Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019): ‘Star Wars Dies’ – A Film Review



I’ve come to a strange realisation in film. Time and again, films are introducing ridiculous concepts that everyone becomes aware of in the trailers. Frequently this will be in an established franchise and so the reaction is always controversial at best. At worst, we had Jurassic World giving us tame and friendly Velociraptors, at best we had the inescapable conclusion to Avengers: Infinity War, being the cheesy idea of time travel. These ideas leave everyone with the question: ‘Are they really doing it?’. But it would seem that because most people watch the trailers or hear of these ridiculous ideas ahead of time, that they get used to them, or, perhaps, it was a marketing gimmick that got people curious ahead of the film’s release. Star Wars: Episode IX – Rise of Skywalker is a perfect example. After the controversy around whether Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi was good or not, Rise of Skywalker looks to reclaim audiences with ridiculous ideas and, perhaps inevitably, back-treading on what was controversial about The Last Jedi. This isn’t a good leg for The Rise of Skywalker to try and stand on.


A 9 Film Franchise?

Star Wars is a beloved franchise and the sequel trilogy have had excitement, anxiety and money pumped into them. We have been given films that couldn’t escape controversy but have tended to walk lines similar to their predecessors. They are good to look at with a lot of remarkable visuals and CGI. These films are not, also, without their great casts. They are, however, full of concepts and ideas that exist to pander to an audience but only end up frustrating fans. As previously mentioned, film seems to be introducing a lot of ridiculous concepts in film franchises that are best left alone. Rise of Skywalker, unfortunately, is a perfect example. SPOILERS: Rise of Skywalker resurrects Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) and goes back on one of the virtues of The Last Jedi, which said that lineage doesn’t make one special, by saying that Rey’s parents weren’t anyone special. Rise of Skywalker then establishes that Rey is in fact a Palpatine, further adding to bad ideas that make up Rise of Skywalker. END OF SPOILERS.


Pushing the Boulder Up the Hill

Taking these concepts on board and having to accept them – perhaps helped by establishing them early – Rise of Skywalker manages to have some exciting moments. Scattered through the film are moments that keep a relative sense of fun and excitement. They can be cheesy, they can be riddled with plot holes, and whats been done before, but they at least keep the film semi-entertaining. So many moments look back to previous films though as if looking for a way to feel like they’re part of the original trilogy. Whilst it works in some moments, it doesn’t in others and sometimes seems to be wanting to up the ante. Little moments can be an example of this, like not just strangling someone, but lifting them up as well, just feels desperate.



This is not a film to be thought about too much. If you can look past all the flaws then there is something visual to see, but that’s about it. A good script can make a film, and for all the money and effort, for all the fine performances, a film’s script frames everything. If it’s all ridiculous and dumb, the sense of being lost in the fun is lost. We’ve had to accept what they’ve offered us, there will be no other ways of seeing an episode 9 of star wars. This is why so many will be left pissed off, disappointed and grieving what could have been. The once great Star Wars has passed into a new age. It is an age of silly names, bringing back characters and concepts that they shouldn’t; all the while trying to tell the same stories. ….but with a tear, we will keep seeing them.



Emperor Palpatine is alive and has been pulling the strings all along. It is up to Rey (Daisy Ridley) to turn Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), Emperor Palpatine’s minion, in order to defeat Emperor Palpatine’s evil plan.




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Note on My Reviews

Please read ‘On Reviews‘ for a guide to how I write film reviews. Any spoilers are appropriately marked and, though I personally prefer to know little about a film before seeing it, there is a synopsis below the review for any who wish to see one.


Films Mentioned

Avengers: Infinity War (d. Anthony RussoJoe Russo USA 2018)

Jurassic World (d. Colin Trevorrow USA 2015)

Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (d. Rian Johnson USA 2017)

Star Wars: Episode IX – Rise of Skywalker (d. J. J. Abrams USA 2015)


Further Reading

Official Site

Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley Interview

Cast and Crew Interviews

Kathleen Kennedy and J. J. Abrams Interview

Behind the Scenes


Easter Eggs

Upturning The Last Jedi


If you liked this

Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017): ‘Failure and the Risk of the New’ – A Film Review

Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015) – A Film Review

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) – A Film Review


This was an analytical review of….


Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (d. J. J. Abrams USA 2015)

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