando Calrissian came back to help out the band of heroes, and helped in the final battle. Luke appeared to Rey to help her forget her past. My favorite cameo was when Han Solo appeared to Ben and helped him turn to the light side.
My favorite twist of the movie was Ben’s redemption. They’ve been setting him up as almost an anti-hero struggling with severe pressure from the dark side in his blood. I’m glad they let him redeem himself, and he died a hero. He died after kissing Rey, which I didn’t mind. There’s been romantic tension in their relationship since the first movie, and I’m glad they finally resolved it.
All in all, I thought the movie was a great way to wrap up the Star Wars franchise. All the old characters got good cameos and endings. The movie built on character arcs and relationships, and left the franchise in a good place. I’d give it 4 stars out of 5 stars because the execution of character development, but I’d take off points because of the somewhat lazy return of Emperor Palpatine. This movie is perfect for action lovers, but if you haven’t seen the other movies, you might need to take a Star Wars binge before seeing the movie.