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I will begin by making it clear that I found The Rise of Skywalker, the last film in the Skywalker saga, boring. And it was not even a long movie, and I’m a fan of the director’s (J.J. Abrams) work (particularly Mission: Impossible III—the best in that franchise), and many of the visual effects are impressive—particularly the haunting business of bringing the late Carrie Fisher back to life. But all together, the film is burdened by too much sentimental family stuff (you are my granddaughter, you are my son, you killed my parents, and so on), and its end did not know how to end for a very long time. That said, let’s talk about a scene that involves Finn (John Boyega), the film’s main black character.
Now, The Last Jedi concluded with something going on between Finn and Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran). But only a year later, when The Rise of Skywalker is set, nothing seems to be going on between Finn and Rose. They do not look at each other in that special way that lovers always do. We must assume their romance came to an end in forests of the moon Endor. Also, Finn seems to be focused on Rey (Daisy Ridley) in a way that’s not entirely unromantic.
We see morning light in the sky above the Star Destroyer. The alien clouds, falling X-wing starfighters, blasted TIE fighters, flying stormtroopers, the warrior courage of the Black man and Black woman—all of this happening under a darkling blue sky.
But then on the oceanic moon of Kef Bir, near the ruins of the Death Star, he meets Jannah (Naomi Ackie). She is Black like Finn. She was also once an Imperial stormtrooper. These two appear to be a match made in that galaxy’s heaven. Jannah joins the Resistance and follows Finn to the heart of the final big battle, on Emperor Palpatine’s dark planet of doom. And it is during this battle we have one of the most numinous moments in the Star Wars franchise.
The rebels have landed on the top of the main Star Destroyer. They are heading to its communication tower, which is guiding a fleet of planet-destroying ships up to space. The mission is to bomb the tower. The rebels from the ocean moon are charging on horse-like animals. Finn and Jannah run to their target while under heavy fire. It is then we see morning light in the sky above the destroyer. The alien clouds, falling X-wing starfighters, blasted TIE fighters, flying stormtroopers, the warrior courage of the Black man and Black woman—all of this happening under a darkling blue sky. The scene lasts for about three or so seconds, but it’s incredibly beautiful. The rest of the film was dead to me.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is now playing at various theaters.