‘Rise of Skywalker’ a fitting end to saga from a galaxy far, far away

I’m not going to lie, I’m glad this Star Wars trilogy is over.

I’m a huge “Star Wars” fan and have been since I was old enough to know what a Wookie was.

And while there’s no argument about the original trilogy being the best out of the bunch, staying a “Star Wars” fan was pretty hard during these last three films.

First out of the new batch was “The Force Awakens” which was essentially just a reboot of “A New Hope.” While it was big, bold and introduced us to more characters and expanded the Star Wars universe, it simply felt that we had seen and done it all before.

Then there was the debacle that was “The Last Jedi.” Sure, it was fun and lighthearted (some might say a little TOO lighthearted), but it managed to amp up the action and drama. It also did little else to move the franchise forward besides killing Luke Skywalker, who just made his triumphant return to a series he helped create.

Actually, the action portions of the film were pretty awesome; it’s just the plot didn’t seem to know which way it was headed and simply derailed everything that was setup in “Awakens.”

So what did they do? They called in the ringmaster, JJ Abrams, who was originally tasked with bringing a new trilogy to cinemas but only directed “Awakens” and wasn’t originally supposed to direct “Rise of Skywalker.”

Basically, he was called in to clean up the mess from the previous film and deliver a movie worthy of fans’ hopes and dreams.

And that is the biggest problem with “Skywalker.” It gives the fans everything they expected and wanted without first taking into consideration the actual plot or three-film story arc. By the end, everything is wrapped up and tied up with a nice little bow with everyone’s biggest questions answered and heroes given their due.

Who are Rey’s parents? Answered. Why does Kylo Ren hate Rey so much? Answered. Who was Supreme Leader Snoke? Answered. Why is the Emperor back? Answered.

Is “Skywalker” a good movie? Yes. Is it a good “Star Wars” movie? Sort of.

It’s hard to explain anything from the film without spoiling everything, but I will say the action is pretty massive in this one though it once again covers familiar territory, this time stepping into the same shoes as “Return of the Jedi” but with a bigger budget and cooler space battle.

While following Luke’s  journey from a simple farm boy to Jedi Master in the original trilogy was an epic masterpiece of sci-fi cinema, the current trilogy is simply trying to keep from tripping over itself and not screw it all up, which is a shame because there’s some really awesome set pieces that are present just to fill space and great actors who are simply there to read their lines.

There’s been some great stuff in the current trilogy, but none of it seems to matter in “Skywalker.” By the time this film is done, the previous films simply seem like fluff in the grand scheme of things.

All in all, I’m just glad it’s done and over with.

If you love “Star Wars”, this film is for you. It fixes nearly every problem fans have had with all of the films pretty much and has huge battle scenes and enough lightsaber fights to please even the casual fan of the series (I’m talking to you, wife).

Overall, it’s fun and exciting and action packed just like a “Star Wars” film should be. It’s not the best of the films, but it’s also definitely not the worst (“Revenge of the Sith”, “Solo” who were so, so bad).

In the end, all I can say is that at least Netflix’s “The Mandalorean” gave us Baby Yoda – who, like baby Jesus born in the manger, is here to bring joy and hope even in a galaxy far, far away.

“Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker” is out in theaters now.