Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Review: Daisy Ridley & Adam Driver's film is 'fan service' which enthralls

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Movie Review: Daisy Ridley & Adam Driver's film has two missions - give the Skywalker saga a definitive end with no loopholes to solve later and devoted fan service. While the plotholes are quite a few, the earnest acting performances and visual aesthetics make Episode IX an entertaining journey into a galaxy far, far away.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Review: Daisy Ridley & Adam Driver's film is 'fan service' which enthralls
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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Cast: Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Director: J.J. Abrams

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Stars: 3.5/5

As the famed opening scroll of Star Wars along with the celebrated theme by legendary music composer John Williams takes center-stage and you're taken to a galaxy far, far away, there's no denying the goosebumps it devours! Disney and Lucasfilm have aligned Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker to a definitive end of the beloved Skywalker saga while the task of reaching the culminating closure falls into the trusted shoulders of Mr. J.J. Abrams. But does Episode IX feel like the exemplary end? Read below to find out.

Without the risk of giving out spoilers, The Rise of Skywalker kicks off where The Last Jedi left us and from the get-go, you know JJ is trying to undo the legacy of the controversial Rian Johnson directorial. As the last Jedi, Rey is still on the mission to save the galaxy and the Resistance, along with her trusted allies Finn and Poe Dameron while Kylo Ren, as the new Supreme Leader of the First Order, is hell-bent on finding Emperor Palpatine and killing Rey. The push and pull between Rey and Kylo Ren is still a conflicted equation that forms the heart of the last Skywalker installment as well. However, thanks to the peer pressure by the fans Finn and Poe are giving equal weight this time.

Daisy Ridley is truly a force to be reckoned with. No matter how stunning the VFX and the locations look and no matter how idealistic the camera angles may be, it's the expressiveness in the 27-year-old actress that truly shines. You're drawn to the fact that she's the singular hope to bring balance to the galaxy and Daisy masterfully brings forward all the emotions through her eyes. On the other hand, Adam Driver may not have as many scenes as one would have hoped but his conflicting nature in every scene tugs at the heartstrings. Once the mask is off is when the actor truly shines. The duo's chemistry is fire on ice and works one more time.

John Boyega and Oscar Isaac are the popular duo who are given a whole lot to play with their characters this time around and they add the right comedic as well as dramatic elements to the picture. They're not just on the coattails of Rey but instead stand out in their own right which is entertaining to watch. Finn-Poe shippers may not get the endgame they were looking for but they'll still be left with happy smiles towards the end. The focus on the trio friendship surprisingly doesn't feel enforced and rather the three stars play off of each other. A special shoutout to Chewbacca, who is solely responsible for the genuine tear-jerking moments, which are quite a few while BB-8, C-3PO and R2-D2 continue to flutter our childhood hearts. When it comes to the OGs, the inclusion of Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian is just what the doctor prescribed. Mark Hamill is exactly where he needs to be - at the right place, in the right time and specifically, for the right purpose. What Abrams delivers with the late Carrie Fisher's inclusion is just the apt and heartwarming tribute that Princess Leia deserved as the pitch-perfect sendoff.

Major props have to be given to Dan Minde's cinematography as he perfectly encaptures each molecule in the wide spectrum of the galaxy with such a bravado yet delicate manner that is mighty impressive. Similarly, the VFX almost deliberately 'shows off' in a grandiose manner. The action sequences are crisp and enthrall in the best of ways while the lightsaber sequences continue to leave you gobsmacked. Even though the light scheme at times may regress you from the IMAX screens. You can sense how much time was dedicated to making the last installment a memorable one, visually. It also helps that the cast stood out on their own grounds and wasn't overshadowed by the sheer beauty of the aesthetics.

ALSO READ: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker First Reactions: Twitterati say it's an immensely satisfying end to an era

While visually pleasing, the screenplay by J.J. Abrams and Chris Terrio has a dual mission - end the Skywalker saga and devoted fan service. The twists and turns are at each corner - with some unpredictable sequences but none reach the godlike level of "Luke, I am your father." Before you can sink your teeth into and fathom one emotional twist or outburst, you're rushed to the next turn in lightspeed. JJ and Chris take up the behemoth task of aligning together the originals, the prequels and the sequels. They try to answer all the unsolved questions and somewhere along the line lose the balance. Thankfully, John Williams' composition takes you across the journey more soothing and effectively. Williams will always be the true hero of what makes Star Wars such an unforgettable franchise.

Ultimately, just like Kylo Ren, you'll be left conflicted over your love or hate for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. But unlike Game of Thrones and very much like Avengers: Endgame, Episode IX will still have you screaming, cheering, crying and wholly satisfied. That is if you're a fan of Star Wars!

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