MOVIE REVIEW - STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI
(MOVIE POSTER PROVIDED VIA IMDB.COM)
***WARNING: THIS REVIEW DEFINITELY CONTAINS SPOILERS! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK***
RELEASE DATE: December 15,2017
RUNNING TIME: 2 Hours 32 Minutes
DIRECTOR: Rian Johnson
WRITER: Rian Johnson
BASED ON CHARACTERS BY: George Lucas
Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker/Dobbu Scay
Carrie Fisher as Leia Organa
Adam Driver as Kylo Ren
Daisy Ridley as Rey
John Boyega as Finn
Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron
Andy Serkis as Snoke
Anthony Daniels as C-3PO
Laura Dern as Vice Admiral Holdo
Benicio Del Toro as DJ
Frank OZ as Yoda (Voice)
Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca
Jimmy Vee as R2-D2
(TRAILER PROVIDED VIA YOUTUBE.COM)
Star Wars: The Last Jedi has had a wide array of different and mixed reviews since it's release back on December 15 of 2017. I have friends who have loved it and hated it. The ones who loved it felt that the time has come for a somewhat new direction focusing on different characters. The ones who hated it felt that the legacy of the series was destroyed by Rian Johnson and that this was an abomination to the franchise because of how certain characters where treated and the way the Jedi lore had been handled. All of these strong opinions made me want to wait to see the film. In fact I waited almost a month after the film's release. I felt that I needed to get these opinions out of my head in order to have an open mind. I'm happy that I did.
I went into the movie with a clear mind and optimistic outlook. Now that time has passed since the film's release, I feel that I can be upfront and candid. I understand all of the negative attention that the film is getting. If you are unaware of what I am referring to, I am mainly talking about how Luke Skywalker was handled, the destruction of the past (or legacy as I like to call it) and that Kylo Ren told Rey that she came from nothing and that her parents were nothing. I look at it a little differently or even more into it than most.
Luke Skywalker is a character that will never be forgotten or seen anyway other than legendary. I always imagined that when we caught up with an older and wiser Luke, we would see him as an adventurous and daring individual that is also teaching the next generation of Jedi. I also saw him as the every rare Gray Jedi who has found a true balance between the light and the dark. When we do in fact see him, he is a loner who has given up on his Jedi ways and feels that the Jedi itself should be no more. He doesn't want to train Rey, he doesn't want to leave his planet. He just wants to live out his days and die alone. Eventually he ends up getting involved, although still on his own terms. But ultimately dies to give his allies a chance to live. I don't see this as negative ending to Luke because I see how he can still help further the story in the future. I feel we haven't seen the last of Luke. But who knows, I could be wrong.
Kylo is hell bent on ending the legacy of his bloodline and start anew. He seeks to kill everything that has come before him and take the throne of the darkside for himself. He almost achieves his goals. He takes the throne from Snoke in one of the most bad ass kill scenes I've seen in a Star Wars film, but fails to kill his family. Luke dies due to his own efforts and Leia lives to fight another day. But I see this as a person of the Skywalker bloodline finally giving in completely to the darkside of the force. Vader still had a glimmer of light in him at the end of his life. Luke hinted at it early on but ultimately stayed clear of the darkside. Kylo is the first of his family to take the throne and ultimate leadership of the forces of evil. He is more dangerous or has the ability to become more dangerous than those who have come before him.
Leia did her best impression of Superman at one point in the movie. Didn't see that coming. I agree with others, it was weird. Carrie Fisher was amazing again in the role. Please don't misunderstand the one part of the film I did not like.
I have also heard some criticism of how powerful Rey is without training. I just think this was shown in an effort to show how much raw power she holds. She will be the most powerful Jedi ever once she knows how to truly use the power of the force. I look forward to see how they explore these Jedi powers with Rey in furture installments.
At one dark moment during the film Kylo Ren told Rey that she was not special. That her parents sold her off for money and abandoned her. Some that I have spoken to have taken this as a undoing everything from Episode 7 where fans were given hope that Rey was an unknown key that was part of a legendary bloodline. The criticism went as far as to believe that Rey now meant nothing to future episodes. I had a different interpretation. I believe that Kylo Ren said such things to Rey only because he was looking to create an ally out of her and so that he would not be alone. I feel that we will learn the truth about Rey in Episode 9 and that she will be someone of significance because she is just too damn powerful not to be. I am open for a great revelation.
We saw a lot of new things in The Last Jedi. Yoda apparently has lightning powers even though he's dead. Luke can create sort of a ghost version of himself and display it across the galaxy. Leia can fly in space. As silly or misguided as these three points may sound, they actually work on screen. I mean I feel the Leia Superman impression could have gone a whole different way, but I enjoyed the other two points. The movie as a whole was good. It was exciting and fun. I had a blast watching it. We saw a lot of character growth especially with Poe Dameron and were able to see other more established characters come in and have some fun of their own as well. I give Star Wars: The Last Jedi a solid 3.5 out of 5 stars. It's not the best installment of the series (remember epidoses 1-3), but it's definitely no where near the worst (again...1-3). It helps progress the story. I can't wait to see where we go from here. Solo: A Star Wars Story comes out in May.
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