Movie Review: Star Wars: The Last Jedi!

MOVIE REVIEW!

At last, the next chapter in the Star Wars saga is HERE! How does Star Wars: The Last Jedi stack up? FIND OUT NOW!

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)

Starring: Daisy Ridley, Mark Hamill, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Carrie Fisher

Directed By: Rian Johnson

MINOR SPOILERS

The wait for the next “Saga Movie” in the newly reinstated Star Wars franchise has been a long one, full of Rey “Mary Sue” debates, Snoke theories, and complaints about why Luke was only seen in the last few minutes of The Force Awakens. Well, the wait is finally over, and one thing is definitely for certain, nothing will ever be the same now that Star Wars: The Last Jedi has hit theaters. Director Rian Johnson delivers a movie that’s not only a satisfying installment in the franchise, but one that leaves it in a place that makes me genuinely curious and excited to see what comes next.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. The Last Jedi picks up immediately after the events of The Force Awakens (a first for the franchise), and finds the members of the Resistance attempting to make an escape from The First Order, who are righteously pissed about the destruction of Starkiller Base. At the same time, Rey (Daisy Ridley) has made her way to Luke Skywalker (a stellar Mark Hamill) in an attempt to convince him to come out of hiding to help the Resistance (and also train her to become a Jedi).

If that sounds like a small plot for this movie, let me tell that it couldn’t be further from the truth. At two and a half hours, The Last Jedi isn’t just the longest movie in the Star Wars franchise, it’s also the most dense. There’s so much that happens in this movie that you’d wouldn’t be surprised if you thought this was the last film in the new trilogy. That denseness is arguably one of the Last Jedi’s few flaws, and there are some major points of the film that drag a little (especially in the middle act), but when Jedi gets cracking, holy crap does it deliver.

All of your new favorites from Force Awakens are back, and have some pretty big character moments. Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) is still the suave and swaggering ace pilot, with a small, but still really great arc in the film. Finn (John Boyega) encounters a mechanic for the Resistance named Rose (Kelly Marie Tran), and takes on a mission that could mean life or death for the Resistance. Rey discovers more about herself as a person and what it means to be a Jedi.

As good as the new characters are, the standout is Kylo Ren, played masterfully by Adam Driver, is given more nuance and grace than in Force Awakens. Driver steals nearly every scene he’s in, and makes you wholeheartedly believe in his performance. Honestly it’s hard to call Kylo Ren a straight up villain, because Last Jedi really makes you feel for him and his struggle to find himself, which is an amazing feat since this guy killed Han friggin’ Solo in the previous movie. It makes you wish that Disney had remade the prequels and cast Driver as Anakin Skywalker, as his struggles with the dark and light side of the Force are not only incredibly done, but one of the highlights of the film.

Speaking of the Force, The Last Jedi finally gives us Luke Skywalker again after thirty years of not seeing him. Mark Hamill plays Luke as a broken and bitter old man, not wanting to get in touch with The Force after it destroyed everything around him. With Luke, Mark Hamill brings a sad weariness that is difficult to watch for fans of the original trilogy, but it grounds the saga in a humanity that is all too real. Sometimes your heroes will fail you, but it’s what they do after that failure that really shows you their worth.

Luke isn’t the only Skywalker who makes an appearance, though. General Leia Organa is back, and Carrie Fisher displays more grace, poise, and incredible leadership here than in Force Awakens. She’s so good in this film that it’s very bittersweet: you’re happy that her final performance is a worthy one, but sad that we won’t get to see her take a larger role in Episode IX. It’s also a little disappointing that she’s sidelined for a good chunk of the middle of the movie, but that’s largely not Johnson’s fault, as no one could have predicted her untimely passing last year. Still though, there are plenty of surprises regarding her character that are extremely cool, and deserve to be saved to see on the big screen.

As I mentioned earlier, The Last Jedi has a LOT of ground to cover, and without giving anything away, I will say that there isn’t a lot of room for many characters, both old an new. Some have to be taken off the board for while, and others are reduced to mere background characters so we can meet new ones like Vice Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern) and the mysterious codebreaker “DJ” (an awesome if underused Benicio Del Toro). But Rian Johnson never lets the plot get too unwieldy, regardless of the crazy amount of action that takes place within this movie. There are stunning space battles, a great amount of emotional character moments, and one of the best lightsaber fights in the series. It’s no wonder that Disney and Lucasfilm have given Rian Johnson a whole damn trilogy of his own to create next.

But what Last Jedi does best is set the stage for the future of the Star Wars franchise. There are actual risks taken here that I really didn’t expect, and I highly suggest going in as cold as you can. There are a lot of detractors to Force Awakens that claim that it just copied A New Hope. But with Last Jedi I really don’t think you can make the claim that it rips off Empire Strikes Back at all. Sure, it has some similar beats, but this is a Star Wars movie that is full of surprises. Full of action, humor, emotion, and stunning reveals, Last Jedi is the first Star Wars film since the original trilogy that really captures the feeling of seeing a Star Wars film for the first time.

VERDICT : A-

Jonwahizzle is a comic book slinger for Jetpack Comics Find him on PSN (Jonwahizzle), follow him on twitter and check out his blog, The Collective: Examples of Nerdery for more!

24 thoughts on “Movie Review: Star Wars: The Last Jedi!

  1. This movie did a fantastic job of being different. They didn’t take the obvious safe route. They could have absolutely done it and maybe pleased those who are surprisingly hating this movie ( I don’t get it) but they didn’t. They took risks. They took bold moves. They took crazy decisions. As someone who loves everything Star Wars, I appreciate this and love it. The story isn’t what I personally would have wrote but this isn’t my story nor does it discredit what is a great story.

    The reddit hivemind circlejerk is in full effect though and I have zero understanding on it. The drive to be the cool hip hipster who hates Star Wars is such a cliche at this point.

    The movie isn’t perfect but NONE of the movies are. Even the holy trinity originals have problems. Hell the opening scene of a new hope has a giant flaw.

    People also bitch about the humor but I thought it was very well balanced with the level of seriousness we do get. People forget this isn’t some dark, gritty franchise. this is one all about serious things happening but also having fun at the same time. This one does that to perfection.

  2. I liked it, but it really didn’t move me.

    Also, since it bothered to put in details like “the Resistance fleet has 18 hours of fuel” and other details, I couldn’t help but see a bunch of plot holes.
    This takes place pretty quickly after Ep7, Kylo Ren and Finn are still being healed with machine aides.
    Rey is off with Luke and spends days there, watching Luke play with alien titties, while the Resistance fleet has a Jack Bauer time crunch to save the spark of the rebellion.
    So, unless there was an Interstellar time dilation subplot I missed, WTF? (To be fair, it seems like Luke spends weeks with Yoda, his clothes get visibly threadbare, while Leia and Han and Chewie spend what seems like a day or two outrunning the Empire and that’s still the best movie of the bunch)

    BUT, Ep5 didn’t bother telling me there was an exact time crunch. Cut out that one line about the amount of space hours they had left and it could work again.
    But also, Luke has his green lightsaber in the flashbacks and faces Ren with the blue lightsaber he and Rey just destroyed 30 minutes ago. Shouldn’t that be a big clue to Ren?
    Which leads to how the hell did Chewie find Rey and rescue her from the Super-super-super Star Destroyer?

    Plus, it kind of had the problem of the old EU/Legends where in Luke has sudden powers we’ve never seen before as he’s kind of fanboy overpowered.
    Not to mention that Leia became the Sally Field in The Flying Nun for a fanboy minute and the Kool-Aid Man as soon as she woke up. I like her having powers, but it would be a little more thematically consistent if her Force powers we empathy and communication which would have helped her as a diplomat, leader and general.

    Also, are we ever going to find out who the Knights of Ren are? Were the Preatorian guard the Knights of Ren?

    Phasma still didn’t have a lot to work with, but I guess it showed that she and Finn are opposites, white/black, loyal/rebellious, deadly skill vs willpower and heart, shiny/tattered… but it wasn’t super clear to the audience I was with.

    Also, Poe is wearing the red commander symbol meaning he’s part of the army despite being a pilot and more likely to be a part of the resistance navy, like Luke. Also, being demoted to Captain is a two rank demotion, the resistance/rebel rank below Commander is Major. (In general, all the people in the background had just any ol’ rank pinned to them. A bunch of old people had Ensign badges while people that looked 23 tops had General badges.)

    Also, how was anyone supposed to know about the dice charm from the Millennium Falcon that Luke hands to Leia? Take the line about 18 hours out and put one in explaining that dice charm bracelet so it actually means something to the audience.

    ***To be clear, I’m a crazy big Star Wars fan, learned about vintage camera parts to make a replica Graflex lightsaber, then learned how to solder and hook up electronics and lights so it lights up and has sound, then learned how to acid etch so that I could put a stellar map as my own touch on a battery case that no one will see but me. Then I did it a couple more times.
    So, I’m kind of a big fan. I want to love this movie but it felt like the old EU/Legends, and not in the good Thrawn ways.

    1. If anything, I would keep it all in and edit it differently.

      LEIA should have developed the force power of illusion to confront Ren. First off Luke is using the blue saber that Ren and Rey destroyed 30 minutes earlier, but Leia wouldn’t have known that, second, if Luke is using the illusion, he should have used his green lightsaber from the flashback.
      The illusion actually gives the last Resistance cell HOPE, which is what Leia is all about, after all, she hands the Rebellion HOPE in A New Hope. Her force abilities should be geared toward hope.
      If she were a Planeteer, Leia would have the power of heart.

      PLUS – it would give her an arc with HER SON and allow her to bow out of the series with grace (if we have her become one with the force), especially since she unfortunately passed almost exactly a year ago.
      Also, her son’s Tie Fighter wing tried to kill her 18 hours earlier, so with a slight edit, she could finally have the resolve to face her son and the mistakes of her past.

      Also, having Leia become one with the force would show that she’s more connected to the force than we had ever realized before and surprise us in a subtle way, not a Flying Nun/Kool-Aid Man way.

      1. Oh man do they ever love fuvking talking about hope. Hope this hope that we need hope, of only we had hope we would win. Maybe that’s why their ship was runnin out of gas, not enough extra hope. Sparks to light the fire to ignite hope. The last spark is out, sparky spark hope light hope nonsense. How about just good battle tactics like Poe Dameron has or steal weapons from the casino planet. What are the stakes of this world? Does the casino planet support the new order do they care who wins? How does the new order have money to buy all these war machines but the resistance doesn’t? None of this makes any sense.

    2. I think the resistance part took place days to weeks after force awakens while the Rey stuff started off immediately. The timing of everything makes more sense this way.

      Chewie found Rey because (and this is mentioned) they had a specific rendezvous point and Rey stole a shuttle to get to him.

  3. Carrie Fisher annoyed me, almost as much as Laura Dern, can Laura Dern act? She was saying lines but didn’t feel like she meant them but that entire plot and characters were fucking uninteresting. Definitely missed several chances to send off Leia but I had suspicion they were killing Luke. Kathleen Kennedy sure is favoring women this new trilogy, men are either evil, stupid, inept, weak or dead lol

    1. And this is bad, how…?

      The first trilogy favored men massively, comprising 95% of all the films. Seeing women have a more prominent role here is refreshing, and more realistic… Given that women make up for half of the human race as opposed to 5% 😛

      Also, I don’t think Flynn or Poe were any weaker or stupider than Rei in their respective arcs. All three accomplish a lot, and all three also do very stupid things they learn from.

  4. No answers as to how snoke came to power that’s annoying or why he’s so powerful with the force or where he’s been for the past 50 years why is he so fucked looking, lame

    1. This isn’t unlike the originals and Palpatine. You knew fuck all about him and he was only in one movie (and as a hologram in another). We didn’t know shit and then he just lazily gets tossed down a well. Snoke had more development than original Palpatine did.

    2. I thought Snoke was an incredibly bland villain that very transparently was meant to be a paralel to palpatine. Seeing him getting killed actually felt extremely rewarding, as it helps give way more power and credibility to the Kylo Ren, the actually interesting villain.

  5. Rey kind of actually seemed like a main character this time round, still the story feels barely about her, too many fucking characters

  6. So, I still liked the movie… I’m just a big nitpicker, but does did movie show us that the light side of the Force is a vagina (tree opening that looked like a Georgia O’Keefe painting to get to Jedi texts) and the dark side had a dark asshole that Rey dove into (which had to lubed up before she could enter).
    Light side is the pink and dark side is the stink?

    1. And… so the theme of the movie: the everything we think of as being Sith and Jedi are destroyed. Is the real message about breaking up binary gender identities? Is that really what Ren and Rey are struggling with? Gender identity?

      I wonder if we’re going to look back at this movie as the Nightmare on Elm Street 2 of the series. Is it trying to say something about Dark Side users being leather fetishists?

      Ren killed his father after being confronted about his lifestyle choices and tried to kill his mother for the same reasons until she called his uncle in long-distance to have a chat with him. Rey told Ren to put on a shirt and was disgusted with his buff chest when they had their second FaceTime chat.
      Snoke was an old pervert who made a Sense8 connection to Rey and Ren and walked around in his Hugh Heffner gold satin bathrobe and listened in on conversations everywhere, like when Hux was on the bridge and lost the Resistance.
      He also criticized his boytoy Ren about his fashion sense(helmet) and scar first chance he got.

  7. I am a little confused about everybody talking about how this is a different Star Wars movie. They copied some important parts from other Star Wars movies. Rey goes to enlist the help of a reluctant Jedi master Luke. That’s the exact same as Luke going to get a reluctant Yoda to train him in Empire. Rey surrenders to Kylo, so she can turn him, and is then taken to Snoke’s throne room just like Luke surrendering to Darth Vader, so he can turn him, and is taken to the Emperor’s throne room. This is a visually impressive film and the three main characters are still great but this is far from my favorite Star Wars film.

      1. Oh bulshit. There is a lot of significantly different things in this film. It has some similar elements but all fucking films do. To call this is a rehash shows a blatant misunderstanding of the film.

        1. The whole film is not a rehash. This film literally plays out the sames scenes from past Star Wars films and just replaces the characters. These scenes are not similar, they are exactly the same. I mentioned several scenes in my earlier comment that are exactly the same.

    1. Those parts you mentioned comprised less than 15% of the plot of the movie, and both paid off in significantly different ways…

    1. Yes it did. By being significantly worse than any of the films before it! Even Caravan of Courage was better! I’m joking. In reality it’s not a terrible movie, I just found that for the first time, I was considerably disappointed when I left the theater. A second viewing is necessary.

  8. I’m baffled at the positive reactions this film is receiving.

    Daisy Ridley is a shit actor. It didn’t matter in Force Awakens because she had to be wide-eyed and excited as everything happened around her, but there’s no hiding in this one.
    Adam Driver’s version of intense is to look and sound like he is about to vomit.
    Snoke is dressed like Space-Weinstein, and despite being aware of events happening countless light-years away, cannot perceive what is going on in his own space boudoir.
    Finn and Poe waste at least 30 minutes of the film on a sidequest that comes to nothing, NOTHING. In fact, both Finn and Poe don’t contribute a single thing during the entire film. They could have not been in the film and the only thing that would be different is that the bomber pilots would still be alive.
    Why doesn’t the purple-haired lady explain what the plan is about fleeing to the planet?
    Rei and Luke have to have the same stilted conversation countless times because they have nothing else to flesh out the huge amount of time spent on that island.
    Pressumably flying a ship at light speed into Snoke’s ship would have damaged it WITHOUT having to wait until almost everybody is dead? This is literally the Star Wars version of Lord of the Rings’ stupid eagles. This is but a sample of the crap in that film.

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