In Review: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

The surviving Resistance faces the First Order once more as Rey, Finn and Poe Dameron's journey continues.

Synopsis: The surviving Resistance faces the First Order once more as Rey, Finn and Poe Dameron’s journey continues. With the power and knowledge of generations behind them, the final battle commences.

Review: It’s going to be very hard to do a spoiler-free review for this film, but I will give it my best shot and just start by saying that I think the missteps taken with ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ maybe forgiven. This for me felt like a true Star Wars film. Moreso than ‘The Force Awakens’ or ‘Last Jedi’. It felt very much like its own story, but also part of the original trilogy with some nice callbacks and cameos from classic characters, which include a few surprises that I will not spoil.

The Story

After a message gets out from Emperor Palpatine, who is believed dead. Rey, Finn, Poe Dameron, Chewbacca, C3PO, and BB8 set out on a mission to find a Sith artifact that will lead them to a legendary planet in the outer rim where the Sith supposedly live and train. Unknown to them. Kylo Ren has beaten them there and is hot on their heels to try and stop them and fulfill his orders to kill Rey. A mission, which has been given him by Palpatine.

The Acting

Oscar Isaac and John Boyega finally get a chance to shine as Poe Dameron and Finn. In fact, all the cast put in great performances and everyone gets a bit of the story. But it was great to see Poe and Finn’s friendship evolve somewhat given that it was very much neglected in the last film. Both Isaac’s and Boyego fully commit to it as well as the two-character share a fun banter onscreen as their bromance continues.

Daisy Ridley gets plenty of action in the film as you’d expect and we finally get the answers we want about Rey. As in the whole story. She has some great scenes with the late Carrie Fisher, which felt like they could well have been shot specifically for this film and she also gets a wonderful scene with Mark Hamill who reprises his role as Luka Skywalker, but as a force ghost.

Richard E. Grant puts in a solid performance as General Pryde, who gets a fair bit of screen time and is likely to be a character that will most likely have an interesting backstory in the book or comics series. But long story short. He has apparently worked with Palpatine in the past. So there is a ton of backstory for someone to go at.

Finally, Adam Driver rocks as Kylo Ren and has great scenes with pretty much everyone that his character interacts with. Most notably Rey and Palpatine.


As one of those fans that has been around for 42 years. I loved how this film wrapped the story up. Sure it felt rushed in parts given that the film goes at a frantic pace and is an emotional rollercoaster ride in that there is a real sense of family between Poe Dameron, Finn, Rey, and Chewie. A sense of family that was sorely lacking in the last film.

I have no doubt there will be those out there who will think it all wraps up a little too neatly and all of that. Some may think the film wasn’t dark enough for them. While others will think it was too light. To me, this film hits the balance just right. It’s a story about family, friendship, loyalty, bringing people together and redemption.

The message that permeates throughout the film is one of hope. And given that we are currently living in the emotional dark ages. It is a very powerful message. The film also leaves plenty of room for tie in novels and comics as we learn a few things about Poe Dameron’s past prior to him joining the resistance.

I’ve never been the type of person that is overly sentimental or have I ever been a person that is easily moved. So the fact that I was welling up a little by the end of this film pretty much says it all.

All the much-loved characters from the original trilogy get a great send-off in this movie in that it fully respects their contributions and the legacy of the original trilogy films while allowing the new generation to do their thing. It has a beautiful ending and is a satisfying conclusion to the Skywalker story.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
  • Story
  • Acting
  • CGI & Stunts
  • Incidental Music

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
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