“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” is not a good movie, but it’s not completely terrible. If you’re just looking for some entertainment and can live with a flawed “Star Wars” film, then you’ll probably get some enjoyment out of “The Rise of Skywalker.”
But if you want something that feels like the finale to a new epic chapter in the “Star Wars” saga, then you are not going to get it here. You won’t get something like “Avengers: Endgame.” Part of why “The Rise of Skywalker” loses its impact is that it’s a story we’ve seen before. If you have seen “Return of the Jedi,” then you have seen “The Rise of Skywalker.” There are even moments that feel like they were stolen from “A New Hope” and “Indiana Jones”— it’s like they’re doing this on purpose.
This is part of a pattern in the filmography of director J.J. Abrams. He directed “Force Awakens,” which was a copy/paste rip-off of “A New Hope.” Then there is his work as director of the recent “Star Trek” film franchise.
The first film, “Star Trek,” brought back the original characters. It was still a well-made movie, but the good will was lost when the sequel, “Star Trek: Into Darkness” brought back Khan as the villain because they couldn’t come up with one on their own. Like those movies, “The Rise of Skywalker” is a movie that is afraid to take any chances.
Other problems with “The Rise of Skywalker” would be that in order for this movie to work we have to be invested in the new characters of the franchise, and that doesn’t work for everybody. While we do get some interesting characters with Finn and Poe, when it comes to Rey, who is supposed to be the main focus of the trilogy, she is not compelling or doesn’t have a personality.
The only time we do see a personality from her is when she sleds through the sand like a little kid, and that moment of her just having some fun is truly the only character moment she gets in this entire movie, and probably the trilogy as well. She is never made to be interesting, not even in the third installment.
“The Rise of Skywalker” is a bad movie, but it’s not as bad as some other films from the Star Wars canon: “Phantom Menace,” “Attack of the Clones,” and recently, “The Last Jedi.” Like all Star Wars films, there are a few good moments, skilled filmmaking and some interesting ideas present. “Rise of the Skywalker” can be a fun movie, but it doesn’t rise any higher than that.
Approaching this new franchise from the perspective of a Star Wars fan, which I am, I believe that the real problem of this franchise is that this new saga doesn’t feel genuine at times. The people who were behind this new saga clearly researched the series, but they tried to just recreate it by trying to take from other Star Wars films. While the prequels were bad movies, they still tried to add something new.
I’m just happy that this new trilogy is over. It was a pain—Having to search your feelings as a fan to see how you truly feel, then getting into serious debates with other fans, which then could turn into arguments. And all of this over movies that aren’t anywhere close to the original trilogy in quality. Even the best movies from this trilogy can only be described as “good.” This trilogy wasn’t a fun one. It was more trouble than it was worth.