I have been thinking about this for some time, a few days in fact, and I am still not entirely sure how to begin. The issue I have is that I know what my bottom line feeling is, making my feelings about individual characters, story beats, or even action scenes largely irrelevant.
You see, I enjoyed watching the film. I had a fun time hearing the sounds given to the CGI and practical effect starships and alien creatures. I liked watching the cool designs of speeders and the bright colors of the lightsabers and the blaster bolts as they sped past my eyes.
In the end however it felt like some much cotton candy. It was all fluff and no substance. It added nothing new to the Star Wars mythos, did not really advance the story of 'The Skywalker Saga' in a meaningful way, and to have seen this trilogy or not seen it made no really difference to me whatsoever.
Ya'know what would have been nice?
A trilogy of films with the original actors, playing their original characters, exploring their kids or proteges in a brand new story, featuring a brand new threat, and then ending with some heroic legacy with which to carry the franchise into the future.
A few years later we meet Rey, a young, female scavenger on a junk covered planet who discovers she has the Force. She meets up with Poe, a Starfighter Pilot and Finn, a former indoctrinated soldier of some empire on the fringe of space who has shaken off his programming to help Poe escape. Finn also has the Force and the three new characters go on a harrowing adventure to try and reach the New Republic and join the re-established Jedi Order.
Basically, a Skywalker Saga Trilogy, Episodes VII, VIII, and IX, actually continuing the tale from I to VI, and then a single film or unrelated trilogy about new characters and events in the Star Wars universe.
What we go instead was a rushed, cash grabbing, muddled mess of three films not really about anything. Three tales, loosely connected due to no single over-arching narrative being written or put forward, that either aped the original three films or ignored their continuity completely.
The only emotion I am left with after seeing The Rise of Skywalker and hereing about it for the many months before its release and the several days after is exhaustion. Exhaustion and the relief in knowing it's over.
Now I can look forward to The Mandalorian and the future of Star Wars unencumbered by this disappointing missed opportunity.
May The Force Be With You...Always,
Happy Holidays from Barking Alien! I'll see you in the New Year!