Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is Solid End to Franchise [SPOILERS]
The conclusion to what is arguably the greatest yet flawed movie franchise in Hollywood history is out this weekend. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is not my favorite movie in the franchise, but it was a good way to put a bow on the saga that began the year I was born.
If you are someone who finds more joy in hating and being critical of things that don't really matter, then it wouldn't matter what J.J. Abrams put on the screen for you, you would not like it. If you are a reasonable person who just watches a movie and then has a feeling at the end, I am betting that feeling about the movie will be generally positive.
Now for some space before I write about a few of the spoilers, and leaving out the biggest ones, here's a picture of Baby Yoda holding Motley Crue's Dr. Feelgood album to provide a buffer. After that...
AHEAD SPOILERS THERE ARE. WARNED ARE YOU NOW.
I will always think of Rise of Skywalker as a funeral or memorial service for the original characters the world fell in love with 42 years ago. Not so surprisingly, General Leia Organa dies reaching out with the force to her son Kylo Ren/Ben Solo to help him redeem himself. Her death was not unexpected since the death of Carrie Fischer happened before the shooting of this film had begun.
Han Solo makes an appearance that wasn't cheesy nor out of bounds with the Star Wars universe. It was merely he talking to his son, giving guidance, and helping him return from the dark side as a figment of Kylo/Ben's imagination.
Luke appears as a force ghost to guide Rey back to her destined battle with Emperor Palpatine, much the way Obi-Wan Kenobi did for Luke in Return of the Jedi.
The Thing I Liked Least
There was only one thing I didn't like about this final Star Wars movie. The Emperor, whom we learned is actually the grandfather of Rey and that she is a Palpatine, is on some sort of life support or is an undead zombie, I'm not sure. He was thrown by Darth Vader into an abyss on the incomplete Death Star in Return of the Jedi, but somehow survived? It made no sense that he not only survives the fall into some sort of nothing or nowhere on a space station that looked like it was completely vaporized. Combine that with the fact that there was the wreckage of the second Death Star still recognizable and looked more like a shipwreck than scattered pieces following a molten metal fireball.
The Thing I Liked Most
The very end of the movie, following the celebration of the victory over the Final Order, Rey visits the place where the saga began. She walks around the desert farmstead of Luke Skywalker's Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru on Tatooine. Then there is a shot of Rey facing the setting pair of suns, harkening back to the same shot of Luke. Normally this sort of thing would be cheesy to me. But since there have been 42 years since the first movie, it didn't feel like cheddar, it felt like an homage to Rey's teacher Luke, and to the original film that started it all.