The highly anticipated installment in the blockbuster sci-fi franchise is now playing in theaters nationwide

By Benjamin VanHoose
December 20, 2019 03:17 PM
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Star Wars fans have spoken — the Force is strong with The Rise of Skywalker.

The highly anticipated conclusion to the overarching storyline in the fantasy franchise came with sky-high expectations, and judging by the initial online response after its theatrical debut, moviegoers are far, far away from disappointment. (Except, maybe, for the fact that Baby Yoda doesn’t make a cameo in the movie.)

PEOPLE’s own review of Episode IX calls the film a “jam-packed tribute to George Lucas’ legacy and the millions of dedicated fans who’ve kept the franchise alive and well for decades.”

The first showings of The Rise of Skywalker began in movie theaters across the country on Thursday night, and fans turned out in massive numbers to find out how the series wraps. The movie is already on track for a whopping $200 million opening weekend at the domestic box office, according to Variety.

See how moviegoers have already reacted to the new film below, and don’t fret — no spoilers, there are.

THE RISE OF SKYWALKER
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
| Credit: Lucasfilm

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After seeing the movie, one user eagerly raved that it’s “FULL OF NOSTALGIA AND FEELINGS” on Twitter. Another fan congratulated the filmmakers, saying they couldn’t wait to see the movie for a second time with family.

“Congratulations to the whole #TheRiseOfSkywalker team!!! You all did an amazing job! So many shots I want to frame on a wall, the beautiful score and sounds, and the new creatures and characters I want more of!” wrote the fan. “Can’t wait to see it a second time and take my dad! ?”

Others echoed a desire for repeat viewings of the film while defending it against some negative reviews.

“Second viewing complete. Love this film,” wrote one fan, who went on to say that for them, this installment was “everything we dreamed of.”

Another person on Twitter called the movie “perfect,” writing that the various story elements culminating in a final product that “really does hit hard” and gave them “chills.”

More fans were unapologetic about their adoration for the movie, showing signs of confusion toward those quick to hate on it.

“I genuinely can’t believe people hate #TheRiseOfSkywalker. I’ve seen it twice now and yeah it has issues but the amount of hate it’s getting is mind boggling [sic] to me,” tweeted one fan.

Another moviegoer shared a thumbs-up GIF from 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, captioning it, “Me, enjoying every minute of #TheRiseOfSkywalker while everyone else finds yet another thing to be angry about in this crazy world.”

The film sees the return of Daisy Ridley as Rey, as well as her costars John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver and Kelly Marie Tran.

There are also plenty of new faces to the franchise including Naomi Ackie and Keri Russell while Star Wars icons Billy Dee Williams and Anthony Daniels return as Lando Calrissian and C-3PO, respectively.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is now playing in theaters everywhere.