STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER Features The Franchise's First LGBTQ+ Moment - SPOILERS

It's very brief, but Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker does finally bring some LGBTQ+ representation to the long-running movie franchise. Some may take issue with how the moment is presented, however!

Blink and you'll miss it, but The Rise of Skywalker does indeed feature the first same-sex kiss in the Star Wars franchise (no, it's not between Finn and Poe).

Director J.J. Abrams promised that TROS would give the LGBTQ+ community some representation, but he didn't specify how... and when you see the film you'll understand why! The moment comes right near the end after the final battle as The Resistance fighters are celebrating their victory. As the major characters greet each other, we get a brief glimpse of two unnamed female pilots sharing a passionate kiss.

While it's nice to finally see something like this in a Star Wars movie, the presentation of the scene (well, shot) has come in for some backlash for coming across more like "box ticking" than actual, thoughtful inclusion. Some take a more positive stance, seeing this as a good start that can be built upon in future movies.

What do you guys think? Let us know in the comments, and check out my review of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker here. You can also scroll through the other critical reactions by clicking the "view list" button.
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The film certainly isn't lacking in thrills, surprises or plot twists, and is unquestionably enjoyable in the heat of the moment -- but there are so many missed opportunities and storytelling miscalculations that it all begins to crumble under the slightest scrutiny. The Rise of Skywalker is far from the worst Star Wars film, but as the final chapter in this saga, it should have been much better.

SOURCE: Spoiler TV
 
Given the task that Abrams faced when he returned to the franchise, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is an impressive achievement. It won't please everybody, of course, but there will be plenty who find it ends the Skywalker Saga on a high. [4/5]

SOURCE: Digital Spy
 

 
As I ponder these questions, however, I have to admit that I loved (almost) every second of the experience. Laughter, tears, gasps and cheers abounded; and we’re sure to be talking about the many plot twists until Star Wars gives us another movie.

SOURCE: The Illuminerdi
 
I personally loved how it wrapped up the Skywalker Saga, especially the entire second half of the movie, and I enjoyed it a lot more than The Force Awakens. Part of me is sad to see such a major part of my life come to a close, but I’m also excited for an uncharted future in a galaxy far far away…

SOURCE: Star Wars Unity
 
Abrams doesn't stick to a template as much as he did with "Force Awakens," but there are familiar turns that go down like comfort food. You want lightsaber tussles? There are plenty between Rey, who’s still wrestling with identity issues and her background, and First Order leader Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). Ridley and Driver fueled a lot of the emotion in those previous films, and they rise to the occasion again as the lifeblood of "Skywalker." But after paying homage to everything that came before, this "Star Wars" ending is a too-safe landing of a massive pop-culture starship, and a spectacular finale that misses a chance to forge something special.

SOURCE: USA Today
 
There’s always been a secret cynicism underpinning Abrams’ Star blockbusters, which adrenalize the pop-est culture of his youth and avoid anything requiring originality or imagination. Now he’s left grasping for source material he hasn’t already replicated — and one late montage even copies a sequence added into Return of the Jedi’s 1997 Special Edition. We need a new franchise designation for this stumbling, bloodless conglomeration of What Once Was. Rise of the Skywalker isn’t an ending, a sequel, a reboot, or a remix. It’s a zombie. [C]

SOURCE: EW
 

 
As such, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is worth checking out in theaters if only to see how the sequel trilogy ends, or if viewers are seeking some big sci-fi spectacle, which Abrams delivers in spades. Given how much is stuffed into the movie, it may be worth repeat viewings, but only for dedicated fans who found enough to like to warrant a return trip. The Rise of Skywalker may not have stuck the landing of ending the Skywalker saga on a high note, but it's a reminder that perhaps forging a new path is the only way to a brighter Star Wars future. [3/5]

SOURCE: Screen Rant
 
After nine Episodes in which good and evil have strengthened and waned as surely as the quality has soared and plummeted, we end at just the right place, with balance in the Force. Tries to fit in so much it threatens to tear apart at the seams, but ultimately rises to the impossible occasion. [4/5]

SOURCE: Total Film
 
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Will Rise of Skywalker entertain the crowds? Probably! Its action is fairly non-stop, approaching Michael Bay levels at times, and that keeps the film from being boring. Plus there are several big setpieces that manage to thrill, especially a lightsaber battle on top of some space wreckage located in the midst of monstrous, crashing waves. But there’s so much wasted potential here. As the story draws to its big, loud climax, and one fan-service moment after another arises, you begin to get the sense that Abrams is just checking off boxes and fulfilling a quota. There’s no spark; no joy; no life. If this truly is the end of the Skywalker Saga, what an ignoble end it is. [5/10]

SOURCE: Slash Film
 
Rest assured that there’s nothing in this final “Star Wars” that would prompt the eye-rolls or the snickers of Episodes I-III; Abrams is too savvy a studio player for those kinds of shenanigans. But his slick delivery of a sterling, shiny example of what Martin Scorsese would call “not cinema” feels momentarily satisfying but ultimately unfulfilling. It’s a somewhat soulless delivery system of catharsis, but Disney and Abrams are banking on the delivery itself to be enough.

SOURCE: The Wrap
 
“The Rise of Skywalker” has to deal some of with the anti-Lucas curveballs that director Rian Johnson introduced into “The Last Jedi,” and it may actually be a better movie for it.

SOURCE: Variety
 

 
It looks gorgeous and offers strong performances from Driver and Ridley in particular, but ultimately the saga ends with neither a bang nor a whimper but something inbetween. [3/5]

SOURCE: Empire
 
These are some of the questions swirling around Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which eventfully, if not exactly satisfactorily, closes the book on the core origin story of this indelible world. On a popular level, it succeeds in a way that good escapist fiction always has, by transporting you completely to a fabulous foreign realm unvisitable by any other means. No one who has seen the preceeding VIII chapters will dare miss this concluding installment, which means that the vast majority of the known moviegoing world will turn up. And in theaters, no less. But there are nagging problems that, while evident in the previous two entries, have become more pronounced now.

SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter
 
Endings are hard and saying goodbye always hurts. Sometimes, you get what you want from that goodbye and sometimes you don’t. Everything still ends nevertheless and this is an ending whether it works for you or not. [7.5/10]

SOURCE: Bleeding Cool
 
The Rise of Skywalker gives people what they go to Star Wars for, but that’s all it does—and worse, all it sets out to do. It’s frenzied, briefly infuriating, and eventually, grudgingly, satisfying, but it’s like being force-fed fandom: Your belly is filled, but there’s no pleasure in the meal. The movie feels like it’s part of the post–Last Jedi retrenchment, when Disney jerked the leash on Solo and killed plans for future spinoffs by insisting that filmmakers stick to the established playbook. It’s of a piece with the pointedly unambitious The Mandalorian, just good enough to get people’s attention but fundamentally terrified of rocking the boat. Rather than making a movie some people might love, Abrams tried to make a movie no one would hate, and as a result, you don’t feel much of anything at all. 

SOURCE: Slate
 

 
I don’t think Rise of Skywalker is ill-intentioned, exactly - it’s not malevolent like some joyless tentpole films are. But it takes no pleasure in its own existence, weakly adding some cutesiness here and there to liven things up (mostly in the form of a new droid whose existence feels redundant at best) but otherwise shuffling around morosely as it does what it thinks it needs to, piteously unaware that it didn’t have to be like this.

SOURCE: Vanity Fair
 
This vast, hulking Star Destroyer of a franchise has become too cumbersome to pull off any genuinely nimble manoeuvres, but at the same time, it never falls out of the sky. Partly that’s a simple matter of momentum, but it is also a question of faith. Over its long history, Star Wars has acquired a mythic grandeur few movie franchises can ever hope to match. [3/5]

SOURCE: The Guardian
 
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If you enjoy escaping into this wonderful galaxy far, far away, and have been charmed by this fun franchise George Lucas created for us to play in, you will have a blast with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. It packs a punch in spectacle, action, has a lot of heart, and as Carrie Fisher once described Star Wars:

SOURCE: Star Wars News
 
Without a doubt, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has something for everyone. It force-feeds you so much Star Wars you’ll probably want to go back for seconds. Sadly, it suffers mightily from being more focused on excess instead of resonance. For some people, that will be more than enough—but for us, it’s not. The Rise of Skywalker may be the end of this Star Wars trilogy, but there will be more in this universe eventually. The legacy of this film, and this trilogy, will not be an ending. Instead, it’s the beginning of a Star Wars debate that will last forever.

SOURCE: io9
 
For everyone else, though, The Rise of Skywalker falls somewhere between an overstuffed fan-service finale and a yawnfest. If The Force Awakens kicked off a new cycle in the franchise and The Last Jedi set it up to push beyond its familiar patterns, The Rise of Skywalker for the most part runs screaming in the other direction.

SOURCE: Vox
 
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Two years ago, I thought fans would love "The Last Jedi," and was surprised that wasn't the case. If you loved "TFA" then you should enjoy "Episode IX," though I don't think you'll love it as much. Conversely, if you enjoyed Rian Johnson's take on "Star Wars," you may not enjoy the final chapter.

SOURCE: Insider
 
The Rise of Skywalker may be a touch disjointed but there’s still a lot to love. There are many surprises and treats for audiences and moments of fan service that are sure to have fans cheering with delight. The droids continue to steal the show and there are some moments of absolute perfection to be found within. Though some plot points might be seen as being too predictable or easy, the overall feel of the film is that of a celebration of this incredible world that was built so long ago and, of course, the iconic people who made it so beloved. [4/5]

SOURCE: HeyUGuys
 

 
We may have reached the final hours of the Skywalker saga (or so Lucasfilm has said), but the franchise remains as vibrant, heartfelt, ludicrous, and adventurous as its ever been. It’ll be hard to say goodbye. [3/5]

SOURCE: Independent
 
An enjoyable, emotional end to a saga that is such a huge part of our lives. May the Force we be with you, always.

SOURCE: The Sun
 
Star Wars isn’t just iconography or junk you liked from your childhood. It can be so much more than that, and it means so much more to countless people. The Rise of Skywalker renders the Skywalker Saga into something cheap, frail, and easily disposable. [D+]

SOURCE: Collider
 
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Over 40 years later, “Rise of Skywalker” operates as if the only cinematic tradition at its disposal hails from a galaxy far, far away. At one point, a major character suffers from amnesia; by the end, the movie aims to make audiences feel the same way so it can go through the motions. The opening crawl warns that “the dead speak!” Indeed, the ensuing 142 minutes encapsulate a franchise eager to resurrect ideas that should have died long ago. [C+]

SOURCE: Indie Wire
 
Having said all that, the film is well acted, it looks so good that there is bound to be a fabulous tie-in coffee-table book of concept art, and it has a positive message about never giving up hope. But the main feeling it instills in the viewer is a renewed respect for the imagination of Lucas. The Rise of Skywalker has been lovingly crafted by a host of talented people, and yet the best they can do is pay tribute to everything he did several decades ago. [3/5]

SOURCE: BBC
 
There’s plenty of spectacle and space-fighting to keep The Rise of Skywalker entertaining. Minute to minute, it’s an enjoyable movie, and at its brightest points, it captures Star Wars at its best. But Abrams just hasn’t pared down the bombast enough to keep his story grounded — and with the trilogy at its end, it’s strange to be left with as many new questions as resolutions.

SOURCE: The Verge
 
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But having the people in charge of Star Wars’ legacy acknowledging their own inability to move forward is a sad way for the story to end. Even as The Rise of Skywalker’s characters claim their ultimate triumph, the film feels clumsy, hurried, and above all, like an admission of creative defeat. 

SOURCE: Polygon
 
What RISE OF SKYWALKER does prove, undoubtedly, is even when STAR WARS is not at its best, and even damn near frustrating at times, there’s still loads to fall in love with and be swept up by, with the potential for enormous heart to shine through. If that’s the final note SKYWALKER is able to conclude the Skywalker Saga on, then that’s enough to make it a successful finale. Mostly. [7/10]

SOURCE: JoBlo.com

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is an entertaining but deeply flawed final chapter that ultimately plays it too safe. [7/10]

SOURCE: IGN
 
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