Episode IX will stir Star Wars debate, but ends the saga with fun adventure

Forty-two years … that’s how long some of us have waited to see the conclusion of the original Star Wars saga. There are plenty of reasons to celebrate this ninth and final film in the series, Star Wars: Episode IX — The Rise of Skywalker; there are lots of cinematic friends, both old and new, it’s a fun and emotional tribute to everything that’s come before it, and, woo-hoo, we lived long enough to see it through to its end.

For nine films (11, counting the two stand-alone prequels Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Solo: A Star Wars Story), I’ve never wanted to know too much about the Star Wars movies going into them. To me, the biggest fun in these space-opera stories is always the surprises – and I’m not going to spoil anything for anyone in this Rise of Skywalker review. So what does that leave to talk about? Not much.

One of the problems you encounter when there are nine films in a series is that they can start to become a little predictable – and in SWTROS, that is both a blessing and a curse … kind of like having Jedi powers, but then being swayed towards the dark side.

That said, there are still plenty of twists and turns and new adventures happening here to make most fans very happy – providing you haven’t been ruining your experience with too many trailer previews or Rise of Skywalker reviews. You haven’t, have you?

As always, the special effects are outstanding and the music by John Williams still has that special, heroic, swashbuckling swagger that is almost a character in its own right. The computer-generated locations are all amazing and the space battles still have edge-of-your-seat action.

The only thing I can really fault this final film for in my Rise of Skywalker review is some of the forced (pun intended) kid-friendly shenanigans, the likes of which we haven’t seen since Episode I — The Phantom Menace, 20 years ago. But, in the end, there are also enough hardcore scares to give those kids nightmares, so it all evens out.

As a lifelong fan, I was very satisfied with this ending of the Skywalker saga. I’m sure there will be intense debate over certain aspects of it, but for me it has always been about the fun and adventure, and The Rise of Skywalker is overflowing in all those respects – with a final scene and ending that is absolutely perfect. Perfect!

So do yourself a favor and cover your ears and eyes until you can make it to the theater, because the less you know the more you will enjoy this very special film.

The Rise of Skywalker review: 9/10

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away …

Bob Leeper
Bob Leeper is the co-owner and manager of "Arizona’s Pop Culture and Alternative Art Network," Evermore Nevermore. He is the co-creator of the pop culture events Steampunk Street and ENCREDICON, and is a member of the Phoenix Film Critics Society. He also curates the Facebook fan site The Arizona Cave – AZ Fans of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and is one of the few brave and bold fans of Jar Jar Binks.

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