The journey that began in May 1977 has now come to an end. When the credits of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hit the big screen, it was clear to many moviegoers that they were witnessing the end of an era - and the birth of a new one. Before that, there were around two and a half hours of popcorn cinema with everything that goes with it: action, tension, surprises, emotions. The following review of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker reveals why Episode 9 is the successful conclusion to a saga and why the film is perhaps one of the best films in the franchise.
It's been almost half a century since George Lucas was able to inspire the boss of 20th Century Fox with his film idea. For 42 years, aging, but young at heart heroes have been seen on cinema and TV screens around the world. Even George Lucas, convinced of his idea, would not have dared to dream of the unique success of his epic. Star Wars is many things, including a world of contrasts: It is a lucrative, secure source of income for companies; For fans, on the other hand, Star Wars is always a journey into the past.
The long way to the short farewell
Star Wars changed the movie world, is an integral part of pop culture and influenced generations. The cinema audience reflects this: If families, from grandparents to great-grandchildren, watch the saga together, then filmmakers have probably done everything right in the film business - not just from an economic point of view.
With Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the last film in the classic saga is now flickering across the screen. The ninth episode now marks a noticeable end. At the same time, the film invites you on a new journey that is completely different from the one that has now come to its deserved end. Director and co-writer JJ Abrams has achieved what fans wouldn't necessarily have expected since The Force Awakens (Episode VII): He arranged the comparatively confused beginning of the “last trilogy”. What's more, Abrams has balanced the story of Episodes VII through IX.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker takes up many topics for which the epic has always stood: friendship, community, the struggle between good and evil, diversity, hope, but also reconciliation. The latter especially with the fans.
Technically brilliantly implemented, Abrams and his crew bring a strip to the screen that hardly a viewer would have expected in this form. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is a return to old virtues. Actors and plot convey the “classic” of the saga and create that cozy, warm feeling that elderly Star Wars fans were able to experience for the first time in the late 1970s. Episode IX is part of the classic saga and is closer to episode 6 than episode 8.
Despite the occasional leisurely narrative progress, Episode XI is not a slow-motion drama, but a wild ride. Lots of action, quick cuts, but also moments that make the viewer pause. The very beginning draws viewers right into the middle of a new adventure, the outcome of which is uncertain - and whose intermediate stops come as a surprise. This Star Wars film also remains true to the universe: At its core, it is a story about family and friends, embedded in a larger whole, which is about nothing less than saving the entire galaxy. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is also thick, creating exemplary hero characters and powerful villains to burn them in a cinematic fireworks display.
The new cast complements the old warhorse perfectly. In particular, the return of General Lando Calrissian was eagerly awaited by fans. And you shouldn't be disappointed. The rascal has lost none of its charm from back then, even if its screen time is overall tight. Calrissian's first appearance since the return of the Jedi is worth going to the cinema in and of itself. The nostalgic wow effect takes effect from the first scene.
Star Wars: Episode IX is a feeling
On the other hand, JJ Abrams gave the princess a lot of time - and a lot of love. For the very last time Leia Organa is on screen and it seems as if she deserves not only this last role, but precisely this farewell. Her scenes carry the story, are more than just snippets of film - they seem to be a goodbye for eternity, captured on celluloid.
As a viewer you can always feel that the heroes from childhood have done their time on the screen. They should take a well-deserved retirement and make room for new adventurers. Poe Dameron, Finn or Rey should not and cannot replace the old warriors, but it becomes clear how closely even the modern figures are based on their role models. The trick succeeds because it gives all those who are supposed to continue the adventure a recognition value. In any case, it fits in perfectly with George Lucas' basic concept of the sci-fantasy epic.
JJ Abram's vision of graduation combines a cinematic Star Wars superlative and nostalgia. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has dark moments, constantly changing locations, spaceship fights, lightsaber duels and innovations, but also sees itself as a film with pronounced fan services and the almost silly humor that has accompanied the saga for decades.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is always loud, but not. It is not a pure hit-and-run cinema experience, but oscillates between action and relaxation. When slow tracking shots determine the scene and John Williams' terrific score sounds, then fans have arrived at the end of a long journey that could now pick up speed for something that is unrecognizable to Star Wars, but completely different.
JJ Abrams succeeds in his masterpiece in the closing sequence. A few moments are enough to bring a 42-year story into balance. The message gets through and it is clear: the past must be allowed to find its peace so that the future can shine.
Genre: Sci Fantasy
Age rating: from 12 years
Playing time: 142 minutes
Film publisher: Disney
Director: JJ Abrams
Music: John Williams
Script: JJ Abrams, Chris Terrio, Colin Trevorrow, Derek Connolly
Year of publication: 2019
As a decoupled film, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker works as a successful popcorn cinema; as part of the saga, this film is the culmination of a decades-long space adventure. Episode IX is unmistakably Star Wars. What the film crew brought to the screen will make fans forgiving.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker manages to bring everything into line: plot and characters, but also feelings. Episode IX ends a journey and opens up new opportunities for the franchise at the same time.