Star Wars: The Last Jedi
For several generations Star Wars has impacted the lives of many people. This cinema universe has expanded from the big screen, to books, comics, tv shows and soon to be entertainment parks. For me in particular, Star Wars has always been a big part of my life. With Disney purchasing the franchise, they are at the driving force of delivering fans more and more adventures. Disney laid out a road map of things to come and when I first heard of it, I couldn’t have been more excited knowing the final three installments of episodes 7, 8 and 9 would come to theaters. Now here we are with Episode 8, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which in my opinion is the best since Empire Strikes Back. From what I gather, the internet is buzzing with mixed reviews. Some loved it, yet the fan boys seemed to have hated it. Wonder why that it is, possibly they went into the film with all their theories and when things didn’t unfold as they expected they were disappointed. I admit, I too was slightly disappointed after my first viewing of it. However, after seeing it a second time the movie grew on me and I left the theater very pleased with the outcome; this and more is depicted in my review.
My brain was scattered all over the place with theories when I sat down to watch The Last Jedi. As events unfolded during the film I thought the story was going to twist and turn the way I expected, but boy was I wrong. As Luke says in the preview, “This is not going to go the way you think.” Even though things did not pan out as I thought, I was still very entertained.
The Last Jedi kicks off right after the events of The Force Awakens. Although they delivered a devastating blow to The First Order, The Resistance is on the run while the First Order is hot on their trail. Right out the gate we are given a humorous side to Star Wars as Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) toys with General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson). Comedy in Star Wars has generally been more of a focus since the original trilogy. Love it or hate it, the films have attempted to target all audience members. Personally, I really enjoy the style of the original trilogy and can due without the extra funny screens added nowadays. However, there are several scenes in The Last Jedi that will make you chuckle regardless.
With General Leia (Carrie Fisher) at the front of The Resistance and her daring Commander Pilot, Poe Dameron, The Resistance refuses to back down. The First Order stops at nothing to pursue and eliminate every last member so nothing stands in their way. But with the newly awakened force in Rey (Daisy Ridley), there is still hope. We last saw Rey seeking out guidance from the Legendary Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), who is believed to be the last of the remaining Jedi. During their meeting, Rey was given an unwelcomed introduction by her sot out master. Rey was not impressed and certainly disappointed she did not find what Leia set her out for, yet she still searches for answers of her past. Rey doesn’t give up hope in stopping The First Order and decides takes matters into her own hands in facing down Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and his Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis). This unique encounter is hands down my favorite scene of The Last Jedi, which leads to an epic battle.
The Last Jedi has a few key scenes from it that take the original Star Wars fan back to their roots. One of the biggest moments comes when Luke crosses paths with his old friend and Jedi Master, Yoda. Yoda was once again played by Frank Oz himself, which I absolutely loved. Not only that, Yoda is done with a puppet instead of CGI. Chewbacca makes his appearance as usual, but with the death of Han Solo his impact on the film is just not the same. Of course, Star Wars is not Star Wars without our droids, C-3PO and R2-D2. These two have their traditional moments as usual.
But this new saga has new stars. The droid BB8 has stolen the spotlight from R2 and doesn’t come up short. Not only does this droid bring a new spark and big impacts to the film, he also wins the audience over time and time again. There was a new character development in Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) and she has a unique bond with Finn (John Boyega). She sees Finn as a hero to The Resistance, yet finds herself taking on a similar role. The chemistry between these two actors on scene is great and they each help one another shine. Disney has taken the new Star Wars films as a platform to show just how strong women are and can be. The Last Jedi is no different with Leia leading the charge, Rey being brave and powerful and now Rose finding her strengthen from within to fight. I’m very pleased with how Star Wars is showing woman are just as strong as men, if not stronger. It sends a positive message to all youth growing up that they can do anything no matter their gender.
With every good, there comes some bad. Now, plenty of people weren’t happy with the outcome of The Last Jedi. But for myself, I thoroughly enjoyed it and have at this point seen it three times. The only negative I pulled from this film would be the over the top scene with Leia. True Star Wars fans even have a hard time believing this scene and I just feel they could have done it differently. There was some disappointment with the encounter with Rey and Luke. Star Wars has never really dived into the dark side of the force and the history of it on the big screen. If anything, the TV series, Star Wars Rebels has given us more. Sure, we got little bits and pieces with Anakin when he started to turn during Episode 2 and 3, but I really wanted to see Rey catch a deeper glimpse into the evil lurking on the over side. My last thing which I felt could have been done better was the back story for Snoke. The audience was given nearly nothing and left with a big question mark of who he really was.
Now for my theories to come in Episode 9. I’m not going to get crazy here, just a few basics. First off, I believe Rey will use Luke’s broken lightsaber to construct a double-bladed lightsaber. With Snoke now dead, Kylo Ren will take the reigns and become a new ‘Supreme Leader / Emperor’. And last but not least… we will discover that Rey and Kylo are siblings. Of course we all know Carrie Fisher passed away (RIP), but it will be interesting to see how they work her in as CGI.
If for some reason you haven’t seen The Last Jedi, do it soon! In fact, I recommend you see it at least twice in the theaters. I feel like I enjoyed the movie much more my second viewing. The Last Jedi is for the whole family. With new Director, Rian Johnson at the helm, George Lucas and Rian Johnson doing the story writing, the wonderful music by John Williams and an amazingly talents cast, The Last Jedi is packed with entertainment. You can’t go wrong with it, you will love many things about it and like most films, you will have some dislikes. I for one… love Star Wars.