Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (aKa Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker) is a 2019 science fiction film produced, co-written, & directed by J.J. Abrams (Lost, Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, Star Trek/Star Trek Into Darkness, & Mission: Impossible III). It is the third installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy following 2015’s The Force Awakens & 2017’s The Last Jedi. It’s the final episode of the nine-part “Skywalker saga”. It was co-written by Chris Terrio (Argo, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, & Justice League). It was produced by Jason D. McGatlin (Star Wars franchise), Tommy Gormley (Wonder Woman, Star Trek Into Darkness, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, & Star Wars franchise), & Callum Greene (Pacific Rim, Crimson Peak, Vantage Point, & The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug). The budget was $275 million & it grossed $1.074 billion at the box office worldwide!!!!
Following a threat of revenge by the revived Emperor Palpatine (played by: Ian McDiarmid from the Star Wars franchise, The Lost City of Z, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, & Sleepy Hollow), Kylo Ren (played by: Adam Driver from the Star Wars franchise, Marriage Story, The Dead Don’t Die, & BlacKKKlansman) obtains a Sith wayfinder which leads him to the uncharted planet Exegol. Rey (played by: Daisy Ridley from the Star Wars franchise, Scrawl, Murder on the Orient Express, & Ophelia) is continuing her Jedi training under Resistance leader Leia Organa (played by: Carrie Fisher from the Star Wars franchise, The Burbs, When Harry met Sally, & Scream 3). Finn (played by: John Boyega from the Star Wars franchise, Pacific Rim: Uprising, Detroit, & Attack the Block) & Poe Dameron (played by: Oscar Isaac from the Star Wars franchise, Ex-Machina, Annihilation, & X-Men: Apocalypse) deliver intel from a spy. Rey has learned from Luke Skywalker’s (played by: Mark Hamill from the Star Wars franchise, the Batman franchise, Body Bags, & The Guyver) notes that a Sith wayfinder can lead them there. Rey, Finn, Poe, Chewbacca (played by: Joonas Suotamo from the Star Wars franchise), BB-8, & C-3PO (played by: Anthony Daniels from the Star Wars franchise) depart in the Millennium Falcon to Pasaana.
They get help from Lando Calrissian (played by: Billy Dee Williams from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back/The Return of the Jedi, Batman, Nighthawks, & Fear City). The First Order captures the Falcon, Chewbacca, & the dagger. Poe suggests traveling to Kijimi to extract the Sith text from C-3PO’s memory. Kylo searches for Rey, the group infiltrates his Star Destroyer with the help of Zorii Bliss (played by: Keri Russell from The Americans, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Wonder Woman, & Mission Impossible III). General Hux (played by: Domhnall Gleeson from the Star Wars franchise, The Kitchen, Ex-Machina, & The Revenant) plots to take over Kylo’s leadership. Allegiant General Pryde (played by: Richard E. Grant from Logan, The Hitman’s Bodyguard, Hudson Hawk, & Bram Stoker’s Dracula) steps in to fix his crew during this rough time. Rey follows the dark side in her path to find out the truth about her history. Kylo starts to have second thoughts about his recent actions. Will these two powerful characters reverse each other? Or Will Palpatine carry out his sinister master plan to end it all????
The Rise of Skywalker closes up the new trilogy which consists of The Force Awakens & The Last Jedi. I thought the spin offs like Rogue One & Solo were also very entertaining & a nice addition to this known world. I personally enjoyed this recent journey into the Star Wars universe. I thought The Force Awakens was the best entry from it but The Rise of Skywalker is right behind it. It was great to see both Kylo Ren & Rey finish their paths for their family’s legacies which was a complicated road for the main characters. The mystery & back story of Rey was fully revealed here. Kylo became what he was supposed to be after going through hell for it. Adam Driver & Daisy Ridley were great in this last episode, their chemistry was off the charts & the build up for them kept you on your toes the entire time. This sequel made sure to bring up some familiar faces from the past & it was a nice reminder of the history of Star Wars. It was fun seeing Billy Dee Williams, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, & Anthony Daniels again for one last time considering what they have all done for this classic franchise. As always, The Rise of Skywalker had an excellent supporting cast which includes Ian McDiarmid, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Joonas Suotamo, Keri Russell, Domhnall Gleeson, Richard E. Grant, Lupita Nyong’o (US), Billie Lourd (American Horror Story), Warwick Davis (Leprechaun franchise), Kelly Marie Tran (Star Wars franchise), Greg Grunberg (Heroes), & Dominic Monaghan (Lost). All of this talent boosted the overall quality of the production. John Williams once again provides a top notch score for Star Wars, it’s like another character in the feature. The script was good for the most past, I thought it tried too hard at times but it’s one of the better recent entries from the Star Wars series. I am curious what they are going to do next with Star Wars, it’s something that I feel is always going to be around. This was one of my personal favorite science fiction films from 2019, RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Disney! This 1080p (2.39:1) transfer looks amazing, the visual effects & production design are top notch here. It a nice variety of locations in this & the cinematography grabs your attention right away. It has an awesome variety of audio options which includes English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1, & French: Dolby Digital 5.1 on the release. This is reference quality when it comes to audio. All of the dialogue is crystal clear, all action has a killer boost to it, & the amazing music from the legendary John Williams is elevated here. Everything sounds fantastic in the home set up with this release. It also has English, English SDH, French, & Spanish subtitles.
Let’s discuss the special features from Disney! All of the extras are located on disc 2 for this release. “The Skywalker Legacy” is a full length documentary about the film & the Star Wars franchise. It has interviews with director J.J. Abrams, George Lucas, actors John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Billy Dee Williams, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Anthony Daniels, Billie Lourd, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Ian McDiarmid, Domhnall Gleeson, Richard E. Grant, Keri Russell, & various members of the production. It’s broken down into 16 different chapters & it’s over 2 hours long so it goes into great detail about everything in this. It mixes vintage interviews plus behind the scenes footage with new material. They chat about going back into this project. It goes over the production for it. They talk about the late Carrie Fisher. It shows how they created scenes with un-used footage with the actress. It goes over how they created material & a plot from it. They show their appreciation for the actress & her work for Star Wars here. They focus on the stunts & it’s ambitious coordinator. They go over some of the major characters from this feature & their journey in this last entry. Plus it digs deep into some of their relationships from The Rise of Skywalker. It shows the amazing visual effects work for Star Wars in this. They pay tribute to legendary composer John Williams for his music plus they go behind the scenes for his cameo in the movie. It shows them putting together some of the important scenes from this sequel. If you are curious about anything when it comes to this film then I highly recommend that you check out this documentary because it’s loaded with information & footage. “Pasaana Pursuit: Creating the Speeder Chase” is a little over 14 minutes & it goes over one of the major action sequences from The Rise of Skywalker. It has interviews with director J.J. Abrams, actors Oscar Iscaac, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, & the production crew. It goes behind the scenes for the action sequence. It shows them bui8lding it & adding the visual effects to it. They joke about being in a desert but still using a green screen for it. It shows & explains why they did that for this. It shows the story boards turning into reality. It’s a nice inside look into a car chase done in Star Wars style. “Aliens in the Desert” is almost 6 minutes & it goes over a location from the production. “D-O: Key to the Past” is a little over 5 minutes & it focuses on a newer drone plua ship from the iconic series. It has interviews with the cast & crew. It shows the production design for the ship. It goes it’s history a little bit. It focuses on the drone that they find it on it. It has behind the scenes footage for both. They tell stories about it. “Warwick & Son” is a little over 5 minutes. It has lots of vintage interviews & behind the scenes from other Star Wars films. It features actor Warwick Davis who’s known as Wicket in this Star Wars world returning to the franchise with his son Harrison. Warwick actually has done various characters in so many different Star Wars projects over the years & it shows some of them here. I’m a huge fan of his work so this was one of my personal favorite extras on this disc. It was really cool to see them put on the costume again & become one of more known Ewoks again from this classic universe. “Cast of Creatures” is almost 8 minutes & it features a variety of characters from the movie. It has interviews with the cast & crew. It shows all the different unique roles from the film. It goes over the visual effects & puppeteer work for them. It shows what purpose some of them have for this. It takes you behind the scenes. It also includes a slipcover & a digital code. It has a store exclusives plus it was released on 4K & DVD. It’s available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!