I went into this film with relatively low expectations given the flaws in The Last Jedi. The Rise of Skywalker was ambitious on a rare scale for movies. It was aimed at wrapping up story arcs that were over 40 years in the making, including some arcs we didn’t even know were out there. The character arcs were, in some cases, less-than-inspiring. On top of that, Carrie Fisher had died between films.
So my expectations going in were pretty shallow. Imagine my surprise that I was pleasantly pleased with this film.
My friend Scott summed up one thing that had to be addressed. Rey had to be somebody. She couldn’t be a nobody. He was 100% right. That was missing from her arc and was critical. Well, we got that with The Rise of Skywalker. It wasn’t entirely unexpected, but it was a neat twist.
In fact, this movie answered a lot of questions we had from The Last Jedi, which now makes me reevaluate that movie. Touché JJ Abrams. The film also avoided all of the Hollywood socio-political statement scenes that assisted in my loathing of The Last Jedi.
I came away with a whole new bag of questions I wanted answered, but for the most part, the strands of storyline that have been dangling with this trilogy were, for the most part, tied into a neat Christmas knot. I saw some old friends and we saw some depth in some of the characters that we hadn’t seen in previous films.
While I more than got my money’s worth, I can say with honesty that this movie is not in the top three of the Star Wars films. It is good, it has some heartwarming moments, but it is not epic or great. Bear in mind this was a year where we saw the culmination of the Marvel films as well, and Endgame would be tough to top.
I had fun and enjoyed myself. From a writer’s perspective, I tried to come up with a nerd-based litany of changes I would have done, but my list was less about the story and more about scenes that could and should have been included.
I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. There are bound to be a lot of haters out there, but they won’t sway my take on the film.