Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is a 2019 science fiction action film based on George Lucas' masterpiece. It is rated PG-13 for violence but is appropriate for most ages.
Timothy Zahn. If you've ever read Timothy Zahn's original trilogy that basically relaunched the Star Wars franchise, then you'll recognize a few elements such as using science (perhaps cloning) to preserve a Jedi Master (or Sith Master) and a dark fleet of Star Destroyers. Those elements were pretty cool and should have been the focus of the trilogy.
Entertaining. Unlike The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi which were both painfully dull and hard to sit thru, this film is actually entertaining. It doesn't make much sense, and if you start to think about any of the plot points you'll scratch your head. But if you can shut off your brain for 2+ hours, it's a fun ride.
Pacing. This film moves at a good pace.
Characters. This movie has the most blah characters of any Star Wars story I've ever seen. George Lucas gave us two great, lovable casts in his two trilogies. This one didn't even produce a single really likable character, and made several of the old beloved characters a little less beloved.
Storytelling. This movie is basically a whole bunch of scenes and incidents stuck together without much logic or sense. There is little emotional investment. There is little peril, because the movie goes exactly how you would expect. There are so many characters and scenes stuffed into the 2+ hours that no one and nothing gets much development. It's a whole lot of ideas that are just thrown at the audience.
Art Direction/Visuals. Star Wars is known for its amazing visuals and gorgeous designs. This film once again fails to deliver anything memorable or amazing to look at. I can't see anyone taking inspiration from this trilogy, which is a shame.
What I Would Like to Have Seen
I wish this movie had been the trilogy, and they had spent three films developing the story instead of just throwing a whole bunch of interesting ideas together without much development. I also wish the filmmakers had focused more on casting an interesting group instead of checking all the boxes on their diversity checklist and failing to cast a single character the audience will care about.
If you are looking for a mindless action flick with subpar action, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is your movie. There are a lot of good ideas in this movie (mostly stolen from Timothy Zahn), but they are just thrown at the audience and never developed. I wish this movie had been the trilogy with the filmmakers spending three films developing the story. That would have been worth watching. I also wish the filmmakers had focused more on casting an interesting group of actors as the main characters (George Lucas gave us two great, lovable casts in his two trilogies) instead of checking all the boxes on their diversity checklist and failing to cast a single character the audience cares about. It robbed the film of any peril or sense of accomplishment when you care so little for the characters. The film is very entertaining as long as you don't think too hard about it. The storytelling is weak. The visuals are disappointing. But the pacing is good. And the filmmakers threw everything in this including the kitchen sink to make it a"big ending" but it's more spectacle than anything else. It's not a bad film, but isn't far from a good one. I give this film 3 out of 5 Boxes of Popcorn.