“Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker” is directed by J.J. Abrams and is the 11th film in the Star Wars saga, the 9th film in the episodic series and the 3rd and final in this new trilogy. Abrams directed Episode VII but only stuck around as producer on VIII before returning for IX. The film stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Issacs, Adam Driver, Billy Dee Williams, Carrie Fisher and Ian McDiramid. Sadly, Fisher passed away in 2016 and like the previous 2 films her performances is stock footage from unused scenes and CGI stand ins.

After the events of Episode VIII, Rey (Ridley), Finn (Boyega), Poe (Issacs) and the rest of the Resistance must prepare for one last fight against Kylo Ren (Driver) and his remaining First Order. After loosing her husband, Han Solo, son Ben, and brother Luke Skywalker, General Laia (Fisher) still seeks hope and also sees a bit of light in her dark hearted son. As if the First Order wasn’t enough, Finn and Poe discover the return of Emperor Palpetine (McDiramid), the main villain of the previous 2 trilogies. With time running out and a shortage on firepower, the Resistance will need all the help they can get in order to stop The Emperor from wiping them out just like they did to the Republic.

After Episode VIII ended up being a massive disappointment, much of the blame went on director Rian Johnson after he completely changed the original script written by Abrams and Colin Trevorrow. So now the main focus here is Abrams trying maintain this story without having to mention anything from Episode VIII. Despite being in damage control, the film does have a number of bright spots and is very entertaining through and through. Adam Driver as Kylo Ren is once again fantastic. As the villain, he really shines through much like Darth Vader, he is the tortured soul torn between the light and the darkness. Daisy Ridley also gives a great performance and shows how far her character has come since the first film in Episode VII. John Boyega and Oscar Issacs both are great and charming and charismatic in their roles. I thought they handled Carrie Fisher’s scenes and eventual send off was beautiful and a great way to end her story arch. While the film is entertaining and fun, I can’t help but feel as if they wanted to tell more and keep going but due to Episode VIII they had to settle for making the best film they can with the material they had and direction they were going.

Overall, this was an entertaining movie from start to finish but unfortunately cause of the massive damage that was left by Episode VIII this movie was more focused on fixing those problems then trying to be its own movie. Like the filmmakers were more on damage control than anything. You can see the possibility of where they wanted go but cause of “Last Jedi” it’s been ruined. The performances were great but we’re left with more questions than answers.