Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker was the final film in the Sequel Trilogy featuring the two main characters Kylo Ren and Rey.
The film lasted two hours and 22 minutes and received 54% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Personally, I found The Rise of Skywalker to be another disappointing film in Disney’s revival of the Star Wars series as there was a lack of originality and quality characters. Disney took advantage of the fact that true fans of the series will still rush to movie theaters simply because of their love for the original movies and concepts. Thus, Disney can produce a lackluster product and still earn lots of money.
The most vital part of a good movie is the characters, who have to be likable and interesting. In the new movies, I found most of the characters fell flat. Rey, the female protagonist is very much like a Mary Sue character as she has very few weaknesses — if any — and she gains her skills with suspiciously minimal training.
Rey’s unreasonably powerful abilities begin in The Force Awakens where she is able to match against Kylo Ren, who has had years of training under his belt. In a weak attempt to remedy this large flaw, Disney slapped in the opening scene of The Rise of Skywalker that features Rey training with Leia Skywalker; however, the scene feels very rushed — as if the directors were only doing it to appease the critics.
Rey’s counterpart, Kylo Ren is supposed to be a Darth Vader figure, who brings terror to the galaxy before having a redemption arc. Kylo’s character has the problem of not being intimidating and instead being somewhat likable. In one part of the film, I found myself cheering for Kylo to defeat Rey. He comes off as more relatable and human-like, which is a stark contrast to Darth Vader who was terrifying.
The Star Wars film tried taking a leaf from Marvel with their comedy scenes. However, most of their attempts seemed forced and did not fit the mood of the movie. Star Wars has always been a more serious franchise without forced attempts at humor, so the attempts detracted from the overall movie.
Furthermore, while a good chunk of the film is following the heroes as they try to find the planet Exogol, the adventure feels scattered almost like the directors were showing off random planets simply to showcase new scenery and animals without adding much to the story. Also, it should be noted that the characters undertake this journey but, in the end, the Emperor wants Rey to find the planet in the first place.
Speaking of the Emperor, his presence felt overused and not nearly as threatening compared to the other films. In Revenge of the Sith, Palpatine (The Emperor) comes out as the villain behind the scenes with his master plan and The Rise of Skywalker attempts to reuse that with poor effect. I think the movie would have done better with a newer Sith Lord or at least something original.
Bringing back the Emperor is also diminishing to the character of Darth Vader since, in Episode VI, he saved Luke by throwing the Emperor in the Death Star reactor, completing the prophecy all six movies had been leading to. However, this movie undercuts his actions because the Emperor did not die.
The film fails to use the bread and butter of all Star Wars films: lightsaber fights. Every movie has an iconic fight whether it is Obi-Wan vs Darth Maul, Obi-Wan vs Anakin, or Luke vs Vader. This film’s “iconic” lightsaber duel was Rey vs Kylo but once again it was painfully similar to the Obi-Wan vs Anakin fight, lacking originality and the emotional weight that made the former great. The two characters do not even dislike each other, which takes away from the tension and intensity of the fight.
The final fight scene was also similar to that of Return of the Jedi, with the main character fighting the villain while a battle is going on in the background. I would have liked to see a big lightsaber fight; but, instead, it was the Emperor electrocuting everyone while the heroes fought to overcome him.
Once again stealing from prior movies, the scene where a movie theater-sized fleet of ships show up to stop the Emperor’s fleet was predictable — and frankly cringy. The scene is meant to be a Deus Ex Machina to turn the tide of the battle but Star Wars fans have already seen the same situation played out in Return of the Jedi which takes out all enjoyment.
Overall, I would rate this movie 3/10.