Monday, December 23, 2019

[Review] Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

So it’s all come down to this...

Cruising in as the third and final installment of the 2010s Star Wars trilogy, The Rise of Skywalker blasts off to a fitting conclusion, so sit back and let the force take over.

The story sees Rey, Finn, Poe, Chewbacca, BB-8, and C-3PO set out to fight against the First Order and search for the whereabouts of the evil Emperor Palpatine, while Kylo Ren gears up for an inevitability epic confrontation with Rey.

An early chunk of the film does a lot of stage-establishing and setting-hopping, but it’s completely watchable. I was just happy to have another new Star Wars movie in front of my eyes. It really hyper-speeds into excellence during the second half with gripping momentum and a non-stop series of spectacular battles, chases, infiltrations, and pushes and pulls and clashes and bashes between good and evil. And while the plot sometimes relies on conveniences and coincidences, it makes up for the lapses in logic with pure entertainment and blockbuster fun. 

The film’s most significant strength is the genuinely compelling paths that Rey and Kylo Ren’s characters each take. They’re the characters in this era that we’ve invested the most in (well, aside from the Porgs), and it’s riveting to see the monumental dilemmas they’re faced with and the game-altering decisions they’re forced to make. Like looking at a pair of fractured mirrors, the two are struggling against the opposing forces just as much as they’re struggling against their inner selves. Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver are fantastic here.

The Rise of Skywalker delivers the electrifying climaxes, crafty twists, big reveals, fist-pumping moments, chill-inducing moments, and the emotional goodbyes that you’d come to expect. And in the end, it once again becomes crucially transparent that at the core of the Star Wars galaxy has always been a glowing pulse of friendship, heart, and the spirit of those we’ve lost.

* 9/10 *

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