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Where does ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ rank in the saga? And more spoiler-free reactions

John Boyega as Finn in “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.”
John Boyega as Finn in “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.”
(Disney / Lucasfilm Ltd.)

Are you dying to know a little bit more about “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” but don’t want to know any of the major spoilers yet? Welcome to our super brief, spoiler free (or, at the very least, spoiler light) staff reactions survey.

We asked four of our most “Star Wars"-savvy staff writers to rank where they’d place “Skywalker” among the overall Skywalker saga, whose arcs are the most and least successful, and if they considered the film a satisfying ending.

Their general impressions are provided without spoilers. (If you’ve already seen the film: we’ve also got full, spoiler-heavy reactions, here.)

Take a look, and may the Force be with you. Always.

Where would you rank “Rise of Skywalker” among the nine Skywalker Saga films?

Christina Schoellkopf: 5 (“A New Hope”; “The Empire Strikes Back”; “Return of the Jedi”; “The Force Awakens”; “The Rise of Skywalker” ... and the rest.)

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Todd Martens: No. 6. (“The Last Jedi”; “Hope”; “Empire”; “Return”; “Force”; “Skywalker”; “Revenge of the Sith”; “Attack of the Clones”; “The Phantom Menace”)

Tracy Brown: 6. Maybe 7. (“Hope”; “Last”; “Empire”; “Return”; “Force”; “Skywalker” / “Sith”; “Clones”; “Phantom”)

Jen Yamato: Rank, I decline to. But, 6.

Which character has the best arc?

CS: Luke. Hands down.

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TM: Luke.

TB: Luke’s lightsaber.

JY: Rey.

At Monday’s premiere of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” director J.J. Abrams and actor Ian McDiarmid detailed the surprise return of Emperor Palpatine.

Whose was the most disappointing?

CS: R2-D2

TM: The Emperor, as his arrival significantly altered the thematic threads of “The Last Jedi,” ending on a note that looked backward rather than fully forward.

TB: Emperor Palpatine.

JY: Rose.

Is “The Rise of Skywalker” a satisfying ending to the trilogy and the overall saga?

CS: Decent enough. I do appreciate the many details that refer back to the first movie.

TM: In moments. I was never bored while watching it, and I really do love the final scene of the film, but I do wish that last scene had come after a more challenging film.

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TB: “The Rise of Skywalker” is an entertaining movie that has satisfying bits. I don’t know if I’ll ever watch it again.

JY: Who says it’s really the end? In this galaxy, or so they say, no one’s ever really gone.

Director J.J. Abrams asked Carrie Fisher’s family for permission to use unused “Star Wars” footage of the actress. Her brother Todd reflects on the journey.


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