Did the newest Star Wars movie rise above expectations? (spoilers)

The movie poster for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker which debuted December 20, 2019, photo courtesy of forbes.

The movie poster for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker which debuted December 20, 2019, photo courtesy of forbes.

Haley Maser, Views Editor

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December 2019 saw the conclusion to an epic saga. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was the ninth and final movie in the Skywalker series, and many fans had polarizing opinions on the film. Overall, the highly anticipated conclusion to a beloved story was met with mixed reviews.
Dedicated fans and casual viewers alike were conflicted over the quality of the film. Reviews include minor critiques to major controversies. The exploration of a romance between the main character Rey and villain Kylo Ren was questioned by many who saw the movie, with some people even saying the plot glorified an abusive relationship. These accusations point out that the two characters have numerous fights that even escalate to physically harming each other before sharing an uncomfortable kiss. Many feel that Rey, the franchise’s first female lead’s, character was cheapened by this story. Others have questioned bringing back the classic character of Palpatine, which did not seem to fit in with the plot of the trilogy. Speaking of The Rise of Skywalker’s plot, numerous viewers have called it convoluted. The movie has been pointed out as having too many plot lines, random characters, and loose ends. The newest Star Wars film was not able to avoid criticism from its large audience.
Despite the negativity surrounding the new Star Wars, many fans still found joy in watching the popular film. Megan Krok, a Joliet West sophomore student, stated, “I liked how they ended the last film of the franchise with the revival of the old characters.” Many people agree, with fans praising the return of characters such as Lando Calrissian and Han Solo. “None of the characters had anticlimactic endings and I liked seeing the growth of the new characters,” Megan Krok also commented. The movie introduced many new characters to accompany the protagonists, including fan favorites Janna, Babbu Frick, and Kerry Russel’s character Zorii Bliss.
The new faces contributed to the increasing diversity in the appearance and personality of Star Wars characters. Overall, nostalgia was abundant and the film’s viewers got to say farewell to their favorite characters, such as Princess Leia, played by the late Carrie Fisher. The movie marks the end of an era and the end of a saga that has brought fans joy for decades.