Title: Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker
Director: J.J. Abrams.
Genre: Sci/Fi, Fantasy.
Main Cast: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Carrie Fisher (RIP), Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Billy D. Williams.
Runtime: 142 mins.
IMDb rating: 6.9/10.
My rating: 8/10.
Quick summary: Not a perfect movie but the right blend of cheese, action and ridiculous humour that makes this an enjoyable film. Keep an eye out for Babu Frick, the alien equivalent of an aul lad at the back of the pub randomly cheering things for no reason.
Like every Star Wars movie, there are multiple threads running at the same time. The scrolling text at the start reveals that the laugh we’ve heard in the movie’s trailer was also heard by pretty much everyone in the galaxy. Emperor Palpatine is back and ready to take over the galaxy again. Kylo Ren has taken Snoke’s position and is now Supreme Leader. Rey is completing her training at the resistance base while Poe Dameron, Finn and Chewie are out gaining intel from a spy embedded in the First Order.
First, we join Kylo Ren on his murderous quest to find Darth Sidious and make the throne his own. He comes face to face with the wizened body of the Dark Lord and is faced with a proposition; kill Rey and receive the might of Palpatine’s starkiller fleet.
Next, we join Poe Dameron, Finn and Chewie as they race through space to bring priceless intel back to Genral Organa at the Resistance base. They find out that Palpatine is definitely back and will launch a deadly attack in sixteen hours.
Rey is training to become a better jedi but her link with Kylo Ren and her obsession with her murky past slows her down.
We follow these three threads as they interweave and separate over the course of the movie. We find out more about Poe Dameron’s shady past on the planet Kimiji and meet my new favourite Star Wars character, Babu Frick. The little droid mechanic operates on C3PO’s memory bank to retrieve vital information about the location of Emperor Palpatine. Rey must decide whether she wants to make her vision of her sitting on the Sith throne a reality or if she wants to make her own destiny. Frick is voiced by Shirley Henderson, who most of us will know from her iconic performance as Moaning Myrtle in the Harry Potter movies! Worlds collide!
We see Kylo Ren shed his Sith skin and retake his old life as Ben Solo. The rise of Skywalker. He and Rey fight side by side once more against the greatest foe of them all in a battle scene that shows how far they have come as characters and showcases their individual fighting styles in ways that left me stunned and giddy for more. One thing that can be said about the new trilogy is that the fight choreography has gotten more and more elaborate and ridiculous and I feckin’ love it!
I really enjoyed this move and I didn’t expect to in all honesty. I remember leaving The Last Jedi feeling disappointed for some reason. Perhaps it is because the characters have almost fully developed in this installment that I am more on board with them. In the second movie of the franchise the focus was more on Finn and Rey’s trajectories and how that affected the outcome of the battle between the darkness and the light. Now, Kylo Ren’s story was very much at the forefront too but it felt like his fate was decided as a byproduct of Rey’s actions. This time around his actions and journey towards his parents and the fight for good allow Rey to find out her identity and complete her own journey. Finn has his own revelation within the adventure and finds more defectors to the Resistance. Everything is wrapped up in a neat little package. The difference this time around is that there are some serious points along the way where you may not be sure if they are going to win or not.
My only problem with the movie and the reason that it loses a few points is that it doesn’t follow the ethos of the film. Leia says to Rey at the beginning of the movie to “Never be afraid of who you are…”. At the end when Rey is back on Jakku and the old woman asks her who she is, Rey looks around all pensively, sees the ghosts of Luke and Leia and replies, “Rey…Rey Skywalker.” All well and good. I wouldn’t deny Rey the chance to be a Skywalker. She had a close relationship with both siblings and was clearly never going to turn to the dark side. However, if she was being true to herself she would have said “Rey….Rey Palpatine.” A much more contentious name and one that would have showed she was now comfortable with herself. A final bit of character growth for our heroine.
Go see Star Wars in all good cinemas. What is the best cinema you ask? Why, that’s the
Reel Picture located in Blackpool business park. Great location, fantastic staff and award-winning popcorn!*
*It literally has won awards.
*All images and videos © 2019 and TM Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.