This Week’s “The Best of The Sarasota Post” – Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – Best in the Star Wars Franchise
Just as there are certain moments that stop us in our tracks and leave indelible marks on our memories due to some immense tragedy or joy, movies can do the same thing.
Emotions well up and before you know it, you have paused to see the poignant truth in a scene or, maybe a character mirrors your own true feelings or desires. Either way, a good movie is like a good book or a good friend, it never really goes away. Even after the credits have rolled, popcorn has been swept from theater floors and you are down the road on your way home you know that a good movie is going to stay in your heart for the duration. Such was the case for me and Star Wars.
Now, in complete disclosure, I am not a Star Wars buff like many of you, including my husband and sons who are die-hard Star Wars fans. They know all the plots, subplots, innuendos, and nuances that only the true Star Wars geeks of the world truly know. But I remember my first Star Wars experience like the taste of my mom’s pot roast or the smell of Thanksgiving morning. Though it was the first Star Wars we would come to know it as “number three” with a whole prequel and a few sequels added throughout the years. But in that winter of 1977, (small towns always carried the big-name movies much after the initial release) my world stopped as I discovered science fiction was really kind of cool.
As a nine-year-old kid I had never experienced light sabers, flying battleships, droids or princesses who were that powerful. Complete with romance, action, humor, and Harrison Ford, I loved the kitschy dialogue and powerful combat scenes, though I never really understood the plots, I must admit. I went to a couple of latter Star Wars movies at the theaters, but it wasn’t until I met my husband that I truly knew what a SW junkie really was. Fast forward a few years and two kids later and he finally had the audience he needed to teach Yoda-speak and the explanations of good vs. evil. Now the three of them can talk Star Wars for hours while I nod and smile like I know what the heck they are talking about. That is until I saw the latest and best Star Wars installment, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
With all the hoopla surrounding the Star Wars franchise and its sale from George Lucas to Disney, you would have to live on an island in the middle of nowhere without Internet to not know about Star Wars. Lucas’ vision was that of a family drama whereas Disney had hoped to draw more viewers in by “fluffing” it up some, as only Disney can. With The Rise of Skywalker, we find the female lead, Rey, teaming up with Finn and Poe to battle the First Order once again. With fan favorites like Princess Leia and Han Solo making appearances, along with the hated Snoke who is holding out on Exegol, the storyline did a great job of integrating the new Star Wars characters with the old. In the end, we find out Rey is in fact, a Palpatine, with that wicked blood coursing through her body. But her heart is ruled by the obedience and allegiance only a Skywalker can possess. In the end, she possesses the lightsabers of both Luke and Leia, a power not before seen.
What will the future hold for Star Wars? And, when will Rey need to unearth those sabers she so carefully buried? Well, we are told it is the end of the Skywalker regime, but we will see about that. With genetically created figures showing up at just the precise moment throughout all these movies, we can be assured Luke, Leia, Hans and the old crew will make it out of the outer galaxies and back into our hearts again. One thing is for sure, maybe because it was finally time or just because it was a great movie, but I understood the entire plot of this Star Wars. I even had my emotions foiled when we all thought Chewbacca was a goner. Spoiler alert, he makes it. In the end, good triumphs over evil, a lesson Star Wars has been teaching us for generations and one I hope goes on for a long time.
Photos courtesy of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Facebook page.