Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker – Very Good but perhaps too involved to be great for general movie audiences!

The year was 1977, our son Tony was seven years old and in what seems like “A long time ago in a Galaxy far away” Marty and I stood in a long line on a cold and wet winter day in suburban Chicago to see the 10:00 first showing of Star Wars. We hadn’t seen the film yet but Tony already owned several of the toys and it was all the rage of his friends back in “the day.”

For the next 42 years and nine Star Wars we have circled the opening date on our calendar and have never missed being there for the first showing. With Fandango and other websites its easier these days to get your prime reserved seats months in advance and we no longer have to stand in a long line in the cold in South Florida to get our Star Wars Fix.

As a wise and discerning reader (that’s you) you already know our Family loved the film and we were very excited to see some old plots and relationships brought to a close. We clapped along with the rest of the audience when almost all of the past Star Wars characters that are still alive made an appearance, including one who is isn’t. If you, like us, are Star Wars fans you are going to love this movie also and of course you will absolutely have to see it on the big screen.

However, in fairness to those of you who are neutral to the franchise I’d say there is about a 50% chance you will really enjoy this film. Maybe it’s because I was thirty two years old when Luke Skywalker, Princess Leih, Hans Solo, the Droids, Obi-Wan Kenobi and so many others fought the Evil Empire and the most dreadful villain of all times, Darth Vader. Back then I could keep up with every scene and enjoyed the pacing of the film.

That said, my only complaint about “The Rise of Skywalker” is that there was so much going on, with the brilliant J.J. Abrahams Directing and closing old doors and redefining relationships and opening new ones I honestly had a hard time keeping up with everything that was going on. Maybe its just that I’m 74 now but I like to think I can keep up with the kids on the block. If you are new or newer to Star Wars and don’t know the back stories of the characters this film may not be as enjoyable to you.

From an “acting” perspective the film centered on “Rey” – an orphan who found her way into the camp of the good guys and was extremely well played by Daisy Ridley. I’ll be shocked if she doesn’t find lots of film offers coming her way soon. Since this is my review I will just say that I thought all the other actors did a good job but no “person” really stood out to me. Some of the “non human” characters are just delightful and I’m sure will generate a new line of toys for todays children.

Finally, what can I say about the plot. It’s Star Wars – It’s Good versus Evil – It’s filled with action and suspense but amazingly very little personal violence that would upset a young child. Most importantly while the movie ends the plot never does. If you want to know why the film is titled “The Rise of Skywalker” you will have to wait until the absolute last line is spoken and the 42 year old theme music plays and you can’t wait until the next Star Wars comes out with a female Skywalker leading the way.

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