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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – the force is not so strong with this one

On 19 December Savoy 3D, Wellawatte premiered the highly anticipated Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker for an audience of diehard fans who showed up for the screening adorned in their various Star Wars gear, light sabers, and Jedi cosplay.

The event plays an important role in introducing the wider spread availability of Dolby Atmos in Sri Lanka as Savoy 3D Cinemas steps into the ring with their newly introduced Dolby Atmos theatre, now providing Colombo’s movie goers the opportunity for an elevated viewing experience. While they introduced the new facility way back in April this year, we feel that something as massive as Star Wars will truly get the word out.

Savoy Cinemas owned and managed by EAP Films and Theatres (Pvt.) Ltd. has long been one of the top-end movie entertainment centres in and around Colombo city and this premiere goes to show that they’re still very much a key player in the entertainment industry in the island.

The movie going experience was quite enjoyable. Leaving aside the fact that the seating was on one level hindering viewing, particularly for any vertically challenged individuals, the sounds were fantastic and the visuals were phenomenal; truly a recommended experience.

As for the movie itself, you’ve all probably heard it by now but Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was a big disappointment. Taking the reins from Rain Johnson, director JJ Abrams takes absolutely no risks and plays it totally safe in a crowd-pleasing finale to the space opera.

The Star Wars film series consists of a trilogy of trilogies, and this film is the final installment for the nine-part “Skywalker Saga” which brings to the conclusion, the story of the force sensitive Skywalkers.

The movie was littered with wasted opportunities, it felt as though it was likely a four-hour movie chopped up into a crisp 142 minutes. The beginning was cut erratically and it doesn’t get any better as the movie progresses and the best parts, if you can call them that at all, felt as though they were damage control to make sense of choices made some time ago.

The real shame is of course that the performances were quite alright. Princess Leia was handled quite beautifully with the difficulty faced due to the untimely death of Carrie Fisher. However, the rest of them were simply thrown into it. With a cast that consists of John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, and Adam Driver it was truly wasted with many of these actors been given almost nothing to do, especially John Boyega.

Adam Driver does the best he can with what he was given and one of the more important cameos happen in the movie as a result of his “arc” which was quite satisfying.

Overall, The Rise of Skywalker was a disappointing end to a beloved series with no organic unravelling of plot and some heavy-handed nostalgia to fill the seats in cinemas. We truly cannot recommend it, however, if you are a Star Wars fan nothing can really stop you from going to watch this movie so all we can say is, we hope that you are able to enjoy it and may the force be with you.

By Dimithri Wijesinghe