'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker'

Daisy Ridley in “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” 

(Editor’s note: While every attempt has been made to avoid spoilers, this article does commit the unpardonable sin of discussing the plot of the movie being reviewed.)

“The dead speak!” Those three words, crawling up the screen in familiar yellow letters, are the first thing we see in “The Rise of Skywalker,” the frenzied big-bang finish of the latest and likely not last “Star Wars” trilogy. There are ominous signs that Emperor Palpatine, the vile Sith lord vanquished at the end of 1983’s “Return of the Jedi,” may be staging a comeback from beyond the grave. But if the dead can speak, they can also give us cause for tentative optimism and maybe, yes, a new hope: With any luck, perhaps the deep, transporting pleasure of vintage “Star Wars” might somehow be resurrected.

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