Raise your lightsabers, the Skywalker saga has come to an end. Across the 9 episodes from the last 5 decades we have had some highs and lows, with the latest trilogy receiving really mixed reviews from fans (we loved The Force Awakens and weren’t too sure on The Last Jedi). We caught the final chapter to the saga on the opening night filled with anticipation and excitement, but felt pretty torn as we left the cinema. While the film was good fun and had exciting parts, we felt it didn’t land with us emotionally and had us pondering on some storyline decisions where things were reversed, hence our average review. Regardless, we’ve pulled together five reasons so see The Rise Of Skywalker below!
1. John Williams’ fantastic score
Putting his composing prowess to the galaxy far, far away one last time, 5 times Academy Award winner John Williams has smashed it out the park again creating this score around the beautiful melodies he wrote for the original saga a long time ago. One stand out scene around a visit to the wreckage of the Death Star is backed by music giving an eerie and haunting throwback to the music used for A New Hope. The excitement of the film is driven by the score and heightens the experience of every scene. There are many throwbacks to previous songs Williams has written in this film, with the “Imperial March” having a welcome return as it is intertwined with new music. It’s no wonder John Williams is regarded as one of the greatest film composers of all time when hearing this soundtrack.
2. It is a non-stop mission
From the get-go, we see the Resistance preparing to take down the First Order once and for all. Every scene in this film feels like it is driving towards the final goal with no swaying away too far from the main plot point. The pace of the film is at an all time high throughout, making a change from questionable side scenes we saw in The Last Jedi. The pace does feel a little rushed at times as there’s so much to pack in, but it definitely keeps the attention and has the film feeling nothing like it’s 2hr21min runtime.
3. It ticks all the boxes to be a stereotypical Star Wars film
It’s not Star Wars unless someone has a bad feeling about something, we get a load of sass from C3-PO and there’s some mad origin revelation leaving characters questioning their motives. This film has got all those and everything else you expect from Star Wars; random unexplained creatures hanging around, a high speed dogfight with X-Wings against TIE fighters and those classic scene transitions too. The list is endless of all the expected throwbacks and characters which JJ Abrams must have been checking off as he created this film as it feels like there hasn’t been much missed! One point we raised was “have we seen this all before too many times now?” – whilst we enjoy the nostalgia of Star Wars, is it time to end this formula that we all know so well and run some more risks with upcoming films? Probably.
4. The visual effects are stunning
From the opening sequence featuring a slow motion onslaught from Kylo Ren in a burning forest, to a high speed chase using exploding barrels of yellow smoke and finishing the film on a huge battle sequence, we aren’t short of beautiful visual effects. Obviously lightsaber battles feature fantastic imagery, with the glow of Rey and Ren’s sabers through the mist during one scene standing out as a highlight. The work put into set design is flawless too; such intricate details to the many locations our protagonists visit once again delivers a full sensory experience with Williams’ score backing those scenes.
5. It’s a fitting end to the saga
Whilst some questions are raised from this film (i.e. what did Finn want to tell Rey???) it does do a fair job of tying up loose ends, mainly working at explaining those unanswered questions or qualms that fans had in the previous films. The fast paced finale races to its conclusion and pulls no punches on the way. The final scene feels really fitting as a bookend to the saga and felt right with the way it ended. One main concern we had with it was we felt the emotional scenes missed the mark, perhaps with director swapping there has been less time to grow feelings towards characters’ arcs this time round, or more so that the pacing of this film felt so fast, there wasn’t much time for reflection. Now the Skywalker saga has ended, we are looking forward to what the future holds for Star Wars.