So, finally, I’ve gone and seen the final chapter of the Skywalker Saga in my local cinema… And, as a casual Star Wars fan, I went in with a different head as opposed to some of our other staff here at Respawning; a more critical head, but one that went in for the action alone…
… And the film was alright; not exemplary, not terrible… Just… Alright.
The film immediately struck me with an odd statement – The fact that somehow, somewhere, and somewhen, a voice reminiscent of the late Emperor Palpatine was echoing across the galaxy, announcing the rise of the Final Order, a fleet large enough and strong enough to decimate any opposition… Hearing this, our heroes, Rey, Finn, Poe, C3PO and BB-8 launch towards the trail of the Sith homeworld of Exogol, in order to investigate the Emperor’s supposed survival and to silence the Sith for good… Even though there are thousands of Sith still not on Exogol… But whatever.
To reach Exogol, however, our good-natured heroes require a Wayfinder, a Sith artefact that contains the coordinates to navigate the far reaches of space to land at Exogol – Something that Luke Skywalker was actively pursuing before his untimely death, and a goal he had given up on – The reason for this search originally isn’t detailed at all, so it’s left up to the cinema’s audience to interpret… Perhaps he was curious? Overconfident? Looking for more answers on Anakin? Who bloody knows!
So our heroes go off to a variety of planets, encountering new allies and old allies such as Lando Calrissian and Jannah, however this serves as little more than fanservice and a hook for future spinoffs, and not much else – The actual adventuring on these planets in the hunt for the Wayfinder is brief, and, honestly, a little boring – Not much time is spent on any individual planets, meaning we’re simply hopping from location to location with little rhyme or reason, not spending much time with the locals or their unique differences. Tatooine and Dagobah this is not. It’s disappointing, honestly.
Fortunately, the fight scenes and action makes up for this one step at a time, not totally redeeming the film, but going a long way towards my overall enjoyment of the film – Despite some oddities here and there (Like the Knights of Ren, which were a major letdown), the film’s main action scenes, being the fight against Kylo Ren on the Death Star ruins, the battle against the Last Order fleet and the final fight against the revived Palpatine were fantastic, albeit a bit silly if you start to nitpick them – If you treat these scenes as pure action, then it’s a blast! Think logically, and it all falls apart.
Saying this, however, there’s this overarching feeling that some of the film’s later revelations were meant for Episode 8 – That way the writers of Episode 9 could deal with all parties dealing with the revelations, their responsibilities and the lofty expectations now held above them on all sides, culminating in a clean, satisfying ending. The ending of Episode 9 is by no means bad, but it’s left so open that it worries me that we’ll be seeing an Episode 10, 11 or even 12… Which, honestly, isn’t something I’d like after this film. Rey eventually adopting the name of Skywalker was nice, but I feel that her possibly forging her own name, surpassing the heritage she holds and the legend of Skywalker would have been much more satisfying and gratifying for Rey’s character.
Overall, The Rise of Skywalker is a fun action romp that gets obliterated the moment you begin to nitpick – If you’re watching it with a few mates and a few beers, it’s fantastic, but if you’re a lore nerd or even try to decipher some of the scenes logically, you’re going to have a bad time.
Overall, I give Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker a: