So, it has come at last. The finale to the Sequel Trilogy, Star Wars: Episode IX- The Rise of Skywalker is here, and so ends the “Skywalker” Saga. But is it truly the end of the journey? On one hand, it does tie elements of the past two trilogies into this one, and does actually does wrap up lingering questions that this trilogy had proposed. It also opens up new ones. The thing is, this is Star Wars– with a library so massive all you need is to look into the past from the ye old Legends lore of the Expanded Universe or the new canon lore to fill in the cracks.
If there are any problems I have with this film, is the first few minutes feel much ironically like Rey (Daisy Ridley) is introduced to the film just goes at a sort of manic pace. You flip flop from one scene to another rather quickly as the plot is laid forth. In all honesty, the film could have just opened coldly with Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) using the McGuffin of the movie (which suspiciously looks like a certain device we’ve seen on Star Wars: Rebels Season 2 and 3) and go from there.
The movie feels disjointed, until Rey, Finn (John Boyega), Poe (Oscar Issac), and C3PO (Anthony Daniels) reach a certain point in the film. Suddenly the movie begins to wind down to enjoy itself, and one enjoys the film.
Speaking of Finn and Poe. Ridley, Boyega, and Issac play off the amazing chemistry they have quite well. So much so, you can’t help but just consider how close two of the characters are, and it makes you wonder. Why didn’t director J.J. Abrams go there? I mean Finn/Poe seem more than friends and more like a bickering married couple at certain points in this film. In there lies the final flaw I have with this film. I mean there is new light shed on Poe’s background, which actually I love to see novels or comics tie into more. Likewise, the measure of Poe’s past in Zorii Bliss (Keri Russell).
But there in lies the small problem with Finn, other than the bickering and the maturity he’s learned from the last two films. Boyega isn’t given much to do then play off the amazing chemistry he has with his fellow cast. Until, another element is introduced for him to play off more. Honestly, I just wish that element was introduced a bit earlier than a bit later.
HOWEVER, once again the Saga needs a villain to fill the void, and ONCE AGAIN Ian McDiarmid answers that call reprising his role of the greatest one the saga has in Palpatine/Darth Sidious. HNNNGH!! The moment Palpatine is reintroduced to the franchise, and hearing that crackling insidious voice of his.
I admit it. I had a Sithgasm. One can’t help but hate the bastard, but also admire the absolute devilry Palpatine is, and the plan throughout this all. For there really is no evil greater in this era than Palpatine. The old Legends books realized it, and why they brought the character back. You could see inklings and hints in the new canon that the possiblity was there for THE SENATE to return and he did with a force.
As always McDiarmid as the character is just a thematic presence that will never be matched, and seeing his character play off of Rey and Kylo was just magical. That and it continues off the themes with the pair from previous installment, which I loved.
Star Wars: Episode XI- The Rise of Skywalker is a flawed film, but it sticks to the landing that began back in 2015. It introduced a bunch of new characters, while giving the old guard one final ride. Does the trilogy feel seamless? I have no idea actually. I really have to watch all three films back to back to back now. Because watching Star Wars: Rebels really helped with this film. Which is ironic, since the TV show used in it’s final season Palpatine as well to tempt the protagonist.
Does it measure to the OT? No. Does it measure to the new movies? No, I still enjoy the hell out of Rogue One (2016) much more, and I feel this will be like that. It’ll age better with each new view. I’d rank it on par with the Prequels. Flawed, but there are amazing moments and enough to inspire a new generation of fans to the franchise.
It also helps to see earlier this year to see another franchise, Game of Thrones fall toward the dark side so horribly, and another, Marvel to be one with the Force. The Star Wars franchise is right there in the middle balanced flawed but highly enjoyable. In the end, that what Star Wars has always been. Flawed but highly enjoyable to the imagination of those who watch it.
That is why I will not give no clear grade, or a pass/fail. I enjoyed the film for what it was. I also know the film was flawed in a few areas, but it wasn’t say a mess that other franchises went down. To fully enjoy the film one must open your mind to all the canon the franchise has to offer. And to enjoy the franchise for it all, and that is what this movie is. To enjoy. This is all to be taken into a certain point of view of course.
That said, gimme my goddamn special edition of the Last Jedi and fully restore that Phasma/Finn fight Disney. You’ve teased us with what could have been. But I want it restored. Fully and put into the movie. It is the only special edition I would accept now. Do it. Do it now.