I was a lucky, lucky duck and got to see an early screening of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ahead of its release on Thursday. Now that it is past 2:01am CST Wednesday, December 18th I am legally allowed to share my thoughts on the culmination of the 42-year long Skywalker saga. This will be spoiler-free in the sense I won’t give away any surprises or plot points, but reading anything from somebody who has seen the movie could be considered a little spoilery. There is your warning. Feel free to back out now if you want to go in fresh. I appreciate the click and you reading this overly-long introduction.
- First and foremost, I really loved the movie. It wasn’t perfect by any means, and was a lot to digest, but perfectly nailing the landing on a 42-year franchise that had three separate trilogies, multiple directors, studios, etc. was always going to be nearly impossible. I dug it in a very big way though. The last 40-minutes I was an emotional, crying mess.
- If the pendulum swung far from the traditional Star Wars films as we knew them in Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi, it swings so far back under J.J. Abrams in Rise of Skywalker that it basically smashes through the glass on the other side. Your enjoyment of the movie will greatly depend on how you feel about this.
- There is a LOT in this movie. You know how in some comedies you are laughing so much you miss a bunch of jokes? There was so much packed into this final installment I almost wish we could have paused it in the theater to catch my breath. I was fine with this pace, though. Again, there are a lot of loose-ends to tie up. I’d much prefer a 155 minutes of balls-to-the-wall Star Wars than leaving the theater with some stuff unresolved.
- There will be a lot of talk about “fan service” in this movie. For those that don’t know, “fan service” is a trendy buzz phrase that basically means there are elements of the movie that are thrown in to make fans happy. Skywalker is full of this throughout the film. Winks, nods, tie-ins galore. I was fine with that! In fact, I loved it. Some people will consider me a simpleton for this, but I don’t care. Part of the reason I have never become one of those bitter, jaded Star Wars fans is because I have intentionally never overthought the series. It is wars happening in the stars with furry creatures, laser swords, and a little green dude who speaks kinda backwards. That’s what I love about it. I have always enjoyed these movies on a surface-level, without ever really seeking deeper meanings that were never really there. I mean, two characters kissed that ended up being brother/sister at one point. They have always been making this up as they go along. So yes, give me all the fan-service. I want the service! Inject the service into my veins.
- I said this after the first two movies and it is still true: I want to be Rey when I grow up.
Looking forward to chopping it up and breaking it all down once everybody gets a chance to see it. I obviously have a lot more thoughts and cannot wait to talk about that one thing, the other part, the scene where the one character does that thing, when we see that one thing, when the big thing happens, etc.