Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker

142 minutes | Rated PG-13

After Nine films and various specials and animated series, the saga of the Skywalker family finally comes to a close with Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker. It all began in 1977’s Star Wars where we were all introduced to a young Luke Skywalker, played by Mark Hamill, living on his uncle’s moisture farm on the desert world of Tatooine. He learns the ways of the Force and becomes involved in the struggle against the evil Galactic Empire.

Over twenty years later in 1999 we were treated to a new trilogy of films taking Luke’s father Anakin from a young slave boy through his life as a Jedi Knight and his fall to the Dark Side of the Force. Yet another trilogy began in 2015’s Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens which introduced a mysterious young scavenger named Rey, played by Daisy Ridley, a former Stormtrooper, Finn, played by John Boyega, a Rebel pilot, Poe, played by Oscar Isacc, and Han Solo and Princess Leia’s troubled son, played by Adam Driver. This new trilogy comes to a close with Episode IX. It brings to a close the battle against the First Order that rose from the ashes of the Galactic Empire. The movie also marks the final appearance of Carrie Fisher who sadly passed away last year.

The new movie reveals the origin of Rey and features the return of fan favorite Lando Calrissian, played by Billy Dee Williams. It opens with the revelation that Emperor Palpatine has been pulling the strings from behind the scenes on the Sith home world. Kylo Ren seeks to destroy the Emperor and rule the galaxy as the Supreme Leader of the First Order. He also hopes to turn Rey to the Dark Side to rule by his side. Leia and what remains of her Resistance hope to eliminate both the Sith and the First Order, and restore peace to the galaxy.

Director and producer J.J. Abrams who helmed Episode VII returns with Episode IX. The cast also return and everything is brought to a satisfying close as we look toward the future of the surviving characters with hope. The special effects are as always awesome. Much as Episode VII shared many similarities with the original 1977 Star Wars, Episode IX shares many similarities with The Return of the Jedi.

Fans of previous Star Wars movies should enjoy the new film, although as Luke says in Episode VIII “This will not go the way you think.” Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker is rated PG-13 for sci-fi action. It is suitable for all but the most easily frightened youngsters. I rate it four out of five lightsabers.