Critic Reviews



Based on 61 critic reviews provided by
Although director J.J. Abrams tries his darndest to finish the job, conjuring up nostalgia like a TV medium, “Rise” doesn’t feel like the last chapter of the biggest American movie franchise. It’s just another well-made “Star Wars” flick.
For as much love, passion, and nostalgia is evident in this movie, it’s also a film very palpably made from a place driven by fear of disappointing the audience, and that anxiety fuels a lot of the story’s curious creative choices and unwieldy execution.
It's impressively ambitious, though great new personalities and fresh storytelling suffer for the sake of fan service.
If you’re going to do a send-off this huge, there are a lot of goodbyes to say, and a lot of loose ends to tie up. The fact that The Rise of Skywalker manages most of them and within a vaguely coherent story is something of an achievement in itself.
Screen Rant
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.
With emerging rebel leader Rey (Daisy Ridley) providing a sturdy emotional foundation, and billions of Disney dollars fueling an obviously stunning array of special effects, Rise of Skywalker doesn’t squander every opportunity to dial up the thrilling nature of the epic at hand, but all that razzle-dazzle can’t obscure a hollow core.
Abrams certainly knows how to manipulate, but when he does it, you can see the strings. How much or little you enjoy The Rise of Skywalker will rely almost entirely on whether or not you mind that every laugh and tear and jolt feels like it’s coming right off a spreadsheet.
We need a new franchise designation for this stumbling, bloodless conglomeration of What Once Was. Rise of the Skywalker isn’t an ending, a sequel, a reboot, or a remix. It’s a zombie.
There’s so much wasted potential here. As the story draws to its big, loud climax, and one fan-service moment after another arises, you begin to get the sense that Abrams is just checking off boxes and fulfilling a quota. There’s no spark; no joy; no life. If this truly is the end of the Skywalker Saga, what an ignoble end it is.
The film, hyper-aware of the shadow cast by the franchise’s history, struggles to both honor and redeem the past before everything comes to a close.

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