He has been there all along, almost always in the shadows. Emperor Palpatine has always been the puppet master of the Dark Side of the Force, manipulating things to achieve his end goal of ultimate power. Thought dead after the events of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Rey, Finn, and Poe find themselves facing his dark plans and attempting to stop them before he takes complete control of the galaxy. While all of this happens, Rey must fight her own inner battle over who she is while also facing off against Kylo Ren.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ends this newest trilogy of Star Wars movies. The Skywalker Saga has continued on for over forty years and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker marks its conclusion. Below are thoughts not only about this movie and the quality of it, but the included bonus features as well.

Quality

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker continues on the trend of building practical sets, aliens, and robots that are built and perform on set, and some incredible stunt work. All of this creates an environment that not only looks real, it feels real as well. This helps create an incredible storytelling experience. As is seen in one of the bonus features, one greenscreen shot was done in the middle of the desert just to get the light correct! This attention to detail and efforts to go the extra mile really does make a big difference. It makes the movie come alive in a way that few others outside of the Star Wars universe do. It is just a pleasure to watch. It also is very enjoyable to listen to. The world that is built through the audio effects and music effects are just as important to the experience as the visual experience. It is also given an equal amount of love and care. This makes for an incredibly enjoyable viewing experience. This is a movie that is made for the nice (and big) TV that also has an equally awesome surround sound system.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Extras

The bonus features that were included with Star Wars: The Rise of Skwalker were almost as fun as the movie itself. The Skywalker Legacy is a full-length documentary that takes a look at the making of the movie and also how it fits in with the rest of the Skywalker Saga. It is just over two hours long and should not be missed. It is one of the better bonus features I’ve seen released in recent years. Another highlight for me was The Maestro’s Finale which shows what went into bringing the score to life with John Williams. This featurette was beautiful and my only complaint with it is I definitely would have loved for it to be longer! The rest of the bonus features were all good as well, none of them were a miss. However, the two mentioned were easily my favorites. Here is a look at all the bonus features included with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker:

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Bonus features*:
  • The Skywalker Legacy 
  • Pasaana Pursuit: Creating the Speeder Chase
  • Aliens in the Desert 
  • D-O: Key to the Past
  • Warwick & Son
  • Cast of Creatures
Digital Exclusive:
  • The Maestro’s Finale
* Digital bonus offerings may vary by retailer.
All of these bonus features are worth sitting down and watching through, at least once. While sometimes bonus features can just be partially paid attention to, these are ones that really will be loved by Star Wars fans. Take the time and enjoy them!
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Final Thoughts

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is the movie that just gets better with age. This is funny to say as the movie is less than a year old. However, every time I watch it I find myself enjoying it a little bit more. Part of this is because I’m discovering more details in it with each subsequent viewing. Another part of it is me realizing that watching it the first couple of times was hard because I simply didn’t want the Skywalker Saga to end. As I’ve come to grips with it, I feel like I’m able to give this movie a more fair shake. I’m also discovering that I really enjoy it and I like how it has wrapped up the Skywalker Saga. J.J. Abrams and the team really did a nice job of wrapping up the story. All of this was also done under extraordinary circumstances following the death of Carrie Fisher. This movie gives her a beautiful send off as well. All this to say, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker had a rocky start with me but now it has become a movie I really enjoy. I look forward to seeing how it ages with others as well. Having this at home and available to watch whenever really is a perk for this film. I think each viewing makes it better. It definitely still has some flaws. However, they seem to matter less to me each time I watch it. This is a movie fitting of being in the Skywalker Saga and it easily gets a hat tip. Go out and get it on Digital Download today or on Blu-Ray when it arrives on March 31, 2020! You won’t regret it!

[Review Disclaimer]