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It’s been a long time since the original Star Wars was released in 1977. Back then it was only one movie. George Lucas had ideas about making more films set it its imaginative universe, but wasn’t sure it would be popular enough for a second film. Everybody, as they say, knew Star Wars was going to be a hit but George. The epic saga has indeed come to define what a space opera is, spanning a bit over four decades. Now Episode IX is here, The Rise of Skywalker, and it is everything.

This Star Wars movie explodes out of the starting gate and does not let off the pace right up to the final credits. In fact for some it may be a little bit too fast paced, and some details get swept aside in the rush to tell the final part of the saga. It definitely gives one to hope that an extended edition will be released, because fitting that story in under two and a half hours is a remarkable achievement and a whirlwind experience.

There are numerous references back to the very first Star Wars movie released in 1977, by way not only of imagery but story details as well, with direct references and battles on familiar planets, and familiar characters making cameo appearances. Yes there are ghosts, but perhaps not the ones expected. One or two surprise twists will have your jaw hanging open like everyone else in the cinema. There is an injustice from long ago that sees some attempt to rectify.

“Never underestimate a droid.”

— General Leia Organa

The movie that could have been, had Carrie Fisher lived, is visible, and would indeed have been even more amazing than what we have. However they have done their best to make a wonderful movie, and seeing Carrie so much a part of the movie is bittersweet. We are reminded that “some things are stronger than blood”, and that those we love will never truly die. Not everyone makes it out alive, but the ending is solid and satisfying.

It would be lovely if everything was tied up in a neat bow. Unfortunately, a couple of questions are left unanswered, and this may simply have come down to the time they had to fit it into. It will certainly leave enough to discuss in the coming years. As for the multiple theories seen online in the last year, one or two of them are completely spot on. Most, however, are way off base. Also, keep an eye out for the festival that looks like Burning Man x 3000, as well as the cutest droid hacker this side of Endor.

What it all comes down to it in the end is summed up in General Leia’s wise advice: “Never underestimate a droid.”

May the Force Be With You.

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Susan Chester-Woods
Susan Chester-Woods
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