I finally saw STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER. I thought it was actually pretty good, because the movie was simply a lot of fun. The storyline had some pat, thrown-together moments to it, but it remained easy to follow. And some of the writing was corny. But, I didn’t go see this film expecting genius writing or clever and consistent plot (which wasn’t always there in this production). I went for the fun, impressive spectacle and the sentimentality. I came away satisfied over having watched an entertaining, often cute, splashy movie.
I was impressed with how the late Carrie Fisher as Leia Morgana was able to be included into the story as much as she was. I imagine her image was occasionally CGI in places, this technique being ever more seamlessly honed into seeming just like live, on-screen actors/entities. (There was also some impressive, brief CGI of a young Luke Skywalker and Leia.) Apparently, her scenes were drawn from previously un-released footage for THE FORCE AWAKENS and THE LAST JEDI. From what I could tell with my amateur eye, they were all effectively edited into this film, and then extended out as needed via using a double for over-the-shoulder shots. The writers must have had to consciously keep Fisher’s limited footage in mind the whole time they created the script for this final installment to the series.
I have to say, John Boyega as Finn has grown into quite the handsome young man since his appearance in THE LAST JEDI. He and Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron) both pleasantly lit up the screen (and quickened my beating heart), especially every time they were in-frame together.
Overall, I think THE RISE OF SKYWALKER was worth seeing in the theater. I watched it in Dolby, which made the music and sound effects especially engrossing and powerful. I came away feeling like I had just enjoyed a very long attraction at Disneyland. And since this is a Disney production, that studio seems to have accomplished exactly what it set out to do: take us viewers on a fun fantasy ride.