Reviewed by: Raphael Vera
What to do when people urge you to evil things
What is SIN AND WICKEDNESS? Answer
Why do evil people often try to demoralize good people by attempting to convince them that they’re all alone
Courage / bravery / self-sacrifice
Daisy Ridley … Rey
Adam Driver … Kylo Ren
Billie Lourd … Lieutenant Connix
Carrie Fisher … Leia Organa (archive footage)
Mark Hamill … Luke Skywalker
Lupita Nyong'o … Maz Kanata
Ian McDiarmid … Palpatine
Oscar Isaac … Poe Dameron
Keri Russell … Zorii Bliss
Domhnall Gleeson … General Hux
Kelly Marie Tran … Rose Tico
Billy Dee Williams … Lando Calrissian
John Boyega … Finn
Dominic Monaghan … Beaumont Kin—a Resistance trooper
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Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid), who was killed by Darth Vader in the finale of the original “Star Wars” trilogy “Return of the Jedi,” has let it be known that he has returned and The First Order’s Supreme Commander Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) will stop at nothing to find and destroy this new threat to his empire. But when they finally meet, an unholy alliance is formed instead so that they may strengthen the empire under Ren while the Emperor pulls the strings.
Recognizing the threat a resurrected Emperor would pose to their crippled Rebel Alliance, Rey (Daisy Ridley) breaks off her Jedi training under Leia (Carrie Fisher) and together with Poe (Oscar Isaac) and Finn (John Boyega) set out to find the legendary Sith world to destroy Palpatine once and for all.
The Rebellion’s trio will visit worlds of desert and sea in order to find the one artifact capable of guiding them to the Sith world. New friends and alliances will be made along the way before Kylo Ren confronts Rey with his final offer to join him or be destroyed. Will Rey’s vision of both her and Ren ruling from the Dark throne come true or is there still one last hope for the galaxy?
Billed as the conclusion to the “Skywalker” saga, “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” does just that, but not without some material—expected and surprising—that merits caution.
Violence: Moderate to Heavy. Many are killed by laser fire, explosions, fire or are thrown at high speeds to their death. Mostly bloodless, there are scenes showing arms and limbs being cut off by light saber and in several cases impaled to death. Brief but grisly imagery includes skeletal remains and disembodied clones floating in a solution. Kylo Ren chokes a general and slams him against the ceiling at the same time. Lastly, a planet is destroyed as seen from orbit.
Language: Mild. The Lord’s name is never taken in vain nor uttered in any context. Inappropriate words included: h*ll (3), da*n (2), a** (1) and “Shut up, scum” (1).
Sex/Nudity: Minor but blatant. No sex or nudity is shown, but a kiss between two female Resistance fighters takes place amidst a large celebration. Considering that in other “Star Wars” films only main character love interests are ever shown kissing, this indicates a clear choice by Disney and the Director. Poe flirts with an old friend and asks for a kiss, which she declines.
Much can be made about how the “Star Wars” films touch upon New Age concepts and covert occult-like symbolism, and I do not deny their existence. However, I believe that the themes that resonate most with people are those that touch upon undeniable truths, and the most powerful one addressed in the film is that of our ‘sinful nature.’
Conversely, Kylo Ren is her polar opposite, as he has already succumbed to the evil nature within him, and his internal struggle is instead with the spark of good within him as suggested in “The Force Awakens.”
Interestingly, the greatest spiritual victory shown does not come in the final act but before it, when a character must confront their natural tendencies and conclusively put them to death. The Word of God calls all of us to do the very same, and the reward will be great.
Learn about The TRUE Force
What is repentance?
What is regeneration—becoming a New Creation?
Although this victory is seen as achieved through ‘force’ of will alone, we must acknowledge that, as the Bible and human history have shown, mankind is incapable of wrestling successfully against sin without help from Almighty God.
“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” —Philippians 4:13 NLT
The devil, as personified by the Emperor, is the Prince of lies who promises that if you do his bidding “you will ascend,” when in fact the reverse will come to pass exactly as our Lord Jesus said.
“‘Yes,’ he told them, ‘I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning!’” —Luke 10:18 NLT
Fans of the series will appreciate the way the film honors both Leia and Han’s memories during their touching send-offs as this entry does mark the end of their journey along with that of Luke.
In my opinion, “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” is a definite improvement over “The Last Jedi” which seemed determined to put to death some aspects of the “Star Wars” universe as we know it. Rey and Kylo Ren are the central focal point for this movie, and the conclusion to their story arcs result in a mostly satisfying second half that features a strong emotional payoff to match.
Although the film feels a bit derivative and the threats feel recycled, the film does its best to restore the series from where the last film left off and mostly succeeds.
This cannot be recommended for children due to dark theme, suggested possession, and subtle political messaging.
As followers of Christ, please be aware that ungodly messaging will continue to be increasingly woven into our entertainment, and we must guard both the hearts of future generations and our own.
“…but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.” —2 Timothy 4:3-4 NASB excerpt
“The Force” mysticism in the “Star Wars” movies presents a false view of reality in which…
The darkness of paganism is masquerading as light. The “Star Wars” franchise has helped greatly popularize these Godless fantasies and influenced people’s acceptance of dangerous false beliefs about reality.
According to a 2011 census, “Jedi” is now the most popular faith in the “Other Religions” category in England and Wales, taking 7th place among all the major world religions. It is a church inspired by George Lucas’s “Star Wars” films. The website of the Jedi Church states:
“The Jedi church believes that there is one powerful force [energy field] that binds all things in the universe together. The Jedi religion is something innate inside every one of us, the Jedi Church believes that our sense of morality is innate. So quiet your mind and listen to the force within you.”
As the familiar saying goes, “buyer beware”—the Jedi religion is paganism pure and simple. The Jedi Church even warns its members to be cautious of the dark side of the force. It’s territory that no Jedi should dare to enter. But how is someone to know when he crosses over from the light side of the force to the dark side by simply listening to the voice within? By what standard can good and bad be judged in this pagan belief? It would be arbitrary to assert some absolute good or evil in a religion where no absolutes, like the claims of Jesus Christ, are tolerated! In truth, there is no such thing as a light side of paganism. It’s all darkness, and it is a consuming darkness, like voodoo, which originated in sub-Saharan Africa that claims to be used to heal or to harm.
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.