Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker -- Can J.J. Abrams stick the landing?

CNET | 10/13/2019 | Rick Broida
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Will the Dark Side of Star Wars fandom accept J.J. Abrams' latest?

This December, after a staggering 42 years, the Star Wars trilogy of trilogies comes to a close. With J.J. Abrams once again at the helm, the ironically titled Rise of Skywalker marks the end of the nine-movie Skywalker saga.

Question - Abrams - Landing - Star - Wars

Here's the big question: Can Abrams stick the landing? After his generally well-received first Star Wars effort, The Force Awakens, and the decidedly controversial Rian Johnson follow-up, The Last Jedi, Abrams has the chance to send the trilogy -- and the entire series -- out on a high note. Maybe the highest note.

No pressure.

Story - Answers - Questions - Drop - Surprises

Can he do it? Will he tell a story that's at once thrilling and satisfying? Give us answers to burning questions? Drop a few surprises along the way?

Let's discuss. Don't worry, no spoilers. But to fully understand my predictions and perspective, you need to know me a little better. Here, then, is my Star Wars origin story.

Years - Parents - Nothing - Movie - Wars

It's 1977. I'm 9 years old and dragging behind my parents, who have told me nothing about the movie we're about to see. Star ... Wars? Sounds wholly uninteresting. Granted, movies hadn't yet played a formative role in my life. I remember laughing at Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor in Silver Streak and Burt Reynolds in Smokey and the Bandit. In fact, the latter opened the same weekend as Star Wars, and I'm sure I saw it first.

But on that fateful day, I'd experienced precious little science fiction, save perhaps for a few Star Trek reruns. I liked the spaceships, sure, but beyond that it held little appeal. Hence it was a very glum little Ricky who plopped down in his seat. No runaway trains? No Trans-Ams? No, thanks.

I don't remember how long it took...
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