Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker closes out the new Disney trilogy of films and, in my opinion, is the weakest of the three. Whilst the polarising Last Jedi had my least favourite moments, it also had some of the highest highs yet this final film delivers neither; ending one of the biggest franchises ever with a whimper not a bang.
After two films spent juggling various subplots, our unlikely band of heroes are finally sent on one last mission together. It wasn’t till they were off on their adventure that I realised this was the first time we were seeing them actually share the screen for more than five minutes. We are led to believe they have an unbreakable bond yet the trilogy has squandered the opportunity to ever show them bonding; to make them the family we are meant to be invested in. This makes emotional moments fall flat and honestly cringeworthy as we simply haven’t had the time with these characters to make a connection. Even worse, whilst Rey and Finn have some stronger scenes, we barely know Poe Dameron past Oscar Issacs natural charisma as an actor.
Similarly, the reveal of Emperor Palpatine as the mastermind behind everything feels unearned and false. Despite its flaws, The Last Jedi at least tried to change things from the original and throw some unexpected twists. But after some backlash, we now have a conclusion that is scrambling to backtrack and simply repeat history. Trying to please the hungry fans but not having the weight behind the final punch to deliver something worth fanboying over.
Despite impressions, I don’t hate this film. I still really enjoy the dynamic relationship between Rey and Kylo Ren in their struggle between light and dark. Both Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver give dedicated performances and stand out amongst an entourage of underdeveloped supporting characters and new faces thrown in at the last minute. The production design and score are also stellar but that has come to be expected for this kind of big budget Disney film. It is honestly heartbreaking that this much creativity and imagination has been wasted on a rushed and often pandering screenplay.
The Rise of Skywalker marks the fall of Star Wars in my eyes. Whilst I loved The Force Awakens and had problems with The Last Jedi, the final act to this trilogy just left me wincing in pain at the lost potential. With little else going for it, just stick to the originals when it comes to a galaxy far, far, away.