Now that I’ve had a chance to digest, consume, ponder, and dissect the film in my mind. It’s good; not just good, it’s wonderfully good; Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker wrapped up the trilogy and saga in a subtle, beautiful way. It also did so in one of the most exhilarating ways any Star Wars film has ever accomplished. This one is a ride, a crazy high octane ride.
A touch of perspective – my second viewing was more enjoyable than the first. I think that was due, in part, to having my son by my side and feeling his excitement and love radiate from him. He was on the edge of his seat and kept asking questions every turn of events throughout the movie. Then, when it was all over, his declaration that “this was my favorite Star Wars film of them all,” was a proud and happy moment for me.
I won’t spoil anything, yet. I may have to write some spoiler reviews or pieces in the near future, but I’ll let you all see it first.
There may be some bias in my following review, ok there’s a lot of bias. I love Star Wars. I’ve yet to see a Star Wars film I haven’t liked or loved for that matter. Do they have their issues? Sure. Are they perfect? No. However, they’re beautiful stories of good versus evil and everything in-between.
I’ve been to the theater twice in less than 24 hours. The second time allowed me the opportunity to set initial shock aside and really watch the story unfold. The movie is packed with a lot. It packaged it up into a tight two hours and 22 minutes; it really could have been two movies with as much as they needed to cover. In truth, they probably should have made two.
On second viewing, I noticed little moments that tied together both The Last Jedi and The Force Awakens in one continuous story. JJ Abrams opened the trilogy with a strong entry, Rian Johnson brought a thrill ride of a middle chapter, that caused controversy and took some big risks. JJ found a way to smooth it all out into a brilliant story. It was clear to me that he had ideas of how it would end when he did The Force Awakens and, the way he closed it out, he allowed the flow of The Last Jedi to blend in without disrupting what Johnson did.
There was thrill after thrill, bringing back old characters, bridging all three trilogies into one.
There was even a cameo or two. I’ll tell you one because I didn’t know about it at first, but made it fun the second time. John Williams, the man who has scored the entire saga, appeared in a small glimpse during the second act of the film. You wouldn’t know it was him, unless you just knew. I know, that is a weird way to put it, but I know no other way.
There was one other cameo, an old character, albeit brief; even more so than Williams’ moment;
Speaking of Williams, I loved how he again blended old themes from all previous films into this one with a heavy and emotional score. If you know the music of the saga, listen closely to the motifs and how he wove a brilliant, lovely, roller coaster score. It only enhances the experience of the film.
Look, I know many of you won’t like it. There are already many offering their disappointed angst and frustration with how this film and trilogy went. There is already a divide across fandom over The Last Jedi and the risks it took. That said, there are many of you who will love this. You’re in for a wild ride.
Pacing was off; like I said, it felt rushed at times and should have been spread out over two films in order to hit everything and allow time for the story to move in a natural current. There were some cringe moments for me, but there have been in almost all the films. I still have questions that remain unanswered. I even hoped for additional cameos; although those came in different forms toward the end of the film.
I got misty eyed in moments, there was intense anxious moments, and there were some of the happiest moments I’ve felt.
The tie-ins, symbolism, mythology, and moral conflicts that play out will give me plenty of focus pieces to write for months to come. Plus, I’ll be talking about it with my co-hosts on our Idiot’s Array podcast in the coming weeks and months.
Go see it, give it a chance and I hope you enjoy this action packed beautiful story.
Remember, it is through the eyes of a child that we may experience the greatest joy. Watch it, as if you were a child all over again. Bask in it, as you recall your childhood Star Wars memories.
The Rise of Skywalker closed a long story, but opened many possibilities for future stories and movies. I look forward to what is to come.
May the force be with you, my friends. Happy Holidays.