“The surviving members of the resistance face the First Order once again, and the legendary conflict between the Jedi and the Sith reaches its peak bringing the Skywalker saga to its end.” –IMDB
Let’s get this out of the way before we start, shall we? I’m not a Star Wars fan. I didn’t see them when I was young and for most of my adult life I’ve held vehemently to the opinion that they are perfectly fine, but overrated. And, to be honest with you, I’m always going to be more in the HP & LOTR nerd camps.
But thanks to Disney+ (aka the best part of 2019), I recently took the time to re-watch the originals and the prequels, mostly because I wanted to understand why my husband likes them so much. Up to that point, I had watched them all exactly once, when Mike and I were first dating, and I’m pretty sure I fell asleep during a few different parts so my memory of them was pretty fractured. My opinion going into the re-watch was that the originals were good, but no better than the Indiana Jones movies and that the prequels were absolutely trash. After the re-watch, I was left with pretty much the same opinion, but I did have more of an appreciation for the originals and for the overall plot, which I had previously found to be messy and scattered (shout out to Mike for providing commentary throughout and walking me through the plot, characters, back story, etc.). I didn’t re-watch the J.J. Abrams films, but I had seen them when they first came out and felt like I remembered enough to watch The Rise of Skywalker and be able to keep up. So, Mike and I drove out to The Alamo, ordered ourselves some drinks, and started the “final” chapter of Star Wars (lol, like they’ll ever kill this milk cow)…
Honestly, I think my lack of Star Wars interest made me the perfect audience member for The Rise of Skywalker. I had heard a few of my hardcore Star Wars fan friends grumbling about their expectations for it and assumed that they had legitimate reasons to be concerned. As an Alias fan and an intense, and I do mean intense, LOST fan (there may or may not have been a cake purchased by my mother for me and my friend for the 100th episode…), I know JJ Abrams struggles with endings. But because of my ignorance, I couldn’t nitpick questions that weren’t answered or character developments that went awry. Instead, I found The Rise of Skywalker to be an emotional and satisfying ending to a multi-decade story. Let me clarify…
Sure, it felt like Adam Driver (not to mention Chewy and C-3P0) came back to life one too many times and, sure, it felt a little too easy to replicate the generational storyline by making Rey the Emperor’s granddaughter, but aside from those minor irritations, I thought Abrams and Co. wrapped up the storyline with a nice mix of nostalgia and modernity. I particularly liked seeing more about the ancient Sith and filling in some of the gaps that the prequels should have delved into, but didn’t. I’m also a sucker for bittersweet endings and I think Abrams may have learned his LOST lesson of giving audiences most of what they want, while still taking some important characters from us. And who doesn’t love a galactic rise against fascism? I won’t lie, when Lando Calrissian shows up with an army of regular citizens, I did get teary. Though, I will gladly admit getting me to cry is a pretty easy feat to accomplish.
Overall, I recommend The Rise of Skywalker, but I recommend it a little bit more strongly for people like me who aren’t newbies to the series, but aren’t hardcore viewers either. And, for the last time, I happily admit my ignorance and would love to hear your thoughts on The Rise of Skywalker, especially for those of you who do consider yourselves in the Star Wars nerdom.
If the franchise continues (which, obviously, I mean they just opened Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland for God’s sake), I would like to see some of those plot holes from the prequels filled in. I would love to know more about the ancient jedi and sith orders in particular. Just throwing it out there in case JJ is (1) reading this and (2) reading this after I insulted his LOST ending so many times. HI JJ!
Rating: 6 out of 10 Claire Bears
If you like this movie, you should also see: Do I really need to say?
With: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, and Carrie Fisher
Directed By: J.J. Abrams