There we have it! After nine core films, two spin-offs and over forty years in the making, ‘Star Wars’, as we know it, has come to an end.
The internet as a whole has been widely divisive on this new trilogy, and not without merit. The trio – even including ‘The Force Awakens’ has been littered with issues, ranging from pacing to plot. But, honestly? I don’t give a damn.
***There’s gonna be some big ol’ spoilers ahead for ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ – so if you haven’t seen it yet, look away now***
Starting on a negative note, let’s take a little peek at some of the issues this new Disney-helmed trilogy has been littered with:
- They didn’t plan out a trilogy of one of the biggest grossing franchises of all time. Oops.
- That Rey/Kylo kiss. Like what? You’ve been trying to kill each other for three movies, but sure, let’s make out.
- We don’t know how the Emperor survived his iconic death from ‘The Return of the Jedi’.
- ‘The Last Jedi’ retconning most of ‘The Force Awakens’, then ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ having to retcon that.
- Luke’s character development in ‘The Last Jedi’ was… a choice…
- We didn’t get to see the big three on screen together! That would’ve been my first choice in ‘TFA’.
- The new trio don’t seem to have that much chemistry.
- This one’s a big nitpicky, but I’d have loved to have got Force-ghost cameos behind Rey when she was battling the Emperor.
- ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ goes back on all of its emotional moments. Chewie’s dead? Nope, he’s back. CP30 has his memory wiped? Nope, that’s back too. Rey’s evil? Nope, hallucination.
… And that’s just off the top of my head. I’m sure there’s hundreds – even thousands – of Star Wars fans out there who could give you a full-on, detailed list of everything wrong with the new trilogy. And, really, it was Disney’s and Lucasfilm’s responsibilities to make sure that these issues didn’t occur. Sure, some of them are down to personal taste, but some of it comes down to down-right bad storytelling.
With that said, I’ve found myself caring less and less about the movies’ flaws, and instead enjoying them for what they are: space battles, big, brash cinematic art, tales of the Jedi, light humour, space creatures… everything that makes Star Wars, well, Star Wars.
And there’s some fantastic moments in ‘The Rise of Skywalker’, too. Rey and Kylo grappling with the Force over a space shuttle, watching it rumble and vibrate in the sky. Moments later, Rey’s burst of lightning, foreshadowing that she’s a Palpatine. Lando (he was great as a whole, let’s be honest), summoning up fighters for the Resistance from across the galaxy (goosebumps, goosebumps everywhere). CP30’s constant humour. The new character who didn’t overstay their welcome but still added to the plot. The voices of all the fallen Jedi in Rey’s mind, urging her to fight. That amazing scene where Palpatine sends a burst of lightning into the sky, where, once again, I got goosebumps everywhere.
‘The Rise of Skywalker’ benefitted as a whole from bringing Palpatine back from the dead. Yes, it was a bit iffy on how he survived and it was a bit murky on Rey’s lineage, but keeping some of the mystery there keeps it interesting. As a casual fan, it was brilliant seeing the ultimate evil return – a force that was very much lacking in the first two of this new trilogy – even with Snoke. He even quoted his meme-worthy lines! Winning.
And let’s not forget that the original trilogy wasn’t exactly planned point-for-point, either. Leia was never going to be Luke’s sister – hence that kiss – his sibling originally going to be an entirely new Force-sensitive character. Kenobi telling Luke that Vader “killed his father”, when, of course, we all know that iconic plot twist. Star Wars has always been a little bit messy, and that’s okay.
If these three films were planned properly – learning from the mistakes of the OT, they could’ve been the best trio of modern cinema. No joke. Imagine all of the issues above fixed – all of the films prior to this one arriving in some great big crescendo. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be, and I still loved the final product – even if it is just from an emotional standpoint.
‘The Rise of Skywalker’ may not work in a logical sense. Apply too much brainpower to the movie and it starts to unravel at the seams. But it does work on an emotional level. Seeing the characters we know and love over the years come to ahead in this final battle pays off; and the movie left me with a great big grin on my face.
That ending, too. Seeing the two suns setting on the iconic Tattooine, as Rey declares herself a Skywalker is perfect. Reuniting the twins together, paying her respects, as the final credits roll… It hit me right in the feels, man.
This new trilogy aren’t my favourite Star Wars films by any stretch of the imagination, but ‘Rise of Skywalker’ is certainly the best of the trio. It’s a little bit darker, a little bit grittier, and packs more of a punch than its predecessors. Is it perfect? Hell no. But is it enjoyable? Damn straight. It’s flaws aren’t unwarranted, but I honestly just don’t care.
For over two hours, I was whisked away to a galaxy far, far away, and I enjoyed each and every second of it.
For more geeky shenanigans, check out my review of ‘Stranger Things’. Or, take a peek at my ‘Joker’ movie review. Turn on notifications for this website at the top of the page – I’ll be doing a ‘Star Wars’ movie ranking post soon – and you’ll be the first to know!