We’re now just days away from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the final installment of both the Sequel Trilogy and the Skywalker Saga, from arriving in theaters. However, as is the case with most highly-anticipated movies, a bunch of people were able to see The Rise of Skywalker early, and the reactions out of the world premiere were decidedly mixed. Now the full reviews are flowing in, and it’s been reaffirmed that we’re getting another polarizing Star Wars movie.
Starting off, CinemaBlend’s own Eric Eisenberg gave Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker only two out of five stars in his review, calling it a “disappointing end to the Skywalker Saga.” Director J.J. Abrams and the creative team decided to retcon many elements of The Last Jedi, and the result is The Rise of Skywalker not only not functioning as a proper sequel to its predecessor, but the provided fan service just doesn’t work as well as it did in The Force Awakens. However, Eric did commend The Rise of Skywalker for its “wonderful aesthetics.”
J.J. Abrams decided to play revisionist with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and in doing so created a mess.
Atom Tickets’ Alisha Grauso was also disappointed with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, saying that the movie relied on “miles of exposition and convenient plotting as well as a heaping helping of deus ex machina in ways big and small” in its efforts to retcon most of The Last Jedi. However, Alisha also acknowledged that some Star Wars fans might find The Rise of Skywalker to be a worthy conclusion to the Skywalker Saga, and did say that the movie is anything but boring.
The bottom line is, if you loved The Last Jedi, you’re likely going to struggle with The Rise of Skywalker. But maybe not. And if you’re a longtime fan of Star Wars, you’ll probably find a lot to love in the final movie, seeing it as a fitting and epic conclusion to the Skywalker Saga that’s been over four decades in the making.
Conversely, Ian Sandwell from Digital Spy was a big fan of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, giving it a 4/5 score. In Ian’s eyes, the movie ensures people will have a “damn good time,” even if it does take its time getting to the excitement. However, it’s through the emotional beats that The Rise of Skywalker shines brightest, and in the end, Ian thinks the Skywalker Saga ends on a high note.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is a lot of movie and is far from flawless, but overall, it's an emotional, thrilling and satisfying end to the Skywalker Saga, with plenty of surprises up its sleeve.
Total Film’s Jamie Graham felt similarly about Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, also giving it a 4/5 score. As Jamie sees it, J.J. Abrams, for the most part, succeeds in “placating” those who were angered by the “liberties” Rian Johnson took in The Last Jedi, while also exercising some “bold choices and surprises of his own.” The ride is sometimes “bumpy” (the first half hour is overladen with plot and exposition), but the action, callbacks and anything remotely Star Wars is glorious.
Tries to fit in so much it threatens to tear apart at the seams, but ultimately rises to the impossible occasion.
Molly Freeman from ScreenRant fell into more mixed territory with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, giving it three out of five stars. Molly laid out how a lot of story is packed into the movie’s first act that could have easily served as a separate film. As a result, the middle of the story feels rushed and there’s a lot of heavy lifting where Emperor Palpatine is concerned, and ultimately, Molly believes J.J. Abrams was too focused on trying to give audiences everything they want from a Star Wars movie rather than deliver a good movie.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker gets bogged down in exposition and course-correcting The Last Jedi, but does have some fun moments and fan service.
Finally, io9’s Germain Lussier found himself among those who thought Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was a disappointing end to the Skywalker Saga. Among his criticisms of the movie were the journey the main characters go on being way too fast-paced (when the movie does slow down, it improves significantly), trying to get too much done with too many characters and this not feeling like these are the battles to end all battles in a galaxy far, far away.
Without a doubt, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has something for everyone. It force-feeds you so much Star Wars you’ll probably want to go back for seconds. Sadly, it suffers mightily from being more focused on excess instead of resonance. For some people, that will be more than enough—but for us, it’s not.
These are just some of the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker reviews that are now available to read, so feel free to look around the internet and read other people’s thoughts. Suffice it to say that this will not be the movie to unite the Star Wars fanbase, and I’ll be interested to see if in the long run The Rise of Skywalker is debated and argued about even more than The Last Jedi has been over the last two years.
Set one year after the events of The Last Jedi, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will see the war between The Resistance and The First Order, as well as the millennia-long conflict between the Jedi and Sith, finally reaching their respective climaxes. Commercially speaking, The Rise of Skywalker is estimated to open at around $450 million worldwide, putting it on par with The Last Jedi’s opening weekend in 2017.
You can judge Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker for yourself starting with tomorrow’s preview screenings, with the wide release following on Friday. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more Rise of Skywalker coverage and other news about the entire Star Wars franchise, and don’t forget to look through our 2020 release schedule to plan what you’ll be seeing at the theater next year.