REVIEW: Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker

A few days ago in a galaxy far far away, Disney released the 9th installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, The Rise of Skywalker, on Disney Plus. After receiving lots of backlash that stemmed from the questionable decisions Rian Johnson made while directing the 8th movie, Disney decided to bring JJ Abrams back in to see if he could salvage what was shaping up to be another failed spin-off series. I think he tried his best, but at the end of the day there was only so much he could do given what had already happened in the newest trilogy. The Rise of Skywalker continues to build on the “force dyad” connection that Kylo Ren and Rey share, including a few more discussions through the force as seen in the 8th movie (but without shirtless Adam Driver this time). This connection was one of the few parts of the 8th movie that was actually interesting in my opinion. As is expected in any JJ Abrams film, the movie also had some of the best action in the entire Star Wars series, featuring thrilling lightsaber battles, epic spacecraft fights, and force lightning. Abrams also did a great job of limiting the roles of annoying characters like Finn and Rose. At first I liked Finn, but after watching the 7th and 8th movies, I started to realize that his character only ever runs and yells. Once I realized that, anytime he did either or both of those things (which was a lot), I couldn’t help but cringe. Rose is an unnecessary character and I’m really not sure why Rian Johnson created her. While these aspects contributed positively to the movie and made it somewhat enjoyable, in my opinion, they were far outweighed by the negatives that accompanied them. While JJ did a good job of limiting Finn’s role, he still left him in enough scenes to have an annoying storyline. While falling through a pit of space quicksand (?) he tells Rey that he needs to tell her something important and then proceeds to never tell her even though they bring it up multiple times later on in the movie. After they fall through the quicksand, they happen to find a dagger with an inscription that tells them where to find the “Sith Wayfinder”. I really dislike the fact that they just luck into the exact information they are looking for. The 6th Star Wars starts with a well thought out plan that Luke and company execute to perfection to save Han. The use of planning as opposed to luck is one of the reasons that the original trilogy is better than all of the prequels and sequels, in my opinion. Another missed opportunity for an impactful moment came with Chewbacca’s fake death. I love Chewy as a character, but in this new sequel series, he is not important . However, because of his role in the earlier films, killing him off would have been a really powerful moment that I think would have been amazing. There were other choices that I didn’t like (such as Rey being a Palpatine, the kiss with Kylo, etc.), but they weren’t as offensive as the ones I discussed above. Overall, I felt like this movie wasn’t as bad as The Last Jedi, but was worse than The Force Awakens. In the grand scheme of Star Wars, I would rank it below the entire original trilogy, the 7th movie, and the 3rd prequel. Hopefully, when Disney tries its next spin off from this universe, a fresh set of characters will inspire them to create some better content.


ajayw is a junior in SMTD and Economics. It is his third year reviewing for art[seen]. As a music student, ajayw takes great interest in reviewing the music events on campus, especially those brought in by UMS.

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