The formidable conclusion to one of the most enduring franchises in the world is played out in Star Wars: Episode IX — Rise Of Skywalker.
Representing the final in the new trilogy of films — but also the final of all Star Wars films — it wraps up all the loose ends and leaves fans nostalgic in its wake.
But it fails to surprise, shock or bring any really fantastic revelations forward, essentially undoing an incredible sequel that came before it. Director Rian Johnson’s polarizing but superior The Last Jedi was an incredible film, but one some diehard fans weren’t happy with.
It changed the trajectory of Star Wars forever. This, to me, made it a worthwhile film. And yet, Rise Of Skywalker’s ultimate walk-back of everything that sequel accomplished was a service to fans of the films and a disservice to anyone who liked the daring Johnson sequel.
The exploits of Kylo Ren, Luke & Leia, Chewbacca, and friends Rey, Finn, Poe and more provide us with a fitting, interesting entry, but nothing every really surprises us. The acting from Mark Hamill, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac and especially Adam Driver as Ren is serviceable, but no one truly shines.
Disney has brought us a a new, shiny franchise, and one I enjoyed — even if in the end, the final product has become wholly unnecessary. One wishes more risks were taken, like those from Empire Strikes Back, which have been realized as hugely important over time.
It’s a shame the filmmakers and studio didn’t have more courage here, because overall, Rise Of Skywalker looks great but lacks the substance to achieve the true magnificence of the best Star Wars installments.
Rise Of Skywalker is available now on VOD, Bluray/DVD and ITunes.