REVIEW: Star Wars Episode 9: The Rise of Skywalker


There have been some mixed feelings for this new trilogy of Star Wars films. Many are excited and others are otherwise. Many think that these films are masterpieces while others think they are trash. 

Being a Star Wars fan myself, I had to see the past film’s myself and not just hear what people are saying. The newest addition to the franchise was a pleasant surprise for me. I went with a few friends who all had the same question going into the movie; it’s the last one in the Skywalker saga, so how is J.J. Abrams going to work with the previous installments? 

Personally, once I saw the film I felt an odd sense of being complete. My friends agreed with that thought as well. In fact, we spoke for an hour and a half digesting the film. There is so much that happens in the film that it would be surprising if one didn’t have something to say about it! 

There was a lot of character development in the film, which I thought was handled very well. 

Rey discovers shocking information, but learns that she shouldn’t let her past define her character and actions now. Finn is finally at peace with his past being a stormtrooper and he’s much more comfortable in his new situation. Kylo Ren definitely continues his character development. I don’t want to say too much! I thought that while Rose wasn’t a character that most of the people who watched the previous film liked, what Abrams did with her in this film was a much better fit for the plot of the movie. In fact, it appears that Rose seemingly matures and becomes much more sure of herself this film. 

Lando Calrissian is back once again played by Billy Dee Williams. Maaz is also back, though she isn’t as focused on this time. Chewbacca, of course, is there as seen in the trailer. He has some interesting character development, though I shouldn’t say too much about it! 

Then there is Palpatine. Star Wars fans have been arguing over how in the world Palpatine is in the film. My friends theorized that he was cloned or is a hologram just like in the comics. Abrams certainly answers this question and more so! He has obviously been thinking very hard over how to end the series.  

And for me, that is exactly what this film is attempting to do; answer questions, while being able to end a storyline with an open end so that the franchise can go on. Many people, and rightly so, are saying things like my father is saying. “I’m not looking forward to seeing the original Star Wars end,” he said. “I think that they’re probably going to screw up things since they only have one film to answer two films worth of questions.”

The saga has had a rather bumpy ride over the last three years, especially with changes in writers and directors.

What I specifically liked about the movie above all was the fact that there are some questions leftover, and Abrams answered the ones he felt would help move the story forward, as well as bring up some things that were initially in the comics and video games (like Force Healing and Life Force Manipulation) into the Star Wars film canon. On top of this, Lucasfilm also managed to finally get several epic lightsaber fights on the screen that we’ve wanted since we saw Luke doing flips on Dagobah. We also get to see stunning scenery that rivals that of “Revenge of the Sith.” All the characters that we’ve been attached to for the last three films finally get to rest. Of course, the good guys win (not spoilers), but I feel like this was a great attempt to get the storyline to an ending point! 

My rating is 8.5/10. 

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Nathan Lawrence
Nathan Lawrence is a Junior majoring in Secondary Education in English and Minoring with an ESL certification. He's been a part of the Journal for all 3 of the years that he's attended UM-D, and has loved every minute of it. He is an avid creative writer, shutterbug, and experienced writer. He enjoys food, seeing movies with friends, and trying new ideas for writing!