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Classic film saga concludes, fans question story, character development

The main plot of the movie involved a glorified scavenger hunt, with protagonists visiting multiple worlds and escaping imperial threats.

After over 40 years of storytelling, the Star Wars saga that began in 1977 ended with the installment of “The Rise of Skywalker”, released Dec. 20, 2019. As of now, this movie brought in over $1 billion internationally.

After viewing this conclusion of the saga, many questioned whether or not Disney created a worthy end to these movies that millions of people enjoy.

“The Rise of Skywalker” was directed by Emmy award-winning filmmaker J.J. Abrams. Strangely enough, Abrams directed the seventh film, “The Force Awakens”, but not the eighth, “The Last Jedi”. Abrams declined to direct all three movies for unknown reasons. Some reasoned this happened because the original trilogy was directed by three different directors.

“The Rise of Skywalker” picks up the story after the events of “The Last Jedi”. As I viewed “The Force Awakens” and “The Last Jedi”, I assumed that Supreme Leader Snoke would remain the main villain throughout the saga, but ended up dead in the end of “The Last Jedi”.

I felt that Snoke presented a new villain that benefited the Star Wars canon. However, Abrams decided to reintroduce Emperor Palpatine (Darth Sidious) [Ian McDiarmid] as the leading villain in this conclusion to the saga. Going into the beginning of “The Rise of Skywalker”, viewers learned that Snoke played a very minimal part to the ultimate storyline.

Emperor Palpatine apparently survived the explosion of the second Death Star at the end of the original trilogy. He stated himself in the film how he built a fleet of ships, each of them with the ability to destroy a planet. Palpatine broadcasted his voice across the galaxy, warning everyone what would happen if they chose to oppose him and his impending regime.

In the following tweet, the Star Wars Twitter account advertises the release of “The Rise of Skywalker”.

Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) must find a Sith Wayfinder to lead them to Palpatine before he launches his invasion of the galaxy. This entire movie essentially tells the story of an extremely complicated scavenger hunt.

The heroes must find a map to the Wayfinder, starting by following the trail of a long-gone Jedi hunter. This trail, riddled with danger and stormtroopers, leads Rey and her friends to a dagger, which holds the key to the Wayfinder.

As the film progresses, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is seen attempting to turn Rey to the dark side, which is woven throughout the pair’s interactions. In “The Last Jedi”, Rey and Ren begin to communicate by a sort of telepathy and viewers see that the two share a connection in the Force.

Rey and Kylo Ren confront each other in many different locations throughout the movie, such as the remains of the Death Star.

The two previous sequels focused largely on the relationship between Kylo Ren and Rey. This rivalry relationship intrigued me because of the fact that Ren’s parents were Han Solo and Princess Leia. This fact forced me to consider the role of Rey’s parentage, which remains unconfirmed in the first two sequels.

Because of Ren’s Force-sensitive parents, I assumed that she might claim a prominent Force user as her parent such as Obi Wan Kenobi or even Luke Skywalker. After watching the film, I guarantee that the revealing of Rey’s parentage opens up a load of questions.

Something I refuse to accept is Palpatine’s secret fleet. The film provides no more information other than he controls an army of Sith cultists who apparently build spacecraft in record time. Also, each ship contains a laser identical to one in both Death Stars. However, these cannons in no way compare to the size needed to blow up a planet.

I also questioned the role of the Force in this movie. The concept of Force-healing appeared at a few climactic scenes in the movie, however, the only other canon Star Wars storyline to feature this power takes place in “The Mandalorian” which streams on Disney+.

Rey’s character is highlighted in this film as she is seen building a connection with the Force and feeling a simultaneous pull to the dark side.

Ren and Rey also show a psychic force connection that somehow allows them to take things from each other from long distances apart. This force ability also came out of the blue, confusing me when I ponder the specifics of the other sequels.

After viewing the movie, I, along with many other Star Wars fans I observed on the internet, were left unsatisfied with the way that Disney chose to finish the story.

I felt as if some characters were glossed over by Disney with no development. Finn, for example, who showed immense growth as a character in the previous movies, served no unique purpose in “The Rise of Skywalker”.

I also felt that the producers realized that the movie focused too much on storytelling, so they periodically inserted huge action sequences at random times. The writers, in an attempt to sum up the entirety of the Star Wars universe in two hours and 22 minutes, created a movie that told a very scrambled narrative.

The movie in-and-of-itself was well made. The special effects along with the alien aspects of the Star Wars universe come together to create an experience unattainable in other movies. The fight scenes, though sudden, provided sequences of action that complete a classic Star Wars film.

All in all, this was an enjoyable film to watch and I would recommend it. Though I believe the plot line deserves improvement, I think all Star Wars fans should gain closure from these films that tell us the story of a galaxy far, far away.

For more reviews, read “Ford v Ferrari” displays brotherly friendship, becomes instant racing drama classic, and “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” places dark spin on classic Disney story. For another article, read Adam Smith begins coaching boys soccer team midseason.

Brayden Iest can be reached via Twitter and email.

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