Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ★★

“We've passed on all we know. A thousand generations live in you now.”

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker drags this once groundbreaking franchise to a grinding halt with a frustratingly uninspired installment whose sole existence is to appease a fractured fanbase.

All of what The Last Jedi set up, albeit imperfectly, is completely thrown out the window. The first hour of this film is spent reworking The Last Jedi for this one to make a lick of sense. It ends up feeling like two movies cramped in the space of one. The film jumps from scene to scene, location to location, with no real through-line or plot. A series of contrived scenes full of 'remember this? remember that?' moments are set amidst John Williams’ original score. It is a cheap and unearned tactic that does little to further the story and only serves to remind audiences how good Star Wars used to be.

Save for a few good intermittent action sequences and some cool shots, Abrams' The Rise of Skywalker is largely a convoluted and desperate "nostalgia trip" that brazenly retreads plot points from prior films with no nuance nor logic, opting to focus entirely on Daisy Ridley’s Rey, a character and performance so flat and lifeless, it’s a wonder why Disney ever chose her to lead this new trilogy. What had initially seemed like a breath of fresh air with The Force Awakens has dulled into a tiring sigh.