This film is the ultimate Star Wars saga, the third and final episode of the sequel trilogy after The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. In The Rise of Skywalker, Jedi Rey (Daisy Ridley) has to confront her past and save the future of the Resistance. Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) has succumbed to his predilection for the Dark Side with the revived Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) donating his extensive fleet the Final Order to Ren. Palpatine demands Ren deliver Rey to him and the film is largely a lightsabre series of tussles between the two, while Rey, Poe (Oscar Isaac), Finn (John Boyega), Chewbacca, C-3PO and R2D2 attempt to find the uncharted region of Exegol where Palpatine is based. Their search for a wayfinder will lead them to strange and dangerous territories.
Like all the Star Wars films this one is about identity and history all played out in spectacular action sequences. Daisy Ridley is once again a spritely heroine ably supported by Driver, Isaacs and Boyega, plus a cast of creatures and characters that are sometimes bewildering. Archival footage of the late Carrie Fisher portrays her in her final appearance as Leia.
J J Abrams returns to the director’s chair and he brings his usual whizz-bang robustness to the action. He co-wrote the screenplay with Chris Terreo, the dialogue is frequently banal and the narrative chaotic but that’s not actually the point of this Star Wars, it’s all about action with that core of whether the force is with you or not and how it will be used.
Nostalgia reigns as John Williams music takes us to a galaxy far far away where the battle between good and evil still rages.
Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker is available to rent now in Foxtel Store.