The final chapter of modern cinemas greatest ever mythology comes to a close in Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker, and this blockbuster movie event is packed together with plenty of rock’ n roll moments that will truly get your spirit racing.
A year after the events of The Last Jedi, the remnants of the Resistance face the First Order once again—while reckoning with the past and their own inner turmoil. Meanwhile, the ancient conflict between the Jedi and the Sith reaches its climax, altogether bringing the Skywalker saga to a definitive end.
As the first port of call, THIS REVIEW WILL BE ENTIRELY SPOILER FREE. Now, let me say that J.J. Abrams has returned to the coveted role of director, following his work on Star Wars: The Force Awakens and his loud and extravaganza filmmaking style is on full display here. And it makes for one hell of a rush! When it comes to directors who know how to crank up the volume and deliver the spectacle, they don’t come much bigger than Abrams, and the director has that rare talent, like James Cameron before him, to use action as narrative and here he propels this story forward at lightning speed. It’s clear from watching the epicness of this film that Abrams understands the monumental scope of the task at hand, and he once again delivers everything of himself as a filmmaker and really sticks the landing. In my opinion, he crafts a work that truly articulates love and respect for this mythology and audiences will have a wild time watching it.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens made her a star, and now Daisy Ridley steps up with her performance here as the scavenger turned Jedi Rey. In Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker, Rey must contend with the dark side and must journey towards what she fears most, to face it and overcome it, and there are surprises that no audience member will see coming here. Ridley delivers considerable dramatic depth in The Rise Of Skywalker, and she gives a committed and extremely natural performance as she has to contend with the pull of both the force and the dark side, and which power will ultimately hold sway over her.
Contending with Ridley’s Rey for mastery of the force and the galaxy is Adam Driver who returns as Kylo Ren, and the Supreme Commander of the First Order is now an even hungrier animal and is ready to go to extremes to get what he wants. Abrams returns Kylo Ren to the badass dark side warrior that we were first introduced to back in The Force Awakens, and here his malice and anger are turned up to a whole new level. Driver’s commitment is considerably engaged with his performance, and this gives his power over the character considerable depth as his actions lead him ever closer to his ultimate destiny.
For those wanting a movie-going experience that floors the throttle, well, you’ll be very happy with what Abrams and his team bring to the screen in The Rise Of Skywalker. The action in The Rise Of Skywalker doesn’t stop for a second, and whether it’s the rush of an explosive space battle or the crackling strikes of lightsabers in full combat as Rey and Kylo Ren duel it out, there’s plenty to get excited about. While I won’t go into too much detail, I will say that if there was a moment that struck me with it’s epicness then it most definitely was the dynamic lightsaber battles that we got to see this time. While in The Force Awakens we were only beginning to see these characters begin to harness their powers, here they are fully open to them and the resulting fight scene between both light and dark absolutely grips your attention.
Alongside the film’s gripping action sequences, and the magnificent level of practical detail that Abrams and his team bring to its production design and art direction, the film’s focus on tying together all of the Star Wars mythology is a grand achievement on Abrams behalf. As the greatest ever modern myth, Star Wars holds a very special place in the hearts of people the world over, and Abrams uses this love and reference for this bold saga to help bring it to a conclusion here. Both nostalgia and the new permeate this final chapter of the Skywalker story and there’s considerable multi-layered theming taking place here that many will be excited to decipher and decode.
As a way to end the decade, it doesn’t get much bigger or bolder than the grandness and scope of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker! This is a phenomenal cinematic experience from beginning to end, and with its focus on narrative, character and some amazing action sequences you will truly leave the cinema with that magical Star Wars feeling fluttering in your heart. This one truly is an event for the ages and Star Wars fans, both young and old, will be very pleased with what is offered here.
Image: Walt Disney Pictures