RE­VIEW: Lat­est ‘Star Wars’ messy, yet, proper end­ing

The Saline Courier - - NEWS - By J.T. John­son

I went with a couple of friends to go check out

“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” the fi­nal chap­ter in the Se­quel Tril­ogy. The se­quels started with “The Force Awak­ens” in 2015 and con­tin­ued in 2017 with the re­lease of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” After fin­ish­ing this fi­nal film, one of my friends looked at me smil­ing and said, “It’s a mess, but it’s a beau­ti­ful mess.”

I can def­i­nitely agree with that as­sess­ment to a cer­tain ex­tent. There’s a whole lot of movie packed into this 2-hour-and-20-minute pack­age. It’s pretty much a roller coaster ride from the moment that the film be­gins, all the way to its cli­mac­tic con­clu­sion.

The movie starts by set­ting up right away that Em­peror Pal­pa­tine (Ian Mcdiarmid) is back. Kylo Ren is search­ing him out, not to join him but to de­stroy him. Kylo is now the Supreme Leader of the First Order and doesn’t want any com­pe­ti­tion to his rule. After he finds Pal­pa­tine, though, the Sith Lord of­fers him a new fleet of mas­sive Star De­stroy­ers that will help Kylo rule the galaxy and all he has to do is track down Rey (Daisy Ri­d­ley) and kill her as she is a ma­jor threat to their rule.

Mean­while, Rey is at the Re­sis­tance base where she is cur­rently be­ing taught by Gen­eral Leia (Car­rie Fisher). Rey is get­ting more pow­er­ful but she is still try­ing to truly find her place in the galaxy. Soon, though, her friends Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and Finn

(John Boyega) re­turn with a mes­sage that con­firms that Em­peror Pal­pa­tine is alive.

This causes all of them to go on a mis­sion to dis­cover what they need to take Pal­pa­tine down once and for all.

The movie is packed with a lot of ma­te­rial due to its am­bi­tion. Co-writer and di­rec­tor J.J. Abrams not only wanted to con­clude the Se­quel Tril­ogy but the en­tire nine episode “Skywalker Saga.” He swings for the fences at ev­ery corner, mean­ing that he doesn’t al­ways hit home but he’s a pro so thank­fully, he gets way more right than he does wrong in this film.

There are sev­eral ac­tion se­quences and they are all fun in their own right. Yes, there may be a few too many of them, but I must say that my eyes were glued to the screen and I never once found my­self to be bored by the film. It was fun fol­low­ing our three main leads, but it was also just as fun see­ing our old fan fa­vorites along with some new char­ac­ters along the way.

It was great to see Billy Dee Williams back as Lando Cal­ris­sian, a smooth talker who can ac­tu­ally give our char­ac­ters a lit­tle more per­spec­tive that comes with age and ex­pe­ri­ence. Then, of course, there is our lov­able droids C-3PO, R2-D2 and BB-8, along with Chew­bacca who is still sup­port­ing his com­pan­ions.

One of the things that im­pressed me most was how well they in­cor­po­rated the un­used footage of the late Car­rie Fisher in order to fin­ish Leia’s sto­ry­line. There was more there than I thought there’d be and it was used to give Leia’s story a fit­ting con­clu­sion. Ku­dos goes to Abrams for giv­ing her more than a sim­pli­fied and quick cameo.

There are plenty of sur­prises and twists and turns in the film, but I don’t want to say too much more with­out spoil­ing any­thing else. Was “The Rise of Skywalker” a per­fect end­ing?


Will it sat­isfy ev­ery Star Wars fan?

No, but what does th­ese days any­way?

For this old fan, though, it was a good time and ul­ti­mately a messy, yet, proper end­ing to a mag­i­cal and epic story that started over 42 years ago.

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