Movie Review – Star wars: The Last Jedi
After the long wait since The Force Awakens was released, us Star Wars nerds were incredibly anxious to finally see Episode VIII of the incredible saga that has captivated us since the late 70’s. I couldn’t have been more excited as I took my seat in the movie theatre, and I could barely contain myself as the iconic scrolling intro text filled us in on the story about to unfold in front of me. 2 hours and 30 minutes later, I left the theatre astonished at myself being so torn with my opinion of this film, so let me explain why.
The first aspect of the movie I did not like was the underlying plot to the entire story. The entire film is essentially one long spaceship chase between the Empire and the Rebel fleet as they retreat from battle. After the years of writing the script and being in development, this was the best the writers could come up with? It felt as if the movie had no cohesive movement in the story, and seemed drawn out to the point that you no longer had that emotional connection with the plight of the Rebels. Despite this, there were some scenes that shined amidst the chaos, which gave the viewer a glimpse of unique new worlds in the Star Wars universe, and also introduced a few new characters that I feel like will be coming back in Episode IX.
Throughout the movie, fan favorite characters like Chewbacca, R2-D2, and C3PO are given enough screen time to still consider them relevant to the story yet to unfold. However, it is disappointing to see how Luke’s character has taken such a drastic turn from his development in previous movies. While some herald it as ushering in a new era of Star Wars characters, I feel as if director Rian Johnson went about it in a way that destroyed the essence of what Luke Skywalker entailed. Despite this, several new characters were introduced that certainly interesting and definitely likable. This included Rose Tico, a Rebel maintenance worker, Admiral Holdo, a Rebel fighter, and DJ, a mysterious code-breaker.
Some of the more recognizable characters in the film are continued to be played beautifully by their respective actors. At the start of the film, we continue with Rey finally meeting Luke, only for him to not want anything to do with her. From there, she finds herself trapped on the island, waiting for Luke to finally come around to helping the Rebels. This entire part of the film seemed to drag on for an unnecessary amount of time. The scenes in which she trains with Luke are the highlights of her time there, though the humor present is enough to keep you from becoming bored. Meanwhile, Finn and Poe are continuing their fight against the Empire, and both play a pivotal role in getting out alive. However, I felt as if their development was a bit 2-dimensional, with hopes for it tying all together in the climax falling flat. Kylo Wren seemed to fully grow into his role as a centerpiece villain in this new trilogy, and going into the next film, it will be exciting to see where his character will go.
In line with being a Disney film, the movie is filled with humor. This adds a lighthearted aspect to the film, and certainly drew many laughs from the audience, but some of it errs on the side of being too corny and childish. I understand that this movie is made for kids and adults alike, but some the humor in some parts was too overpowering, and drowned out an otherwise emotionally impactful scene. It is certainly a departure from the contrasting dark themes present in Rogue One throughout the film.
Some minor aspects I also found to be irritating is the fact that the mystery behind the identity of Rey’s parents as well as Supreme Leader Snoke turned out to in inconsequential to the story. If the build-up to the answer of the questions weren’t as significant as they were in The Force Awakens, I wouldn’t be angry, yet here we are.
Let me get this straight: The Last Jedi was not a bad film, but it was particularly a great one either. With a film franchise as iconic as Star Wars, the bar is set to the highest of standards, and I think it was missed. Either way, it’s still an enjoyable film, and it sets precedent for Episode IX to be tied in a variety of potential ways.