If you’ve already made up your mind about Star Wars, this review isn’t for you. Go ahead and move along, because if you’ve decided to love/hate it because of politics/gender/(insert stupid thing to care about with space wizards) then go elsewhere.
I did my very best to leave all my preconceptions of Star Wars, other movies, Directors, Producers, Actors, Politics/politicians and all the rest when I went to see it. I didn’t watch the trailers, I didn’t read spoilers. I wanted to see what JJ Abrams and cast could do.
And I enjoyed myself.
The Rise of Skywalker starts of jerky and comes in a tumbled rush. The first half of the movie, the pacing is awful, the editing is jerky, and it’s something of a hot mess. But it’s also fun. Poe and Fin work well together, and both are given opportunities to put actual character into their characters.
Rey actually has character growth and has to struggle. It’s a foreshortened struggle, compressed into the too-packed movie, but it’s there and it’s interesting, it made me actually care about her as a character.
The fight scenes are impactful and I had some emotional attachment when characters were in peril.
They make use of a lot of movie cliches and they pay total homage to every bit of fan service they can. It can be eyerolling, at times. But it gets back to a central part of Star Wars: hope and redemption. That people can change the universe for the better and that what you do is more important than where you come from.
It’s not a great movie. We are not getting the Extended Universe books in movie form that all the die-hard fans (including me) wanted. But it was an enjoyable night out, the movie closed the chapter on the trilogy, and it’s something I can show my kid and share in his enjoyment, as well.
At the end of the day, that’s enough for me.