Movie Review: ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’


Courtesy of

The official movie poster for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The film is directed by J.J. Abrams.

Colleen Starkey, Editor-in-Chief

Star Wars has captivated audiences since the first one came out in 1977. Since then, there have been eight additional movies in the main storyline, two spin-off movies and one spin-off TV show. Each of these entertains viewers in its own special way, and the new movie, The Rise of Skywalker, is no different. The movie, which came out in theaters nationwide on December 20, 2019, is directed by J.J. Abrams, with the star-studded acting lineup including Daisy Ridley (Rey), Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron), John Boyega (Finn) and Adam Driver (Kylo Ren).

I have been a Star Wars fan since right before my 10th birthday, when I watched one for the first time. I always loved the story of the Skywalker family and the fight between good and evil. The Rise of Skywalker is the end to the saga. The film begins with Kylo Ren discovering a device known as a Sith Wayfinder, as Rey spends her time at the new Rebel base, working and training to master her use of both the Force and a lightsaber. The sinister Emperor Palpatine makes a startling return, especially considering his apparent death in Return of the Jedi. To put it simply, the movie’s storyline tells of Rey’s fight to discover her true identity, to overcome her fear and anger and allow light to win in her life, all the while attempting to turn Kylo Ren away from the dark side and take out Palpatine on the hidden Sith planet Exegol so that the Rebels can win. 

I watched the film for the first time on opening weekend, and I could not take my eyes away from the screen. Every scene had its own special point of interest. The movie was filled with plot twists, familiar characters from previous movies, new uses of the Force and a constant struggle between good and evil, with a fairly good mix of space battles and regular storytelling. The Last Jedi finished up with many unanswered questions, but The Rise of Skywalker made a point to answer these questions, while still introducing just enough new ideas to keep it interesting and to allow for any future spin-off movies or TV shows, which have already been rumored. 

Overall, I feel like the use of cinematography was excellent throughout the film. Everything has its own place in the story, without having anything extra to distract from the reality of the Star Wars galaxy. Every shot, each piece of the score, each line from a character or each comedic moment from one of the droids is important in its own way. There is a bit of a rollercoaster of emotions as the story continues, ranging from ecstasy to surprising sadness. I even shed tears at one point. The emotions are necessary – even the sadness – to understand and connect to the characters and storyline, even for a second and third time in seeing the film.

I give Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker a 10/10 because absolutely everything is excellent. I would not have changed anything, even if I had worked on it myself. I even went and saw it a second time about a week after the first time I saw it, and I was equally entertained by it, even though I knew what the next plot twist was, or what emotion I would have to deal with next was. I have seen all 11 Star Wars movies and the one Disney+ show, if I count the spinoffs as well, as this new film is by far my favorite Star Wars movie in the galaxy.