Episode IX marks the conclusion of the third Star Wars trilogy and the closing chapter of the Skywalker saga! As a HUGE Star Wars fan, I was excited to pre-book IMAX tickets three weeks before the release of Rise Of Skywalker. I bought the AMC commemorative popcorn tins that feature Rey and Kylo Ren, and I’m on the prowl for more movie memorabilia! I’ll have to check out my local Regal and Cinemark. Those theater chains usually have Star Wars goodies when a new SW flick is released. I liked this final chapter. Was I blown away by the story? I can’t say that I was, however I was very much entertained and I left with a grin on my face. I’ve seen it three times now. Well two and a half. My last outing was at The Senator in Baltimore but the itis struck me so I dozed off for a good 30 minutes. That’s not a bad mark on the movie though. When I watched it in IMAX and then in Dolby Cinema I was eyes wide open. The visual work is amazing per usual. All the Star Wars films I’ve watched on the big screen looked fantastic, but being able to watch in a premium format is worth the extra money spent in my opinion. If you haven’t seen Rise Of Skywalker (ROS) I do recommend spending a few extra dollars and upgrading from regular digital format. I enjoyed how the story went full circle, paying homage to the Star Wars films that came before it. A lot of the narrative was pure fan service and I could even use the word “pandering” if I wanted to be super critical, but I’m bias when it comes to Star Wars and my love of the franchise won’t allow me to go full Sith on any of the films. None of the movies are horrible to me. Sometimes that comes as a shock when I talk to other Star Wars fans, but I find value in every Star Wars film. I also have gripes with every Star Wars film. One of my gripes with ROS is that it felt like the narrative tried to downplay the events of The Last Jedi (TLJ). It felt like a reset without being a reboot. TLJ and ROS didn’t really feel connected to me. I’m assuming that was due to the outrageous fan backlash of TLJ on social media, which has been going on since 2017. I understand not liking a movie, but I couldn’t ride that wave of hate. I marked out watching TLJ for the first time. I clapped for the First Order. I liked TLJ so much that I saw it seven times in the theater, including twice at the IMAX Space Center in Huntsville, Alabama. It makes me wonder how ROS would have been if Rian Johnson did direct it. Rise Of Skywalker brings all the main players from TLJ back and I was happy happy joy joy to see Finn NOT being a clown in this one. Dude was a dork in TLJ. Big time! In ROS we see a shift in his character’s tone, and I was so glad. C-3PO didn’t get a lot of love in TLJ either, but he has some good zingers in ROS. I was slightly intrigued by the relationship development of Rey and Kylo, but only slightly. I felt like what happened with those two in ROS wasn’t the original intention. I can’t say why. Just a feeling I have. There are some new faces added to the cast but most of them aren’t important enough for me to talk about. The new additions had a few decent moments on screen though. Personally, I wanted more Lando and more Knights of Ren. Their appearances felt like teasers! UGGGHHH!!!! I’ll leave the plot details to the opening crawl. Even though the plot wasn’t fantastic to me, it does pay tribute to the entire series, and there are some nice callbacks sprinkled throughout the film. I didn’t get that overwhelming feeling of excitement watching ROS however. You ever ride a roller coaster that was fun, but your heart isn’t racing after? No twisty turns or scary drops that make your stomach sink? You yelled “WEEEEE” but you weren’t jacked. That’s how Rise of Skywalker made me feel. That’s not a bad thing, but for a finale I think ROS could have went out on a BIG BANG. It was more of a heartfelt “Thank You”. I felt like the movie was appealing but it didn’t hit that high level of fascination. That doesn’t change the fact that I’ll see it again. As part of a series, I love it! Go check it out if you haven’t done so! I always have a good time getting into the Star Wars frame of mind. It’s festive for me. The lore created from the initial worldwide impact has a special place in my nerd heart. I have been a fan of the franchise for nearly three decades, starting with The Return Of The Jedi being my first Star Wars experience in the early 90s, all the way until now.
Even though Rise Of Skywalker is the finale I’m sure there will be more Star Wars action coming in the future. There are so many stories that could be told, and movies that could be made. I haven’t seen The Mandalorian yet but I’ve heard good things about the series and I’ve seen the impact of “Baby Yoda” so I’m looking forward to watching it. I’ve said this before so I’ll repeat for emphasis……I need a Darth Vader solo film!! After reading his current Marvel comic series and being blown away by his show stealing scene in Rogue One…..GIVE ME MORE VADER!!!! To conclude, I have to give a Star Killer sized nod to George Lucas for creating this world of space travel and fantasy, and inspiring so many others to contribute to it. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! Star Wars has been a staple in my nerd life, and I appreciate being a part of it.
MAY THE FORCE BE WITH ALL THE READERS!!!!