Directed: J.J. Abrams
Starring: Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Carrie Fisher, Ian McDairmid, Mark Hamill
Runtime: 142 minutes
Rating: PG-13 (For Sci-Fi Violence and Action)
A saga ends. We have come to the 9th film In the Skywalker Saga. It started on May 25th, 1977. Star Wars was born. I couldn’t use enough words to explain the fandom that was created. People name their children after characters. Some have tattoos (I may or may not have one) I personally was looking forward to this film the entire year. Big expectations also mean a big drop if it is/was terrible. First and foremost, I hope you and your family have had a happy holiday. For this film, I went with my younger brother and took my Mom. What I like about these films is they truly are an event.
Onto the film.
Without giving away many spoilers I will say once. This is told during the opening title scroll but Emperor Palpatine (McDairmid) has returned. Palpatine has been the “big bad” throughout the course of this franchise. He worked behind the scenes laying the groundwork for the enemies. He trained Darth Vader. How could someone we assume had died in the original trilogy be back? The film explains, although ambiguously, the answer is there.
We see a struggle between Rey (Ridley) and Kyle Ren (Driver) This whole saga deals with the light and dark side. Good versus Evil. I find that’s what resonates with these films and so many others. Is that struggle. That’s a motif that transcends between different generations. Hence why the films mostly work.
I don’t want to spoil any more than I have. I know with the holidays you may not have gotten to see this yet. Maybe you’ll go on Christmas Day? My family and I usually go to the movies after opening presents. (Mom always picks it. Kind of a family tradition.)
If you have questions from previous films, the last in the saga does a good job of answering them. I left feeling satisfied and couldn’t think of any questions left from this story. I will also say there are many callbacks to the previous films that left the audience laughing or with a smile on their face.
The cast shines. Princess/General Leia (Fisher) was compromised of footage from previous films as Carrie Fisher passed away before filming. I wondered if it would look out of place, or even have any weight to the story. Surprisingly it all makes sense and flows extremely well. The main cast has had 2 films to jell together and it’s evident now more than ever. There is banter between Poe (Isaac) and Rey (Ridley) and even more so with C-3P0 (Daniels) It may be his best film.
The action feels like it’s hitting on every other scene and it’s been a long time since I watched and film where I didn’t know how things would turn out. It was fun! I’ve tried my best to be ambiguous here as I don’t want to ruin it. I would just suggest you go see this film.
I did have a few complaints though. For one, they added a few new characters and although the runtime is long, I felt these new additions could have been fleshed out more. Also, I know it’s the 9th film in a saga and the vast majority of audience members will have watched the others. What if you haven’t? You’ll be lost and won’t get to enjoy it as much as just a standalone film. Like I said I do suggest you see it. If you’ve not watched the others, I’ve found several YouTube clips with recaps leading up to this film. Watch that and go enjoy yourself. I hope this isn’t the end but if it is it’s been a great ride. May the Force be with you! 4 ½ Stars out of 5 #SHOPLOCAL
Andrew McManus is Operations Manager for Patties & Pints and its parent company Eflow Development. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 740-981-9158