Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Review

Wow!! Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is finally here, and it's created the hype and excitement that is exclusive to Star Wars movies. Last night I attended a midnight screening and for the first time ever I was both excited and nervous to watch a Star Wars film. I can confirm that I really love The Rise of Skywalker, I'm still buzzing now: it has brilliant moments, moments that will make you cry and laugh, it ties up loose ends whilst creating new ones. There are a few things that I am not fully satisfied with and most of these are tiny things and it quickly becomes apparent that Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) was a huge missed opportunity. I left the cinema both thrilled with the film but disappointed with what could have been, Disney would have created a brilliant trilogy if they had planned a cohesive storyline from the very start. But honestly, I'm thrilled with The Rise of Skywalker, it is an epic conclusion to decades of epic movies. I will certainly be seeing it at the cinema again! Read on for a full review - there will be spoilers so DO NOT read if you have not seen/do not want to see spoilers, save the link and come back later.

Buy Star Was: The Rise of Skywalker by CLICKING HERE
Narrative wise Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is brilliant; I love the direction the movie took and narrative wise I have no real issues. I do think that the material should have been spread over two movies, which I think would have made the beginning of the film a little less jumpy and would have created deeper relationships between the characters. The film opens with a killer scene of Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) finding a wayfinder and travelling to the Sith planet of Exegol where it is revelled that Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) had returned and that he was behind Snoke (Andy Serkis). The whole opening scene is fantastic and sets up the darker mood that flows through the movie. Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), Poe (Oscar Isaac), Chewie (Joonas Suotamo), BB-8 and C-3P0 (Anthony Daniels) also set out to find their own wayfinder in order to find and destroy the Sith. We finally get to see Rey in training with it being revelled that Leia (Carrie Fisher) trained to be a Jedi. The connection between Rey and Kylo/Ben is explored throughout and I nearly lost it when Ben turned up to fight Palpatine with Rey - his redemption story arc is perfect and seeing him fight as a Jedi is everything I ever wanted. I could talk about narrative all day - mainly because there is so much of it stuffed into the movie! I love that Rey was a Palpatine (although it does raise questions), I loved the final battle, I loved the return of Palpatine and thought the story worked perfectly, I loved so much really!

So, the Ben/Rey kiss is probably going to upset some fans but I honestly thought it was great - Star Wars has always featured an epic love story (Han and Leia, Anakin and Padme) so Ben and Rey falling for each other was a given and I'm just sad he had to die. Ben Solo/Kylo Ren is for me the most complex character of the movie, one again he fights with his inner demons, we see him wanting to return home to his mum and the conversation with Han (Harrison Ford) was perfect - he no longer wanted power or the dark side and he ran into battle to help Rey defenceless, we also get to see him do some really awful things (which I loved), however I don't think he was ever really a threat to Rey he always wanted her at his side and eventually he stood at her side. The moment Ben takes on the Knights of Ren is fantastic the second he gets the lightsaber and shrugs at them I lost it! Rey is still my faviourte character of the sequel trilogy, she is inspirational and her bravery is unmatched, the way she handles her heritage gives her strength. Rey became more of a complex character throughout the film, the moment she used lightning I knew we were going to see a more aggressive side to her character, her determination throughout is brilliant. One thing I really wanted from this film was crazy cool lightsaber battles and we certainly got them! The scene where Rey and Kylo fight on the Death star is one of top battles in Star Wars and the aggression in Rey made me think of Anakin - she was so close to taking the path to the dark side. I would go and watch this film ten times just for this scene. 

I also loved the final battle; I wish there had been some lingering shots on the ships. But I could certainly see: Ghost, the Mandalorian ship and I'm pretty sure there was a fighter plane from Naboo. Finn and Poe really shined throughout the movie, I loved that they became generals. I loved the addition of Jannah (Naomi Ackie), she instantly took on a central role and I certainly think there will be a spin off where she turns out to be the daughter of Lando (Billy Dee Willaims). Mark Hamill's cameo was perfect and the shot of him raising the X-wing is sure to bring back happy memories for many fans. So, one thing I really wanted from this movie was a force ghost Anakin (Hayden Christenson) we did not get this but we did get his voice when the Jedi speak to Rey, we hear not only Anakin, but Luke, Leia, Obi-wan, Yoda, Mace Windu and Ashoka. These voice cameos may have been fan service, but I loved them, however at the end where Rey declares herself a Skywalker we should have seen Anakin and Ben as well as Luke and Leia. I do think that The Rise of Skywalker undid and ignored a lot of The Last Jedi, for example we now know that Luke was trying to find Exegol and not just hiding out, the forced Rose and Finn kiss from The Last Jedi was completely ignored, in fact Rose was barely on screen and Finn seemed to be very much in love with Rey (which was a little over done and never resolved). I also hated the basic opening scroll and wondered what George Lucas must have thought when he read it. 

John Williams has once again created an epic score (It's up on Spotify so make sure you check it out). I loved the Darth Vader theme that ran throughout, this both added and amplified the darker tone of the film. I also loved that we got sound bites from pretty much every pervious film. Visually this film is stunning, the use of lightening on the Sith planet is epic, the clashing of Blue and Red lightsabers is classic, the Death Star scenes are breath-taking. There are some beautiful shots: The spin on the Knights of Ren is awesome, the scenes where Rey and Kylo are connected but not together are fantastic, the final battle is full of interesting shots. This film is just awesome technically, the use of CGI and practical effects are perfect. I loved that the final celebration showed a planet from each trilogy and Rey's end on Tatooine is perfect and earned - Rey has just as much right to that shot as Luke.    

Overall, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is a brilliant movie, full of lightsaber battles, an epic romance, force jumps, true evil and satisfying character arch's. I do think that this trilogy was let down by the change for creative control and I think going forward Disney need to consider writing full narratives before starting the production process, I have also seen that they wish to move away from the three movie narrative which I think would be a massive mistake. Star Wars is an amazing creation and it has and continues to inspire so many people, I love Star Wars - I always have and always will. Do I think this is really end of the Skywalker saga - no, I think more will come - Rey and her story is not over. But overall, I am very happy with this movie and I will certainly be seeing it again! Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is EPIC!!

I do think Ben Solo should have survived though! 

Please let me know in the comments what you thought. 

Thank you for reading xx

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Comments

  1. Brilliant review and I for one am so glad that I read. I cannot see the film until January but it has not spoiled the film for me in fact it has paved the way for me to have a wonderful time when I do see it. It has literally laid it all out like a red (or should I say blue) carpet for me to savor and relish. Thank you very much.

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  2. Thank you for reading and thank you for such a lovely comment. I am so glad you are looking forward to seeing Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Thank you again for the great comment, I'm glad my review has helped you look forward to the film xx

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  3. Anonymous21/12/19

    I agree with you. I liked it a lot, but it gave me also an acute sense of sadness.

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  4. I’m an old fan, sat in the theater in 1977 when nobody could prepare themselves for what this little space opera would do to us. This movie perfectly summed up the entire run, it was a perfect bookend, and your review nails it. I was really disappointed with Last Jedi, but like you said, this epically paved over those missteps, even going so far as to explain why a “Holdo” maneuver was a one in a million shot, (cool effect, bad idea) and other nods to us OG fans like Chewie getting a medal, and Luke raiding his ship. Something about this movie even made me ok with the last movie. I also though it was a nice touch to have Rey slide down the sand at tattooine like she did in the first movie on Jakku. Great review for a great movie

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  5. Anonymous23/12/19

    Finally, someone who watched the movie and gave it the review that it needs. I'm so tired of seeing the hate for my beloved Star Wars. All of the reviews so far that I've seen, breaks the movie down in Itty bitty sub plots and form their opinion from that. If the movie is watched as a whole and not bits and pieces, it is, as you say, "Epic"!
    I do believe that Ben should not have died though. I understand why, he gave his life for Rey. IMHO, the best Star Wars movie of them all.

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  6. Anonymous23/12/19

    Loved this movie!! It gave me all the feels! I wish Ben a lived also, would have loved seeing him and Ray together. I just thought it was a great movie, it hit all the points and then some. Love, Love Loved it.

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  7. Thank you for reading! I agree that there is a tinge of sadness to the end of this movie

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  8. Thank you for reading and for leaving such a great comment Kidcubfan. It is nice to hear from someone that has been part of the Star Wars magic from the very start. I am so gald you think my review nailed the film!!

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  9. Thank you for reading I'm so glad you also though TROS is an epic movie!! So many people are sad about Ben - I think that he should have been in the final scene with Rey - even if he was just a force ghost.

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  10. I also would have loved to see Ben and Rey together - I think it would have made the ending more epic. Thank you for reading my review! I am so glad you loved the movie.

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  11. Great Review Darcie Grey, I agree with its a great film, Has a few flaws, that could have been done better. But over all A Enjoyable film, seen it three times now, But Cant wait for the Blu Ray to come out so I can pause certain scenes. I dont understand why some hate this film.

    Rey in my mind found a surrogate family,in Luke and leia. I know it sad that Ben Died, but he redeemed him self by saving Rey.

    This film is definately in my top three now..

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  12. Thank you for reading my review - I'm glad you liked it and the movie. I also do not understand the negativity surrounding the film - its very sad as it seems to be slowing the films success. I hope people stop listening to the critics and head to the cinema. I agree with the points regarding Rey and I agree that Ben redeemed himself it just would have been nice to see him with Rey at the end (if in the form of a force ghost).

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  13. This DISNEY trilogy is a crime against the seventh art, that's why I say it down here:

    The first DISNEY ERROR; didn't sit down and plot a script for this new trilogy, didn't assign a director general to make all three films (I consider both JJ Abrams and Rian Johnson MEDIOCRES, they shouldn't direct this movie, JJ Abrams could be a producer, but never a screenwriter or so little director).
    Second ERROR; disrespected the classic characters, if you will bring the classics back respect them, third ERROR; lazy scripts and cowardly acts, OK, turning Luke Skywalker into a coward and killer is unforgivable (I hated this and I will never forgive DISNEY for such a thing), but since this atrocity has been committed, keep her and continue with what she did. .

    Fourth ERROR; eternal recycling of the contents of the past trilogies, each trilogy should be unique one should not repeat the contents of the others, make reference but not plagiarize, that is, no copy and paste, plagiarism is a CRIME, I learned this in school. Fifth ERROR; did not follow and did not even adapt the THREE scripts that George W. Lucas made ready, seriously there were THREE scripts, DISNEY could, and should follow these THREE manuscripts of George W. Lucas and keep him as advisor.

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  14. I didn't go with my family and all have vowed no spoilers.

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  15. I only read the beginning as I was thinking to see the movie soon. Now, I just have to see it. Will come back and read the rest of it :)

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  16. I loved the first three Star Wars films as a kid, and for years they were apart of Christmas because they'd always have one of them on TV. But I've been disappointed with all the Star War's films that came after that. I'm only going to watch the last one to get closure on the story that I grew up with

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  17. Thank you for reading Tulio, I actually love 2/3rds of the Disney trilogy. I think that whilst some elements of these films are not perfect, but I also think the same goes for both the original and prequel trilogies (both of which I love). I do agree that George Lucas should have been involved some way but it has been rumoured that he wanted to take a step back.

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  18. Thank you for reading Anada! I am so glad you are going to see this film! Please let me know what you thought of it!!

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  19. Thank you for reading Unwanted Life. Its a shame that you have not enjoyed the Prequel and Sequel trilogies like I have. I really hope that you find something to love in The Rise of Skywalker.

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  20. Very interesting review. I agree that it was visually stunning overall but some of the special effects were not as polished as I would expect for the franchise. I agree that the film should have been divided into two as some characters such as Rose barely had any screen time and others had nothing to do. I thought that the 'kiss' was unnecessary though as it would have been good for Rey to remain as this ultimate Jedi warrior without being bogged down by romance in a similar premise to Jyn in Rogue One. It's a satisfying conclusion, tinged with sadness, and certainly rewards its loyal fans.

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  21. Thank you for reading L-Franglais! I'm glad you think my review is interesting. Whilst I agree to some extent I do not think Rey is 'bogged' down with a romantic storyline - epic love has always been a central theme in Star Wars and I think the connection between Rey and Kylo was always present. I agree that TROS was a satisfying conclusion tinged with sadness.

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  22. Anonymous5/1/20

    Thank you for the great review. I have seen Rise twice and am looking forward to seeing it again soon. I am a true Star Wars fan. I was 10 years old in 1977, and I think this film was a great ending to 9 movies that span most of my life. One thing I don’t agree with you on is that I don’t think Finn is as much in love with Rey as you and most people think. He was trying to tell her that he is force sensitive like she is, and she was the first person he came into contact with when he left the first order, so there will always be a connection he feels to Rey. It doesn’t HAVE to be a romantic connection. Him being force sensitive just makes it a closer connection. Again, wonderful review and may the force be with you, always.

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  23. Thank you for reading, it's always great to hear from someone that's been a fan of Star Wars since the very beginning. I'm so glad you enjoyed my review. Since the news has come out that Finn is force sensitive it all makes more sense - it's sad that the film didn't fully convey this information. May the force be with you to.

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