Star Wars: The Rise of the Skywalker Review – Spectacular, Electrifying, Dramatic

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Star Wars: The Rise of the Skywalker, from Walt Disney Pictures, LucasFilm and Bad Robot, presents an epic story of wars and worlds, and desire, determination and drive verses power in the ultimate battle of good verse evil.

Directed and co-written by J.J. Abrams, Star Wars: The Rise of the Skywalker stars Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, Carrie Fisher, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, Billie Lourd, Keri Russell, Mark Hamill, Ian McDiarmid, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Richard E. Grant, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Joonas Suotamo, Jimmy Vee, Andy Serkis, with Harrison Ford, and based on characters created by George Lucas.

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Star Wars: Rise of the Skywalker begins with Kylo Ren, played by Adam Driver, in an epic battle, and when it is over, the fallen show he is more than simply an impressive or formidable warrior: he is supernatural. After the battle he is strengthen by the powers possessed by the evil one, Palpatine, played by Ian McDiarmid, from whom he seeks direction, wisdom and all power. He is on a quest to find and kill Rey, played by Daisy Ridley.

After bowing and seeking wisdom from the dark one, he returns to his ship and chooses a new helmet, to signify the victory, black with blood red veins to intimidate both friend and foe. Once he returns to his quarters, he again seeks the wisdom of the dark side.

Finn, played by John Boyega, Poe Dameron, played by Oscar Isaac, Chewbacca, played by Joonas Suotamo, and C-3PO, played by Anthony Daniels are deeply engrossed in a futuristic game of chess, when warrior from the dark side are detected. A spy in their ranks has sent word to the resistance of the military plans enabling them to escape the current attacks.

With word of incoming, we see Rey levitating while she is attempting to become one with the great cloud of witnesses. Hoping to force the infusion of the forefathers and warriors that have gone before her, she realizes it’s just not happening and the force is silent. Still in Jedi training, she runs an obstacle course and is stopped by the rising of the past, pictures, a collage of moments lost.

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Regrouping at the resistance headquarters, General Organa, played in archival footage by Carrie Fisher, and Rey decide to take the battle to them. Soon the trio, along with a droid, a robot and a Wookiee are off hunting the Kylo Ren.

The battle between Kylo Ren and Rey, is a fight for the throne. Rey who is tormented by her past, the voices long forgotten are now sirens begging her to follow, pulling her further and further from her center, from the light, her strength, and Kylo Ren, who has an resolute faith in the power from Palpatine that will reward him with future worlds, galaxies, greatness beyond imagination. In the visions they both have seen, they see the other, standing, together united.

Not knowing what to expect as the film is billed as both an end and a beginning, the end of an era and the rise or a new one, I have to say I found myself becoming emotionally invested in the story. Possibly due to the use of Carrie Fisher in archival footage throughout and finally handling her death with a natural story line and quote possibly because it was extraordinary, filled with grand, heroic, determining moments.

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Star Wars: The Rise of the Skywalker is the end of an era, as every war has casualty many beloved characters are lost to the battle. For some the journey has ended, for others a season of contentment, and still others the journey into the past

The film was stunning with amazing, dramatic and thrilling special effects. The missteps were minor, a few of the monologues had a familiar feel. A couple of the scenes broadcasted the next when there should have been a heightened moment of suspense. 

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Overall, the film was stunning, with the vastness of space realized, with realistic planets, worlds, and galaxies. The creative effort to build upon the genius of George Lucas while keeping the original details, which obviously has been a work in progress since the beginning of the release of the first new Stars Wars film in 2015, was a staggering, electrifying achievement.

Star Wars: The Rise of the Skywalker opens everywhere Friday, December 20, 2019. See this film.

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