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The End and Why I Don’t Care What You Think: The Rise of Skywalker

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I have finally seen the last instalment in the Star Wars saga and feel like my youth is over.

I saw the first film in 1978 and the last one last week, 42 years later. Yes, I am a case of arrested development.

In the long-ago days before the world was tech connected, the only way we heard buzz on movies was in the newspaper, TV ads or trailers at the cinema.

I was already a Sci-Fi fan but had yet to encounter reruns of Star Trek so was glued to Space: 1999 and Doctor Who. I was working my way through John Wyndham’s writing and had just been introduced to Asimov.

A precocious child, I had seen 2001: A Space Odyssey with my dad whilst still in primary school—and then explained the story to him when we came out.

So imagine the shiver that went through me when I saw that first TV ad—my baby sister calling out from the lounge room that ‘Rozie’ was on TV (Carrie Fisher and I did look a bit alike back then).

I ran in and saw a GIRL in a DRESS blasting her way out of a space station, whilst tossing quips to the men that followed her.

I had to see this movie and I had to see it immediately!

Unfortunately, tonsillitis intervened and it was the last week of the cinema run before I saw it. Still shaky with fever, I persuaded my dad to take me into town mid-morning. There was an old lady, a couple of lovebirds and me at the screening. I was immersed the instant that Star Destroyer flew in from behind me. I swear I flew the Millennium Falcon that day and I have been committed ever since.

However, it wasn’t just the films themselves—it was the universe of the films.

A place at once more advanced and more ancient than home. Where adventure was perilous, where the people rose up and made a better future. Where the Force was real.

I still think The Empire Strikes Back is one of the very best films of all time.

I may have bought the first ticket to the midnight screening of The Phantom Menace at the cinema in Nowra. I was so keen to be back in that universe I ignored Jar Jar Binks and forgave every hole in the plot and overworked sequence George Lucas couldn’t let go of. I cried through the final lightsabre battle of Revenge of the Sith and still cannot rewatch it.

It does not matter to me whether these films are critically acclaimed—or, alternatively—shredded on social media. They are my films.

I recognise the flaws, poor plot choices and outrageous costumes for the weaknesses they are (no, I never owned a leather bikini) but I love them just the same.

They are stories worth telling. They (for the most part) follow the ethics of old Hollywood films and that is all I need say to explain what happens to Kylo Ren.

Am I satisfied? Mostly. Do I believe that The Rise of Skywalker is as good a film as we could have after we lost our General? Yes.

Fan theories, BenRey shipping and vilification will go on forever—as they do for other sagas. But luckily, so will this universe.

We already have the animated series, the games, the books and now the excellent Mandalorian on Disney+. There were several hints in the final scenes to suggest other story arcs will become films too.

May the Force always be with us.

Roslyn saw Star War: The Rise of Skywalker as a guest of Limelight Cinemas Tuggeranong.

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