Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker - Review

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Since it was released more than 40 years ago, Star Wars has become a cultural phenomenon that transcends the big screen on which it was born. This fan phenomenon celebrates the premiere of Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker as of Thursday, December 19, and we have already been able to see the longest film in this galaxy's film universe far, far away since Disney bought the film rights in October 2012.

As you know, this third installment of the third trilogy was original to be directed by Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World), but he left the project and in the director's chair was placed J.J. Abrams, who had already directed Episode VII: The Force Awakens. As the filmmaker himself has admitted, part of his idea has been to undo some things from Episode VIII: The Last Jedi of Rian Johnson, one of the most controversial installments in all Star Wars. As someone who did not like certain narrative decisions in the 2017 film too much, I can say that this gives a quite satisfactory answer to so many questions and situations that had been overlooked.




J.J. Abrams does not usually get so much into the mud, and the script he signs with Chris Terrio again joins the leading trio of Rey, Finn, and Poe (clearly she has the most prominence) with some of the familiar faces of the old guard, highlighting Ian McDiarmid as Emperor Palpatine (in what would have been the biggest surprise in the face of this outcome ... if it wasn't because they gutted his return from the first trailer), Carrie Fisher as Leia recycling rolled material before his death but not used, the return of Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian or Anthony Daniels as C-3PO.

The film relies heavily on the feeling of nostalgia and farewell. After all, the public that comes to the rooms already knows that this is the outcome of everything we know, "the end of the Skywalker saga", as Disney has promoted time and again, so it is impossible not to feel emotionally connected with those characters with whom we have grown or who we have known for so many years. Beyond that, we will find a classic structure, with very predictable moments and just an unexpected surprise that had not commented on its protagonists, filmmakers or had been shown in some promotional material.

Taking into account the complex challenge that The Rise of Skywalker has ahead to cover such a range of ages (from children for whom BB-8 is their best character in the saga to talluditos who will want to see the farewell and tribute to Carrie Fisher), We can say that fortunately, we have found a more adult film than we thought. The scenes with Palpatine are especially dark, marrying perfectly the photograph of them with the representation of the Dark Side, and being at times closer to what would be a Star Wars horror movie if one day were made.

As for the new faces, unfortunately, not all stand out in the same way. The enigmatic character of Zorii Bliss is the one who could have had more games, but Keri Russell barely appears in two scenes. Hopefully, a series of Disney + or some other canonical material expand and expand its history because it could give much more of itself. 

More unnoticed still passes Dominic Monaghan as Beaumont Kin, who simply appears in the background with the leaders of the Resistance and barely has dialogues, and can not be considered more than a cameo. Who truly stands out is Naomi Ackie as Jannah, who is given more time and explains a little more about her history, but in general terms, the participation of the 3 could have been eliminated from the footage with hardly any significance.

Likewise, a couple of more comic characters appear, in that wink to the little ones that usually exist in each movie, as was BB-8 in The Force Awakens and the Porgs in The Last Jedi (here they return). We talked about the D-O droid and the little Babu Frik, whose presence on the screen has been well managed and every appearance or phrase they let us make us smile without becoming tired. Yes, we know this is about selling dolls, but there are ways and ways to do it.

J.J. Abrams, in addition to taking care of solving all the plot gaps left by Rian Johnson in his own way, is excellent in the direction, supported by an exquisite photography direction and contemporary visual technology, which allows us to see credibly the majority of pirouettes and spaceships loopings or few lightsabers fights scarce but very impressive. Perhaps only left the blur of a particular scene as a flashback in which the digital rejuvenation is not up.

We will have to judge once the great mass of galactic followers go to the premiere, but there can also be some controversy. Abrams already predicted that he would introduce "new Force powers that not all fans will like" and so it is. 

Not only because some purists prefer to continue with remote drowning, the attraction of objects and little else, but because it abuses a lot of "just because" to present them on screen. The paths of the Force are indeed almighty and no limits have been stipulated, but perhaps here J.J has gone out of line. Even so, with some of them, it has been subtle enough for everything to be left to the viewer's interpretation and even wash their hands, as they say.

Pros
The mature tone in general.
You can like all kinds of Star Wars audiences.
Correct and expand some of the Last Jedi plot gaps with enough respect.
Great tribute to Carrie Fisher considering the available material.

Cons
Some scene as a flashback.
The introduction of new Force powers "just because".

The verdict
J.J. Abrams collects the ashes that Rian Johnson left with The Last Jedi and builds his own Phoenix for an epic and satisfying - though not perfect - conclusion to the trilogy, rather than the saga. 

It is not usually put in many puddles beyond the appearance of new powers of the Force and perhaps abuses a little of the appearance of Palpatine as the main villain of the function, but in turn, corrects some of the plot gaps left by the previous tape while being respectful of that legacy. 

Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver are luxurious, and all the supporting casts also have their moments. Given the challenge of developing a film for a wide range of audiences, we can say that, as adults, we have been quite satisfied with the general tone of the film, very epic, dark and emotional at times.

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