Rise of Skywalker, Hopes Stayed Put

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Starring Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver and John Boyega

Rated M

The Rise of Skywalker is an exciting but overstuffed and unfocused conclusion to the Star Wars sequel trilogy.

With the First Order poised to launch its final devastating attack on the galaxy, Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), two warriors from opposite sides of the conflict, must confront the demons from their past.

The Rise of Skywalker features frenetic but well-composed space battles, diverse settings and plenty of fun practical effects. Rey and Kylo undergo strong complementary character development, as they both come to terms with their dark origins and the destructive anger within them, and the fight sequences make clever use of their Force abilities.

However, the film’s narrative is erratic and uninspired. The first act is driven by a vague fetch-quest, and the heroes’ quick planet-hopping, easy escapes and quickly-reversed tragedies all dilute the urgency of the First Order’s imminent attack. Rey and Kylo’s personal journey is deeply moving, but this internal conflict, including their shared adversary, is almost completely detached from the broader war.

Rey’s origins, which were teased throughout the sequel trilogy, are finally revealed, but this bombshell carries little weight because it has no meaningful impact on her character. It’s also

disappointing that ‘blow up the thing’ has become such a generic, overused Star Wars conclusion.

The Rise of Skywalker is a thrilling ride with strong character development, but it’s disjointed, moves too fast and is too fixated on fan-service.

– Seth Lukas Hynes