Movie Review Flashback: ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ Is the First Disney ‘Star Wars’ Movie

With The Rise of Skywalker close to being available to buy on Digital and Blu-Ray, I thought it prudent to revisit this spoiler-free review of The Rise of Skywalker. So, with no further delay, enjoy!

You probably saw the title of this post and was confused. “The Rise of Skywalker isn’t the first Star Wars movie under Disney,” you may have said. No, it isn’t. It’s actually the fifth. But it’s the first “Disney” Star Wars movie. Let me explain.

When Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012 Star Wars fans’ worries were heard. Would the House of Mouse turn a franchise we loved so much into a joke? And then The Force Awakens came out.

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Suddenly, we began to believe that Disney had this beloved franchise in their safe and loving hands.

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The very next year, Rogue One only increased our excitement by delivering a standalone film that was unlike anything we’d ever seen before. There was drama, there were stakes, and every character was lovable, making their individual demises that much more painful.

Star Wars fans were riding high with joy. The next two years wouldn’t be so kind to Disney.

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The Last Jedi split the fandom into two (even though I have grown to love it over the years) and Solo would become the lowest-grossing Star Wars movie of all time! It was clear. Disney couldn’t land four strikes in a row. Our love for Star Wars remained but there was a bit of a bad taste in our mouths. Were Disney’s true colors beginning to show? Were they starting to ruin a story that we loved so much?

Fast forward to The Mandalorian and suddenly we’re back in love with Star Wars! Mando oozes awesomeness and Baby Yoda has become the cutest thing ever brought to the Star Wars universe. Our faith in Disney’s handling of Star Wars was restored. In fact, invigorated.

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Not to mention, the newest Star Wars game, Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order which turned out to be really fun and would include an interesting story.

And then we got The Rise of Skywalker.

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The movie has been met with mixed reviews. Some love it, some hate it, and some are caught in the middle. After my first viewing, I was depressed. I’m hoping, after my eventual second viewing, I’ll be elated, to a certain extent.

The Rise of Skywalker, in my opinion, doesn’t suffer from a “convoluted” storyline as people were saying. In fact, I thought the movie was very easy to follow. Sometimes, it was too easy. The first half is frankly my favorite half of the film as it follows Rey, Finn, and Poe on an incredible adventure that leaves one smiling and overall, pretty happy. It’s the second half that got to me.

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Rife with clichés, a derivative plotline, and corniness to the nth degree, The Rise of Skywalker delivers a conclusion that has one like myself scratching my head, boggled. Yeah, it was visually impressive and had a lot of stuff going on but with every cool thing that I saw onscreen something ten times stupider happened next, leaving me gazing at the screen with a lackadaisical gaze.

Now, don’t get me wrong. This movie made me cry several times throughout its entirety. There were some really heartfelt moments spread throughout the film that left me wiping my eyes and sniffling profusely. Particularly a moment Kylo Ren has halfway through the film that was literal perfection. I mean, gosh, it makes a certain scene in The Force Awakens so much more impactful, wow!

So yes, there were bits of light in the dark but the dark overwhelmed the light for this one, leaving me feeling sadder rather than glad.

Disney sprinkled pixie dust all over this thing, turning it into a film that kids will love and that fans should adore, but the stakes are watered down, the characters, while all lovable, seem to suffer from a bland script, and the conclusion screams lazily and unimaginatively made. It’s the first Disney-fied Star Wars movie…and that’s not a good thing.

No, it wasn’t perfect, and is The Rise of Skywalker the end of the Skywalker saga? Not exactly. It brings about a definitive conclusion to a certain evil somebody but honestly, it feels like the beginning to something far greater and I’m actually finding myself excited (and hopeful) for what’s to come next.

I’m giving The Rise of Skywalker, as of right now, 3.5 out of 5 stars and a solid 85 out of 100. I’m hoping my second viewing will raise the score.

I thank you for reading and I hope you have a wonderful day. May the Force be with you.

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