If anything, 2019 was full of wonderful films that were both challenging and thought provoking to the audience. The Star Wars franchise has seen very little of this consciences on the big screen with its run of the mill dialogue and at times abysmal plot twists. But the last of the Skywalker saga ends off on an unusual high note with Writer and Director JJ Abrams returning to conclude the new trilogy. Fanboys can rejoice in this satisfying conclusion and it is definitely a worthy addition to the Star Wars legacy.
The special effects and action sequences do not fail to deliver in this bombastic third entry. Daisy Ridley’s (Rey) ever-burgeoning force abilities are ok full display in the film and it is truly a delight to see her interactions with Kylo Ren (Adam Driver)as exhilarating as an epic space battle. The Emperor’s (Ian McDiarmid) return is altogether thrilling and truly links the film to its origins. The planet of Tatooine makes its triumphant return and the viewers get a sense of sadness when one realizes Luke (Mark Hamill) will no longer grace the screen in any form in the film’s cinematic universe.
The script tends to hang onto this idea of connecting to the earlier films while also breaking free of those traditions. This was something truly lacking in the previous film. JJ Abrams carefully crafted a screenplay that only teetered on nostalgia without embedding itself in it. Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian) returns in full glory But his presence does not overtake the plot of the film nor is he there just for fanboy service. Everything is carefully orchestrated in this third entry as a means to end. Every character fits into each part of the Star Wars puzzle perfectly. The final shot of the twin suns of Luke’s home planet embodies this idea of connectivity and rebirth.
One of the main gripes one can have with this film are its illogical leaps of faith it takes during its cinematic exposition. Some plot twists are laughably outlandish such as the origins of Rey’s parents and the means by which the Emperor managed to survive all these years. These plot holes in the script were jarring to say the least and degraded everything the film could have achieved with better screenwriting. Poe (Oscar Isaac) and a Finn (John Boyega) are fun in their constant banter but their character arcs go absolutely nowhere in this film. The Sith world of Exogol looks ripped straight out of a CGI handbook and lacks the realism of other landscapes in the film’s universe. But overall, JJ Abrams did a standout job in his latest work and it is truly disheartening to see these characters leave the screen.
A fine film throughout, The Rise of Skywalker is a solid finale to the sequel trilogy saga and one that should not be tarnished by some minor criticisms. Rey is truly an extraordinary heroine who anchored the whole trilogy together with her conflicted nature and ties to Kylo Ren. Her performance is top-notch and every moment of screen time is never wasted by her approach to the Jedi mystique. With all the hype surrounding the film, it is not surprising that the work has its detractors. But taken by itself, this is one of Abrams’ finest work simply because it satisfies every wish of the viewer. It gives audiences what they want and presents a world torn apart by the absence of a solid Republic. A tale of redemption and rebirth, the film is the quintessential finale to a trilogy that lacked in so many ways.