Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker Summary Review

Warning: Spoilers ahead!

The finale to the skywalker saga was 42 years in the making and came to an end with The Rise of Skywalker. JJ Abrams directing his second film of the sequel trilogy was left in a tough place after the heavily criticized 8th film The Last Jedi, following his first directed Star Wars film, The Force Awakens

The film starts off with a time jump after TLJ and jumps out to an electric start with Kylo on a mission for a sith Wayfinder on Mustafar. Some fans might not have understood that this was the lava planet from the legendary Anakin-Obi Wan fight, but those who did appreciate its return in the movies. Starting with a fast-paced action sequence was different in comparison to the first two films of the trilogy and felt more like the original trilogy films. 

Following the opening scenes, the first third of the movie felt rushed, and the number of key plot points added without context felt overdue. The new Final order led by the somehow alive Emperor Palpatine was shocking. Many original trilogy die-hard fans may not like this because it ruined the momentary death of Palpatine at the end of Return of the Jedi by the hands of the late Darth Vader. The opposition to this point can make sense, though, due to the lack of antagonist force left after TLJ. 

One easter egg that I liked was the quote of Palpatine talking to Kylo saying, “the dark side of the force is a pathway to many abilities, some consider to be unnatural,” a reference to his persuasion speech to Anakin from Revenge of the Sith. We see Rey trying to reach out to Luke through the force and failing as the scene cuts to Kylo trying to reach Rey through the force. This contradicts the wording of Snoke in The Last Jedi in which he was the one connecting them through the force.

The middle third of the film was the slowest, but it included a few key points that did help explain the background of Rey and Luke’s exile. The Alliance crew traveled to the festival at the Forbidden Desert of Pasana where C3PO says the festivals only happen every 42 years, a nod to how many years ago the first Star Wars was made. Here, the crew reunites with Lando Calrissian, played by the same actor from episodes 5-6 Billy Dee Williams. He also gives the classic line, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this,” which has appeared in every skywalker saga movie. Here, the part of the movie is slow and confusing. We see flashbacks of Rey figuring out who her parents were and her childhood. This was revealed through a dagger engraved with sith language. The crew tries to translate it using C3PO, who is fluent in 66 million languages, but he is restricted to translate due to Palpatine making droids unable to translate sith during his time of the Republic. C3PO tried saying this but was cut off, and this was a cool nod to hard Star Wars fans only understanding this easter egg. 

My most questioned scene was the force battle between Rey and Kylo over the supposed transport ship of Chewbacca. In this scene, Rey shoots lightning out of her hand and destroys the ship, supposedly killing Chewbacca. This was done in order to hint at her background with the similarity of force lightning-like Palpatine did; it was a good point to try and hint at but at the risk of losing one of the most beloved characters and only one of two main characters left from the original trilogy which, for sure, annoyed some fans. We learn who Poe Dameron was before joining the Alliance. He was a spice runner, which seemed to anger Finn when hearing the news. 

When the crew arrives at the destroyed death star, this is the turning point of the movie. A long-awaited chase of Kylo looking for Rey comes to an end when he finds her and starts a lightsaber battle. This scene is personally my favorite and least favorite scene at the same time. I love the similarity to the Anakin-Obi Wan fight from Episode III and how Rey is running not wanting to kill while Kylo is blinded by the dark side. As all hope seems to be lost for Rey as Kylo comes out on top, we see Leia contact Kylo through the force. This takes all the remaining strength she has, essentially killing her but stunning Kylo enough to have Rey stab him. I believe this sacrifice was a good way to kill off the late Carrie Fisher. 

My least liked aspect of the whole movie was the use of force healing. This contradicts Anakin’s whole search and turns to the darkside. Palpatine preached that only a few could reach this power and not even himself had this power due to the fact that he was needing Anakin to discover this power. Rey who has little Jedi training compared to Anakin and Palpatine combined was able to do this which made no sense and ruined the whole character development of Anakin in the prequels. 

The death of Leia was needed due to the passing of Carrie Fisher, and the eventual turn of Kylo to the lightside as he threw his lightsaber into the water, showing the full turn to the light. As Rey ran off and went to Ahch-to, she throws away things in fury as she throws her lightsaber, and Luke’s force ghost intercepts it and utters the line, “that’s no way to treat a lightsaber,” a direct roast to how Ryan Johnson had Luke throw the lightsaber off in the opening scene of The Last Jedi. Here, we find out the secret training of Leia by Luke following Episode VI, and this is a great scene showing the two practicing, yet stopping due to the turn of Ben Solo. In this scene, we finally see the mystery of Leia’s lightsaber and how it is passed onto Rey due to her need for one to fight the Emperor.

The final act of the skywalker saga comes to an end as the Alliance attempts to go and destroy the Final Order. As the Alliance is outnumbered and losing hope, they go and try and destroy the thousands of star destroyers while Rey confronts Palpatine. During this scene, we have an amazing visual scene of Palpatine showing Rey her past and what he sees in her future to be the empress of the galaxy. The effect of the ghosts of sith showed that force ghosts are not just with Jedi and showed the true power of Palpatine. The now turned lightside Ben Solo arrives and does a so-called magic trick with Rey handing off the lightsaber through the force as Ben kills off The Knights of Ren. The Knights of Ren had so much potential, but they were only used to show off Ben’s advanced fighting skills. 

While all hope is lost in the fight as Palpatine overpowers both Ben and Rey, and they both go flying off, another amazing scene in Star Wars history is made. As Palpatine seemingly gains the power of all the sith ghosts and the decimated Ben and Rey, Rey hears all the voices from past Jedi. Bringing back Jedi from all the movies was amazing from Anakin to Mace Windu to Yoda. Here, she gets both of the skywalker sabers and destroys Palpatine, officially ending the Palpatine regime in the Star Wars universe. The overall scene of the ending act was when Lando and Chewbacca came back with thousands of ships from the core worlds joining the rebellion destroying the Final Order. As Rey traveled back to Tatooine, she buried the lightsabers and announced herself as a Skywalker signifying the series starting and ending with the Skywalker family on Tatooine.

The few scenes that satisfied many fans were when Maz gave Chewbacca his medal that he never received in Episode IV. The kiss between Rey and Kylo satisfied the Reylo fans even if it was only for a few seconds before Ben Solo died. His death was a sacrifice like his grandfathers that he so wished to be like. Instead of Ben conquering the galaxy, he saved it and sacrificed himself like Vader did back in Episode VI. One thing that I didn’t like was the use of force healing. It may have been needed to save those main characters but was known as such a forbidden force ability and ruined the main purpose of Anakin’s turn to the dark side if any force user could so easily learn it. Also, Rey calling herself a Skywalker makes no sense because she has no bloodline and got her force powers due to being a descend of Palpatine.

Overall, I give the movie a 7.5/10. The movie was a good comeback from the disaster Episode VII. The movie for the casual fan seemingly would have been a great time, but for Star Wars fanatics such as myself, I see some plot holes and inconsistencies; still, the movie ended well, and I’m glad to see the Skywalker saga come to an end.