Movie review: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

20 Dec 2019 / 11:14 H.

IT took 42 years for the story to be told, nine episodes in all. Alas, it is finally here. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker promises to finally answer all the questions that were laid out in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi.

Director J.J. Abrams did the best he could with what Rian Johnson left behind, and in a lot of ways, he did well. There are no phone jokes, and no saving lives with love. The cast and characters are much livelier this time as well.

Points to Abrams for tying every loose end with a bow. Some are better than others, while a few are technically knots. Nevertheless, he managed it.

My first impression of the film is that it is self-contained. Sure, those who have watched the last eight movies would have a stronger connection to what’s happening on the screen.

But, I can imagine someone watching this movie as their first Star Wars film and still being able to understand what is happening and enjoying it.

Take a closer look and you too will start to see the seams in the movie. It is a patchwork of ideas which birthed a story that is coherent only with a generous heap of coincidences and revelations that came out of nowhere.

There are some tear-jerking moments. Some feel-good moments. And some surprises too.

Some parts of The Rise of Skywalker is so fantastical that it is downright cartoony. It is not out of character for a Star Wars movie, yet it clashes with the serious tone of the end of the Skywalker Saga.

Speaking of endings, this film has a lot on its shoulders. Four decades worth of characters, stories, and world-building, all tinted by nostalgia makes a substantial, volatile, and fragile burden. At the end of the journey is a definite closure that opens new cans of worms. There will be mixed reactions. There will be debates.

However, if you can enjoy the film for what it is, then good for you.

Of course, there are lots of new characters, troopers, aliens, and lightsabers. You will see them all in toy form, even when most of them only appear for a few seconds on screen.

What is missing, however, is an explanation of whatever happened to Luke’s green lightsaber, Mando, and baby Yoda.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is an end that it needs, but not one that it deserves. One last thing, there are no mid or after credit scenes. So you can walk out of the theatre as soon as the screen wipes out.

email blast