Full Circle

Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker
Stars:  Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Anthony Daniels, Joonas Suotamo, Ian McDiarmid, Billy Dee Williams, Keri Russell, Lupita Nyong’o, Naomi Ackie, Domhnail Gleeson, Richard E, Grant, Kelly Marie Tran, and Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher
Director: J. J. Abrams
Scriptwriters: J. J. Abrams and Chris Terrio based on characters by George Lucas
Composer: John William
Cinematography: Dan Mindel
Lucasfilm Ltd/Bad Robot Productions and Walt Disney Studios
Rating: PG 13
Running Length: 143 Minutes
*Be aware of scenes with flashing lights.

After 50 years, the movie screen people we have known and grown to love, are gone from us. Thus is the end of this part of a franchise called “Star Wars,” and what is to come in the future is anyone’s guess right now. Hundreds of people have gotten jobs within this industry as actors, writers, directors, musicians (what would they have done without John Williams?), extras, production people, wardrobe people, make-up and so on.  Now, it is on to something else and we wait---somewhat impatiently---to see beyond the horizon. 

In the meantime, here is the story of Rey, introduced to us by Daisy Ridley, and her wicked counterpart, Ben/ Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), in previous films. They carry the story of fighting an evil emperor (supposedly dead but they never are), with Rey on the good side and Ren on the bad side. In-between their liking each other despite obvious differences, comes the fight between good and evil. Good is the Resistance (aptly named) and bad is the First Order (they are never named the Last Order).  There are battles, escapes, past characters come to help such as Lando Calrissian a jovial Billy Dee Williams, who was the original owner of the Millennium Falcon.  Carrie Fisher is there as Leia, along with Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker.  Newer characters introduced to us from the last film, are there, and with not that much to do, either. John Boyega (Finn), Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron), Kelly Marie Tran (Rose Tico) and Billie Lourd who is actually the late Carrie Fisher’s daughter.  In fact, just about anyone who walked onto the “Star Wars” sets in the past 50 years, is here somewhere.  That is not even mentioning the voices, so listen closely to recognize Ewan McGregor, Sir Alec Guinness (Obi-Wan Kenobi), Hayden Christensen (Anakin), Freddie Prinze, Jr (Kanan)., Frank Oz (Yoda), Liam Neeson (Jinn), Samuel L, Jackson (Mace) and Olivia d’Abo (Luminara). 

The basic story has Rey working with the Resistance against the First Order and finds that wherever she turns, Kylo Ren is there to stop her. Others come to help and it takes great planning to go against the First Order who seem to have every weapon every invented. Also, the Resistance fighters have to travel around their galaxy in order to piece together what is being planned. The special effects are fine and John Williams familiar score is here to remind us that music is part of the story.  Just when you think Rey has found a solution, there comes an obstacle in her path, and as she progresses, she is developing more power via The Force.  Whenever someone tells Rey not to go, they turn their back and she is gone.  My favorite scene is Ren chasing Rey in a desert, she on foot armed with a saber and he in a small aircraft.  Special effects are well done and the saber fights happen in unusual places such as a shoreline battered by giant waves to a desert.  There is also much background darkness in this film so that when someone enters a room with light, it is startling. 

This film is a satisfying conclusion. And so, faithful film fans, enjoy this last installment of the “Star Wars” films as we have known them. May the Force be with you.  The future is always bright. 


Copyright 2020 Marie Asner