Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is being billed as the ninth and last episode in the series focusing on Skywalker. Hard to believe that Disney is willing to bring to a conclusion what has been a box office juggernaut. And just when the original trio – Harrison Ford as Han Solo, Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, and Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia – have been replaced with a very appealing threesome of young actors. Daisy Ridley as Rey, Oscar Isaac as Poe, and John Boyega as Finn, have brought energy and excitement back into the franchise. Why put it to bed now?
The Rise of Skywalker is bound to please some fans and disappoint others. If the reaction to the ending of Game of Thrones is any indication, rabid fans will always find fault with how a popular series comes to a close. Most people who have followed the saga since George Lucas first imagined a world where good vs. evil, where space ships fight intergalactic battles, and where an unending parade of creatures (some repulsive like Jabba the Hutt, some adorable like the puffin-like porgs) astound and delight audiences, will embrace wholeheartedly this latest and last installment.
While Luke Skywalker faced off against Darth Vader, later revealed to be his father, Rey’s nemesis is Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), Luke’s nephew and the son of Solo and Leia. Driver, who seems to be everywhere these days with starring roles in The Report and Marriage Story, delivers a performance of the villain we love to hate. We keep hoping for his redemption. Will Rey be able to conquer her own demons (we still know little about her genetic links – ever hear of 23 and Me?) and save Kylo Ren from an unfortunate end? No spoilers here, but how can this saga end on anything but a positive note?
All of your favorites are back. I won’t list them, (Billy Dee Williams, where have you been?), but you know who they are. The familiar scrolling at the beginning, catching us up on the happenings in a galaxy far, far away, creates anticipation for what is to follow. John Williams’ score does the trick, not only at the beginning, but throughout the film, serving as a nostalgic reminder of all those episodes past. We’ve come a long, long way since Ford and crew first set out on this journey and truly changed the course at the multiplex. An era is coming to an end. Or is it?
Photos courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures