Describing the plot of Rise of Skywalker feels impossible to do without spoilers, but I will try to do my best. Things begin with a whole bunch of Macguffins, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is building his army, while searching for something that will lead him to answers of the past. Rey (Daisy Ridley) is back with the resistance forces, training in the Jedi arts with Leia (Carrie Fisher) by her side. All of the searching and training is leading to an imminent face to face battle, where Rey will learn about her past, Kylo will confront his anger, and a new power will rise from the past. Meanwhile, the resistance continues to be scrappy, with Finn (John Boyega), Poe (Oscar Isaac), and Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) meeting with a Rebel force mole to retrieve exact plans that Kylo and his knights of Ren have in store for them. The first act of Rise of Skywalker moves fast and proceeds to never slow down.

Where The Rise of Skywalker becomes murky is how one will view the choices, decisions, and execution made by J.J. Abrams and co-writer Chris Terrio. Working off a story with Derek Connolly and Colin Trevorrow, it's impossible to not see this final installment as a myriad of things. It is filled to the brim and then overflowing with fan service, something that will please and distraught the hardcore fans. For me, I was a bit shocked, from moment to moment, with bold decisions made. I thought some worked (Chewbacca is back in action), Rey is a fully realized character at this point, and the character arc of Kylo Ren is arguably the best of the entire Star Wars series. Other choices were strange. There is something called a “Sith Way-finder”, some characters might be dead, and the fast moving pace makes it incredibly difficult to process emotions and action. In a lot of ways, it is the perfect ball of frustration, with moments of comic relief, interesting new characters introduced, and excitement that comes from the Star Wars pictures. We love to love them and love to hate them as well.

In the end, The Rise of Skywalker is an entertaining picture in a flawed universe. This is 100 pounds of cinema in a 10 pound bag. There is plenty of good (Leia and Carrie Fisher receives a beautiful send off) and choices were certainly made. It fails to reach the level of the original three and speeds past the abysmal prequels. It's a film that does no justice for J.J. Abrams as an artist, he is a director that has zero personal style, a guide for corporate productions, and takes little risk for failure. It's safe, but what can't be denied is that this trilogy created it's own path, with actors portraying characters that have become engraved into the Star Wars stone. Rey, Finn, Poe, Kylo. They have become synonymous with Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewie. The Rise of Skywalker is a filling conclusion and will still leave Star Wars fans wishing for more. These movies will be with us...always.

3 STARS

Written by: Leo Brady
leo@amovieguy.com

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

                                      


MOVIE: STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER

STARRING: DAISY RIDLEY; ADAM DRIVER; OSCAR ISAAC; JOHN BOYEGA

DIRECTED BY: J.J. ABRAMS

AMovieGuy.com's RATING: 3 STARS (Out of 4)

It will always be a wild story, when we look at how far cinema has come since George Lucas invented a space opera with wookies, something called “the force”, and laser swords back in 1977. And now, 2019 ends with a cinematic bang, with the 9th installment in the Star Wars saga, in what will undoubtedly send fans into 2020 with plenty to argue about. Or maybe it is just continuing after the way fans felt about Rian Johnson's The Last Jedi? That was a movie, that yours truly, thought was rejuvenating to the Star Wars series and instead of expanding on the unique voice of Johnson, we now go back to J.J. Abrams, who has become a some kind of Hollywood cut man, someone that studios hire to patch up any critical blood and bruises. With that can't miss approach, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is in good hands, a movie that relentlessly moves, and checks all the Star Wars boxes. It's good, I enjoyed most of it, and it won't find itself in the same bucket as the drastic prequel movies, but what can be viewed as enjoyable, is also extremely safe. At the end, it's just another Star Wars movie. There's space fighting, weird looking creatures, fan service, and a final result that feels ultimately worthy for this cobbled trilogy.