Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker review

   Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker is the third and last installment of the Star Wars sequels trilogy, following The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. It is also the 9th film in the Star Wars saga and the last, which includes the prequels, the original trilogy, and the sequels trilogy.  The film’s pacing is all over the place, but the character development is well written for most of the main characters such as the main protagonist and antagonist, Rey and Kylo Ren. The visual effects and musical scores matched the tone and creativity the film was driven for. 

   The film made $33.7 million over the first opening weekend, bringing its domestic total to $950 million. Post production of the film was completed on November 24th and with the film, with an estimated budget of $275 million, it is now one of the most expensive films ever made. The was produced, co-written, and directed by J.J. Abrams, who directed the first movie in the sequel trilogy, The Force Awakens. The cast includes actors who have appeared in the sequel trilogy, original trilogy, and the prequel trilogy. 

   When it’s discovered that Lord Papentine (Ian McDamirad) has survived from the events of Return of the Jedi, Poe Dameron ( Oscar Issac) and Finn (John Boyega) are tasked with leading the resistance to stop the New Order’s galactic rule over the universe while finding the location of Lord Papentine. Meanwhile, Rey ( Daisy Ridley) confronts Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) for the last time, while discovering the last remnants of her past.

   The film received mixed responses from both critics and audiences, earning 52% on Rotten Tomatoes. The film received criticism for not going the extra mile with some creative ideas that would have expanded the world of Star Wars. They even received complaints from fans claiming there were scenes and battles that were too similar to the original trilogy. There was also critique over lack of adding more depth to the secondary characters, such as Finn, whose character development as a reformed ex-stormtrooper started to progress with the last two movies, but came to a complete halt when the movie introduces a group of reformed ex-stormtroopers. The overall idea of reformed ex-stormtroopers was not well-developed in this movie. Having Papentine as the main villain in this film makes sense on the grand scale of things, since Papentine was the main villain dating back to the prequels. The problem is there was no sign of him returning in the last two movies. His appearance in this film was surprising at first, but then it felt like it was a last ditch attempt made by the directors and writers when in last Jedi, Lord Snoke (Andy Sekris) the recent main antagonist, was killed off with no backstory or any piece of origin. 

   Overall, Rise of Skywalker made some errors and confusing storytelling, but it succeeded having a simple but uplifting message to never give up. It gave great performances from most of the actors, and ended on a high enough note to know the Star Wars franchise will never be forgotten.