This week, WGBH Arts Editor Jared Bowen gives us a preview of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” Then, a tour of Louisa May Alcott’s “Orchard House” and a review of “Parade” by Moonbox Productions.

“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” in theaters now

Film Review - Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
This image released by Disney/Lucasfilm shows Adam Driver as Kylo Ren in a scene from "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker."
Disney Lucasfilm Ltd./AP

The events of “The Last Jedi” left the Resistance on the brink of collapse and without Luke Skywalker to guide them. Now, in the ninth installment of the “Star Wars” series, the surviving Resistance forces, led by General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), face off against Supreme Leader Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and the First Order one last time. With the power and knowledge of generations of Jedi behind them, Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega) and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) journey across the galaxy to stop a top-secret Sith plot. J.J. Abrams returns to direct the finale of the Skywalker saga.

“It honors the storytelling, legend, cinematic vocabulary and aesthetic of the original series,” says Jared. “It’s a passable entry into the canon and largely succeeds in a very absorbing last half hour. It also presents a Star Wars-ian lesson for our time: If people want to do the right thing, gather en masse and rise up, good can prevail.”

“Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House,” the historic home where Louisa May Alcott lived with her family and wrote “Little Women.”

Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House
Louisa May Alcott writing at her desk.
Courtesy of Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House

What better way to get ready for the "Little Women" film than by visiting the house where the story was written? In Concord, Mass., Louisa May Alcott’s historic family is open to the public as a museum. Purchased in 1857 by Amos Bronson Alcott, the home still features approximately 80% of the family’s original furnishings, including the desk where Alcott wrote the bestselling novel.

“Louisa was so fortunate to have this desk,” says Executive Director Jan Turnquist. “It doesn't look like much, but you have to remember that in that time women were not supposed to be serious writers. … To have a desk of your own was just sort of bordering on improper. But it was hers.”

“Parade,” presented by Moonbox Productions at the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts through Dec. 28

Phil Tayler and the cast of "Parade."
Sharman Altshuler, courtesy of Moonbox Productions

Class warfare, anti-Semitism, and sensational journalism. Those were issues at play in 1913 and in Moonbox Production’s “Parade.” Based on a true story and trial in Atlanta more than 100 years ago, “Parade” centers on Leo Frank, a Jewish factory manager contending with unrelenting prejudice from the public and press when a young girl working in his factory is found murdered. With a book by Pulitzer Prize winner Alfred Uhry and music by Tony Award winner Jason Robert Brown, this work about a man struggling to maintain his identity in the face of extreme bigotry is ripe for today’s audiences.

“This 'Parade' hits emotionally, visually and musically,” says Jared. “Lush in staging while balancing a dark derangement in Atlanta society, this production is a must-see.”

Which film are you more excited for, "Star Wars" or "Little Women"? Tell Jared about it on Facebook or Twitter!