ARTS + ENTERTAINMENT

‘The Rise of Skywalker’ wraps up the ‘Star Wars’ journey of a lifetime

Dec 6, 2019, 10:43 AM | Updated: Jan 16, 2020, 4:42 pm

'The Rise of Skywalker' wraps up the 'Star
Wars' journey of a lifetime


starwars.com...

'The Rise of Skywalker' wraps up the 'Star Wars' journey of a lifetime starwars.com

(CNN) — Not long after “Star Wars” rocked the pop-culture world, it was reported that writer-director George Lucas had nine movies in mind, to be told over three separate trilogies.

Roughly half a full lifetime — or 42 years later –here we are, just a couple weeks away from the end of that cinematic trek.

For some of us, Lucas’ galaxy has been woven into our histories. Personally, that began in 1977, seeing “Star Wars” (subsequently subtitled “Episode I: A New Hope”) during visitation with my father, on one of our scheduled nights out after my parents separated.

I can still vividly recall two guys excitedly talking behind me in line (yes, you had to line up for movies back then) who had already seen the film, enthusing about how it incorporated far more special effects shots than “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

Three years later, I made plans to catch “The Empire Strikes Back” with my older brother on the second night it was out, because of a big test that day. As I have written before (and still, frankly, haven’t gotten over), a classmate actually spoiled the big “I am your father” reveal, which didn’t soften its impact, or my sense that the franchise had graduated into something much more than the first movie had indicated.

By 1983, I was editing the arts/entertainment section at UCLA’s Daily Bruin, and saw “Return of the Jedi” before most of the public at a media screening. My decidedly spoiler-free review generally praised the film, with some quibbles, while whetting my appetite for such high-profile reviewing assignments once out of college, a job that would formally elude me for nearly 20 years.

Lucas took an extended break before launching into the second trilogy in 1999, the year my aforementioned brother died at age 49. Among other things, it always bothered me that he didn’t live to see the next stage of the movies, a rather jolting reminder of mortality that has somewhat morbidly hovered over “Star Wars” for me ever since.

Despite various gripes about those prequels (see “Binks, Jar Jar” in your “Star Wars” encyclopedia), the decade that elapsed between “Revenge of the Sith” and the renewal of the movies with “The Force Awakens” found me again feeling like a teenager.

At the same time, the fact that the movie was directed by J.J. Abrams — whose father Gerry, a TV executive and producer, was someone I knew well from covering the entertainment industry — was a reminder that I was hardly a kid anymore. (Nor was Lucas, the one-time wunderkind, who had sold Lucasfilm to Disney, and handed off the reins of the property.)

When “The Last Jedi” premiered, I had moved to CNN in a somewhat different position, providing the opportunity to review a “Star Wars” movie for the first time in 34 years. Death once again intervened, this time in the sudden loss of actress Carrie Fisher and her mom, Debbie Reynolds, a reminder of what a long, strange trip it had been.

So here we are, at Episode IX, which once seemed like a number — Roman or otherwise — that most “Star Wars” fans might never see. And while fan excesses have become an entwined part of this universe, that history goes a way toward explaining them, if not absolving them.

The opening of “The Rise of Skywalker” comes amid some uncertainty, in theatrical terms, about where “Star Wars” goes from here, although the days of long lapses — with Disney now controlling the property — are clearly over.

Nevertheless, the movie closes the books, symbolically, on a relationship that has touched five decades, which will make the last time John Williams’ signature musical score accompanies that scrolling script the beginning of the end — without hyperbole, for once — of what for many has truly been the journey of a lifetime.

“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” premieres Dec. 20 in the US.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Arts + Entertainment

ksl movie show review host steve salles next to dune part two poster...

Steve Salles

KSL Movie Show review: ‘Dune: Part Two’ is a masterclass in cinematic world-building

In this KSL Movie Show review, we dive into the larger-than-life world of "Dune: Part Two," which picks up where the first part left off.

19 hours ago

McDonald's new temporary logo is a nod to Japanese graphic novels (manga) as well as anime. (Caitly...

Simone Seikaly

Here’s why the Mcdonald’s logo is upside down on your bag of fries

No, McDonald's has not shipped packaging to the U.S. from other countries by mistake. The upside down logo is legit. For now.

2 days ago

taylor swift performing eras tour concert, a new class at weber state focuses on swift...

SAM HERRERA, KSL NEWSRADIO AND MIKE ANDERSON, KSL TV

Weber State University to offer class on Taylor Swift this fall

The Weber State University Taylor Swift class was offered for the first time this spring and filled up quickly.

4 days ago

Salt Lake City’s downtown skyline on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2024. Jazz owner Ryan Smith continues to d...

Mariah Maynes

Utah Jazz owner hypes potential “sports-centered” downtown Salt Lake

Ryan Smith, the owner of the Utah Jazz, is hyping up the possibility of bringing more professional sports teams to Utah. 

4 days ago

Image of TV remote featuring Netflix button. Netflix may direct customers to stop paying for their ...

Samantha Delouya, CNN

You may lose access to your Netflix account if you’re paying through Apple

The update by Netflix comes after years of pushback from apps in Apples iOS App Store for taking a 30% cut of all in-app purchases.

4 days ago

Kenneth Mitchell, here in 2018, has died....

Megan Thomas, CNN

Kenneth Mitchell, ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Marvel’ actor, dead at 49

A native of Canada, Mitchell acquired more than 50 film and television credits over the course of his acting career. He was diagnosed with ALS in 2019.

6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

‘The Rise of Skywalker’ wraps up the ‘Star Wars’ journey of a lifetime