When I first heard that a third Star Wars trilogy was going to be made, all the way back in 2012, I could’t imagine what I would be witnessing on screen. Now, over 7 years later, the final film of the Skywalker saga has been released and I must say, I was… Blown away. This film has caused some division among fans like the two before it, but I believe this is one of the best of all nine films for a number of reasons.
The characters Rey, Poe and Finn all underwent a fair bit of change between this film and the first, not to mention what I believe is a 5 year time jump. It was amazing to see the kind of Jedi that Rey was becoming, and learning along that journey that Leia was the one training her (more on Leia later). Seeing Finn and Poe’s friendship is always enjoyable, especially in this one where you see that they are close as friends and yet also have disagreements. C-3P0’s role in this film is also greater than in other ones, as he (spoilers ahead) is the only one who can translate and relay the Sith language written on a dagger that Rey finds, as they journey to find Emperor Palpatine. I must also point out that having both Han and Luke appear to Rey and Kylo Ren when they needed them the mosy felt appropriate for their movement in the story; Luke mirroring Yoda when he pulled out his X-wing from the ocean was a nice touch too.
I want to take a moment and focus on Leia. I was excited to find out that she has, in fact, not lost her connection to the Force when in The Last Jedi, she used the Force to return to her ship from space after the First Order attacked and is the one training Rey in Rise of Skywalker. It is also revealed that she was actually training with Luke some time after Return of the Jedi, even building her own lightsaber which Rey used along with the reconstructed Anakin/Luke saber. In short, Leia is even more of a bad-ass than we already knew!
All Star Wars films are known for being visual masterpieces, and, of course, this one is no exception. For instance, the terrifying planet of Exegol, where Palpatine is hiding, was visually stunning in its own way; we get a unique look at the culture and architecture of the Sith that lay hidden from the galaxy for a long time, and the constant Force-energized lightning strikes made it even more foreboding. The lightsabers themselves are also always a visual treat to see; they’re what I most look forward to seeing in one of these films. The ships, weapons, worlds, and depictions of Force powers used all met my expectations, although I also did appreciate the use of old-fashioned puppets and latex masks/makeup for some of the creatures instead of it all being CGI.
Finally, we must talk about the story. In the old Expanded Universe, Palpatine actually did return so it’s not too much of a stretch to see it here, the major difference being that who we see in the EU are clones and in this film it is actually the original Palpatine; his horrendous deformitiesand injuries make that clear. The overarching story of Palpatine returning and working to rebuild the Sith Empire lined with the story of Rey and Leia trying to keep the Jedi and the Resistance alive worked well, I feel; separate, but together. We are also finally given the full story of Rey’s heritage…. As Palpatine’s granddaughter! Seeing her come to grips with it and not succumb to the dark side was so satisfying and encouraging to see. There are so many other story elements I could cover but that would take too long so I will make it as short as possible and finish with this: the story was concluded in what I believe was a very fitting manner, with the ultimate end of the Sith, Kylo Ren’s final redemption as Ben Solo, Rey taking the Skywalker name as she stares at Tatooine’s twin suns, even Leia’s passing into the Force after she died.
So here it is, my review of the final chapter in the Skywalker story. I give it a solid 5/5, no questions asked! I hope all of you who have seen it enjoyed it as much as I have, and for those who haven’t, sorry not sorry for the spoilers, haha! May the Force be with you, always.