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Movie Review: "Star Wars: Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker" (2019)

Natalie is a writer who works at her local library. She enjoys writing reviews, watching anime and TV shows, and playing video games.

"Star Wars: Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker" official blu-ray cover.

"Star Wars: Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker" official blu-ray cover.

Quick Info

Director: J.J. Abrams
Distributor: LucasFilm
Released: March 31, 2020
Runtime: 155 minutes
Availability: On 4K blu-ray, blu-ray, DVD, digital rental, and streaming on Disney+

Story Summary

Rey continues to train with Leia as the First Order prepares to strike down the Resistance as it’s revealed that Emperor Palpatine is alive and wants Rey to join him.

Meanwhile, Rey, Finn, and Poe try to track down the mysterious Sith world of Exegol that Luke Skywalker had been trying to find.

Everything About This Movie Is Stupid

I hated Star Wars: The Last Jedi because of the stupid writing. The stupid writing rears its ugly head again in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. But instead of just characters being written in a stupid way, now the entire plot is stupid and filled with plot holes that were the result of trying to fix the mistakes of The Last Jedi.

Things are brought up that were never in The Last Jedi, things that would have actually connected the two films together, like Luke trying to find the Sith world of Exegol, something that was never mentioned in the previous film, which would have at least given this film some setup.

There’s too much stupid writing in this movie but I’ll go into it later in the review.

Rey and Kylo Rin in a lightsaber duel.

Rey and Kylo Rin in a lightsaber duel.

"Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" | Final Trailer

The Visuals Look Great!

I will praise Star Wars: Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker for having amazing visual effects. They look really good and at least the aliens look unique for once.

I am annoyed that there is nothing creative about the planets in this movie, just like the last film where they had no real imagination when it came to the planet designs.

Not even the fights look particularly impressive but at least the lightsaber effects look cool. This is a movie that looks visually amazing but doesn’t have the story and writing to make you care about the story or the characters.

The Acting Is Good, They Deserved a Better Movie

I’m not going to go into the individual acting for this review because I don’t think that anyone did a bad job with what they were given, it’s the writing that has more problems than the acting does.

Although I will make special mention of Adam Driver because, for some strange reason, J.J. Abrams had him make the weirdest facial expressions during some scenes that came across as unintentionally funny.

Ian McDiarmid did a great job hamming it up as Emperor Palpatine but he always does that in his role, even though his character was stupid in this movie for no reason, he still did a great job.

I honestly don’t feel the acting is bad, I just feel they deserved a better movie to be in than this one, at least from the behind-the-scenes of the Prequels everyone seemed to be having a good time.

Even though I think the acting was good, despite the silly writing and script, it can’t save this movie from being a terrible Star Wars movie.

John Williams - The Force Is with You (From "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker"/Audio Only)

The Music Is Great!

John Williams’ score is great, but he’s never made a bad score. I did like the music and it was well done, but it wasn’t enough to save the movie. But It does sound nice and there are some good musical pieces in the soundtrack, but it’s not as memorable as the other scores for previous movies.

John Williams’ always makes great music, so whether or not you like the movies, you will definitely enjoy the score. I enjoyed the score for this film and it’s one of the few things I enjoyed about the movie.

There Are Too Many Plot Holes!

There are far too many plot points in The Rise of Skywalker that I can happily go over. Like the resurrection of Emperor Palpatine. This resurrection is stupid because even if you are the most casual Star Wars fan that just watches the movie and you’ve seen Star Wars: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983) you know that the Emperor died because he was thrown down the Death Star II’s reactor shaft and exploded two times over when the second Death Star blew up. So this resurrection is merely hand-waved with the excuse that “the Force is my dues ex machine”.

Also, the fact that there are large chunks of the second Death Star that did not explode when it blew up, even though it exploded into a lot of tiny pieces, see the previous paragraph.

Also, during Rey and Kylo Ren’s fight he manages to grab a necklace off her, revealing to him where she is, but they are in two completely separate locations so this breaks the rules of how the Force works.

Of course, they just excuse this as, “these were Force powers not seen for ages”, but I don’t buy that, not even the Prequel Trilogy, which has a lot of flaws and problems even hinted that being able to take something when you aren’t even in the same location because of the Force was even a concept.

They just made it up to look cool, and instead of looking cool, it comes across as really dumb.

But these are just a few of the problems of this film and there are more.

There Were Too Many Story Points That Should Have Been in “The Last Jedi” in This Film

The Last Jedi was a trainwreck but this is just as much of a trainwreck as the previous film. Because J.J. tried so hard to fix everything that people complained about in The Last Jedi that he created his own plotholes that make the movie stupid.

He also used the Force as the dues ex machine to get the characters out of the tight spots they usually ended up in.

Another problem with the film is it introduced a ton of new characters that have all this relevance to the plot, but they weren’t even in the previous film for me to care about them at all.

If they were in The Last Jedi at least I could see why the characters care about the newcomer, but I don’t care about the new characters and some of them were created just to sell toys.

Rey, Finn, and Poe find remains of the Death Star II, which makes no sense at all, because it exploded into tiny, tiny pieces!

Rey, Finn, and Poe find remains of the Death Star II, which makes no sense at all, because it exploded into tiny, tiny pieces!

Reader Poll

The Lightsaber Choreography Is Still Not Great

The lightsaber choreography is still not great. It doesn’t look as bad as The Last Jedi but it still looks silly. The choreography doesn’t look great, they go for the rule of cool, but it’s still not the best choreography compared to both the Original Trilogy and the Prequel Trilogy.

It still looks like people swinging sticks around rather than a dangerous lightsaber duel between Jedi and Sith. The Prequels weren’t perfect but most fans enjoyed the fights, you can’t really enjoy the fights in these movies because they’re not done well at all.

It Ripped off “Avengers: Endgame” and Did a Poor Job Too

I reviewed the movie Avengers: Endgame (2019) and I was not extremely impressed by that film, but it was still a good movie. It didn’t blow me away or anything but it was still better than this film.

Star Wars: Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker (2020) ripped off the “I am Iron Man” sequence at the very end of that film and it did it poorly.

Now, this wouldn’t be a big deal if Avengers: Endgame wasn’t so highly praised and one of the most successful blockbusters in recent history. But that movie had a big payoff for the end of a long storyline in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, The Rise of Skywalker is supposed to be a big payoff for the Star Wars sequel trilogy, but it ends on a whimper instead.

Marvel did it better, and Star Wars just imitated it, and it feels cheesy.

Don’t Watch This Movie if You Don’t Have To!

As a Star Wars fan, don’t bother wasting your time watching Star Wars: Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker. It’s a big waste of time, especially if you love the original Star Wars trilogy.

The writing is terrible, the plot is stupid, there are too many aspects of this movie that don’t work at all and are refuted by the original trilogy itself.

It’s a waste of time that I only spent so I could review it and get some money out of this review because this is a stupid movie and the worst Star Wars movie out of all of them.

Quick Summary

What Works:What Doesn't Work:

Good acting

Plot points are refuted by the Original Trilogy

Excellent visual effects

Bland character writing

Excellent soundtrack

The Force is Deus Ex Machina

My Grade: F

I am so happy I never have to watch Star Wars: Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker (2020) ever again for the rest of my life. I am so happy it’s over. I can treat it like the bad fanfiction it is. It’s just terrible. It had interesting ideas that should have been in the previous film and had too many new characters that I didn’t care about.

It was a visual spectacle with no heart in the story, it looked like Star Wars, sounded like Star Wars, but it doesn’t have the heart of Star Wars. George Lucas may be the King of Wooden Dialogue, but he knew what his creation was, and despite all his imperfections as a writer and a director, he knew that the heart of Star Wars is the hero’s journey, and Rey didn’t earn anything at all.

I know they were trying to go for Rey carrying on the Skywalker family legacy, but she’s not a compelling character that earned or deserved to carry that legacy. She’s flat, uninteresting, and is a blatant Mary Sue character with no flaws and everything goes right for her because the plot has to.

This movie does have some great moments, but the character of Rey doesn't earn the great moments so they feel hollow, and that is what is the most disappointing aspect of this entire sequel trilogy. Rey doesn't earn any of the great character moments she should have in these films.

She deserved much better writing and a much better story than what she got, and since LucasFilm has admitted they didn’t have any planning when it came to the Star Wars sequel trilogy, you can tell that it was a soulless cash grab to get money out of people that disliked the Prequels and mainly love the Original Trilogy, without having anything that people truly love about the Original Trilogy.

Don’t waste your time and money, if you have to see it, get it from your local library. I did, and at least, unlike Star Wars: Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, I didn’t waste my money on this film, I only wasted my time. If you have Disney+, just watch it on the streaming site, don’t pay for it if you don’t want to, you’ll want a refund for both your time and money. I am definitely done with Disney Star Wars as a fan, now I am only a critic of their work.

My Rating

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