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Review: The Rise of Skywalker

It’s 12:00 A.M., and me, my three sisters, and parents are sitting in the dark theater. As the lights dim because the previews are finally over, I look over excitedly at my sisters only to find that they’ve already fallen asleep. Nonetheless, I’m filled with excitement as the iconic Star Wars theme song fills my ears. This will be my first Star Wars movie ever, but the last movie of the main series. Yes, that’s right. I watched “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” first.

Immediately after walking out of the theater, I left with a feeling of inspiration and newfound admiration for this sci-fi series I had never given a chance. “The Rise of Skywalker” was an enthralling thriller that was a perfect introduction to the saga for a first-timer like me. The outstanding CGI effects gave life to the movie, and made all the action scenes really come to life. Rey’s fighting scenes were choreographed with an underlying sense of grace and calmness that I also really enjoyed. When Rey started to make her signature “fighting face”––determined eyes, slightly trembling lower lip, and furrowed brows––I knew I was in for a good fight.

I also enjoyed the characters and their development. Seeing Kylo Ren’s struggle between the Dark and Light Sides was interesting to follow, and arguably the best scene in the movie was when Rey transferred her lightsaber to Kylo in middair. I also found the new droid, D-O, to be a cute addition as it accompanied BB-8 all throughout the movie. In the end, Princess Leia’s spiritual connection to her son was also heartwarming to see.

Although I had no context of the previous developments and occurrences in the other movies, I found the romantic development between Rey and Kylo Ren to be surprising and if not a bit confusing. From just watching this movie alone, their kiss seemed forced and ineffective to the storyline, and didn’t add anything meaningful. Besides that and Mark Hamill’s subpar acting, which made scenes that were supposed to be sentimental instead cheesy, there were no other glaring critiques. 

Being that this was indeed my first Star Wars movie, I was able to pick up the plot and gather all the essential facts fairly quickly. This movie brought me into another dimension for its duration of 2 hours and 22 minutes, and helped me temporarily forget about real life. I was more than happily drawn into the action-packed, exciting, intergalactic world of Rey, Kylo, Poe, and Finn, and for that time that was all that mattered. I would definitely suggest watching this movie, whether or not it’s your first Star Wars experience. Seeing “The Rise of Skywalker” has definitely made me much more invested in the Star Wars franchise, and now that I’ve gotten my first taste of Star Wars from Episode IX, I’ll be making my way backwards.