The following is an archived social media reaction of mine, from April 2019, directly after I saw the first teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Never in my life have I had such a reaction to a trailer than I did for Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker. Not for Infinity War, Endgame, The Force Awakens, or The Last Jedi. THIS ONE HIT ME SO DEEP IN MY SOUL.
A lot of people have the debate – If you could see only one of the two, would it be Endgame, or The Rise of Skywalker? (Thank goodness we finally have a title). I was always on the fence, leaning slightly toward Episode IX, simply because Star Wars was my first love, and always will be. Well, after seeing this trailer, I can undoubtedly say that I would choose The Rise of Skywalker any day of the week. I believe Endgame is going to be one of the most personally impactful films of my lifetime – I have invested so much time, energy, and passion into the MCU. But Star Wars’ influence on my life is even beyond that. It has brought me immense joy, happiness, and bliss over the course of my time on Earth, and watching this trailer streamed live at Star Wars Celebration reminded me of why Star Wars will ALWAYS have my heart.
All of the negativity, toxicity, and hatefulness of certain corners of the fandom faded away as I saw the FIRST trailer of a Skywalker Saga film for the LAST time. I will NEVER forget this moment. Just to clarify, I of course understand that there is more to life than Star Wars, and if Episode IX turns out to be a terrible movie (doubtful), then it will have a minuscule impact on my life overall. I’m not going to trash the filmmakers and actors for “ruining my life.” Sure, I’ll be disappointed, but the memories that Star Wars has already given me will NEVER die. To every single person who has contributed to this wonderful universe in any way, shape, or form, from the bottom of my heart, I offer you a sincere THANK YOU. ❤️
Now, here is an admittedly biased reflection with some of my thoughts and reactions after finally seeing the film in December 2019.
The Rise of Skywalker is not the greatest Star Wars movie of all time, but it is the most satisfying ending we could have hoped for. The range of emotions I experienced is difficult to articulate, but this movie sure as heck made me FEEL. I am so thankful for this franchise.
I have already seen some discourse throughout the fandom of Star Wars and the world of film criticism saying that this movie retconned everything in The Last Jedi. I disagree. From what I have seen, the narratives of The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and The Rise of Skywalker all generally agree with one another. Sure, there are a lot of things to nitpick, and it’s obvious that JJ Abrams and Rian Johnson probably had different ideas with where things were going. But the final product is, comprehensively, executed in a satisfying manner. The Original Trilogy underwent massive changes over the course of its development, but it went down in history as one of the greatest trilogies in film history. While the Sequel Trilogy is not up to that height, it is nevertheless a pretty darn brilliant trio of motion pictures.
I love Star Wars. I love movies. I love storytelling. I love art. And The Rise of Skywalker is a glorious package of all of these things. However, it’s perfectly fine to criticize something you love. As a critic, it’s a pretty solid movie, albeit with quite a few flaws. Yes, the script does indeed get a bit messy, and the expositional dialogue sometimes comes off as drab and uncreative. Maybe certain side characters were used as plot conveniences, while others were neglected. Yet, this is a relatively small price to pay for the wonderfully epic payoff we receive time after time again throughout 142 minutes of cheering, clapping, laughing, and crying. Personally, I adored The Rise of Skywalker as a fan of the franchise. My appreciation for this film, and the associated feelings of joy and contentment, may very well place me in the minority among Star Wars fans and film critics alike. And that is fine by me.
I will gladly discuss this film with anybody on all sides of the love/hate equation. But for now, I’m just going to say this:
The Force Will Be With You. Always.
Check out a more in-depth reaction/discussion/reflection on my YouTube channel: