Lea, the boys, and took in an afternoon matinee of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker at Cinemark today.
As longtime readers know, eight days after release isn’t my style, but you have to see a Star Wars film quickly if you don’t want anything ruined for you. Indeed, there was actually a small detail that was already spoiled for me heading into this viewing. (But rest assured, you’ll find none below.)
We’ve been told several times that this is the final installment of the Skywalker saga, so Episode IX is saddled with some housekeeping. It never feels overly administrative, though. There is plenty of room in its 2:22 run time to tie things up and still provide plenty of Star Wars-style action and narrative.
As with the previous two films, the familiar and the new are skillfully woven together. There is respect for what has come before (and the deft use of musical cues from across the film series deserves specific mention here). However, canon is also augmented fearlessly. Old friends return warmly and authentically, and we make a few new ones as well.
There is another brilliant turn from Daisy Ridley as Rey, with good (though mostly ancillary) work from Oscar Isaac and John Boyega. I was a little disappointed with what I perceived to be a diminished role for Kelly Marie Tran as Rose Tico. I think she may have been “Jar Jar”ed a bit in this script because of particularly nasty online reaction to her work in the previous film, which is unfortunate indeed.
The discord among some fans that began in earnest with Episode VIII has continued with this one, and I have no patience for it. Best I can tell, the films tell a story, and some malcontents somehow think they’re owed a different story, or that the creative team’s respect for the Star Wars universe is insufficient, or both. Then, as now, my response is: why bother watching them if you already know how they’re “supposed” to go?
This is another excellent film, and I stand by my from-the-beginning assertion that Disney acquiring Star Wars is the best thing that could have happened to it. The Skywalker story may have concluded, but we’ll have marvelous additions to the universe to enjoy for the rest of our lives.