If you’re a hardcore fan of the original trilogy. To maximize enjoyment of this film, perform whatever mental exercise you must do to avoid hate watching. Only then do you have an opportunity to enjoy J.J. Abrams latest effort in fan service. There is practically nothing new going on here, there is plenty to get tired of. If you’re looking for some kind of redemption over the handling of the Luke Skywalker character, you’re not getting it.
The franchise at this point has become a PG-13 Game of Thrones except it doesn’t matter if characters die. Time and space don’t matter, physics doesn’t matter. Irreversible erasing of hard-drives don’t matter. There is plenty of rehashed Sith vs Jedi dialog. Wasted cameo appearances instead of supporting roles. Why cut big checks to Billy Dee Williams and Keri Russell only to not use them in any meaningful way? With the exception of a festival it’s a dull looking almost colorless film. That dullness contributes to the massive fleet as seen in the preview trailers looking ridiculous.
John Boyega has a standout performance portraying strength and maturity in Finn. Daisy Ridley’s Rey continues to be the best element of the latest trilogy, the answer of Rey’s parents is finally satisfying. Kylo Ren has at last become interesting to watch, I imagine Adam Driver appreciated that. There is a chemistry on screen with Ridley and Driver that is only briefly maximized. At this point good riddance to Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron.
For all the faults of The Last Jedi at least interesting risks were taken. The same could be said of Solo. Gareth Edwards' 2016 film Rogue One is the modern-day Star Wars masterpiece. There are several moments in The Rise of Skywalker worth seeing for the completist, even a couple of real gems. Just don’t re-arrange your schedule to do so. If you don’t like crowds wait a couple of weeks, maybe stream it at home if your HDTV is big enough.
There is a moment in the film that felt familiar. I tried to remember which film this was lifted from. It was the Mandalorian, the Disney+ TV show that is doing Star Wars right.
1 star: Life is too short to waste time with this.
2 stars: Maybe you have an irrational fascination with the subject matter.
3 stars: Might be worth checking out.
4 stars: See this. Worth the price of admission.
5 stars: Must see. Maybe see it twice.