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Movie review: ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ a fitting end

December 27, 2019 by Brett LaBore

It’s time to end. I may not have been alive for all the movies, but “Star Wars” has had a big impact on my life. The final chapter of the saga came out last Friday.

“Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker” came out in theaters on Dec. 20 and features Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, Anthony Daniels, Ian McDiarmid and Billy Dee Williams.

It was directed and written by J.J. Abrams. It was also written by Chris Terrio. 

The third film of the newest trilogy and the final installation for the saga, this film brings everything to an end. Rey, Finn and Poe go out to put an end to the First Order. 

Kylo Ren is seduced by Emperor Palpatine who seeks to end the Jedi once and for all. It is up to new and old friends to come together one more time to bring peace to the galaxy.

Being the huge “Star Wars” fan I am, I was super excited for this movie. To prepare myself for this latest edition, I watched all eight episodes and “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” in advance of watching the newest chapter. I was all set.

In general, I liked this movie and had a good time with it. It’s starting to become a tradition to watch a new “Star Wars” movie near Christmas and it was fun to watch it during this time once again.

Let’s start with a couple things that I have slight issue with or could have been better. There are a couple of interesting decisions — I won’t spoil them for you — that I liked. But I thought Abrams didn’t quite go through with some of them as I would have liked.

I also didn’t get as emotional as I wanted to, and that might be more of a personal issue. If this is the end of an amazing saga, then I needed to feel the weight of it. I did not necessarily feel the weight of everything ending. It felt like the new trilogy ended and there would be more to come.

I wish there were more tie-ins with all the movies. Again this might be personal, but I was excited to potentially see old characters like Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, Padme, Darth Maul or other references to all the movies. There were some familiar faces back, but I wanted more.

The last thing I want to mention is I wasn’t as thrilled as I wanted to be. It was a good movie, but I didn’t get that jaw-dropping moment that I was looking for.

There were a lot of things that I liked about “The Rise of Skywalker.” First, the characters are amazing. In all the movies, the characters have been an integral part of why we love these movies. I love Rey, Finn and Poe, especially in this movie.

They’re the biggest characters of this new trilogy and it was so fun to see them all together. They worked together — we hadn’t seen all three together until the end of “The Last Jedi.” I thought they had good chemistry and they kept me interested.

I give props to Ridley, Boyega and Isaac for their wonderful performances. They were fun and they grew together throughout this new trilogy.

Driver as Kylo Ren did a great job. He knew his character and had fun with it. Hamill as Luke Skywalker was a pleasure to see. And of course Chewbacca, played by Joonas Suotamo, continued to be one of my favorite characters.

The last performance that I want to mention is Billy Dee Williams. Lando Calrissian has always been one of my favorite “Star Wars” characters. I’ve been waiting to see him again in one of the movies. Billy Dee Williams brought back so many memories and really delivered for a fun role that I loved.

This is an entertaining “Star Wars” movie. I thought “The Last Jedi” was a bit slow, but this movie had good action, thrilling scenes and fun plot points that kept it moving right along. It kept my attention throughout the entire run time.

I thought Abrams did a terrific job of making this a good-looking movie. The sets and planets were fun to watch and he made this movie feel like a “Star Wars” movie.

Another thing I wanted were some surprises. I wanted a twist or something to that extent. Without spoiling anything, there were a couple of things that did surprise me and make me excited.

The ending is satisfying. It does tie-in things from the previous movies and I walked out happy with where it ended.

In addition to that, the climax of the movie brought me back to the thrills and stakes that the other movies had. It was very fun to watch that on the big screen.

This was John Williams’ final score and it was fantastic. He did a great job of connecting all the films into his score. He had new character themes, old character themes and classic titles we know and love. He delivered once again and made “Star Wars” such a great experience. 

“Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker” concludes the saga with a fun and satisfying ending filled with wonderful characters and a fantastic score.

Brett LaBore may be reached at [email protected] or [email protected]

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