Details: More information can be found at https://www.starwars.com/films/star-wars-episode-ix-the-rise-of-skywalker and https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2527338/
I read some reviews before watching the movie and I was prepared for the worst. The first half of the movie is pretty bad. The second half is pure fan service. Whether or not you enjoy that depends on how much of a sucker you are for fan service. Personally, I am that kind of sucker. Some spoilers ahead, but if you watched the trailers, you know most of it already.
The story picks up where the last movie left off, but strangely ignores a lot of the themes and plot arcs set up in the last two movies. General Leia and her forces are recovering from the last battle. Suddenly, former emperor Palpatine shows up and threatens the galaxy again and now they must find him and defeat him.
As said above, the first half of the movie is a mess and mostly pointless. They just run around going to random worlds and getting into action scenes for the sake of pretty action scenes.
I think the most egregious thing to me was how they incorporated Leia into the movie. These scenes were not well done and pained me to watch. In case you didn’t know, Carrie Fisher, the actor who played Leia passed away and they used old footage to include her in the film. Her scenes looked like a third grader put them together by using Final Cut Pro for the first time. I hated these choppy, mess of scenes. They should’ve just let her rest in peace rather than tarnish her this way.
About half way into the movie, the fan service really kicks up. Scenes that remind me of the past films constant occur. Old locations show up again like the old throne room from Return of the Jedi. Emperor Palpatine’s inclusion itself is massive fan service that is not creative, it is a cop out. It’s lazy writing.
With that said, I still felt emotions watching what I knew perfectly well was a direct appeal to my nostalgia. The plot was a mess. It was rushed, but when you play that John Williams music, I can’t help but enjoy myself.
Here’s the biggest crime in this film: it it almost completely disjointed from the past two movies. This film was supposed to be the conclusion to a trilogy. Rian Johnson poos the bed by completely ignoring what happened in The Force Awakens. Now, J.J. Abrams has, not pooed the bed, but peed on it with another disjointed film. These three Star Wars films might as well be standalone. Disney advertised an epic trilogy with these three films and they failed to deliver. They made a film that rivals the prequels in how misguided they were.
Ultimately, Rise of Skywalker is a film with a lot of cool moments, but is still not a great movie. The plots is a mess. The pacing is a mess. There are tons of twists and payoffs for things that were never set up, ruining whatever emotional payoff I was supposed to receive. It’s a travesty what they did to Carrie Fisher. This film fails as a conclusion to this “trilogy” as it is mostly disjointed from the prior two films. This is also in a large part Rian Johnson’s fault as well as J.J. Abrams. Don’t watch this movie in theaters. Just wait for it to show up on television. It won’t take long.
Additionally, my score reflects my enjoyment of the movie. I somewhat enjoyed it. However, it is still an undeniably not great movie.