Folks, it’s nearly here. The long awaited ending to the Skywalker Saga debuts on December 20, forty-plus years after A New Hope forever changed the cinematic landscape. This sequel trilogy has been a huge undertaking. Filmmakers shared their visions for the story while also attempting to blend them with what millions of fans love about the franchise. It’s not an easy task and the results have left audiences divided.

And it appears that critics aren’t feeling the love for the saga’s end, or at the very least having major mixed feelings about this entry. Early this morning, the wave of reviews for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker started rolling in and currently the film is receiving a 58% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Here’s what critics are saying about the conclusion to the sequel trilogy:

Long time Star Wars fan, Mike Celestino of Laughing Place, finds the film to be less than satisfying:

“Ultimately it’s missing many of the dizzying highs and eye-rolling lows of The Last Jedi, settling for something far more damning: a Star Wars that suffers from its own fatigue.”

CNN’s Brian Lowry looks on the bright side:

The Rise of Skywalker isn't perfect, but seen that way, it more than rises to the occasion.”

Stephanie Zacharek of TIME Magazine found it to be lacking in thrills:

“In its anxiety not to offend, it comes off more like fanfiction than the creation of actual professional filmmakers. A bot would be able to pull off a more surprising movie.”

Digital Spy’s Ian Sandwell on the other hand appreciated the film’s choices:

Rise of Skywalker is far from flawless, but overall, it's an emotional, thrilling and satisfying end to the Skywalker Saga, with plenty of surprises up its sleeve.”

Brian Tallerico of Rogerebert.com especially enjoyed the second act:

“The midsection of the movie is its most effective. After a clunky first act that’s filled with way too many scenes of people talking about who they are, where they need to go, and what they need to do when they get there, the film finally settles into a groove with an excellent chase scene that somehow both echoes Return of the Jedi and Mad Max: Fury Road.”

A.A. Dowd’s AV Club review asks why the film feels the need to rehash the past:  

“What's the point in introducing so many interesting new characters and then pushing them through the blueprints of old adventures?”

People Magazine’s Kara Warner enjoyed the movie on the whole: 

“While it lacks the more cohesive, streamlined storylines of its predecessors The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, Skywalker is buoyed by always-dazzling visuals, satisfying emotional beats and solid performances.”

Alissa Wilkinson of Vox notes that against the ways of the Jedi, this film is full of fear:

“If The Force Awakens kicked off a new cycle in the franchise and The Last Jedi set it up to push beyond its familiar patterns, The Rise of Skywalker for the most part runs screaming in the other direction.”

The Independent’s Clarisse Loughrey calls it “wonderfully chaotic:”

“Whatever controversy Abrams might have brewed up with his artistic choices, he still captures magnificently the soul of this series.”

NPR’s Glen Weldon is exhausted by all that’s included in this one film:

“It's an accretion – a buildup of plotlines and characters that rolls toward its conclusion by dint of momentum lent to it by all that's come before.”

Nell Minow of Movie Mom puts it in very simple terms:

“Those who liked the last two films will not like this one as much. Those who were disappointed by those will like this one better.”

The LA TimesJustin Chang doesn’t appreciate the attempt to fool the audience:

“The problem with The Rise of Skywalker isn't any single omission or misstep. It isn't the succession of cheap "gotcha!" twists that briefly threaten to alter how we look at these characters, only to abruptly pull us back to rose-tinted reality.”

Kirsten Acuna of Insider writes:

“People will either leave satisfied or wondering what creator George Lucas originally envisioned for his sequel trilogy.”

Travis Hopson’s review on Punch Drunk Critics shows mixed feelings for this installment:

“The Skywalker Saga has been brought to an end, and sadly that was the only goal The Rise of Skywalker seemed to have.”

Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers has an interesting way of looking at the overall saga:

“OK, the final episode isn't perfect. You'll nitpick it forever with your friends. But that's the point. Star Wars isn't a movie, it's family. We're that close to it. And the in-fighting about what it does right and wrong is as crucial as the love.”


Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker premieres in theaters nationwide on December 20, 2019.

Laughing Place recommends Alamo Drafthouse Cinema for the best film, food, and drink - all in one seat.
 
 

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