MOVIES: “The Rise of Skywalker” Hits Theatres

J.J. Abrams returns to direct the final movie, and uses old footage he filmed of Carrie Fisher for “The Force Awakens” to insert her into “The Rise of Skywalker”.  That included scenes that now give Billie Lourd a chance to play opposite her mom again.

Keri Russell joins the cast as a helmeted spice smuggler named Zorii Bliss.  You should also look for cameos from Dominic Monaghan, and composer John Williams.

We learn early on that the Emperor (Ian McDiarmid) is somehow alive, and he’s pushing Kylo Ren to kill Rey in order to end the Jedi and prove his Sith-ish loyalty.

As for the main cast, Daisy Ridley is back as Rey, John Boyega is Finn, Oscar Isaac is Poe, Joonas Suotamo is Chewbacca, and Adam Driver is daddy-killin’ Kylo.

Mark Hamill is back as Ghostface Luke, because why not.  Can’t keep a good jedi down yo.  He and some of the other dead jedi eventually start hauntin’ up the joint.

Anthony Daniels also returns as C-3PO.  He’s the only actor who’s appeared in all nine of the Skywalker movies.  R2-D2 actor Kenny Baker passed away in 2016.

How do you wrap up a storyline that’s spanned multiple generations and 42 years of storytelling in one movie, and still make all your fans happy?  The answer is you can’t.

Critics are complaining about everything from “The Rise of Skywalker” juggling too many storylines . . . to not developing Rey’s character enough . . . or how they used old footage of Carrie Fisher, who died in 2016.

Yes, it’s the worst-reviewed movie of the franchise.  But in the end, it doesn’t really matter what any critics have to say.  Curiosity will drive many of us to get answers to such questions as:  Who are Rey’s parents?  How will Han Solo’s killer be punished?  And how does a long-dead Emperor fit into any of this?

Nostalgia will draw you in to say goodbye to beloved characters we grew up with.  And sheer boredom will get the rest of us to the theater just to shut the kids up for a while.

It’ll spark debates as to whether we can be redeemed from the Dark Side, if this is a fitting end to nine movies and, most importantly, who’s cuter:  Baby Yoda or Babu Frik?

So may the Force be with you.  At least until your Disney+ subscription runs out.