I was about 12 years old when I saw the original Star Wars trilogy for the first time in its entirety during a marathon running on Network TV at the time. On this particular Christmas Day in 1995, it was all I really could do, given that I was grounded that particular holiday season for shitty grades. Nevertheless, my 12-year-old self was enthralled with those wonderful space battles, engaging dialogue, lightsaber sounds, and John Williams’ bombastic scores throughout. It was this particular Christmas day that kickstarted my love for our favorite galaxy far, far away.
24 years later…
After prequels, a multi-billion dollar Disney purchase, and sequels, the on-screen story of the most dysfunctional family in pop culture comes to a definitive end in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, a film which definitely brought back those nostalgic feelings of wonder that I experienced on that Christmas day two and a half decades ago. After all, writer/director J.J. Abrams’ entire movie career has been built on nostalgia (cause, you know, he’s become the king of fan service. Don’t believe me? ask the entire cast of Star Trek Into Darkness). I was impressed by the pace of the film, the action sequences (especially when it came to the giant space battle teased in the trailers) and delighted by some of the fan service scattered throughout the two hour and twenty-two minute odyssey.
There were moments where the fan service was unnecessary, even to the point where it contributed to a major convoluted plot point within the movie. The Rise of Skywalker, to me, felt very rushed, as if J.J. Abrams was trying cram so much into one film. This should have been split into two movies. Doing this may have eliminated any convolution in the plot and given certain characters more to do. Despite these annoyances, my enjoyment of this film was not deterred.
To sum this up without spoiling anything, for lack of a better phrasing, The Rise of Skywalker was the most Star Wars-y Star Wars movie ever made. Though I wish it were executed better, it’s a fun, fast-paced and bombastic thrill ride which was an ultimately pleasant end to the story of the first family of science fiction, albeit a hastily put together one.
rating: *** (3.7 out of 5 stars)
photo cred: Disney