Clearly, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was so big that everyone at Film Threat had to chime in. Chris Gore has our official review and you can hear it on the Film Threat podcast. Download, comment, and subscribe to the podcast before reading the rest of the staff’s (legally obligated to state that).
As a ten-year-old seeing Star Wars: A New Hope for the first time, I remember not overthinking everything and just having a good time. I’m taking the emotional viewpoint and will just say I loved The Rise of Skywalker and in the same vein I loved Return of the Jedi. It’s fun, action adventures, good fights, and ties everything up…which it’s supposed to do. Haters, you’re not going to ruin my childhood full of fantastical dreams and awkward romances.
8 out of 10 stars
I expected more from the visionary director, who jump-started the new trilogy in the first place. I found myself perplexed at how genuinely dull it’s all become: the constant appearances of beloved characters, meant to evoke “woos!” in the audience; the Easter egg references to the original trilogy; the “piu-piu-piu” of the lasers blowing spaceship after spaceship; the glowering close-ups of our heroes’ tortured faces… All sound and fury signifying so little. Studio bigwigs use The Force to tie all the knots, squeeze tears (along with some giggles and awws) and consequently sell a universe-worth of merchandise. Shame.
5 out of 10
A hectic medley of cameos, swinging lightsaber clashes and striking spaceship battles, all of which is complemented by pleasing special effects and John Williams’ exultant score that awakens the inner child of every “Star Wars” fan. But with so much fan service, it’s easy for J.J. Abrams to mask the hollowness and sheer mediocrity of this long-awaited finale. There was no clear-cut layout for this trilogy, and the ramifications are frightfully drastic, if simply ordinary, for a franchise that is extraordinary.
4.5 out of 10
Anthony Ray Bench
It’s a very messy movie, but I enjoyed it. There’s a lot of callbacks and fan service; some of it works really well, and some of it falls flat. It had a lot of emotional moments that really hit me hard, and for the most part, it had a satisfying ending. I hated all the course corrections the film tried making in response to The Last Jedi backlash, and the film does have some heavy and obvious flaws, but I still think it was really damned enjoyable. This is definitely the Return of the Jedi of this sequel trilogy, but you know what? I loved Return of the Jedi too, flaws and all.
8 out of 10
Like The Resistance, JJ Abrams began this chapter in a very challenging situation. The previous creative team crapped all over key elements of the narrative structure and one of the most beloved legacy actors tragically died, taken too soon. This is a very busy film that succeeds in weaving Star Wars back together. To be fair, It has many flaws, but none of them matter. Like Beowulf or The Tain, this modern myth still rings true. The Christmas bow on this gift is an emotionally intelligent, satisfactory wrap-up of a 42-year journey for so many fans (myself among them).
8 out of 10
Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker is certainly an ambitious movie. It is visually stunning and has impeccable acting throughout, but the thing that matters most is the story and it is lacking to put it kindly. Some of the plot points are straight-up offensive to the ideas of logic and good storytelling. It doesn’t feel like an extension of the story in a galaxy far, far away, but like first draft fan fiction that somehow received full funding. It is spectacle and little else. It’s only saving grace is that it was not as offensive as The Last Jedi.
2 out of 10
Say what you want about Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but at least there was a character with ideas and complex feelings that were being paid attention to. In Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, it’s like the characters are in the way and the movie’s knocking them over to reach a series of forced resolutions. The movie’s fun, in a superficial, key-dangling kind of way, but there’s no substance, no imagination, and no care given to the characters, all which are what gave Star Wars the cultural foothold it has today.
6 out of 10 stars