‘Rise of Skywalker’ Is a Christmas Movie

Merry Christmas, readers. Let’s take a break from politics and discuss something far more divisive and polarizing—Star Wars. (Yes, there are spoilers. I’ll remind you again below.)

I’m not sure when it happened—perhaps we can trace the phenomenon back to the Roots miniseries, or answering the question, “Who shot J.R.?” or the M*A*S*H series finale—but at some point, entertainment events (especially finales) achieved a degree of national emotional importance that seems to defy logic and reason. Why are we so invested in seeing how television and film series end and so invested in seeing that they end just the right way?

Perhaps the answer is no more complicated than saying that art is powerful, it’s always been powerful, and investing yourself in a great story is a natural (and joyful) part of the human experience. 

And that brings me to Rise of Skywalker, the movie that broughtthe “Skywalker saga” to a close. This refers of course to the nine-film arc that began with 1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope and included within it some of the best science fiction films ever put on screen (Empire Strikes Back is the best science fiction movie ever; it is known). It has also, sadly, included more than its share of mediocrity and at least one cinematic atrocity. (I’m looking at you, Jar Jar Binks.) 

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