- Critic's Rating - 7/107/10
“Together we make a last stand. For the galaxy. For Leia.”
Aparts from the Marvel’s juggernaut Avengers, the other franchise which is coming to an end in 2019 is Star Wars. This year has seen closure in highly popular TV shows as well – Game Of Thrones & The Big Bang Theory, but let’s restrict it to the movies only.
It was a smart and no-risk move to rehire J.J. Abrams for helming the concluding piece in the trilogy. Four years back, the beloved sci fi director J..J. Abrams had rejuvenated Star Wars franchise with The Force Awakens. Interestingly he remains the only director to direct Star Wars & Star Trek movies- Star Trek & Star Trek Into Darkness.
The Rise Of Skywalker has been touted as the final & 9th entry in the Skywalker saga. Adam Driver returns as the potential Sith Lord Kylo Ren. He is having a fantastic year with critically adored dramas The Report & Marriage Story. The British charm Daisy Ridley reprise her role as the Jedi-in-making.
The story has its root in the conclusion of The Last Jedi – the Resistance was able to defend itself from a strike by the First Order. However, it’s soon revealed that this First Order is simply the tip of the iceberg. The Final Order has assembled the maximum possible forces to fight on behalf of the dark, old & former Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious. Once again, the darkness is heavy and top of all the resistance. Hence, all the light of the galaxy and the good forces would reunite to take down the evil one final time.
Meanwhile, Rey is haunted by her past memories. She’s unable to draw a balance. With losing concentration and being pushed in the battle front, she trains hard with all the anger & frustration giving her the thrust she needs. Apart from the technical and cinematographical superiority of the movie, it successfully covers the strange relation between Kylo & Rey. Both of them want to emerge triumph but in their separate ways. The arc, without revealing too much here, is fitted in such a way so as to deliver the best fan service possible.
The three acts are neatly stitched in more of an “adventure journey” styled flick but the third act looks like a repeat of all the major franchise-defining action flicks like Avengers: Endgame, The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King. Besides, the sense of Kylo Ren, the son of a true Skywalker seems lost in the final stages. When a viewer comes out, he essentially feels cheated to an extent in terms of depth, risk of storytelling. And for such a concluding movie as this, it seemed to miss the high bar set by all.
Yet, the movie has its own wonder moments in terms of action, humor, cinematography, performances by John Boyega & Oscar Issac. This franchise still stands as probably one in top five if not at the top. Meanwhile, web series The Mandalorian is out and Obi-Wan Kenobi series is planned. Even Kevin Fiege is planning a Star Wars movie.
But for this generation, Star Wars is far from over. It may be the end of the “sequel trilogy”. Star Wars would stay dormant for atleast a couple of years. Knives Out director Rian Johnson would helm the first film in the next trilogy which is being touted to be completely different from Skywalker based movies. Believed to be scheduled for a 2022 release, clarity would be ascertained in Jan 2020. Afterall it’s one of the only lucrative franchises which is adored, celebrated & respected by various generations.