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As The Universe Turns

As The Universe Turns

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Cast:     Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Anthony Daniels, Naomi Ackie, Domhnall Gleeson, Richard E. Grant, Lupita Nyong'o, Keri Russell, Joonas Suotamo, Kelly Marie Tran, Ian McDiarmid, Billy Dee Williams
Director:     J.J. Abrams
Producers:    Kathleen Kennedy, J. J. Abrams, Michelle Rejwan


-Anita Handy

A long time ago, in a soap opera far, far away. 

You guessed it…The gangs all back for another installment of the Star Wars saga, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. LucasFilm and Director J.J. Abrams join forces once again to take viewers on another dramatic space journey filled with heroic battles, pithy one-liners, ambiguous family trees, and every natural terrain and weather condition that National Geographic could possibly throw at you in 2 hours and 22 minutes.

The Resistance is waning, and our heroine, Rey, is coming into her own, training as a Jedi and learning the ways of the force, in hopes of defeating The New Republic. Finn and Poe are back, and their ‘bro-mance’ is undeniable, and almost nauseating. Kylo Ren is back and in rare form, strengthening his sinisterly cool Dark Side muscle. And following proper Star Wars protocol, the First Order, once under the leadership of Snoke, has been secretly expanding, preparing for the ultimate final battle to wipe out the Jedi for good. (INSERT SARCASTIC COMMENT HERE) Somehow that plot-line sounds vaguely familiar? 

Rise of Skywalker represents the end of an era. Or does it? Initially Star Wars creator George Lucas intended for the entire saga to be wrapped up in 12 epics. With Rise of Skywalker being dubbed as the conclusion of the Skywalker storyline, it is the culmination of a nine-part saga that spans over 40 years. 

Episode IX definitely delivers the drama and the “Luke, I am your father” moments. And also leaves plenty of easter eggs in its wake to expand upon the Star Wars legacy for generations to come (got Disney saying cha-ching!!!). If you are wondering if this edition will answer some of those burning question, “Who is Rey?” Who are her parents? Is she a Skywalker? Does Rey have a thing for Kylo Ren? Will Kylo Ren become the supreme leader? Where’s Waldo? – the answer is a resounding “for the most part.” Yes, some of those questions do get answered, but some aspects will leave Star Wars fans dissatisfied and bewildered. At the very least, because this is in some aspects considered a finale, Episode IX is a reunion of sorts, with practically everyone somehow making a literal or spectral return visit. Even Emperor Palpatine makes a comeback after supposedly getting killed off in Episode III (I mean VI once those “Prequels” were created – unquote).  

And lest we forget Princess Leia, played by iconic actress Carrie Fisher. Rise of Skywalker offers some minor glimpses of Leia’s younger years, training alongside her brother Luke, an aspect of character development that viewers were not privy to in the past. And throughout the Star Wars series we have gotten glimpses as to Leia’s connection to the Force. Episode IX was initially intended to fully expand upon her storyline. However, because of Carrie Fisher’s untimely death in 2016, Leia’s storyline is cut short. But fans can rest assured that Leia went out like a true Jedi, with her final moments being beautifully sentimental. 

Viewers may also make an observation that Episode IX will be boast the most diverse cast since the franchises premier in 1977, which hopefully may lead to future episodes being lead by people of color. With John Boyega, Naomi Ackie, the voice of Lupita Nyong’o, and the return of Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian, not to mention that random, First Order Commander, it is refreshing to see this diverse cast front and center. Additionally, throughout this episode, Finn’s background and family history are hinted to possibly be further developed in the future episodes. We are led to believe that Finn is more than just your standard wayward Stormtrooper. Could he be another Jedi in the making? With the introduction of Jannah, played by Ackieand an brief dialogue during the ending scene between with her and Lando, dare I say that George Lucas is trying to build Star Wars: Wakanda edition?

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