Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ★★

As the culmination of what George Lucas began four decades prior, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker needs to conclude the Skywalker Saga and directly follow this franchise’s most daring entry, The Last Jedi. That film’s director, Rian Johnson, boldly argued we should not be telling the same tale over and over again, but forge ahead with new ideas, stories, and characters for a more promising, fruitful future. His narrative principles were in direct conflict with the Disney ethos that more of the same will yield more lucrative results. With noted disappointment and little surprise, J.J. Abrams’ finale doesn’t just directly refute many of the ideas of its predecessor–its brand of nostalgia also feels more brazenly pandering than heartfelt.

Read my full review on The Film Stage (which now has new look!).