Alex Bay and Owen Goodchild
After The Force Awakens reinvigorated the Star Wars franchise two years ago, fans have eagerly been awaiting the succeeding film with high expectations. As a lifelong Star Wars fan, I left the theater wholly entertained. The Last Jedi is one of the most entertaining movies of the Star Wars saga. Director Rian Johnson did a fantastic job with this film; he was able to make this movie feel like a true Star Wars movie while also adding many personal touches, including comic relief, which never really felt forced and always made the theater burst into laughter.
Unlike The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi is a more original Star Wars movie. One of the main complaints I had heard about The Force Awakens is how similar it was to other films in the franchise, specifically A New Hope. One of my biggest fears going into this movie was that it would have the same effect as its predecessor: a great film that lacked some originality. However, this was not the case; many plot elements were completely new to the saga.
Additionally, many sequences in this movie were extremely satisfying while also being unexpected. The twists in this movie compared to its predecessors were unmatched. Several times throughout this film, you could hear the audience gasp at yet another unexpected moment.
Overall, the performances in this movie were fantastic. Daisy Ridley (Rey) once again dazzled in this movie. She continues to show that she was a perfect choice for this role, and her on-screen chemistry with her Dark Side counterpart Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is the main contributor to how entertaining this movie is to me. Adam Driver (Kylo Ren) was also amazing in this film. Once again, I do not want to give too much away, but his performance was everything I, and I’m sure many other fans, wanted it to be. Kylo continues to be the most complex and interesting Star Wars villain of all time, and we get to see more of the internal conflict that we saw in The Force Awakens, setting the stage for an exciting finale. Mark Hamill is brilliant as a broken Luke Skywalker; from his eyes alone you can feel his character’s anguish and heartbreak. There was not a single scene with him that was unsatisfying. This movie shows a side of Luke Skywalker that has never been seen before, and Mark Hamill did an unbelievable job playing him.
Withal, the Last Jedi, maintains a strong visual aesthetic throughout the film. Every shot is masterfully crafted, and every scene is a treat to watch from a cinematic perspective. Johnson’s unique style shines through, especially in his action scenes. The film’s space battles and one-on-one duels are gloriously directed and stand up to all other movies in the franchise thus far.
I had only one true issue with The Last Jedi. If I had to describe it as vaguely as possible, I would say that there’s an element in the storyline involving Finn and a new character, Rose, that tends to drag more than I believe any person wanted. The movie makes it seem like this sequence is pivotal to the story, but you realize in the end that it had little to no worth. Finn, one of my favorite characters in this trilogy, could have been used more effectively. To my disappointment, this film did not develop Finn’s character the way it did in The Force Awakens.
With that aside, The Last Jedi was a very well made, entertaining movie. The nostalgia of watching a Star Wars movie was ever present, and I am extremely satisfied with how the movie turned out. There remain several indispensable questions that fans crave the answers to, which will lead to an inevitably rewarding finale. For now, all we can do is wait. Let the Force be with us.
FINAL RATING: 9/10