Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker Review Roundup - Here's What Critics Think

Check below to see what critics are saying about the ninth mainline Star Wars film.

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Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker hits theatres on Friday, December 20--that's today! Critics have already seen the final entry in the Skywalker saga and reviews are filing in. On top of our Rise of Skywalker review, we've compiled some other opinions on the J.J. Abrams-directed sequel to give you an idea of what to expect during your own viewing.

Unfortunately, The Rise of Skywalker is being called a disappointment by many critics. On Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes, the film currently sits in the mid to high 50s. There are plenty of glowing reviews for the film, but this saga's conclusion largely left critics dissatisfied with J.J. Abrams' direction.

Check below for some The Rise of Skywalker review excerpts, and head over to GameSpot sister site Metacritic for more information and opinions on the final mainline Star Wars entry. We've also got the answer to what you're no doubt wondering: Is The Mandalorian's Baby Yoda in Rise of Skywalker? What are the big Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Easter eggs to look out for? Also, if you missed your chance to do a big series refresh before the debut of the finale, that's okay--revisit all the old Star Wars movies on Disney+ after you watch The Rise of Skywalker with our handy Star Wars chronological order watch guide. Look for much more coverage in the coming days.

Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker

  • Directed By: J.J. Abrams
  • Written By: J.J. Abrams, Chris Terrio
  • Starring: Adam Driver, Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Mark Hamill, Oscar Isaac
  • Release Date: December 20 (United States)

GameSpot

"In the end, it all feels simply empty. It should never be so clear to audiences that something in the filmmaking process has gone so terribly wrong--that the people who made the first film in a trilogy apparently didn't bother to sketch out a plan for the second and third, and that the movies' directors had visions for the series' future that were so fundamentally at odds. Star Wars deserved better." -- Michael Rougeau [Full review]

A.V. Club

"Yet if Abrams preaches the importance of creating your own destiny, and of not letting your lineage determine it, the plot of The Rise OfSkywalker betrays that message: By the end, everyone has fallen into their proper place in the grand mythology, like the holo-chess pieces on the Millennium Falcon. What's the point in introducing so many interesting new characters and then pushing them through the blueprints of old adventures? It leaves you pining for a Star Wars movie that charts its own path, until you remember such a movie exists already, and it’s being all but retconned before your eyes. Save the sympathy for that billion-dollar blockbuster." -- A.A. Dowd [Full review]

Comic Book

"Missed opportunities for ambitious storylines aside, it's hard to deny the effectiveness of much of the film. Whether it be Poe and Rey butting heads about the condition of the Millennium Falcon and Lando commenting on Chewbacca's height putting a smile on your face, Leia's attempts to instill wisdom on members of the Resistance igniting an emotional reaction due to the real-world loss of Fisher, or the conflict of following the path of who you want to be instead of being the person you're told you are evoking philosophical questions, The Rise of Skywalker offers audiences a worthy and, at times exceptional, conclusion to the end of a 40-year journey, though the various missed opportunities will surely stick with some audiences longer than the film's accomplishments." -- Patrick Cavanaugh [Full review]

CNET

"After the audacious but divisive Last Jedi, Rise of Skywalker will probably be a litmus test for fans. The breathless rush to tick every box on the wish list will leave some cold and others in floods of tears from the moment the opening fanfare blares. Whether it works for you or not, what's not in doubt is that this is an ending as huge as this momentous movie saga deserves." -- Richard Trenholm [Full review]

The Guardian

"But if you’re going to do a send-off this huge, there are a lot of goodbyes to say, and a lot of loose ends to tie up. The fact that The Rise of Skywalker manages most of them and within a vaguely coherent story is something of an achievement in itself. This vast, hulking Star Destroyer of a franchise has become too cumbersome to pull off any genuinely nimble maneuvers, but at the same time, it never falls out of the sky. Partly that's a simple matter of momentum, but it is also a question of faith. Over its long history, Star Wars has acquired a mythic grandeur few movie franchises can ever hope to match." -- Steve Rose [Full review]

IGN

"[Rise of Skywalker's] heartstring-tugging moments, technical impressiveness, and relentless action will likely be enough for those fans who just want to keep the visor down on their blast shield helmets and let the Force flow through them. But for those who need some consistency and logic to the story in this elaborately detailed fictional galaxy, there will likely be the bittersweet pang of accepting that this long-running saga couldn't quite stick the landing. But even at its most divisive and imperfect, the Star Wars franchise has offered much to embrace and celebrate. This finale to the Skywalker Saga is, if nothing else, a tribute to that legacy." -- Jim Vejvoda [Full review]

IndieWire

"Over 40 years later, 'Rise of Skywalker' operates as if the only cinematic tradition at its disposal hails from a galaxy far, far away. At one point, a major character suffers from amnesia; by the end, the movie aims to make audiences feel the same way so it can go through the motions. The opening crawl warns that 'the dead speak!' Indeed, the ensuing 142 minutes encapsulate a franchise eager to resurrect ideas that should have died long ago." -- Eric Kohn [Full review]

Variety

"But in 'The Rise of Skywalker,' the fascism looms, for the first time, as something more real; it's what we're now facing. The film keeps repeating that though the forces of the First Order are actually outnumbered, those forces work to make the Resistance fighters feel isolated and alone, as if they had no power. And you'd better believe that's a pointed and timely statement. In its way, it's also a tip of the hat to George Lucas, who in the 'Star Wars' saga drew on the pop culture of the past to create a revolutionary new pop culture, and in doing so foresaw the future. Maybe more than he knew." -- Owen Gleiberman [Full review]

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