Star Wars Episode IX has arrived and let me tell you, I was fairly excited about it but didn't want to get my hopes up too much since there is so much division going on and I didn't want to be disappointed.
I was not disappointed. I liked it ALOT! I was sitting there with my husband; while he was all calm, I was SUPER excited and it just kept getting better in my opinion.
Here's where the spoilers start so if you for some reason are reading a movie review but don't want plot points revealed, then back out now.
So let's start with the scary - I admit I had to close my eyes during the sorta strobe light scene with the Emperor because (1) the lighting was messing with my eyes and (2) it was kinda scary. They did a good job of being spooky. I didn't like it but I'm pretty sure that's how I was suppose to feel - he's a bad guy and he's not in good shape (because he's bad). Ian McDiarmid did a great job of consistently portraying a creepy evil person through all three trilogies of the Star Wars franchise.
Then we move on, sadly, to what I didn't like. There were two kisses and I didn't like either of them but I ended up being fine with one of them because someone immediately died (that should make it pretty obvious what scene I'm talking about). The other kiss was purely to get the LGBQ check mark and seemed out of place. I prefer my sci-fi without romance, just let a group of friends save the galaxy and maybe redeem a villain. No need for pairing up.
Now we get to what I did like - basically all the rest of the movie. I liked the decisions they made, the dialogue, and the plot. I'm especially happy that Chewie didn't die. He died in the Expanded Universe which is now not canon and I feared for his safety in each movie (until one of the Original Trio died and then I'm thinking they wouldn't kill Han/Luke/Leia AND Chewie in the same movie so he should be safe for now).
Just like in The Last Jedi, I really like fight scenes with two lightsaber users working together vs. whomever. I might just look up the fight scene from The Last Jedi to remember how excellent it was.
I liked the usage of old footage of Leia and Luke, showing that she had made a lightsaber, getting to use the lightsaber, and really how they were able to still have Leia be a central figure and not make it very obvious that it was all recycled footage (you could tell if you knew but they did a good job with what they could do).
The dialogue between Poe and Finn was great, the constant banter, the respect between them, and how they stuck together to help Rey every step of the way.
I liked Ben's redemption arc. I think they did the right thing with him sacrificing himself.
I really liked all the throwbacks - Red 5, ewoks, older fighter pilots who were definitely in the original trilogy or production crew, so many references all around. The decrepit throne room! The remains from the old war! They did a good job.
All in all, I would recommend this movie for Star Wars fans (obviously, since it's a capstone film, you're gonna be lost hopping into Episode IX without knowing I-VIII). I want to see it again once it's in Redbox.