I have been looking forward to Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker for a very long time, and tonight, I finally saw it. Here is my The Rise of Skywalker review (spoiler free). All opinions expressed are 100% my own.
I have been anxiously awaiting this movie — and when the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker first impressions started rolling in this week, I admit, I got a little nervous. The reviews were mixed. Then the Rotten Tomatoes reveal came and I was REALLY worried. Did I waste all these years as a Star Wars fan just to be disappointed by the end? Either way I was going to the theater opening night, and I was hoping to enjoy myself.
Well, I did. I actually really did. There were twists and turns that I didn’t see coming — and a good amount of fan service toward the other films. Everything was wrapped up in a neat little bow.. sort of. And the last 30 minutes? Well the last 30 minutes are damn near pure perfection (even though I hated some of what happened).
In a way this movie is about redemption. Not just for certain characters, but for the franchise. Many fans felt robbed the last movie, JJ Abrams did everything he could to give them what they wanted. What they deserved.
From the very first scene of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker you are thrown in to action — and it seems to never end. The Resistance is, yet again, on a time crunch. So they have a lot to pack in over the next two and a half hours of movie. There is not one dull moment, but on the contrary, it doesn’t feel super rushed either. The first 20 minutes or so does get a little jumpy — going scene to scene — but that works itself out.
Be Ready To Cry… A Lot
It is well known that I am an emotional person. I just can’t help it. If you have seen my trailer reactions and movie reviews, then you know I cry a lot. So I was expecting to cry a few times during The Rise of Skywalker, but nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to experience. The final 30 minutes of the movie I was a sobbing mess. BOTH TIMES I saw it.
During the second showing I with my young daughters (6 & 8) and they were sobbing right along with me. These are characters some of us grew up with. For my girls, they met them a while ago but just recently got to know them as we binged all the movies prior to seeing this one. These characters mean a lot to us and we go through emotions with them. There is a LOT to unpack in this one. But it worth it.
If you want the full, spoiler filled details check out my article: The Rise of Skywalker emotional moments. I can’t really mention any of them here because they are all very spoilery.
Thoughts On The New Characters
I couldn’t write up a The Rise of Skywalker review without at least touching on the new characters. Of course, I was excited to see a few new characters — even though they weren’t in the movie as much as I would have liked them to be. But perhaps that was a good thing as the characters we already know had so much to do and to experience. These new characters served their purpose well, but didn’t convolute the story.
My favorite of the new ones? Babu Frik. He had me cracking up. And he is so dang adorable. Zorri Bliss and her interactions with Poe had me cracking up. I loved their chemistry, and I would like to hear more about their backstory. Hmmm… perhaps that is something we could get in the future?
Jannah was absolutely amazing and I just LOVED one major fact about her — that is sort of a spoiler so I will keep my mouth shut for now. But if you have seen the movie, you know what I am talking about. I will admit that I did not see that coming, and I am totally here for it. The scene where you find out just might be one of my favorite scenes in the movie.
The new droid, D-O, is super adorable and provides a little character relief. I love how he and BB-8 became fast friends. And that he really helped out in the story. Perhaps we will learn more about him eventually as well?!
Is The Rise Of Skywalker OK for Kids?
As you probably know already, I am pretty lenient when it comes to movies for my kids. They are 6 and 8 and have seen all the Marvel movies — which can get pretty violent. Is The Rise of Skywalker violent? Of course. It is a Star Wars movie. Is it creepy? Of course. It is a Star Wars movie. Is it emotional? Yup. Sure is. But there is not really much bad language. So that is a plus. In fact, I barely noticed any language at all.
I didn’t have a problem taking my girls to see it. And yes, technically I screened it first. However, I would have taken them opening night if it worked with their schedule (it didn’t). After seeing the movie with them, I am glad they experienced it in the theater. I plan to take them again over holiday break.
But be warned this movie is very dark, and there is a lot to process. If you want a more detailed description of if Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is kid friendly, my girl Tania over at Lola Lambchops has you covered.
The Fan Service
There is a good amount of fan service in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. What do I mean by that? There will be a lot of callbacks from previous films, a lot of nods to them, and some things that will likely make your heart swell as fan. One moment in particular toward the end REALLY got me. And during my second showing my husband even elbowed me to talk about it with a BIG smile on his face.
Is Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker a perfect movie? Of course not. But does it do justice to the franchise? Absolutely. For me, it is hands down the best of the trilogy. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker had several mind blowing revelations that I did not see coming. It had action from beginning to end. And it made me cry. A lot.
Both audiences I saw it with clapped, cheered, cried, gasped, and yelled things out. That is something I needed to include in this The Rise of Skywalker review because I have seen a lot of hate online saying that no one will enjoy it. We are all allowed our own opinions, of course. But there are Star Wars fans out there that had a good time. That enjoyed being at a Star Wars movie. The last of the Skywalker Saga, in fact. And that needed to be said.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ties everything together in a neat little bow. It fixes past issues with the franchise, and should make a lot of Star Wars fans happy. At the absolute worst you will have a good time at the movies.
About Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker
The surviving Resistance faces the First Order once more as Rey, Finn and Poe Dameron’s journey continues. With the power and knowledge of generations behind them, the final battle commences.
My theater had the following warning printed out and taped up on the doors: STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER contains several sequences with imagery and sustained flashing lights that may affect those who are susceptible to photosensitive epilepsy or have other photosensitivities.
Because of this I kept it in mind while watching, so I could warn others about it in my The Rise of Skywalker review. There are several scenes that this occurs. So if you or someone in your family has epilepsy, please be careful going to see this in the theater.
The Rise of Skywalker is in theaters now!
Thanks for reading my Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker review!