The Saga Ends: “Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker” Review

Released on December 20, “Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker” hit theatres, and “Star Wars” fans everywhere rejoiced. Directed by J.J. Abrams, the film is two hours and 22 minutes long and is rated PG-13, but is a great movie for the whole family, as another installment in the classic series and the end of the trilogy that began in 2015. According to IMDB, the USA opening weekend brought in $177,383,864 for the now Disney-owned, “Star Wars” franchise. 

Daisy Ridley reprises her role as Rey, the scavenger-turned-rebel from Jakku, continuing her Jedi training from Princess and General Leia Organa, played by Carrie Fisher. The actress who passed away in 2016 was still able to replicate her role through computer animation and technology from past recordings and films. It turned out remarkably well. Rey’s pair of rebel comrades, former stormtrooper-turned-rebel Finn, and rebel pilot Poe, also returned, played by John Boyega and Oscar Issac respectively. The loveable droids, C-3PO, R2-D2 and BB-8 along with Chewbacca additionally returned. Adam Driver, now fawned over by many as a sex symbol on social media applications such as TikTok and Instagram, returned to the final episode of the trilogy as dark side leader Kylo Ren/Ben Solo. 

In the trailer for the movie, it is explained through clips that “The saga will end but the story lives forever.” Each character had a voice clip from the film overlapping the various action shots that were about a sentence long and it actually did a good job of prefacing their purpose in the film. Finn began the trailer by suggesting “It’s an instinct…feeling…the force brought us together.” Many fans who have watched the movie definitely think that he is talking about the Force, the power that Jedi use. There are many moments in the film that make the audience believe that Finn too has force powers. Poe then proclaims “We’re not alone, good people will fight if we lead them.” All Poe really does in this film is take on a larger leadership role in this film for the rebels.

 Rey remarks “People keep telling me they know me…no one does,” referencing the big question of the trilogy: who is Rey and where does she come from? The answer to that question is revealed in this film. It is also evident that Rey has done a good amount of self-discovery and growth through her Jedi training. It is clear that she makes decisions in this film off of her personal inquiry into the universe she lives in. This is a very lovely theme in the film that resonates quite well with contemporary self-care and growth trends seen by old and young in this day and age, and it is truly refreshing. Kylo Ren responds to Rey affirming, “But I do.” Which is true, Kylo Ren does know. He also has his own moments in terms of self-discovery but in a different way. It is then revealed that Emperor Palpatine from the prequel trilogy is back and his ominous return as the leader of the Sith really throws the Rebels off. He declares, speaking about Rey and Kylo Ren, “Long have I waited…and now…your coming together…is your undoing.” Looking back at this line, it actually makes the ending of the film a lot more clear. Most chillingly, especially for the final film, Poe asks C-3PO at one point, “What uh, what are you doing there, 3PO?” and he responds, “Taking one last look, sir…at my friends.” Once you see the movie, you can kind of tell that the C-3PO quote there is a lot different in the trailer context than in the movie context, but nevertheless it is definitely sad for fans that the saga has come to a close, for now at least. Of course, Luke and Leia contributed to the trailer with some iconic lines, “Confronting fear is the destiny of the Jedi. Your destiny. The force will be with you,” Luke states. Leia responds with, “Always.” Sobbing. Love it. Amazing. This is a great example of the guiding roles they take in this installation. 

Other than the unnecessary kiss between two characters—Just my opinion, but can you guess who?—this was a great movie. You can critique every little thing about this film, but honestly, when it comes down to the film as a whole it is just a solid good ending to the trilogy—Google what a yellow lightsaber means if you don’t already know. It was great in theatres I saw it twice, and I am sure it is going to be a great film to sit and watch on the couch with friends when it hits Disney+ for years to come. I definitely recommend seeing it.For all “Star Wars” fans, it is a no brainer— go out and see it already!

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