‘Star Wars:The Rise of Skywalker’ Review

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Isabelle Hunt

On Thursday, December 19, the final installment of the most recent Star Wars Trilogy was released. Fans looked forward to the return of familiar heroes (and villains) from the original trilogy. Many were disappointed in the direction that the previous film, The Last Jedi, took the trilogy and looked forward to the return of The Force Awakens director JJ Abrams. Still, the movie made $175.5 million in its opening weekend, which was significantly less than its previous installments.

**Spoilers Ahead!**

My initial reaction to this film shortly after leaving the theater was overall positive. I felt that, with the challenges of writing the wrongs of another director’s movie, JJ Abrams had done a pretty good job finishing the trilogy he started. Beloved characters like Chewbacca, C-3PO and even Lando Calrissian were given more screen time, and characters that weren’t necessarily fan favorites, like Rose Tico, a character introduced in the previous movie who faced lots of fan criticism, were kept out of the spotlight. I also felt that the film had respectfully paid homage to the late Carrie Fisher and her legacy.

However, a few days after seeing this film, I felt unsure about it and was curious about what the rest of the Internet had to say. Not very surprisingly, the response was overwhelmingly negative. Although I didn’t agree with much of what was discussed and I still enjoyed the film, Twitter was able to point out and clarify some of the plot holes that bothered me.

My one big problem with this film is the treatment of Ben Solo/Kylo Ren. He spent nearly the entire film breaking away from the dark side and redeeming his past actions, but died at the end? If the “dyad in the force” bond that he and Rey shared was so powerful and connected their two spirits, he should have been able to survive giving some of his life energy to her. Although, that entire scene contradicts everything that ever happened in the prequel trilogy, which angered many fans: Anakin turned to the dark side because he was deceived into thinking he could learn how to save Padme from dying, but he couldn’t because no one has ever been able to! “Force healing” has never been a thing and should not have been introduced as plot armor in the last movie in the saga.

Another thing that just doesn’t make sense is the entire Palpatine Bloodline reveal. The point that Rian Johnson tried to make in the previous movie was that anyone is capable of power and greatness regardless of where they came from. Rey didn’t need to be born into power, she made a name for herself because her parents were nobodies. The way that JJ Abrams completely disregarded this and changed an important lesson from the previous movie just so he could have a dramatic reveal of Rey’s true ancestry came off to me as disrespectful.

This review shouldn’t stop you from seeing the movie, though. Overall it is a great film that does an incredible job ending this 40-year movie saga. Any Star Wars fan will leave this film satisfied that the balance has been restored.