Skywalker Saga Ends in “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”

Episode IX Brings the Sequel Trilogy To a Satisfying Close

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The Avocado

The Skywalker saga comes to an end in “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.”

Katerina Gebhardt, Entertainment Editor

Since 1977, the world of “Star Wars” has delighted fans from all across the globe, and it is with much sadness and nostalgia that the final saga came to a close in December 2019. “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” ended the sequel trilogy, and while the “Star Wars” community is once again divided over the movie, it brought the saga to a satisfying close.

“The Rise of Skywalker” finds its heroes in a dire struggle against the First Order and Supreme Leader Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). Left with few fighters and even fewer allies, the Resistance, led by General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), faces new opposition in the return of Sith Lord Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid), who has risen a fleet of destroyers that he calls the Final Order, with intent to rule the galaxy. Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and C3PO (Anthony Daniels) must travel to the planet Exegol to stop Palpatine. In the midst of all of this, Rey and Kylo Ren must try to work out their struggle between the light and dark sides.

The movie is a whopping two hours and 45 minutes long, and there is a great deal of exposition, new characters, conflict, another conflict and yet another conflict to get through. Unfortunately, the pacing of the movie is flawed, at some points moving far too fast and at others struggling to keep the audience awake. However, it manages to keep the audience up to speed on all of the many storylines, and ties them together well at the end of the film.

Additionally, the movie’s plot is based around unused footage from the previous two films, since Carrie Fisher passed away in 2016, shortly before the release of “The Last Jedi.” The filmmakers of “The Rise of Skywalker,” along with Fisher’s family, wanted to use as little CGI and special effects as possible to portray Leia. Overall, director JJ Abrams effectively weaved the story around old footage while being respectful to the late actress.

Much to the surprise of fans, “The Rise of Skywalker” featured a kiss between two women, the first ever in the “Star Wars” universe. However, this kiss was only between two very minor characters at the end of the film, and was very much in the background of all the action. Many fans had hoped to see a relationship between Finn and Poe Dameron, and the two previous films had been hinting at it for some time. Unfortunately, their relationship remained platonic, denying “Star Wars” a canon gay relationship between two main characters.

At the end of a saga, especially the end of the Skywalker storyline, all character arcs must come to an end, and “The Rise of Skywalker” successfully finishes (almost) all of them. Of course, with any movie, there are many questions left unanswered. For instance, there are many things left out about Finn’s background, and the movie completely neglects Rose Tico’s (Kelly Marie Tran) storyline. However, the most successful arc finish is that of both Rey and Kylo Ren, as Abrams ties their interwoven storylines together in a poignant and satisfying way.

While “The Rise of Skywalker” did not take as many risks as some of its predecessors, it did not need to, as its job was to close out the saga in a way that felt fulfilling and genuine. Even though it did not end with a bang as many had predicted, it brought everything together in a way that felt familiar and true to the “Star Wars” story that so many have fallen in love with. The legacies of Luke Skywalker and the Jedi have been safely upheld by “The Rise of Skywalker,” preserving the message of hope that has been passed from movie to movie. In conclusion, “The Riseof Skywalker” will live on in fans’ hearts as a beautiful close to a timeless story that has captured generations.